USD School of Law Professor Michael Ramsey Quoted in San Diego Union Tribune Article on Amicus Briefs

Professor Michael Ramsey Quoted in San Diego Union Tribune Article on Amicus Briefs

Michael Ramsey, Professor of Law and Director of International & Comparative Law Programs

San Diego (March 9, 2017) – University of San Diego (USD) School of Law Professor Michael Ramsey was quoted in a San Diego Union Tribune article that reported on amicus briefs, citing two amicus curiae briefs related to national issues that were signed by the San Diego City Counsel last month, both of which have landed in the federal courts.

According to the article, an amicus curiae, also known as a “friend of the court,” is someone who is not a party to the lawsuit but is qualified to provide information to the court. The article questioned why a city that isn’t a party to a case would go to the trouble of drafting or signing an amicus brief and whether these kinds of briefs have any real effect on a case’s outcome.

Ramsey said it’s common for the Supreme Court to receive a significant number of amicus briefs, particularly in high-profile cases.

“Sometimes it doesn’t matter as much what you say as it does who you are,” Ramsey said, adding there have been many occasions in which 20 or more states have signed onto a single brief.

 “The fact that they’re weighing in on something is potentially significant,” he said. “They’re saying, ‘This matters to us.’”

 Read the full article on

About Professor Michael Ramsey

Professor Michael Ramsey teaches and writes in the areas of constitutional law, foreign relations law and international business law. Ramsey clerked for the Honorable J. Clifford Wallace of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit and for the Honorable Antonin Scalia of the U.S. Supreme Court. He practiced international business law with the firm of Latham & Watkins. Ramsey taught as a visiting professor at the University of California, San Diego department of political science and at the University of Paris-Sorbonne department of comparative law. He joined the USD School of Law faculty in 1995.

About the University of San Diego School of Law

The University of San Diego (USD) School of Law is recognized for the excellence of its faculty, depth of its curriculum, and strength of its clinical programs. Each year, USD educates approximately 800 Juris Doctor and graduate law students from throughout the United States and around the world. The law school is best known for its offerings in the areas of business and corporate law, constitutional law, intellectual property, international and comparative law, public interest and taxation.

USD School of Law is one of the 84 law schools elected to the Order of the Coif, a national honor society for law school graduates. The law school’s faculty is a strong group of outstanding scholars and teachers with national and international reputations and currently ranks 35th nationally and 6th on the West Coast among U.S. law faculties in scholarly impact and 24th nationally and 6th on the West Coast in all-time faculty downloads on the Social Sciences Research Network (SSRN). The school is accredited by the American Bar Association and is a member of the Association of American Law Schools. Founded in 1954, the law school is part of the University of San Diego, a private, independent, Roman Catholic university chartered in 1949.


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