Tag Archive | Unreported Opinions

FBA Annual Meeting: The BWI-SLC Connection

By Steve Klepper (Twitter: @MDAppeal)

Last Thursday, I had the pleasure of moderating a panel at the Federal Bar Association’s 2015 Annual Meeting in Salt Lake City. Our panel, “The Renewed Debate on Unpublished Appellate Opinions,” included Judge Carolyn B. McHugh of the Tenth Circuit, Senior Judge Andre M. Davis of the Fourth Circuit, and Michelle Olsen of Appellate Daily. Read More…

“Soft Precedent”: Unpublished Opinions in Fourth Circuit Culture

By Steve Klepper (Twitter: @MDAppeal)

Getting argument before the Fourth Circuit is hard. Oral argument is a precondition for a published decision under its local rules. Even in cases where the court hears argument, there remains a strong chance that the opinion will be unpublished – even if there is a dissent.

From 2007 through 2014, the Fourth Circuit issued 259 opinions in which a judge dissented in full from the majority opinion. Seventy-four (28.6 percent) of those opinions were unpublished. In turn, 21 of those majority opinions were per curiam. During that same period, the Fourth Circuit issued 46 majority opinions that drew a partial dissent. Twelve (26.1 percent) of them, including three per curiam majority opinions, were unpublished. Read More…