California Courts,  Stare Decisis

A Group Passionate about Changes to Publication/Citation Rules

I had occasion to do some research recently into the fight for changes in the rules for publication and the California ban on citation of unpublished California opinions (Cal. Rules of Court, rule 8.1115) and ran across The Committee for the Rule of Law. According to its mission statement, it “seeks to revive full publication of all decisions of the United States Court of Appeals and the Court of Appeal of California in official reports and to eliminate all rules of court prohibiting the citation of approximately 90% of all decisions of our appellate courts to any court for any purpose.”

The name of the group and the passion with which it argues may strike you as somewhat “over the top,” but if you are interested in researching the arguments in favor of such reforms, its web site is a good place to start. You will find links to a lot of materials regarding the debate in California, including links to past legislative initiatives, dozens of articles in law reviews and the press, and historical developments in the adoption of Rule 32.1 of the Federal Rules of Appellate Procedure, which, effective January 1, 2007, authorizes citation to unpublished opinions rendered on or after that date.

UPDATE (11/20/07): I corrected the effective date for Rule 32.1 of the Federal Rules of Appellate Procedure.