The Legal Defense Fund (LDF) is an advocacy program for Michigan’s local governments in the courtrooms. It provides support and assistance to municipalities, and their attorneys, in court cases where the issues have a broad impact on both the municipality involved in the case and on other municipalities in the state. LDF cases represent a broad range of issues such as medical marihuana; protecting local zoning authority; reducing municipal liability; protecting local cable television franchise authority; clarifying and protecting local interests regarding the Open Meetings Act and the Freedom of Information Act; and local control of billboards.
Typically, amicus curiae briefs are filed on behalf of the League in state and federal courts and financed in whole or in part by the LDF. They are a way of presenting the court with arguments, information, and authority, and assisting the court with the broad perspective of the case in terms of the impact on municipalities generally, as well as the litigant municipality. From time to time, the Michigan Supreme Court has specifically invited the League to file an amicus brief (these instances are noted in the database).
The LDF has created an online, searchable database of LDF amicus curiae briefs, from 1997-present. It is searchable by keyword, name of case, year, or a full text search of the case summary. The result of a search will show the name of the case, year, amicus counsel, issues, a summary of the case, and for a majority of cases, the facts and final decision reached. From the results page, click the pdf to get the full brief or the pdf to get the decision/order.