August 2016 Bar Bulletin
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August 2016 Bar Bulletin

Supreme Court Adopts Amended GR 14.1


As reported on the front page of the July issue of the Bar Bulletin, the Washington Supreme Court was considering amendments to GR 14.1, concerning citation to unpublished opinions of the Washington Court of Appeals. The Supreme Court approved changes to the rule on June 2.

The amended rule, which goes into effect on September 1, now states, with new language underlined and excised language stricken through:

GR 14.1


(a) Washington Court of Appeals. A party may not cite as an authority an unpublished opinion of the Court of Appeals. Unpublished opinions of the Court of Appeals are those opinions not published in the Washington Appellate Reports. Unpublished opinions of the Court of Appeals have no precedential value and are not binding on any court. However, unpublished opinions of the Court of Appeals filed on or after March 1, 2013, may be cited as nonbinding authorities, if identified as such by the citing party, and may be accorded such persuasive value as the court deems appropriate.

(b) Other Jurisdictions. A party may cite as an authority an opinion designated “unpublished,” “not for publication,” “non-precedential,” “not precedent,” or the like that has been issued by any court from a jurisdiction other than Washington state, only if citation to that opinion is permitted under the law of the jurisdiction of the issuing court. The party citing the opinion shall file and serve a copy of the opinion with the brief or other paper in which the opinion is cited.

(c) Citation of Unpublished Opinions in Subsequent Opinions.Washington appellate courts should not, unless necessary for a reasoned decision, cite or discuss unpublished opinions in their opinions.

(d) Copies of Unpublished Opinions. The party citing an unpublished opinion from a jurisdiction other than Washington shall file and serve a copy of the opinion as an appendix to the pleading in which the authority is cited.


RCW 2.06.040 provides that all cases having precedential value shall be published as opinions of the court. The statute further provides that each panel shall determine whether a decision has sufficient precedential value to be published, and those which do not shall not be published.


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