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More E-Filing News: Fourth Circuit Implementing “NextGen CM/ECF,” Users MUST Update Their Accounts

Recently the Supreme Court announced that it was taking a step forward technologically (see here).  Today, the Fourth Circuit made a similar announcement, revealing that effective November 13, 2017 the Court will go live on “NextGen CM/ECF.”   The most significant change accompanying the implementation of this updated filing system will be that users will have a single PACER account that will allow them to file (and simply view) documents in

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SCOTUS is Going Digital

On August 3, the Supreme Court issued a press release that its long-awaited electronic filing system will be going online in November. According to the release, the new system will make “virtually all new filings” available for free online. This change comes in the wake of the Supreme Court’s rollout of its updated website, which launched on July 28.

Initially, official filing of documents will continue to be paper

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Legislative Prayer in the Fourth Circuit: “If the Board’s Practice Does not Violate This Rule, Then . . . What Does”?

This is a guest post by Ashley Terrazas, Smith Moore Leatherwood summer associate and rising third-year law student.


When is legislative prayer allowed in public meetings? Does it make a difference if the prayer is led by a legislator? When does a legislative prayer practice go from a solemn tradition to unconstitutional religious coercion?

A few weeks ago, the Fourth Circuit addressed these questions and more in its

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What Steps Must An Appellee Take To Preserve A Cross-Issue Under Appellate Rule 10(c)?

Three judge bench

Writing as a blogger is something entirely new for me. As an alumnus of both of North Carolina’s state appellate courts, I will always be mindful that I possess knowledge of, and have participated in, matters that must remain confidential.  But now that I’m an outsider, I can comment as a careful observer on issues that affect appellate litigation.  Here goes!

Numerous cases discuss the steps an appellant must

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Court of Appeals: A Guaranty is a Separate Contract No Matter What the Contracts Say

sheIn a divided opinion Tuesday, the Court of Appeals held that a lease and guaranty are separate contracts, even when the guaranty is incorporated into the lease. See Friday Investments, LLC v. Bally Total Fitness of the Mid-Atlantic, Inc.  For this reason, the court held, a guaranty might be discharged in bankruptcy – even where the tenant assumes the lease to which it is attached and incorporated.

The lease

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A Friendly Reminder About Local Rules

On July 10, 2017, Chief Judge Wood of the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals issued a curious opinion that should serve as a reminder not only to practitioners in that Circuit, but to all attorneys who regularly file documents with a court: local rules exist for a reason.

Judge Wood consolidated two cases, Baez-Sanchez v. Sessions and Bishop v. Air Line Pilots Association, International, in order to issue an

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