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December 5, 2006

New Federal Rules: Citation to Unpublished Opinions

While we're on the subject of changes to the federal rules, another significant change in the Rules of Appellate Procedure is scheduled to go into effect on January 1, 2007.  Rule 32.1 will prohibit courts from restricting the citation to opinions designated as "unpublished," "not for publication," "non-precedential," "not precedent" or the like if the opinion is issued after the rule date.  Westlaw and Lexis will be thrilled as they as many of these opinions fill their databases.  West Group should be particularly thrilled as it gives added reason for the existence of the Federal Appendix.

Lawyers have sought these opinions no matter what the rules have said about not citing them.  The federal courts were right to finally recognize the reality of these opinions.

Rule 32.1 with comments is available here.

December 5, 2006 | Permalink

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