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Judge using tablet and stylus pen Photo illustration: M Kozak; Shutterstock

 

Litigate long enough and it’s bound to happen: The briefs have been filed, and you and your adversary have joined issue on the questions presented for judicial decision; but then, rather than decide those questions, the court introduces its own new legal issues into the case. The court will typically ask the parties to respond to these new issues, but sometimes courts go further and invite third parties who previously hadn’t participated in the case to submit amicus briefs with their views. Next thing you know, you’re watching the dispute evolve before your eyes and outside your control.

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