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Supreme Court Adopts Universal Citation Format

Back in June, the Supreme Court of North Carolina sought feedback on a potential change to the citation format for North Carolina appellate court opinions.  This week, the Court has officially made plans for the universal citation format to go into effect.  The purpose of the change is to present “an immediate, permanent, and medium-neutral” citation the moment an opinion is issued. Under the new format, each opinion will contain …Read More

All in the Timing

No, this post is not a tribute to David Ives. In many appellate cases, it really is all in the timing. Some appellate rules regarding timing are easy to state. The deadlines to file a notice of appeal, an opening brief, and a petition for discretionary review are relatively straightforward. But other timing issues are less obvious. The most recent set of opinions from the Court of Appeals addresses several …Read More

Petition Tracker Updated

The petition tracker has been updated with the Supreme Court’s most recent rulings on petitions for discretionary review.  The Court accepted three new civil cases dealing with various topics such as charter schools, municipal development ordinances, and evictions.  The Court will also be reviewing a juvenile delinquency case and (via a petition for writ of certiorari) another TPR case.  As always, we will keep you updated as new developments occur. …Read More

Can You Appeal from a Nullity?

The trial judge who presides over a hearing or trial is supposed to, and usually does, sign the resulting written order. But what happens if that normal process is not followed? What options do the parties have? Last week, the Supreme Court articulated one option that is not available: filing a notice of appeal. In re C.M.C. involved a bench trial of a petition for termination of parental rights. The …Read More

Appellate CLE Coming September 13th

The Appellate Practice Section’s annual CLE program is coming up on Friday, September 13th.  This day-long event is a great opportunity to hear from judges and practitioners and to learn about current issues in the appellate arena.  This year’s program includes not only technology and ethics portions but also helpful topics on visual aids, modern writing, and insider tips from the clerk’s office.  The Section is also hosting a reception …Read More

Supreme Court Hiring Staff Attorney

The Supreme Court of North Carolina has another job opening, this time for a Staff Attorney.  The person selected will not only assist with the Court’s written opinions but will also be involved with rules, administrative orders, and training.  More information, including a link to the online application, can be found here. But hurry–the application period closes next Wednesday (July 17th). –Kip Nelson

Let Your Voice Be Heard: Seeking Input On New Citation Format

The Supreme Court of North Carolina is exploring a proposal to adopt a universal citation format for North Carolina appellate court opinions. The format would implement sequential numbers for all opinions and a paragraph-based numbering system for pinpoint citations. The Court’s Technology Committee has prepared a report that describes the proposal in detail.  The idea has been percolating for years across the country, and other states have previously adopted similar …Read More

Supreme Court Releases Its Internal Citation, Style, and Usage Guidebook

Earlier this month, the Supreme Court of North Carolina published its internal “Guidebook” for citation, style, and usage. You may recall that a few years back, a lawyer obtained a copy of and began selling the U.S. Supreme Court’s “secret” Style Guide. Fortunately, you do not need to buy a copy of our State Supreme Court’s Guidebook on Amazon—or wade through 266 pages of text. Instead, the 12-page Guidebook is …Read More

Appellate Review of Trial Court Reasoning

Unlike in federal court, judges in North Carolina’s state courts often invite counsel for the prevailing party to draft a proposed order on the court’s ruling. Sometimes the judge will let the parties know of the judge’s rationale through a formal memorandum of ruling or an informal email. Does that document play any role in the appellate process? Yes, according to the Court of Appeals. In Wilmington Savings Fund Society, …Read More