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Blog Archives

Notices of Appeal: Wouldn’t It Be Nice?

I.  You Can’t Have One Without the Other: Notice of Appeal Must Designate Both Final Judgment and Intermediate Order Approximately three years ago, I blogged on Majerske v. Majerske, an unpublished Court of Appeals decision that dismissed an appeal for a notice of appeal defect.  Reason: The notice of appeal identified the intermediate order that the appellant was challenging on appeal, but not the trial court order that converted the …Read More

Supreme Court Adopts Generous, Secured-Leave Policy To Assist Sleep-Deprived, New Parents

On Thursday, the Supreme Court of North Carolina issued its latest amendments to the North Carolina Rules of Appellate Procedure.  The amendments impact word-count limitation applicable to appellate briefs and parental leave. Rule 3.1 Supreme Court Briefs are Subject to Rule 28(j)’s Word Count Limitation Historically, word-count limitations have not applied to appellate briefs filed in either direct or secondary appeals to the Supreme Court.  In January 2019, the Supreme …Read More

Taking Care of Business (Part II): Supreme Court Reverses Order Dismissing Appeal Based on Purported Signatory Defect in Notice of Appeal

As noted yesterday, the Supreme Court has been busy. Need further proof? How about the fact that the Supreme Court considered 279 “other matters” on Friday— a category that includes rulings on various substantive motions, PDRs, and writ petitions. By way of comparison, the number of “other matters” considered by the Supreme Court fell within the 134 to 182 range the last few times that opinions were released. Which brings …Read More

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 those …Read More

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. …Read More

Appeal Expunged: State Lacks Statutory Right to Appellate Review of Expungement Order

This post was co-written by Erin Catlett, a Fox Rothschild summer associate and rising third-year law student at UNC-Chapel Hill. Join me in welcoming Erin to the fascinating world of North Carolina appellate practice and procedure. EBS Does the statutory right to appellate review of a superior court’s final judgment under N.C. Gen. Stat. § 7A-27(b)(1) apply to a criminal appeal by the State? That is the central question a divided …Read More

To Err Is Human, But to Review Is Divine—Exceptions to Preserving Error

Finally found time to blog on one of my favorite topics: exceptions and qualifications to the error preservation requirements of Appellate Rule 10! (Um, I heard those groans!).  A few weeks ago the North Carolina Supreme Court issued two new opinions shedding additional light on this semi-fascinating topic. Under the Statutory Mandate Exception to Appellate Rule 10, Trial Judges Generally are Not Required to Supervise the Conduct of “Outside” State Actors …Read More

Office of Staff Counsel Hiring–Again!

The Office of Staff Counsel at the North Carolina Court of Appeals is hiring (again). Info about salary, benefits, and a job description can be found here.  Info not revealed at the link:  what bright and enjoyable people work in the Office of Staff Counsel, which is led by Jaye Bingham-Hinch. If you know any bright and equally enjoyable attorneys that might be interested in the position, the deadline for …Read More

Accept No Substitutions: Court of Appeals Dismisses Substitute Party’s Appeal Under Appellate Rule 38(b)

A few weeks ago the North Carolina Court of Appeals plowed new ground: issuing the first opinion to cite Appellate Rule 38(b) since the Appellate Rules were adopted in 1975. This long-neglected rule was the catalyst for a published decision that dismissed sua sponte a substitute party’s appeal in Weishaupt-Smith v. Town of Banner Elk. Here’s the background: American Towers first applied for a conditional use permit to construct a …Read More

Now Hiring (Part II): Special Counsel for Public Affairs & Innovation

Honestly, I’m not a headhunter in disguise.  A few days after my March 15 “Now Hiring” post, the Supreme Court posted another position: Special Counsel for Public Affairs & Innovation. Looks like the Supreme Court is looking for someone to assist the Court and the AOC in managing its relationships with the legislative branches of the government. (For the twitter-oriented, AOC is the acronym that was synonymous with North Carolina’s …Read More