Unpublished Opinions of the PA Superior Court Issued after May 1, 2019 Can Now be Cited for Persuasive Value

The Pennsylvania Supreme Court has approved a rule change that will allow lawyers to cite unpublished state Superior Court memorandum opinions for their persuasive value.

The amended Rule 126 of the Pennsylvania Rules of Appellate Procedure defines a “non-precedential decision” as an unpublished non-precedential memorandum decision of the Superior Court filed after May 1, 2019 or an unreported memorandum opinion of the Commonwealth Court filed after January 15, 2008." Such non-precedential decisions according to the new rule, "may be cited for their persuasive value."

As noted in this language, however, the rule is prospective in nature. It only allows for citing unpublished Superior Court opinions issued after May 1, 2019.

The amendment ends, for decisions issued after May 1, 2019, the Superior Court’s current Internal Operating Procedure ban on citation of its unpublished opinions and codifies the Commonwealth Court’s practice, which permits citation to unpublished opinions issued after January 15, 2008. 


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