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Taking Care of Business (Part I): Rule 3.1 No-Merit Briefs Warrant (At Least Some Form of) Appellate Review

On Friday, the Supreme Court displayed how busy it has been this summer by releasing 17 authored opinions.  Justice Per Curiam (who is fond of affirming/reversing “for the reasons stated in the Court of Appeals” majority/dissent) was conspicuously absent.  Justice Earls and Justice Newby vied for the title of “Most Prolific Dissenter.”  And the Court released its first three opinions directly reviewing trial tribunal orders terminating parental rights—and for

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Right for the Wrong Reasons, Redux

Not too long ago, I blogged about the Court of Appeals’ analysis and results in In re CMB.  In that child custody case, the North Carolina trial court cited an inapplicable statute to assume temporary emergency jurisdiction and take immediate action.  The child’s mother appealed, arguing that the trial court failed to hold an evidentiary hearing before entering its order.

The Court of Appeals affirmed, holding that the trial

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Supreme Court Launches Rules Notification Service

Wouldn ‘t it be great if an automatic notification was sent out whenever court rules were updated?  Wait . . . I hear you!  “What self-respecting lawyer doesn’ t subscribe to the NCAPB.com blog, which provides updates and summaries of all Appellate Rules amendments?!?”  Alas, not everyone understands the thrill of an appellate practice blog.  Plus, our focus is the North Carolina Rules of Appellate Procedure–not Supreme Court rules on court-ordered arbitration.

Good news. The Supreme Court’s Office of Administrative Counsel recently added an email subscription service for users to receive all updates concerning rules promulgated

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Arizona Tests the Nature of the Supreme Court’s Original Jurisdiction

Last week, the State of Arizona made an interesting litigation decision.

As part of the ongoing litigation over the opioid crisis, Arizona filed a complaint against Purdue Pharmaceuticals and its owners, the Sackler family, alleging violations of Arizona’s Uniform Fraudulent Transfer Act. The suit alleges that the Sacklers stripped the assets of Purdue by making large cash transfers out of the company, and that these transfers threatened Purdue’s ability

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The Two-Judge Appellate Panel

Last week I blogged about an en banc opinion from the Fourth Circuit for which authorship of the majority opinion was attributed to two judges.  (See here) This week from the Fourth Circuit came another two judge oddity-a panel opinion in which the panel consisted of only two judges.

28 U.S.C.  § 46 governs the makeup of Circuit Court panels, and directs in subsection b that each circuit “may

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Institutional Disharmony in the Fourth Circuit? Or Merely Patriotic Dissent?

Is there institutional disharmony in the Fourth Circuit? That’s the question that one judge suggested, in a concurring opinion, that lawyers and judges might be asking after an en banc opinion released on Tuesday.  In response, the judge whose dissenting opinion prompted the question submitted that the apparent tension we are witnessing within the Court is simply a “vigorous exchange of views over basic and fundamental principles of law,” and that such a “robust” exchange enhances “mutual respect and collegiality.”

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