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Celebrate NC Courts Videos Available on YouTube

The Court of Appeals 50th Anniversary Celebration held at the Angus Barn in October was a great success.  During the dinner, a retrospective documentary on the Court of Appeals was played to great acclaim. Did you miss the dinner and the documentary?  Good news:  a number of videos–from the documentary, to a “year in review” video for the 50th anniversary of the Court of Appeals, to a recording of the August …Read More

Fourth Circuit to Tackle Contentious Clean Water Act Case

There’s a big Clean Water Act case being argued in the Fourth Circuit this week.  Here’s the gist:  suppose you discharge pollutants into the ground, and they seep into surface waters.  Does the Clean Water Act–which only regulates discharges into surface waters–apply? Apparently the nation’s district courts are split on this issue.  The Fourth Circuit tackles it this week in Upstate Forever v. Kinder Morgan Energy.  The Ninth Circuit is …Read More

Judicial Primaries–Including Appellate Primaries–Have Been Eliminated

The 2018 judicial primaries–including those for open Court of Appeals and Supreme Court seats–have been eliminated.  With the senate and the house voting to override the Governor’s veto by substantial margins, Senate Bill 656, the “Electoral Freedom Act of 2017,” has become law. The law (Session Law 2017-124) provides: No 2018 Primary for Judicial Offices. – Notwithstanding G.S. 163-106, no party primaries shall be held for candidates seeking the following …Read More

Could the 2018 Appellate Judicial Primaries Be Canceled?

The Governor has vetoed** a bill that would eliminate the 2018 judicial primaries–including those for open seats on the Supreme Court and Court of Appeals.  It is not clear if the bill has sufficient support to overcome the veto. Senate bill 656, if it becomes law, would instead allow candidates to file their notices of candidacy between June 18 and June 29, 2018, and then be listed on the ballot …Read More

You’re Invited: Court of Appeals 50th Anniversary Celebration

The annual dinner of the North Carolina Supreme Court Historical Society will honor the 50th anniversary of the Court of Appeals, and you are invited.  Mark your calendar for October 11 at the Pavilion at the Angus Barn, with cocktails at 6:00 and dinner at 7:00. The annual dinner gives the bench and bar a chance to pause and honor the rich history of our appellate courts.  The event consistently …Read More

AOC Hosts Inaugural CLE Program for the Appellate Division

Yesterday, the NC Administrative Office of the Courts hosted its inaugural CLE program for the appellate division.  Under the leadership of Grant Buckner, the Director of the Office of Central Staff, and Bryan Boyd, the Clerk of the Supreme Court, a full-day CLE was offered, including remarks by Chief Justice Mark Martin and Chief Judge Linda McGee. The schedule included a presentation on the genius of the common law, by Professor John …Read More

Judge Calabria Will Not Run for Re-Election to the Court of Appeals

Judge Ann Marie Calabria of the North Carolina Court of Appeals announced earlier this afternoon that she will not seek a third eight-year term when her current term ends in 2018.  Judge Calabria made the announcement during a session at the N.C. Bar Association’s annual meeting honoring the many living jurists who have served on the North Carolina Court of Appeals. As with a similar announcement last month from Judge …Read More

Chief Justice Martin Delivers State of Judiciary Address

Chief Justice Mark Martin of the Supreme Court of North Carolina delivered the State of the Judiciary Address at the NC Bar Association’s annual meeting this morning.  The address included a call to action to the General Assembly:  submit to the people of the State a constitutional amendment allowing merit selection of judges.   This charge was quite well received in the room, as the bar association has been working for decades to reform …Read More

2016: The Year of the Dissent

Partway through 2016, we noticed a sharp uptick in the rate of dissenting opinions being filed in the North Carolina Court of Appeals. On her blog, Kenzie Rakes has analyzed the data for the entire calendar year of 2016.  From 2015 to 2016, the “dissent rate” jumped from about 2% to about 5% of opinions.  And 2/3 of the dissenting opinions were attributable to just three judges.  Intrigued?  Read more here. …Read More

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

The Office of the Solicitor General needs help.  Solicitor General Matt Sawchak and his dream team represent the State of North Carolina in our state and federal appellate courts.  The Office recently announced the creation of a fellowship opportunity, with applications due by July 1, 2017. The fellow will draft, research, and comment on appellate briefs, as well as help with oral-argument preparation.  Prior clerkship experience is strongly preferred.  Readers wrapping …Read More