Decision Days

For Division One of the Arizona Court of Appeals, Tuesdays and Thursdays are decision days -- the days when the court releases opinions and memorandum decisions. Accordingly, each Tuesday and Thursday morning, many Arizona appellate lawyers go to the court's website to see which new decisions have come out. Until recently, lawyers would have to visit both the "Opinions" page and the "Memorandum Decisions" page respectively to get a full view of the court's work. But the court changed that a couple of months ago. Now, those interested in the most recent decisions from Division One need only go to http://azcourts.gov/coa1/SearchDecisions.aspx and enter a query that will return the most recent decisions--published and unpublished. 

Of course, for those who are only interested in published decisions, i.e., opinions, the court has an electronic mailing list that cuts out most of this work. Division One emails links to its new opinions on the day they are issued. But the notice often lags hours behind when the new decisions are actually available on the website. Particularly for those who have anxious clients following a case closely, it is often important to gain access to the decision before the client has had a chance to read it and react. Moreover, the electronic mailing list does not include notice of memorandum decisions. Even though these unpublished decisions generally cannot be cited in court, they can be every bit as instructive as published opinions for the savvy lawyer. (I wrote about this with attorney Keith Berkshire. Our article--in three parts--can be found here.)

The vast majority of appellate decisions issued in this state come from Division One. So, set a reminder on your calendar to visit http://azcourts.gov/coa1/SearchDecisions.aspx every Tuesday and Thursday. You'll be glad you did.

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