MCR 7.215(D)(4) says that
The Court of Appeals shall not direct publication if the Supreme Court has denied an application for leave to appeal under MCR 7.305.
What is the purpose of this rule?
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I'm not specifically familiar with Michigan law, but...
In general, under American common law, "unpublished" opinions are not actually unpublished (i.e. the public can read them like any other). Instead, this adjective means that the opinion does not become binding precedent on future cases. This is most commonly done in one of two situations:
In either event, making the opinion unpublished saves future lawyers, clerks, and judges the trouble of reading it and carefully considering its implications.
In this particular context, I would guess that this rule is intended to give the Supreme Court a measure of control over the development of Michigan common law, by preventing the lower court from publishing cases which the Supreme Court deems unimportant.