Tennessee Supreme Court Deletes Unpublished Opinion Rule

Knoxville divorce lawyersPrior to March 4, 2015, Tennessee Supreme Court Rule 4(H) required that lawyers citing unpublished opinions must attach a copy of the unpublished opinion to any pleading in which it is cited, thereby furnishing a paper copy to both the court and all other parties. The Rule further required that copies of unpublished opinions must contain a notation indicating whether an application for permission to appeal had been filed and, if so, the date and disposition of the application.

In an order entered March 4, 2015, the Tennessee Supreme Court deleted the following provisions from Rule 4:

(H)(1) A copy of any unpublished opinion cited shall be furnished to the court and all parties by attaching it to the document in which it is cited.

(2) The title page of the copies and any citation to the unpublished decision shall contain a notation indicating whether or not an application for permission to appeal has been filed and, if filed, the date and disposition of the application. Where appropriate, the notation shall indicate that an application has been filed and is currently pending.

With those sections now deleted from Rule 4, lawyers in both trial courts and on appeal are no longer tasked with furnishing paper copies of unpublished opinions to the court and opposing parties. This change reflects the ease with which unpublished opinions can now be found on the Internet.

The amended rule went into effect on March 4, 2015. Trial lawyers (and trees) everywhere are rejoicing.

In re Rule 4(H) (Tennessee Supreme Court, March 4, 2015).

Information provided by K.O. Herston: Knoxville, Tennessee Divorce, Matrimonial and Family Law Attorney.

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K.O. Herston is a family-law attorney in Knoxville, Tennessee whose practice is devoted exclusively to family law, including divorce, child custody, child support, alimony, prenuptial agreements, and other aspects of family law.

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