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Now Hiring: Office of Staff Counsel at the North Carolina Court of Appeals

The Office of Staff Counsel at the North Carolina Court of Appeals is hiring. You will find hard info about salary, benefits, and a job description here. Soft info not revealed by the link is what bright and enjoyable people work in the Office of Staff Counsel, including its Director (and experienced appellate attorney), Jaye Bingham-Hinch. If you know any bright and enjoyable attorneys that might be interested in the position, the deadline for applying is January 27. -Beth Scherer  

Fire Sale: Goldenrod Yellow Paper

Practitioners: Say goodbye to goldenrod printed records (and COA briefs with colorful covers).   As I previously predicted, both appellate clerks will no longer be mailing printed records to the parties.   In the Court of Appeals, the previously titled “Notice of Mailing of the Printed Record” has been transformed into a “Notice of Filing of the Record on Appeal.” This new notice discloses (1) that the parties will no longer be receiving the printed record by mail, (2) that the appellant …Read More

Up-To-Date Set of Appellate Rules Released

Did you enjoy opening and comparing three different Supreme Court orders to determine the most current version of a particular Appellate Rule? For those twisted few who did, your joy is gone. The Supreme Court’s Office of Adminstrative Counsel recently released a PDF codifying the current Appellate Rules  (including the January 1, 2019 amendments) in a single, easy to navigate document. Want to view the 2019 redline order summarized in this blog post?  No problem.  A table at the end of …Read More

Supreme Court Reaffirms That Non-Constitutional Sentencing Arguments Are Automatically Preserved for Appellate Review

In October 2018, I gave a CLE presentations with (now recently sworn in) Judge Allegra Collins: “Life Preservers on the Titanic: Issues Not Properly Preserved for Appellate Review.”  Part of the presentation posed this question: Can the General Assembly enact a rule or law that automatically preserves certain issues for appellate review?  At the time, the answer to that question was as follows: Yes.  See Duke Power Co. v. Winebarger, …Read More

Supreme Court Issues Order Amending the North Carolina Rules of Appellate Procedure: 2018 Holiday Edition

It is beginning to feel like a bi-annual holiday tradition between me and our blog readers: another rule-update summary.  Yesterday afternoon, the Supreme Court issued its latest order amending the North Carolina Rules of Appellate Procedure.  The amendments impact Appellate Rules 3, 3.1, 4, 9, 11, 12, 13, 18, 26, 28, 30, 37, 41, brand new Appellate Rule 42, as well as Appendixes A, B, and D (whew)! Based on …Read More

No-Merit Briefs, the Pro Bono Program, and En Banc Review

On Tuesday, the Court of Appeals issued its latest batch of opinions. Good news: the impending turkey feast has not slowed the court’s pace in grappling with interesting appellate issues.  Bad news: still no real resolution for most of them. Rule 3.1 No-Merit Briefs: A Middle Ground? In July and October, Kip wrote about the evolving disagreement in the Court of Appeals as to what type of appellate review is …Read More

Court of Appeals Adds Another Wrinkle to What Constitutes a “Proper” Rule 59 Motion for Non-Trial Judgments

In Davis v. Rizzo (issued Tuesday), the Court of Appeals further limited what kinds of post-judgment motions might constitute “proper” Rule 59 motions sufficient to toll the appeal period.   Not only must such a motion raise adequate grounds under Civil Rule 59, but the party must also seek valid Rule 59 relief.   When the motion fails to do so, the party’s deadline for filing a notice of appeal under Appellate …Read More

N.C. Solicitor General Announces New Fellowship Opportunity–Apply Today!

Approximately a year ago, we posted about a one-year fellowship opportunity at the N.C. Solicitor General’s office.  That fellowship program has worked amazingly well.  Last year’s fellow not only worked with the lovely and talented Solicitor General Sawchak and his team on important federal and state appeals, but also argued a First Amendment case in the Court of Appeals.  We hear that this first fellow recently accepted a fabulous new …Read More

You Can Say That Again: The Substantial Right Doctrine Is More Easily Stated Than Applied

There is perhaps no truer aphorism of appellate jurisdiction than this: The substantial right doctrine is more easily stated than applied.  In light of the Court of Appeals’ opinion last Tuesday in Beasley v. Beasley, litigants should consider how (or even whether) the substantial right test interacts with other jurisdictional statutes authorizing interlocutory appellate review. By way of background, N.C. Gen. Stat. § 50-19.1 permits interlocutory appeals for a range …Read More

Writs of Certiorari: Still the Most Powerful Tool in the Appellate Courts’ Arsenal

On Friday, the Supreme Court of North Carolina reaffirmed that (1) a writ of certiorari remains the most powerful tool in an appellate court’s arsenal and (2) that the Appellate Rules do not place procedural restrictions on an appellate court’s authority to issue its writs.  These issues have been churning for a long time.  See here, here, here, here,  here, and here.   A key concern I had based on prior Court of Appeals opinions was that if a conflict or gap between the …Read More