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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

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

Approximately a year ago, we posted about a one-year fellowship opportunity at the N.C. Solicitor General’s office.  That fellowship program has worked amazingly well.  Last year’s fellow not only worked with the lovely and talented Solicitor General Sawchak and his team on important federal and state appeals, but also argued a First Amendment case in the Court of Appeals.  We hear that this first fellow recently accepted a fabulous

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SCOTUS Skirts the Merits on Political Gerrymandering

On Monday, the U.S. Supreme Court handed down another opinion in a long line of attempts to deal with the issue of political gerrymandering. Unfortunately, the decision did not reach the merits.  In Gill v. Whitford, the eagerly awaited case out of Wisconsin, the Court unanimously concluded that the plaintiffs had failed to prove that they had standing to pursue their claims.

Chief Justice Roberts, writing for the majority

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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

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SCOTUS Clarifies Federal Class Action Tolling Rules; Bars “Stacked” Class Actions

In American Pipe & Construction Co. v. Utah, 414 U.S 538 (1974), the U.S. Supreme Court set out the rule that the timely filing of a class action tolls the applicable statute of limitations for all persons encompassed by the class complaint. Under American Pipe, therefore, a putative member of an uncertified class could wait until after a ruling on certification to either file an individual suit or join

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You Can Say That Again: The Substantial Right Doctrine Is More Easily Stated Than Applied

There is perhaps no truer aphorism of appellate jurisdiction than this: The substantial right doctrine is more easily stated than applied.  In light of the Court of Appeals’ opinion last Tuesday in Beasley v. Beasley, litigants should consider how (or even whether) the substantial right test interacts with other jurisdictional statutes authorizing interlocutory appellate review.

By way of background, N.C. Gen. Stat. § 50-19.1 permits interlocutory appeals for a

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