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WI Courts to Allow Citation of Unpublished Opinions

On Oct. 14, the Wisconsin Supreme Court adopted in principle Judicial Council petition 08-02 to amend Wis. Stat. Rule 809.23(3) to allow citation of unpublished opinions for their persuasive value. An audio recording of the hearing is available from the WI Courts.

The Judicial Council petition states:

The supreme court adopted the concept of citing unpublished opinions for persuasive value with the following amendments to the Council's petition:

1. Citations will be limited to authored opinions signed by one or three judges, in civil and criminal cases, and does not include per curiam.
2. Only opinions issued as of July 1, 2009, will be citable.
3. Counsel must submit a copy of any unpublished opinion being cited to opposing counsel.
4. The court will appoint a committee to set up procedure to identify materials that would allow an evaluation and to determine what statistics shall be noted. The court will review the rule in 2011.
5. The rule will include Judicial Council note: Section (3) was revised to reflect that unpublished opinions are increasingly available in electronic form. This change also conforms to the practice in numerous other jurisdictions, and is compatible with, though more limited than, Fed. R. App. P. 32.1, which abolished any restriction on the citation of unpublished federal court opinions, judgment, orders and dispositions issued on or after Jan. 1, 2007. The revision to Section (3) does not alter the non-precedential nature of unpublished Wisconsin appellate opinions.

Source: WisBar.org
Update: See this Wisconsin Law Journal article for some analysis of the decision.