Update (April 14, 2017): In our post below, we threw our full-throated support in favor of the abolition of so-called “unpublished” Minnesota appellate opinions.
Our main point is that the designation “unpublished” is a misnomer and does a disservice to Minnesota lawyers and their clients, relegating some percentage of state court appellate decisions (a sharply increasing percentage over the past 10 years as Minnesota Supreme Court Justice David Lillehaug has pointed out) to “unpublished,” more accurately known as “without precedential value” — a down-graded and inferior status, without any articulated justification.
The unwritten justification for “unpublished opinions” is that publishing every decision is just too much work for our state Court of Appeals judges.
Many of us might not understand how abolishing this false and artificial designation, “unpublished,” by itself, results in more work for Court of Appeals judges.
We recently learned that there are different internal court review processes for published vs. unpublished decisions. There is more review by all Court of Appeals judges of “to be published” decisions than there is for “unpublished” decisions. This explains how eliminating the use of “unpublished” decisions would increase the court’s workload.
We still don’t buy it.