§ 414. Citing Judicial OpinionsPreviously, parties were not permitted to cite unreported opinions except as they pertained to law of the case, res judicata or collateral estoppel.
An unreported opinion of this court may be cited and relied upon when it is relevant under the doctrine of law of the case, res judicata or collateral estoppel. Parties may also cite an unreported panel decision of this court issued after January 15, 2008, for its persuasive value, but not as binding precedent. A single-judge opinion of this court, even if reported, shall be cited only for its persuasive value, not as a binding precedent.
I have always felt that unpublished cases carry some value, or at least provide some insight into how a Court has addressed an issue. There are compelling counterarguments, especially that the opinions were never intended to be relied upon. I still think the unreported cases are helpful if considered only as information about previous applications of the law and not binding precedent.
This is just one of many amendments to the Court's IOPs - See the Court's memorandum Re: Amendment to Commonwealth Court Internal Operating Procedures 414, 211, 123, 126, 201, 221, 223, 242, 243, 291, 311, 321, 331 and 442.
Posted by Philip Miles, an employment lawyer with McQuaide Blasko in State College, Pennsylvania.