Law School Case Brief
Hart v. Massanari - 266 F.3d 1155 (9th Cir. 2001)
Unpublished dispositions and orders of the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit are not binding precedent and generally may not be cited to or by the courts of this circuit. 9th Cir. R. 36-3.
Plaintiff’s opening brief cited an unpublished disposition, not reported in the Federal Reporter except as a one-line entry in a long table of cases. Her counsel was ordered to show cause as to why he should not be disciplined for violating the rule on the citation of unpublished dispositions or orders.
Is Circuit Rule 36-3 or the rule on the citation of unpublished dispositions or orders unconstitutional?
The Court ruled that Rule 36-3 is constitutional. While the court also found that the counsel violated the rule, the rules are obviously not meant to punish attorneys who, in good faith, seek to test a rule's constitutionality. It is therefore concluded that the violation was not willful and did not warrant imposition of sanctions.
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