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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

Proposed Change to Federal Appellate Rules Would Provide Reply-Brief Relief

I’m old enough to remember the good ol’ days, specifically, 2016, when we had 17 days to file a reply brief in a federal appeal.  Sometimes, you would even get lucky and have the 17th day fall on a weekend, giving you as many as 18 or even 19 days to file that scathing reply. But then, in honor of a long tradition of counting by sevens that traces its roots through …Read More

Appellate Social. April 12. Whiskey Kitchen. Be There.

Just in time for spring, it’s the NCBA Appellate Practice Section’s spring social!  Thanks to a great line up of sponsors, we have a fantastic event in store. Not a member of the Appellate Practice Section?  It’s never too late to join our fine group.  Click here, or call (919) 677-0561 and ask for the membership department. Here are the details for the social: WHEN | Thursday | April 12 …Read More

NC Appellate Courts Launch Appellate Pro Bono Program

Big news:  Both the North Carolina Supreme Court and Court of Appeals have voted to approve an appellate pro bono program that has been in the works for many months.  The initial training session for volunteers will be held April 13 at the Court of Appeals building in Raleigh.  The website for the program is up and running, and a full description of the program can be found here. Of course, …Read More

Update: Business Court Sidesteps Published Court of Appeals Opinion Affirmed “Without Precedential Value”

Last fall, Justice Edmunds analyzed the subtle policy questions presented when a Court of Appeals decision is affirmed “without precedential value” by a divided Supreme Court.  A robust discussion followed in the “comments” section. Last Friday, Chief Judge Gale of the North Carolina Business Court weighed in on the debate in Zloop v. Parker Poe.  He concluded that the business court is not bound by Court of Appeals decisions that …Read More

Judicial Primary Update: There Won’t Be One

In the latest shift in the tug-of-war over judicial elections in North Carolina, a divided panel of the Fourth Circuit last week issued an order all but ensuring that there will be no primary election for judges in North Carolina in 2018. The saga began last fall, when the General Assembly passed Senate Bill 656, canceling the 2018 judicial primaries.  Governor Cooper vetoed the bill, but the veto was overridden …Read More

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