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North Carolina Supreme Court Stats-2016

Appellate statistician Kenzie Rakes has complied more stats from our appellate courts, this time on which Supreme Court justices wrote the most majority and dissenting opinions in 2016.  Did any of the Supreme Court justices come close to beating that pesky overachiever, Justice Per Curiam?   Read more here. -Beth Scherer Please follow and like us:

Listen To The Little Birdie: Expedited Oral Argument Now Possible In Rule 3.1 Cases

Confession. I don’t do Twitter.  Social media platforms like Facebook and LinkedIn already drive me semi-crazy. (How many posts do you scroll through before giving yourself permission to stop!?!? And why can’t everything be on one platform?!?!).  Judge Richard Dietz of the North Carolina Court of Appeals, however, has me searching for my twitter password.  On Monday, Judge Dietz tweeted the following: Tomorrow, the N.C. Court of Appeals will hold oral argument at a special …Read More

That Didn’t Last Long: General Assembly Nullifies Supreme Court Opinion With Record Speed, While The Supreme Court Grapples With Error Preservation Problems.

On June 9, 2017, the Supreme Court of North Carolina issued a unanimous opinion holding that when an employer admits the compensability of an injury under the Worker’s Compensation Act, the injured worker is thereafter entitled to a presumption that future medical treatments are causally related to the original compensable injury. Before the ink could dry on Wilkes v. City of Greenville, a “broad coalition of private and public organizations” …Read More

Should Appellate Courts Avoid Citations To Unpublished Opinions? Depends On Who You Ask

In the published opinion of State v. Hensley, a concurring opinion was devoted to a somewhat surprising issue: a disagreement regarding the majority opinion’s citation to a single unpublished opinion.  I suddenly have the attention of only the appellate nerds reading this blog. Under Rule 30(e)(3) of the North Carolina Rules of Appellate Procedure, unpublished decisions of the Court of Appeals are not controlling legal authority. While Appellate Rule 30(e)(3) …Read More

The Court of Appeals Is Bound by Prior Panel Opinions—But Maybe Not!

As a champion of the appellate courts’ broad certiorari powers, I am eager for the Supreme Court of North Carolina to review the legal questions raised by cases such as State v. Biddix and State v. Ledbetter I and II.  For prior posts, see here , here, here, and here.  Those questions include (1) whether there is a conflict between Appellate Rule 21 and N.C. Gen. Stat.§  15A-1444(e), (2) if …Read More

Westlaw’s Mid-Year Update Does Not Incorporate Recent Appellate Rules Amendments

Whether at my desk or during courthouse visits, my Rules of Court book is usually close by.   As previously blogged about here, here, here, and here, the Supreme Court of North Carolina issued three orders between December 2016 and March 2017 that re-codified and amended the Appellate Rules.   In May 2017, Westlaw released a pocket supplement to its 2017 Rules of Court, which I dutifully added to the back of my book.  That pocket update purported to include all amendments to the Appellate Rules through …Read More

Supreme Court Reverses Court of Appeals Application of Appellate Rule 2

Last Friday was a blockbuster appellate day for the Supreme Court of North Carolina. Not only did it effectively declare an appellate jurisdiction statute unconstitutional (see Matt’s blog post), but Justice Newby authored a concurring opinion inspired by “It’s a Wonderful Life.”  (“Was Old Man Potter simply morally corrupt or was he also guilty of a crime?”). For North Carolina’s appellate defenders, however, Friday was not a wonderful day. Out of 11 …Read More

Appellate Lawyers, The State Bar, And You(?)

Note: My colleague, Pat Kane, wrote a must-read article on final judgments losing their finality  today that you should not overlook. I recently wrote an article for the State Bar’s Board of Legal Specialization highlighting current tips and traps in appellate practice and procedure. Because the article hyperlinks extensively to more detailed blog content, it is a handy roadmap to hotbed issues facing today’s appellate practitioners.  Check it out! The …Read More

When Do Appellate Rules Violations Rise To The Level Of Jurisdictional Requirements?

The Supreme Court stated in Dogwood v. White Oak, 362 N.C. 191, 657 S.E.2d 361 (2008), that noncompliance with nonjurisdictional rules normally should not lead to the dismissal of an appeal.  The Dogwood Court also stated that the requirements of Appellate Rule 28(b), which govern the content of an appellant’s brief, are generally nonjurisdictional.  Nonetheless, in Edwards v. Foley the Court of Appeals held that the appellants’ failure to include …Read More

Eastward Bound: Supreme Court To Hold Oral Arguments In Edenton Tomorrow; Supreme Court Begins Issuing “Press Summaries” Of Its Opinions

In May 2016, we reported how the Supreme Court of North Carolina held oral argument in Morganton, North Carolina for the first time in over a hundred years.  A year later, eastern North Carolina is getting its own Supreme Court visit. On Tuesday, May 9 (tomorrow) the Supreme Court will hear oral argument in two cases at Edenton’s Historic Chowan County Courthouse: one at 9:30 a.m. and another at 11:00 …Read More