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“They’re baaaaack!”– Disagreements Regarding Scope of Permissible Relief under Appellate Rule 21 and In re Civil Penalty

Since 2015, this blog has frequently discussed whether the text of Appellate Rule 21 places restrictions on the Court of Appeals’ authority to grant relief by writ of certiorari.   See here, here, here, here, here,  here, and here.   The Supreme Court has also written frequently about whether the text of Appellate Rule 21 places restrictions on the Court of Appeals’ discretionary authority to grant relief by writ of certiorari. See …Read More

T-Minus Two Minutes and Counting: Uninterrupted Oral Argument at SCOTUS

For the past 25 years, an oral argument before the United States Supreme Court was considered an oddity when an advocate managed to squeeze two or three sentences in before being interrupted by the bench.  Last Thursday, the Supreme Court stunned the SCOTUS bar by noting in its newly revised “Guide for Counsel” that the justices “generally” will not ask questions of either party during the first two minutes of …Read More

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Both Final Judgment and Intermediate Order Approximately three years ago, I blogged on Majerske v. Majerske, an unpublished Court of Appeals decision that dismissed an appeal for a notice of appeal defect.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