Thursday, May 25, 2023

Citing unpublished cases

Bed's latest column, Finding Authoritative Authorities, has a lot to say about what to cite.

It’s fine to cite the great philosophers—like Justice Gilbert and I do—but you have to be a lot more careful with your case citations. Older case citations are always greeted with suspicion

Another thing you want to be careful with is unpublished federal decisions. This is a pit you may not have realized was even available for you to fall into. It’s a fluke.

unpublished federal authority is citable. Whether it will do you a lot of good is another matter.

So yeah, you can cite an unpublished federal decision, and if it’s more eloquent than you are, it might do you some good. Otherwise, consider Heraclitus or Patty Loveless.