As you have researched case law you have undoubtedly encountered a notice that a decision is "unpublished". As you may already know, in federal court you may cite to unpublished decisions (issued after 1/1/2007 - See FRAP 32.1) but they have no precedential value. (Most states do not view these opinions as precedent but have varying rules on citing them.)
But, is this a way for judges to avoid appellate review? Read about the recent controversy considered by the Supreme Court in Adam Liptak's New York Times article Courts Write Decisions That Elude Long View .
Ernster, the Virtual Library Cat
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