Friday, February 11, 2005

Research Tip - Citation of Unpublished Opinions

Today's Research Tip is from Advanced Electronic Legal Research class. Prof. James Duggan answers a question that we hear frequently at the reference desk: Can I cite to an unpublished opinion?
Citation of Unpublished Opinions in Illinois

Rule 23 (Illinois Supreme Court) states that the Court (including the Appellate Court) may designate a disposition as an order, in which case it will not appear in the official or unofficial reports, and cannot be cited as precedent.

Citations in Illinois

Rule 6 (Illinois Supreme Court) states the rule for what must be included in a citation for cases cited to the court: "Citation of Illinois cases shall be to the official reports, but the citation to the North Eastern Reporter and/or the Illinois Decisions may be added."

Citation to Unpublished Cases in U.S. Court of Appeals for the 7th Circuit

The Seventh Circuit is one of four federal circuits that prohibit citing to unpublished opinions, except for limited purposes in related cases. However, Seventh Circuit Rule 53(e) provides that no unpublished opinion or order of any court may be cited in the Seventh Circuit if citation is prohibited in the rendering court.

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