From the Massachusetts Lawyer’s Weekly:
The Appeals Court announced today that any unpublished opinion issued pursuant to Rule 1:28 after today (February 25, 2008) may be cited for its persuasive value but not as binding precedent.
The long-standing policy that “unpublished decisions of this court are not to be relied upon or cited as authority in unrelated cases” had been established in the case of Lyons v. Labor Relations Comm., 19 Mass. App. Ct. 562, 566 n.7 (1985).
Explaining the reason for permitting limited use of unpublished opinions, Chief Justice Phillip G. Rapoza wrote, “In the nearly twenty-three years since we decided Lyons, however, our [unpublished] decisions have become far more widely available and now routinely appear in the results of electronic research. That widespread availability leads us to announce a modification of the prohibition set out in Lyons.”
The rule amendment was announced in the case of Chace, et al. v. Curran, et al., Lawyers Weekly No. 11-026-08. Click here to read the full opinion.