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Rules & Practice Guides

North Carolina Rules of Appellate Procedure

Published by the North Carolina Supreme Court, the Appellate Rules, as revised and as interpreted by caselaw, govern practice and procedure in North Carolina’s appellate courts.

The Appellate Rules were amended and republished in December 2016 (effective January 2017).  Amendments to these Rules can be found at the links below.

Order Adopting Rule 31.1 of The North Carolina Rules of Appellate Procedure (effective December 22, 2016)

Order Amending Rule 7 of The North Carolina Rules of Appellate Procedure (effective March 16, 2017)


North Carolina Appellate Style Manual
Published by the North Carolina Bar Association’s Appellate Rules Committee, the Appellate Style Manual is the place to start for any formatting and procedural questions you face in an appeal in North Carolina’s Appellate courts.


Guide to Appealability of Interlocutory Orders

Guide writen by NCBA Appellate Rules Committee designed to assist lawyers appearing in North Carolina’s state appellate courts. In addition to providing an overview of various issues pertaining to appealability, the guide illustrates the appealability of many practical examples of interlocutory orders.


Notice of Appeal Tip Sheet
Published by the North Carolina Bar Association’s Appellate Rules Committee, the Notice of Appeal Tip Sheet provides guidance on the most common questions a party faces when preparing to initiate the appellate process in a civil case.


North Carolina Rules of Appellate Procedure Checklist
Published by the Smith Moore Leatherwood Appellate Practice Group, this checklist provides useful reminders about the steps you face in an appeal in North Carolina’s Appellate Courts.


North Carolina Court of Appeals Legal Standards Database
First published by the North Carolina Court of Appeals in June 2012, the Legal Standards Database is intended to provide illustrations of the wide variety of standards of review, legal tests, and general statements of law employed at the N.C. Court of Appeals. This is a great starting point for any practitioner writing an appellate brief, or any brief for that matter.


Federal Rules of Appellate Procedure, Local Rules of the Fourth Circuit, and Internal Operating Procedures


Oral Argument Practice Guides

In 2015, UNC School of Law, in consultation with the North Carolina Bar Association’s Appellate Practice Section, established the North Carolina Appellate Courts Mooting Program for Practitioners. The Program provides an opportunity for attorneys with arguments upcoming in the North Carolina Supreme Court or North Carolina Court of Appeals to simulate their arguments in advance in a secure, professional atmosphere.For those attorneys wishing to practice their arguments in such a setting, the Program provides a venue in its newly remodeled Courtroom, an opportunity for the practicing attorney to bring a guest judge (or judges) of his/her choosing, an opportunity for the attorney to agree to allow members of the UNC Law Faculty with substantive expertise to sit as appellate judges, and an opportunity for the attorney to allow an upper-class law student to have prepared for the argument and to sit as one of the appellate judges. To schedule a moot session or for more information, contact Professor Donald Hornstein (dhornste@email.unc.edu), Aubrey L. Brooks Professor of Law and faculty advisor for Law School’s Holderness Moot Court program. Alternatively, you may contact Gregg F. Schwitzgebel III (gschwitz@nclm.org or 919.715.3937), the Appellate Practice Section member who worked tirelessly to create this valuable resource for practitioners.

Guide for Counsel For Cases Orally Argued Before the North Carolina Court of Appeals
A guide written by the Appellate Rules Committee to assist attorneys orally arguing before the North Carolina Court of Appeals.

Guide for Counsel For Cases Orally Argued Before the Supreme Court of North Carolina
A guide written by the Appellate Rules Committee to assist attorneys orally arguing before the Supreme Court of North Carolina.

United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit’s Oral Argument Procedures Sheet
Information regarding oral arguments before the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit.

Oral Argument Comparison Chart
Chart that sets forth key similarities and differences between oral arguments before the North Carolina Court Of Appeals, the Supreme Court Of North Carolina, and the United States Court Of Appeals For The Fourth Circuit

Guide for Counsel For Cases To Be Orally Argued In the United States Supreme Court
Guide written by the clerk of the United States Supreme Court to assist attorneys preparing cases for oral argument before the United States Supreme Court.


Business Court Traps
Over the past two years, at least seven different appellate traps have emerged for North Carolina Business Court cases, many of which have resulted in dismissal of appeals. This article summarizes several potential snares, with links to the detailed blog posts for those who seek more information about taming the beast.