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Supreme Court Cancels December Arguments

Clerk of the Supreme Court of North Carolina Amy Funderburk announced by e-mail Friday that December oral arguments in the Supreme Court will be postponed until after the new year. Such schedule changes are the norm in election years.  It is common practice for the Court not to hold oral arguments between election day and December 31 in years in which an incumbent is leaving the Court.  In 2016, for example, the Court …Read More

Court of Appeals Takes Baby Steps Toward Paperless Future

Look around your office. There’s paper everywhere, right? Your office is a fire hazard. How can you fix that problem? You should take two steps: (1) throw all that stuff away; and (2) don’t fill the resulting void with more paper. The North Carolina Court of Appeals is embarking on a little housekeeping itself. Let’s check in on how that’s going. Step 1: Throw all that stuff away Yesterday, you …Read More

Come Hear Judge Bill Pittman Hold Fireside Chat with Moldovan Judiciary–Oct 22

Judge Bill Pittman and I will sit down for a fireside chat this Monday to muse about the private practice of law, with a view from the bench and from the bar.  As part of the Open World international exchange program, we will be hosting the discussion for the benefit of a visiting delegation from the Moldovan judiciary.   The Moldovan delegation is especially interested in how lawyers and judges are trained …Read More

Appellate Social & CLE–Sept. 27 and 28

It’s fall, and you know what that means.  Football!  Oops, I mean, The Annual NCBA Appellate Section CLE! There are lots of ways to get plugged in to the appellate community this week: Appellate Social.  Bench and bar alike are invited to mingle at Raleigh Times from 5pm to 7pm tomorrow, Thursday, September 27.   Share your favorite functus officio story over a cold beverage; make new friends and reconnect with …Read More

Questions About N.C. Appellate Elections? Check Out Our Voter-Information Guide

It is amazing to me how difficult it is for the public to access basic information about the upcoming elections for open seats on the Supreme Court of North Carolina and the Court of Appeals.  Legal challenges find their way into the press, but the fundamentals–which seats are open, why those seats are open, who is running, why voters should care–get little coverage. So, we have prepared a user-friendly voter-information guide …Read More

Supreme Court Clarifies Special Pleading Requirement in Medical-Malpractice Actions

If you have ever litigated a medical-malpractice case, you likely know all about Rule 9(j). Rule 9—the repository of the exceptions to our “notice-pleading regime”—requires a med-mal plaintiff (who isn’t relying on the doctrine of res ipsa loquitur) to include certain magic words about expert review in the complaint. No magic words, no lawsuit. But wait: what if Rule 9(j) is less about writing something specific in the complaint, and …Read More

Luncheon with Judge Allyson Duncan: You Are Invited

The EDNC Chapter of the Federal Bar Association will host a luncheon with Judge Allyson Duncan of the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit in Raleigh on August 30. Judge Duncan, who just celebrated 15 years on that collegial court, is always an engaging speaker.  I hope to see you there. Who:               You Why:                To hear Judge Duncan reflect on her path to, and time on, the …Read More

Appellate Candidates Forum–August 16 in Raleigh

Most election years, the candidates for open seats on the Supreme Court of North Carolina and Court of Appeals participate in a lively forum at the Bar Association’s annual meeting.  It didn’t happen this year, in part because the filing period did not close until after the annual meeting. Fear not, though.  The Wake Women Attorneys have managed to get nearly all of the candidates together for a discussion next week …Read More

Appellate Public Defender Needed in Charlotte

Way back when I was a law clerk, I knew I wanted to be an appellate lawyer.  I asked my Judge how to go about making that happen.  She told me, unequivocally, that the best way to get appellate experience was to be an appellate lawyer with the United States Attorney’s office or the Federal Public Defender’s office.  Those are the “frequent fliers” in the Fourth Circuit, not civil private-practice lawyers, …Read More

Judge Duncan Celebrated for 15 Years on the Bench, Will Take Senior Status

Former clerks, friends, and many others gathered at the Pavilion at the Angus Barn on Saturday to celebrate the judicial career of Allyson K. Duncan, Judge on the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit. Judge Duncan has served on that fine court for fifteen years, since her unopposed confirmation in 2003.  Judge Duncan’s accomplishments during that span are too numerous to list here, but I would encourage anyone …Read More