Anders Brief Law & Legal Definition


Anders brief is a brief filed by a criminal defendant’s court-appointed defense attorney who wants to withdraw from the case on appeal, based on the belief that the appeal is frivolous. This brief is named after the case, Anders v. California 386 U.S. 738 (1967).

According to the U.S. Supreme Court case, Anders v. California, the brief must raise all possible arguable issues for appeal in order to fulfill the requirement that counsel be an "active advocate" for his/ her client. In an Ander’s brief, the attorney who decides to withdraw the case must identify anything in record that might support the appeal. After that, the court decides whether the appeal is frivolous, and if the attorney should be allowed to withdraw the case.

Anders brief is also known as no-merits brief.