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Update: Appellate Court Jurisdiction

It was just over one year ago that I wrote about the authority of one appellate panel to overrule another panel when the issue is one of jurisdiction. Last week, the Supreme Court of North Carolina issued an opinion in that case that helps to explain the jurisdiction of the appellate courts. The opinion may also offer a preview of the analysis we will see in the pending State

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No Transcript? Maybe No Appeal.

About a month ago, the North Carolina Court of Appeals issued an unpublished opinion that underscored the importance of compliance with Appellate Rule 9(a), which provides that appeals from the trial division will be reviewed “solely upon the record on appeal, the verbatim transcript of the proceedings, if one is designated, and any other items filed pursuant to this Rule 9.”  (emphasis added).  In Wilson v. Wilson, the pro se appellant failed to contract for the transcription of the proceedings that he contended resulted in 21 (yes, twenty-one) issues for appeal.  The Court first addressed whether many

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Are Certain Rule 60 Orders Unappealable?

Savvy practitioners know that some post-trial motions toll the deadline for filing a notice of appeal, but motions brought under Rule 60 of the Rules of Civil Procedure do not. So what happens when a trial court rules on a Rule 60 motion after the final judgment’s appellate deadline?  If the final judgment was not appealed, can a party appeal from the Rule 60 decision?

The Court of Appeals

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“How Long Before The Court of Appeals Decides My Case?”

“How long will I have to wait for an appellate opinion?”   “Why is the Court taking so long?”   These are two of the most frequent questions I get from clients. The accurate (and unhelpful) answers are “Until the appellate court issues a decision,”   “You will get an opinion when you get an opinion,”  and “I don’t know.”

The Court of Appeals ‘ internal goal is to issue decisions within 90 days of either oral argument or the Rule 30(f) conference if oral argument is not scheduled.  Former Chief Judge John Martin implemented and policed this policy while he led the Court of Appeals, and Chief Judge Linda McGee appears to be continuing this internal policy.

So how is the Court of Appeals doing in meeting its goals?  Former Court of Appeals law clerk Kenzie Rakes recently determined that in 2015, the Court of Appeals took an average of 77 days to issue an opinion.  Her post on the NCBA’ s L3: Long Leaf Law Blog also includes a breakdown between published, unpublished, civil, criminal, Rule 3.1,  and juvenile criminal appeals–as well as some standard deviation figures.  (Don ‘t ask me what that last category means).  Interestingly, Kenzie determined that civil opinions took an average of 100 days to issue in 2015 –10 days over the Court’ s internal goal.

So thanks to Kenzie, next time you are asked,  “How much longer,”  

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Typography in Appellate Briefs: Courier Fans, It Is Time to Make the Switch of the Century

Less than a year ago, we blogged on a CLE presentation by Court of Appeals Judge Rich Dietz on typography in appellate briefs.  At the time, Judge Dietz urged appellate practitioners to abandon the use of Courier and Times New Roman fonts (the two fonts specifically endorsed by the North Carolina Rules of Appellate Procedure) in favor of the Century font family (the font used by North Carolina ‘s appellate courts when they publish their opinions).

An article entitled “Typography for Appellate Lawyers: Improving Appellate Briefs Through Better Fonts” was recently published in the NCBA’s Appellate Practice Section’ s Per Curium newsletter.  The

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Traps in North Carolina Business Court Appeals: Collected for You in One Place

Our goal in creating this blog was to be a “one-stop shop”  for news, information, tips, and resources involving North Carolina appellate practice and procedure.  Over a five-year period, NCAPB.com ‘s content has grown significantly.  One area of law that has contributed to that expansion has been North Carolina Business Court appeals.   In particular, the NCAPB team has blogged extensively over the past two years on at least seven different appellate traps that have emerged in Business Court cases.  Unfortunately, finding all of those blog posts had begun to feel like searching for a needle in a haystack.

To alleviate this problem, Matt and I recently wrote an article summarizing (and hyperlinking to the prior blogs post on) the traps you should be aware of when pursuing a Business Court appeal.  In the future, you can quickly access this information by clicking on the “Business Court Traps” page, which is located under the Rules and Practice Guides’ pull down menu.

If you find resources like this helpful, please let us know (and feel free to share)!

–Beth

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