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You can cite Non-precedential decisions for persuasive value, starting in May.

Posted By Cliff Tuttle | March 8, 2019

No. 1,674

The Superior Court has prohibited citation of non-precedential decisions for some time.  Unfortunately, there are a substantial number of them.  The Appellate Rules Committee, however, has amended the Rules and comments to permit citation of all non-precedential appellate cases for their persuasive value, beginning in May 2019.  This follows the practice of the Commonwealth Court.

New Rule 126 contains an additional guideline regarding citations of non-precedential authorities.  The brief writer should indicate the purpose in citing the case, which shall be inserted parenthetically after the citation. Single judge opinions of the Commonwealth Court, which are considered non-precedential (except in election cases) may also be cited for persuasive value.

However, non-precedential cases may also be cited for the purpose of arguing law of the case, res judicata, collateral estoppel or noting a prior criminal proceeding that relate directly to the case at bar, but are not, by their nature, applicable in cases involving other litigants and other fact situations.

Brief writers are also encouraged to cite to Lexis and other on-line but unofficial compilations of caselaw. In addition to citing the beginning page of a case, we are also encouraged to cite to the specific page where a quote or discussion of the issue addressed appears.



CLIFF TUTTLE has been a Pennsylvania lawyer for over 45 years and (inter alia) is a real estate litigator and legal writer. The posts in this blog are intended to provide general information about legal topics of interest to lawyers and consumers with a Pittsburgh and Western Pennsylvania focus. However, this information does not constitute legal advice and there is no lawyer-client relationship created when you read this blog. You are encouraged to leave comments but be aware that posted comments can be read by others. If you wish to contact me in privacy, please use the Contact Form located immediately below this message. I will reply promptly and in strict confidence.

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