Golden Gate University Law Review


Analisa Pratt


This Comment is divided into seven parts. Part I provides an overview of the current practice concerning citation of unpublished opinions, including a look at how unpublished opinions came into existence, the types of opinions currently published, and the courts' reasoning for limiting citation of unpublished opinions. Part II describes the variations on precedential value an opinion could receive and describes the no-citation rules by circuit. Part III discusses the debate between the Eighth and the Ninth Circuits - the two most vocal circuits on the issue of citability. Part IV deconstructs the reasoning behind no-citation rules. Part V examines the possibility that no-citation rules violate due process rights. Part VI explores proposed Appellate Rule 32.1, which would prohibit appellate courts from restricting citation of judicial opinions, and argues that the proposed rule change is a step in the right direction but is not enough. Finally, Part VII concludes by stating that if we hope to establish a more uniform appellate system, not only must we consistently allow citation to unpublished opinions, but we must also dictate a precedential value to be applied to unpublished opinions when cited.