Go to Top


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

Read More

The Appellate Judges Conference: Now It Can Be Told

If you are reading this, you probably have a pretty serious Jones for appellate law and practice. Assuming I’ve got you pegged correctly, the Appellate Judges Conference of the ABA lets you get in even deeper.

Here’s a secret: You don’t have to be a judge to join the Appellate Judges Conference (AJC).  The AJC includes the Council of Appellate Lawyers and the Council of Appellate Staff Attorneys.  So

Read More

Statutory Construction: The Saga Continues

Statutory construction continues to be an important issue to the Supreme Court of North Carolina.

Consider this statute: “Only a county director of social services or the director’s authorized representative may file a petition alleging that a juvenile is abused, neglected, or dependent.” N.C. Gen. Stat. § 7B-401.1(a).

In In re A.P. , the Court considered the question of which county director can file such a petition. The county

Read More

When Is a Deadline or Other Requirement for Filing a Notice of Appeal Jurisdictional? (State Edition)

Three judge bench

A few weeks ago, the North Carolina Court of Appeals in Connor v. Connor rejected an argument that a notice of appeal signed by a pro se litigant was defective under Appellate Rule 3(d) “and thus did not confer jurisdiction.”  Appellate Rule 3(d) states that a notice of appeal must “be signed by counsel of record of the party or parties taking the appeal[] or by any such party

Read More

When Is a Deadline or Other Requirement for Filing a Notice of Appeal Jurisdictional? (Federal Edition)

In light of Matt ‘s post from yesterday, does anyone perceive an uptick in dismissals of appeals for notice of appeal problems? Are North Carolina lawyers unique in their propensity to screw up notices of appeal?  Are dismissals for notice of appeal violations common in other appellate systems?  Let’ s say, for instance, the federal appellate courts?  If not, why?  Matt and I have been discussing and debating these questions for a few months.  Yesterday’s Business Court dismissal prompted me to finally put some of my thoughts on the blogosphere.

A few months ago, the Maryland Appellate Practice Blog issued a fascinating post on an untimely criminal appeal in the Fourth Circuit.  In United States v. Oliver, the Fourth Circuit addressed

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

Read More