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Appellate Practice in Washington

This research guide is not intended to be comprehensive, but rather will list some of the major sources of law in the area and a variety of tools for the researcher to use when confronted with questions involving appellate procedure in Washington.

Appellate Practice Generally


  • Volumes 2 and 3, Rules Practice of the Washington Practice series, by Lewis H. Orland and Karl B. Tegland, contains Author's Comments on the Rules of Appellate Procedure as well as Task Force Comments. Also included are cases interpreting the rules (including pre-RAP cases, noted as such). The format is based on the court rules so some appellate issues that do not fall within particular rules may be difficult to find coverage of. Volume 3 contains an Appendix of Forms.

Briefs and Oral Argument

Washington Supreme Court Briefs and Washington Court of Appeal Briefs are held by the Law Library. Most of the historical briefs are on microfiche or microfilm and are kept in the Micromedia Room. The briefs are arranged by citation (Washington Reports and Washington Appellate Reports cite). A few cases are missing but the collection is fairly comprehensive. The arguments and authorities cited in briefs may be useful in making arguments on similar issues. Ask at the Circulation Desk or Reference Desk if you need assistance in finding them. More recent briefs are available on the Washington Courts website.  The Law Library also has several years of Ninth Circuit Briefs on microfiche. The Gallagher Law Library at the University of Washington has a more comprehensive collection in hard copy. An increasing number of briefs are becoming available on Westlaw and Lexis.

An article by Justice Talmadge, Making Your Argument More Appealing. 51 Wash. St. B. News 21 (1997), is also useful in preparing for oral argument.

Oral arguments made to the Washington Supreme Court are broadcast live on the Internet by TVW (Washington State's Public Affairs Network). The arguments are kept online so that they can be heard after the original broadcast too. 

Finding Additional Resources

Supplementary resources in the library's collection can be located by using the Law Library Catalog of print and non-print resources. The Catalog Help page will show you how to use the catalog to your best advantage. Using Library of Congress subject headings will help you get an overview of the materials available. Some suggested headings are: