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Bench & Bar of Minnesota is the official publication of the Minnesota State Bar Association.

MN Court of Appeals responds to MSBA requests

The Minnesota Court of Appeals has declined one MSBA request and granted another. A Bench & Bar article on unpublished opinions (“A Fresh Look at the Problem of Unpublished Opinions,” December 2016) prompted the MSBA to make three recommendations to the court of appeals: (1) change the term “unpublished” to “non-precedential”; (2) eliminate the rule requiring the citing party to provide unpublished opinions to opposing parties, except where the opposing party is pro se; and (3) issue more published opinions. The court declined to adopt the term “non-precedential” because the controlling statute uses the term “unpublished” and it is necessary to have consistency between the statute and the rules. The court suggested the starting place for this change is the Legislature.

The court agreed to amend the Rules of Special Practice to allow for waiver of the need to serve unpublished opinions to other counsel, and the court appointed an internal group to review how decisions regarding whether or not to publish an opinion are reached. Chief Judge Cleary also noted the number of published opinions has increased over the past year.

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