Richardson v. Henderson, 2010AP1765, District 2, 3/9/11
Our supreme court has held that “when the supreme court overrules a court of appeals decision, the court of appeals decision no longer possesses any precedential value, unless this court expressly states otherwise.” Blum v. 1st Auto & Cas. Ins. Co., 2010 WI 78, ¶42, 326 Wis. 2d 729, 786 N.W.2d 78. Because the supreme court reversed Trinity Petroleum v. Scott Oil Co., 2006 WI App 219, 296 Wis. 2d 666, 724 N.W.2d 259, rev’d on other grounds by 2007 WI 88, 302 Wis. 2d 299, 735 N.W.2d 1, but did not expressly overrule the case, Blum does not apply.
In other words, reversal doesn’t in and of itself strip the overturned decision of all authority; the decision remains binding unless the supreme court “expressly overrule(s) the case.” Or so the court of appeals construes Blum (see this prior post for similar treatment). Whether that construction is accurate might be something else, and won’t be known until the supreme court addresses the issue – if and when some litigant manages to bring it before the court.