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File-Stamp Not Dispositive As To When Notice Of Appeal Was Filed

Our readers know that the date of filing of a Notice of Appeal in the “home county” establishes compliance with Appellate Rule 3.  But is the file-stamp on that notice of appeal unassailable?  On Wednesday, the North Carolina Business Court answered that question in the negative. In Azure Dolphin LLC v. Barton, the deadline for filing the notice of appeal was 1 November 2017. The notice of appeal filed in …Read More

Supreme Court Amends Appellate Rules Governing Amicus Briefs, Secure Leave, and Oral Argument

On Friday, the Supreme Court of North Carolina amended Rules 28, 29, and 33.1 of the North Carolina Rules of Appellate Procedure.  While the most significant changes involve amicus curiae briefs, the Supreme Court also took a baby step into the world of mandatory appellate e-filing.  A summary of the changes—including my initial thoughts on different features of and questions that could arise under the amendments—follows. Amicus Briefs Amicus curiae …Read More

School of Government Releases Updated Resources for 3.1 Cases– Plus a Biddix/Stubbs Update!

The UNC School of Government recently released an updated manual on abuse, neglect, dependency, and termination of parental rights.  The online version of the updated manual is located here.  Chapter 12 addresses appeals and is a must read for those working in this area of appellate practice.  For more information on the manual and its purpose, see the School of Government’s blog post found here.  I also have an update on an issue that we …Read More

Where’s (Judge) Waldo?–The Role of Substitute Judges under the Appellate Rules and Rules of Civil Procedure

Imagine that Judge Waldo has orally ruled against your client.  A proposed written order has been submitted by the parties to the trial court.  You are gearing up for an appeal.  However, before a written order is entered, Judge Waldo wins the lottery and immediately retires to explore the world.  Can another trial court judge sign the proposed order?  Can a substitute judge rule on a new trial motion? Ann Anderson …Read More

Help Wanted: Office of the Appellate Defender Adding to Its Indigent Appeals Roster

Good appellate lawyers are in demand. The Appellate Defender is looking for a few good appellate attorneys to add to the Office of the Appellate Defender’s appointed appellate counsel roster.   Interested applicants can find information and the roster application here. Good writing skills and the ability to spot issues are essential. Although criminal litigation experience is helpful, it is not required.  The Office of the Appellate Defender provides free training …Read More

Back To The Fold: Vacant Supreme Court Clerk Position Being Filled By Familiar Face

As recently reported, Bryan Boyd stepped down as Clerk of the Supreme Court on Friday. We will miss Bryan, but wish him all the best in his new position.  Bryan’s exit had the potential to create a gaping hole in the leadership of the Clerk’s office. The Supreme Court, however, has found an ingenious solution to its dilemma: the return of Christie Cameron Roeder. Before retiring in June 2016, Christie …Read More

Consistency Is The Solution To A Gray Area (Or Is It Grey?)

Proofreading is tedious.  And no matter how many times you proofread a brief, you inevitably spot a hidden “misstate” about two seconds after you file it.  If you have read my blog posts long enough, you know that perfection is a noble, but unobtainable, goal. However, next time someone suggests that proofing (or re-proofing) is not a valuable exercise, take a look at State v. Walker.   In what must have been the drafting fun of the day, Judge Murphy included a rather …Read More

Help Wanted: Bryan Boyd Resigns As Supreme Court Clerk To Return To Academia

Supreme Court Clerk Bryan Boyd recently tendered his resignation—meaning the North Carolina Supreme Court has likely begun its hunt for the Court’s sixteenth Clerk of Court. Bryan’s resignation was precipitated by the siren song of his first love: legal education. As noted previously, Bryan was recognized by the student body three times as its outstanding professor of the year during his tenure at Campbell University School of Law. While at Campbell, Bryan worked closely with …Read More

Court of Appeals Extends Grace To Reach Merits of Appeal–Twice in the Same Day

Our appellate blogosphere has been filled with an unusual number of posts involving dismissed appeals. However, the North Carolina Court of Appeals on Tuesday bestowed leniency on two appeals, utilizing Appellate Rules 2 and 21 to reach the merits of both appeals.  Curious as to what justified this cheerful news?  Keep reading. Sarno v. Sarno involved a family law appeal facing a potential fatal obstacle based on  bizarre procedural facts: 1) …Read More