Federal Appendix

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Federal Appendix

A legal reference source containing federal courts of appeals decisions that have not been selected by the court for publication.

The first volume of the Federal Appendix was published September 1, 2001. Coverage began with decisions handed down after January 1,2001. The Federal Appendix is an appendix to the Federal Reporter, Third Series (F.3d). However, unpublished opinions from the Fifth and Eleventh Circuits are not included in the Federal Appendix.

The Federal Appendix is part of Thomson West's National Reporter System. The cases contain the West enhancements of case summaries, headnotes, and topics and key numbers. A citation to a Federal Appendix opinion gives, first, the volume, then the abbreviation of the publication, and finally the page number on which the opinion begins. A sample citation looks like this: 2 Fed.Appx. 386 (4th Cir. 2001). In 2002, Federal Appendix citations began to appear in the Federal Practice Digest Fourth Series, and also in some state digests.

Generally, unpublished opinions have no precedential value. And across jurisdictions there are inconsistent court rules regarding citation of unpublished opinions. In 2001 the American Bar Association House of Delegates expressed its approval of federal courts of appeals granting access to unpublished opinions and allowing citation to unpublished opinions (ABA Resolution 01A115). And The Judicial Conference of the United States's Advisory Committee on Appellate Rules has considered amendments to the Federal Rules of Appellate Procedure dealing with citation of non-precedential unpublished decisions.


Judicial Conference of the United States.

West's Encyclopedia of American Law, edition 2. Copyright 2008 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
Ninth circuit Judge Alex Kozinski pointed out in his June 27, 2002, testimony before the Congressional Subcommittee on Courts, the Internet, and Intellectual Property that not only are unpublished dispositions public documents, available to the parties and the public from the clerk of the court, but also that "all dispositive rulings, whether designated for inclusion in an official reporter or not, are widely available online through Westlaw and Lexis, as well as in hard copy [since 2001] in West's Federal Appendix."
Barnett in his essay, From Anastasoff to Hart to West's Federal Appendix: The Ground Shifts Under No-Citation Rules, 4 J.
West said that Federal Appendix will produce approximately 10-15 print volumes per year.
In a startling action that drains the meaning from the term "unpublished" opinion, the West Group in September 2001 launched its Federal Appendix. (6) This is a new case-reporter series in West's National Reporter System that consists entirely of "unpublished" opinions from the federal circuit courts of appeals (except, currently, the Fifth and Eleventh Circuits).
Furthermore, any diversion of judicial time that might originally have resulted from allowing citation of unpublished opinions may already have occurred, thanks to the availability of those opinions on line, in LEXIS and Westlaw, and now in West's Federal Appendix. Indeed, the entire controversy over unpublished opinions may be laid at the feet of LEXIS, Westlaw, and the Internet, with their technological capacity to make everything available; the issue would not have come up, at least not with anything like its present force, in the world of books.
An "unpublished" opinion, even when published in the Federal Appendix, wears a scarlet "U"; no one should be surprised to discover that it carries less authority than a "published" opinion.
In all but two federal circuits, unpublished opinions now are available not only on line, but also in West's Federal Appendix, a published reporter of unpublished opinions that is worthy of Alice in Wonderland.
Court of Appeals unpublished decisions" issued from January 1, 2001, would be included, and that each case would "receive full West Group editorial enhancements, be given a new citation and be made available in print in the West's Federal Appendix volumes, on CD-ROM and on Westlaw." Id.
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