Hidden Law

The Appropriate Use of Unpublished or Unreported Decisions


The Hidden Law (1941)
W.H. Auden

The Hidden Law does not deny
Our laws of probability,
But takes the atom and the star
And human beings as they are,
And answers nothing when we lie.

It is the only reason why
No government can codify,
And verbal definitions mar
        The Hidden Law.

Its utter patience will not try
To stop us if we want to die:
When we escape It in a car,
When we forget It in a bar,
These are the ways we’re punished by
        The Hidden Law

Anastasoff v. U.S., 223 F. 3d 898 (8th Cir. 2000) (vacated as moot)

Hart v. Massanari, 266 F. 3d 1054 (9th Cir. 2001)

Nonpublication.com - Site devoted to the controversies surrounding unpublished and unreported decisions.

The Legal Methods Group website managed by Professor Richard B. Cappalli, Is it Constitutional to Ban Citation of Unpublished Decisions?

J. Lyn Entrikin Goering, Legal Fiction of the “Unpublished” Kind: The Surreal Paradox of No-Citation Rules and the Ethical Duty of Candor, 1 Seton Hall Circuit Review 27 (2005)

Peter M. Tiersma, The Textualization of Precedent, March 2005

William R. Mills, The Shape of the Universe: The Impact of Unpublished Opinions on the Process of Legal Research, November 13, 2002

Bruce M. Wexler & F. Christopher Mizzo, Unpublished Opinions Rising, But Do They Help?,  Special Litigation Section of the New York Law Journal, February 11, 2002

Appellate Process Task Force, A White Paper on Unpublished Opinions of the Court of Appeal, authored by Professor J. Clark Kelso and Joshua Weinstein, March, 2001

The Uncertain Future of Unpublished Opinions, Federal Circuit Bar Association's Third Bench and Bar Conference, May 2001

Alex Kozinski and Stephen Reinhardt, Please Don't Cite This, California Lawyer, June, 2000

Kenneth Schmier, Publish or Perish, Response to Please Don't Cite This, June, 2000

J. Wylie Donald and Pamela Keyl, Practicalities of Unpublished Decisions, New Jersey Law Journal (December 7, 2000)

Polly J. Price, Precedent and Judicial Power After the Founding, 42 B.C. L. Rev. 81 (2000)

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Last modified: Thursday, September 12, 2002 02:02 PM by Terry Martin.