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Questions About N.C. Appellate Elections? Check Out Our Voter-Information Guide

It is amazing to me how difficult it is for the public to access basic information about the upcoming elections for open seats on the Supreme Court of North Carolina and the Court of Appeals.  Legal challenges find their way into the press, but the fundamentals–which seats are open, why those seats are open, who is running, why voters should care–get little coverage. So, we have prepared a user-friendly voter-information guide …Read More

Supreme Court Clarifies Special Pleading Requirement in Medical-Malpractice Actions

If you have ever litigated a medical-malpractice case, you likely know all about Rule 9(j). Rule 9—the repository of the exceptions to our “notice-pleading regime”—requires a med-mal plaintiff (who isn’t relying on the doctrine of res ipsa loquitur) to include certain magic words about expert review in the complaint. No magic words, no lawsuit. But wait: what if Rule 9(j) is less about writing something specific in the complaint, and …Read More

Luncheon with Judge Allyson Duncan: You Are Invited

The EDNC Chapter of the Federal Bar Association will host a luncheon with Judge Allyson Duncan of the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit in Raleigh on August 30. Judge Duncan, who just celebrated 15 years on that collegial court, is always an engaging speaker.  I hope to see you there. Who:               You Why:                To hear Judge Duncan reflect on her path to, and time on, the …Read More

Appellate Candidates Forum–August 16 in Raleigh

Most election years, the candidates for open seats on the Supreme Court of North Carolina and Court of Appeals participate in a lively forum at the Bar Association’s annual meeting.  It didn’t happen this year, in part because the filing period did not close until after the annual meeting. Fear not, though.  The Wake Women Attorneys have managed to get nearly all of the candidates together for a discussion next week …Read More

Appellate Public Defender Needed in Charlotte

Way back when I was a law clerk, I knew I wanted to be an appellate lawyer.  I asked my Judge how to go about making that happen.  She told me, unequivocally, that the best way to get appellate experience was to be an appellate lawyer with the United States Attorney’s office or the Federal Public Defender’s office.  Those are the “frequent fliers” in the Fourth Circuit, not civil private-practice lawyers, …Read More

Judge Duncan Celebrated for 15 Years on the Bench, Will Take Senior Status

Former clerks, friends, and many others gathered at the Pavilion at the Angus Barn on Saturday to celebrate the judicial career of Allyson K. Duncan, Judge on the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit. Judge Duncan has served on that fine court for fifteen years, since her unopposed confirmation in 2003.  Judge Duncan’s accomplishments during that span are too numerous to list here, but I would encourage anyone …Read More

Chief Justice Calls for Renewed Respect For “Fairness, Impartiality, and Independence of the Courts”

Today, Chief Justice Mark Martin delivered his annual State of the Judiciary address at the North Carolina Bar Association annual meeting.  The impassioned address focused on the Chief’s view of what makes our American legal system “the gold standard” for the world:  adherence to the rule of law, respect for the roles of judges and lawyers in our adversarial system, tradition of respect for the constitution and the rights and …Read More

Could North Carolina Finally Adopt Federal Standing Requirements?

It has long been harder for a plaintiff to show standing in federal court than in North Carolina’s state courts. A juicy 2-1 decision from the North Carolina Court of Appeals—yielding an automatic right of appeal to our Supreme Court—could finally change that. See Comm. to Elect Dan Forest v. Emps. Political Action Comm. (“EMPAC”). Federal Courts Take a Stand Throughout the latter part of the twentieth century, the U.S. …Read More

Appellate Pro Bono Program: Ready to Represent

Two months ago, a consortium of stakeholders within the bench and bar launched the North Carolina Appellate Pro Bono Program.  The inaugural training session on April 13 was standing room only–in the large Court of Appeals courtroom, no less.  Now, we have 30 trained volunteers ready to represent low-income parties on appeal. The good news for future volunteers:  the training was filmed.  The bad news for the poor sap asked to demonstrate …Read More

Business Court Dismisses Appeal for Naming the Wrong Appellate Court

Except for appeals in really old cases, appeals from a final judgment entered by a Business Court judge are properly taken to the Supreme Court of North Carolina, not the Court of Appeals. So what happens when a party files a notice of appeal in a Business Court case that mistakenly names the Court of Appeals as the court to which appeal is taken? The Business Court held this week in Zloop, …Read More