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The Court of Appeals Again Recognizes the Trial Court’s Jurisdiction to Decide the Appealability of Interlocutory Orders When Deciding Whether the § 1-294 Stay Applies

Generally speaking, an appeal stops all proceedings at the trial court level until the appeal concludes. However, as we have previously blogged (here, here, here, and here), there are limited circumstances where a trial court may move forward with a case during the pendency of an appeal.  In Plasman v. Decca Furniture (USA), Inc., the North Carolina Court of Appeals once again recognized a trial court’s authority to determine whether the …Read More

Amendments to Rule 7 Make Small Changes to the Requirements for Transcript Formatting and Certification of Delivery

On March 16, 2017, the Supreme Court of North Carolina issued an order amending Rule 7 of the North Carolina Rules of Appellate Procedure. The order makes slight changes to the requirements concerning the formatting and certification of delivery of the transcript of the proceedings. The revised subsection (b)(1) requires the format of the transcript to comply with the standards set by the Administrative Office of the Courts rather than Appendix …Read More

Practice Tips for Preserving Privilege Issues for Appeal

Protecting the attorney-client and work-product privileges can be painstaking at the trial court level. To preserve the right to seek appellate review of any adverse privilege determinations, however, the lawyer’s extra effort to be meticulous can pay off. This summer, in Sessions v. Sloane, the Court of Appeals issued a tour de force of how privilege issues should be presented at the trial court level, and how those issues can …Read More

Court of Appeals Holds (Twice) That Appealing to the Wrong Appellate Court is a Fatal Jurisdictional Flaw

Last week, the North Carolina Court of Appeals dismissed, apparently sua sponte, an appeal from a Business Court decision because the appeal should have been filed in the Supreme Court of North Carolina under N.C. Gen. Stat. § 7A-27(a)(2).  As frequent readers of this blog know (see here, here, and here), the General Assembly’s 2015 amendments to N.C. Gen. Stat. § 7A-27 mean that appeals from “final judgments” in cases …Read More

Court of Appeals Reminds Parties to Act Fast If They Plan to Compel Arbitration

Arbitration has long been touted as a magic bullet that reduces the cost and time required to resolve business disputes and that alleviates the inherent unpredictability of litigation.  (Whether arbitration actually delivers those benefits usually depends upon the specific facts and circumstances at hand.)  In recognition of these benefits, North Carolina public policy, as a general principle, favors arbitration when there is a valid arbitration agreement in place.  However, as …Read More

Supreme Court of North Carolina Vacates Order Accelerating Duke Energy’s Coal Ash Clean Up After the General Assembly Weighs In

Earlier this month, the Supreme Court of North Carolina held again that the judicial branch should not issue advisory opinions regarding disputes that have already been addressed through the political process.     The decision in Cape Fear River Watch v. N.C. Environmental Management Commission provides a reminder that the Supreme Court is understandably reluctant to wade into areas where the General Assembly has, during the pendency of a lawsuit, addressed the …Read More

How to Win (and Keep) an Attorneys’ Fees Award

In its most recent batch of opinions, the North Carolina Court of Appeals reminded the bar once again what must be included in a trial court order awarding attorneys’ fees. In Brown’s Builders Supply v. Johnson, the defendants appealed a judgment awarding damages and attorneys’ fees. While the Court of Appeals rejected their other arguments, the defendants successfully argued that the trial court abused its discretion in awarding attorney’s fees because …Read More