When Precedent Lacks Power, Make the Judge Want to Decide in Your Favor


precedent, stare decisis, Washington State Court of Appeals

Document Type



In 2018, the Washington Supreme Court decided In re Pers. Restraint of Arnold, which interpreted and applied former RCW 9.94A.030(46)(b)(2012). After resolving that substantive question of statutory interpretation, however, the court went on to discuss an issue of judicial process with broader applicability: the concept of “horizontal stare decisis” in the Washington Court of Appeals. In other words: How should one division of the Court of Appeals treat precedential decisions from another division?