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Is Dogwood’s Bark Losing Its Bite?

Back in March, the Court of Appeals in Ramsey v. Ramsey dismissed a party’s appeal for cumulative non-jurisdictional violations that the Court described as “gross and substantial noncompliance with the North Carolina Rules of Appellate Procedure.” (See prior posts on Ramsey here and here.)  On Tuesday, in K2HN Construction, NC, LLC v. Five D Contractors, Inc., the Court dismissed another appeal that had a tortured relationship with the State’s appellate rules.  …Read More

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 authorize …Read More

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 …Read More

The Mandate Rule and another Thinly-Sliced Qualified Immunity Opinion from the Fourth Circuit

A while back I wrote about the collateral order doctrine as discussed by the Fourth Circuit in Williams v. Strickland. (See prior blog post here).  Williams involved an alleged excessive force claim against a law enforcement officer and an interlocutory appeal from the denial of the officer’s motion for summary judgment on the ground of qualified immunity.  The Court held that the officer was not entitled to qualified immunity (at least …Read More

Zloops! Another Rule 3 Dismissal

About a year ago, we blogged on Zloop v. Parker Poe, in which the North Carolina Business Court dismissed an appeal because the notice of appeal was directed to the North Carolina Court of Appeals instead of the Supreme Court of North Carolina (pursuant to N.C.G.S. s. 7A-27(a), almost all appeals from Business Court orders go directly to the Supreme Court).  Yesterday, it happened again.  In Justice v. Mission Hospital, …Read More

Fourth Circuit Explains the Scope of “Collateral Order Doctrine”

The federal corollary to the oft-blogged about “substantial right doctrine” in the North Carolina appellate courts is the “collateral order doctrine.”  As is the case under North Carolina law, the jurisdiction of the United States Circuit Courts of Appeals is generally limited to final decisions of the district court.  Therefore,  a federal appellate court ordinarily cannot review interlocutory orders.  But, as in North Carolina, there are exceptions.  One of these …Read More

Does Res Judicata Raise a Substantial Right? Depends.

There is perhaps no topic more frequently covered on this blog than that of the appeal of an interlocutory order and the substantial rights that will permit such an appeal to be immediately reviewed by the appellate court.  That this is a recurring topic on the blog is unsurprising, as it is an recurring issue addressed by North Carolina’s appellate opinions.  True to form, the issue was addressed by the Court …Read More

Supreme Court Gets Down to Business—Business Court Cases, That Is

With the reworking of N.C.G.S. § 7A-27 to provide a direct appeal to the Supreme Court of North Carolina from certain orders of the North Carolina Business Court, it was expected that our State’s highest court would start churning out business law opinions. The batch of opinions from the Supreme Court released on December 7th contained three opinions originating from the Business Court, but only two of these came directly …Read More

Fourth Circuit Holds that Trial Court Cannot Prevent Appellate Review of Decision by Vacating that Decision After Appellate Proceedings Have Commenced

In an opinion highlighting an interesting federal appellate jurisdictional issue, the Fourth Circuit on Monday vacated a “gag order” that had been entered by the district court.  That gag order, however, had already been vacated by the district court itself.  This raised the possibility that the Fourth Circuit was without jurisdiction to address the gag order, which had been challenged in the appellate court through a petition for a writ …Read More