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Federal Appendix

A legal reference source containing federal courts of appeals decisions that have not been selected by the court for publication.

The first volume of the Federal Appendix was published September 1, 2001. Coverage began with decisions handed down after January 1,2001. The Federal Appendix is an appendix to the Federal Reporter, Third Series (F.3d). However, unpublished opinions from the Fifth and Eleventh Circuits are not included in the Federal Appendix.

The Federal Appendix is part of Thomson West's National Reporter System. The cases contain the West enhancements of case summaries, headnotes, and topics and key numbers. A citation to a Federal Appendix opinion gives, first, the volume, then the abbreviation of the publication, and finally the page number on which the opinion begins. A sample citation looks like this: 2 Fed.Appx. 386 (4th Cir. 2001). In 2002, Federal Appendix citations began to appear in the Federal Practice Digest Fourth Series, and also in some state digests.

Generally, unpublished opinions have no precedential value. And across jurisdictions there are inconsistent court rules regarding citation of unpublished opinions. In 2001 the American Bar Association House of Delegates expressed its approval of federal courts of appeals granting access to unpublished opinions and allowing citation to unpublished opinions (ABA Resolution 01A115). And The Judicial Conference of the United States's Advisory Committee on Appellate Rules has considered amendments to the Federal Rules of Appellate Procedure dealing with citation of non-precedential unpublished decisions.

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