Definitions from Black's Law Dictionary: 2nd Edition and Ballentine's Law Dictionary as are available for each term in each dictionary.
  • Black's Law Dictionary: 2nd Edition

    Lat. A friend of the court A by-stander (usually a counsellor) who interposes and volunteers information upon seme matter of law in regard to which the judge is doubtful or mistaken or upon a matter of which the court may take judiclal cognizance. Counsel in court frequently act in this capacity when they happen to be in possession of a case which the judge has not seen or does not at the moment remember. Taft v. Northern Transp. Co., 56 N. H. 416; Birmingham Loan, etc., Co. v. Bank, 100 Ala. 249, 13 South. 945, 46 Am. St. Rep. 45; In re Columbia Real Estate Co. (D. Ct) 101 Fed. 970. It is also applied to persons who have no right to appear in a suit, but are allowed to introduce evidence to protect their own interests. Bass v. Fontleroy, 11 Tex. 699, 701, 702.