Definitions from Steven Gifis, Law Dictionary, 7th Edition (Hauppauge, NY: 2016).
Amicus curiae - Latin for friend of the court; one who gives information to the court on some matter of law which is in doubt. The function of an amicus curiae is to call the court's attention to some matter which might otherwise escape its attention. An amicus curiae brief (or amicus brief) is submitted to the court by one not a party to the lawsuit to aid the court in gaining the information it needs to make a proper decision or to urge a particular result on behalf of the public or a private interest of third parties who will be affected by the resolution of the dispute.
Brief - a written argument concentrating upon legal points and authorities, which is used by the lawyer to convey to the court the essential facts of his or her client's case, a statement of the questions of law involved, the law that should or would apply, and the application that he or she desires of the court; it is submitted in connection with an application, motion, trial, or appeal.
Certiorari - see Writ of certiorari, below.
Certiorari Denied - where the Supreme Court denied a Petition for Writ of Certiorari, i.e. the case is not heard by the Court.
Disposition of cases:
In forma pauperis (IFP) - Latin: in the manner of a pauper. With regard to pleadings, opportunity to sue "In forma pauperis" grants a party the right to proceed without assuming the burden of costs or formal niceties of pleading, such as page size and numbers of copies required. A criminal defendant granted permission to proceed in forma pauperis may be entitled to the assistance of court-appointed counsel. Cases with numbers 5000 or higher are filed in forma pauperis (for example, 03-9046)
Landmark Case - Case of historical and legal significance which may establish a new legal principle or concept or otherwise substantially change the interpretation of existing law.
Original Jurisdiction - the authority to hear a case the first time (as opposed to appellate jurisdiction, which is the authority to review a decision from a lower court). Under Article III, Section 2 of the U.S. Constitution, the Supreme Court has original jurisdiction in all cases affecting ambassadors, other public ministers and consuls, and those in which a state is a party.
Per curiam - Latin: by the court. A per curiam opinion is an opinion "by the court" which expresses its decision in the case but whose author is not identified.
Petition for writ of certiorari (PWC): Brief submitted by the petitioner putting forward the legal position of the case and asking the Supreme Court to hear the case.
Petitioner - The petitioner is the party who petitioned the Supreme Court to review the case. The Adverse party is called the Respondent.
Respondent: The respondent is the party who responds to the claim filed by the petitioner
Writ of certiorari: Order of a higher court agreeing to review a lower court decision
Rules of the Supreme Court of the United States