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Supreme Court Uses PDR Bypass Petition to Calm the Storm

In October 2015, I blogged about In re Pike, a single Business Court order that resolved four consolidated actions.  Because the actions were designated on different dates, the right to appellate review of this single order was split between the North Carolina Supreme Court and the North Carolina Court of Appeals.  At the time, I suggested that a bypass petition was likely the best way to resolve this “perfect storm.”

Looks like the Supreme Court agreed.  In what may be the quickest PDR decision on record (just three days), the Supreme Court allowed discretionary review of the lone action stuck in the Court of Appeals and consolidated all four cases for appellate review in the Supreme Court.  This case was so clear cut that the Supreme Court granted discretionary review despite the appellees’ refusal to consent and without waiting for the appellees’ PDR response.

While the Supreme Court’s decision was swift, the appellants had to wait four months to file their petition under Appellate Rule 15 because a “PDR Prior” or “Bypass Petition” typically cannot be filed until the settled record is docketed in the North Carolina Court of Appeals.

Now that the Supreme Court has calmed this Perfect Storm, appellate practitioners facing similar jurisdictional issues should be able to follow Pike’s roadmap to safety–well, that is until Perfect Storm-Part II emerges!

–Beth

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