"Unpublished" opinions are not citable in many state courts, and they do not have precedential value in most federal courts. ("Unpublished" opinions are opinions that courts have not designated for publication, even though many of them are easily accessible.) There are sometimes pushes to change this state of affairs, but they usually don't have much success. For instance, a California attorney recently unsuccessfully sued the California court system in federal court to force them to allow citations to unpublished decisions. The attorney lost. A summary and the court's opinion are available here, on the Law Librarian Blog.
Ernster, the Virtual Library Cat
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