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Between a Rock and a Hard Place: Court of Appeals Requires In Camera Materials Be Included in the Record on Appeal

What should you do if your client has documents that you contend should not be disclosed to the other side but the trial court orders their disclosure? What if the trial court orders the documents to remain confidential but opposing counsel wants to challenge that decision on appeal? Can an appellate court review the propriety of a disclosure order without reviewing the documents themselves? And if not, how do you …Read More

Court of Appeals Doubles Down on Deadlines: Notice of Appeal Really Can Be Filed Too Early

A few months ago, I wrote about a case in which the Court of Appeals held that a notice of appeal was filed too early because the time period for filing a notice of appeal does not begin until judgment is entered. See Mannise v. Harrell. In that post, I indicated that it was “unclear how far the Mannise holding extends.” Last week, the Court of Appeals provided some clarification …Read More

Mike Morgan Joins the Supreme Court

Newly elected  Mike Morgan was officially installed as the newest associate justice of the Supreme Court of North Carolina in a ceremony held yesterday in Raleigh.  Justice Morgan will take his seat in the junior associate spot, the furthest to the right when facing the bench. More information about and pictures from the event can be found here. –Kip Nelson Please follow and like us:

A Lesson in Helping Verbs: When You May, Might, or Must Appeal

In its final set of opinions from 2016, the North Carolina Court of Appeals provided some helpful reminders for appellate practitioners. 1. Unless some other exception applies, you may appeal from an interlocutory order only if it affects a substantial right. In Pass v. Brown, the Court reminded us that an appellant must identify a substantial right affected by each issue, not by an immediate appeal as a whole. Despite the …Read More

An “Improvident” Decision

On occasion, the Supreme Court of North Carolina will grant a petition for discretionary review and then later decide that the grant was “improvidently allowed.” See, e.g., here and here and here. The U.S. Supreme Court sometimes reaches the same result. Because these opinions usually provide little, if any, explanation, we are often left to guess at the basis for the court’s decision. Earlier this month, the U.S. Supreme Court …Read More

Supreme Court of North Carolina Adopts New Rule to Avoid Deadlock

During the last year, there have been a number of matters decided by an evenly-split vote at both the U.S. Supreme Court and our state Supreme Court. At the U.S. Supreme Court, such cases are simply affirmed. See, e.g., United States v. Texas, 136 S. Ct. 2271 (2016) (per curiam); Dollar Gen. Corp. v. Miss. Band of Choctaw Indians, 136 S. Ct. 2159 (2016) (per curiam). But at the state …Read More

Appellate Election Results

According to the preliminary numbers, Judges Rich Dietz, Bob Hunter, and Valerie Zachary will keep their seats on the North Carolina Court of Appeals. The Supreme Court of North Carolina will welcome Mike Morgan as a new associate justice, and the Court of Appeals will now include Phil Berger and Hunter Murphy as judges. Congratulations to all of the judges returning to or joining our State’s appellate courts.  We also …Read More

Upcoming Changes to the Federal Rules of Appellate Procedure

Along with changes to the federal civil procedure and bankruptcy rules, the Federal Rules of Appellate Procedure will likely see a significant change in less than a month. Unless Congress decides otherwise, the revisions will provide new page and word count limits for certain filings and clarify which items are to be included in the word count. Importantly, under revised Rule 32, principal briefs will be limited to 13,000 words …Read More

Voter Information Update

With less than a month until Election Day, we want to remind our readers about the Voter Information page on this blog, maintained under the “Other Resources” tab. It contains details about the pending races for seats on North Carolina’s appellate courts as well as links to information about each candidate. –Kip Nelson Please follow and like us:

Proper Etiquette Is To Be On Time–Not Early

You should always file your notice of appeal as soon as possible, right? Wrong. This is one instance in which being early can actually be detrimental to your client’s rights. In Mannise v. Harrell, the Court of Appeals determined that a notice of appeal filed too early was improper and could only be reviewed by writ of certiorari. The case involved a domestic dispute between two parents in which the …Read More