IN RE OFFICIAL PUBLICATION OF DECISIONS, SCAD-2013-63, 2013 OK 109, Decided 12/16/2013
There is a new official publisher of court opinions in town, and it’s not West Publishing.
On January 1, 2014, Rule 1.200 in Title 12 goes into effect. All Oklahoma practitioners should take note of this new rule affecting appellate procedure and citation format.
The Oklahoma Supreme Court becomes the “official” publisher of the Oklahoma Supreme Court and the Oklahoma Court of Civil Appeals. Whenever either the Supreme Court or the Court of Civil Appeals files an opinion with the Court Clerk, the opinion is published that same day on the home page of OSCN, the Oklahoma Supreme Court Network (http://www.oscn.net).
West Publishing Company, which had been the “official” publisher since January 2, 1954, will remain an “unofficial publisher,” along with the Oklahoma Bar Journal and other publications. Regardless, a parallel citation to the Pacific Reporter, a West publication, is still required by this rule.
If you practice in Oklahoma, you may recall when the Supreme Court started using its public domain citation form in 1997. This is now the required citation format – with some new tweaks. Among the new requirements are citations to the opinion’s paragraph for spot citations.
The Court also addresses how it will publish Memorandum Opinions and Unpublished Opinions. For the first time, a party or individual who believes an unpublished opinion of the Supreme Court or Court of Appeals has “substantial precedential value” may ask the Court to publish that opinion. Opinions designated for publication only in the Oklahoma Bar Journal (“For Publication in O.B.J”) may not be cited as precedent.
The Rule provides examples of the new variations of the required changes in citation format. The examples are logical, and easy to understand. If you wish to make a positive impression with either Court, I would follow these changes precisely. -CCE