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

    An outline of the case of one of the parties; a written argument prepared for the court; to prepare a brief. See 43 Ind. 356.

  • Black's Law Dictionary: 2nd Edition

    In general. A written document; a letter; a writing lu the form of a letter. A summary, abstract or epitome. A condensed statement of some larger document or of a series of papers, facts or propositions. An epitome or condensed summary of the facts and circumstances, or propositions of law, constituting the case proposed to be set up by either party to an action about to be tried or argued. In English practice. A document prepared by the attorney, and given to the barrister, before the trial of a cause, for the lu-struction and guidance of the latter. It contains, in general, all the information necessary to enable the barrister to successfully conduct their client's case in court, such as a statement of the facts, a summary of the plcadings, the names of the witnesses, and an outllne of the evidence expected from them, and any suggestions arising out of the peculiarities of the case. In American practice. A written or printed document, prepared by counsel to serve as the basis for an argument upon a cause in an appellate court, and usually filed for the information of the court. It embodies the points of law which the counsel desires to establish, together with the arguments and authorities upon which he rests his contention. A brief, within a rule of court requiring counsel to furnish briefs, before argument, implies some kind of statement of the case for the information of the court. Gardner v. Stover, 43 Ind. S56. In Scotch law. Brief is used in the sense of "writ," and this seems to be the sense in which the word is used in very many of the ancient writers. In ecclesiastical law. A papal rescript sealed with wax. See Bull.
    —Brief a l'evesque. A writ to the bishop which, in quare impedit, shall go to remove an incumbent, unless he recover or be presented Pendente lite. 1 Keb. 386.
    —Brief of title. In practice. A methodical epitome of all the patents, conveyances, incumbrances, liens, court proceedings, and other matters affecting the title to a certain portion of real estate.
    —Brief out of the chancery. In Scotch law. A writ issued in the name of the sovereign in the election of tutors to minore, the cognoscing of lunatics or of idiots, and the ascertaining the widow's terce; andsometimes in dividing the property belonging to heirs-portioners. In these cases only brieves are now in use. Bell.
    —Brief papal. In ecolesiastical law. The pope's letter upon matters of discipline.