Important Change to Federal Rules of Appellate Procedure
April 22, 2006 at 2:15 PM
On April 12, the United States Supreme Court approved new Federal Rule of Appellate Procedure 32.1, which permits attorneys to cite to unpublished federal court opinions issued on or after January 1, 2007. This new rule will take effect on December 1, 2006, unless Congress takes action to reject or modify the approved rule. I’m pleased to see the federal judiciary eliminate the prohibition on citing unpublished decisions. As the committee report emphasizes, the circuits have developed very different rules concerning the citation of unpublished opinions for persuasive value, and it’s confusing to practitioners to try to determine when such decisions can be cited and when their use is forbidden. Thanks to Law Librarian Blog for the tip.