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Appellate Courts’ Application of Rule of Appellate Procedure 2 In Criminal (and Civil) Cases

In its 6 February 2018 tranche of opinions, the Court of Appeals addresses Rule 2 of the Rules of Appellate Procedure at length in State v. Campbell.  Appellate Rule 2 allows suspension of the Rules of Appellate Procedure “[t]o prevent manifest injustice to a party, or to expedite decision in public interest.”  The analysis in Campbell gives helpful guidance as to when the rule may be invoked while at the …Read More

Motions in the Appellate Courts of North Carolina

In this post, I discuss motions filed in appeals docketed in the appellate division for review. Although uncontested motions are mentioned, the focus is on contested motions.  This post does not address matters such as petitions and stays. Lawyers often find motions practice in the appellate courts to be both frustrating and opaque.  A motion filed in the trial division is usually resolved by a hearing before or during the …Read More

The Long and Winding Road (with Apologies to the Beatles)

In the Court of Appeals’ latest batch of opinions, Beroth Oil Co. v. N.C. Department of Transportation, addressed the long-running issue of the applicability of the Map Act.  As you may have guessed, this show probably hasn’t run its course. Beroth Oil arises out of the Map Act, which the General Assembly passed in 1987.  Under the Map Act, the Department of Transportation can file corridor maps or plats in places …Read More

Does “Affirmed” Mean “Overturned?”: The Uncertain Binding Effect of 3-3 Split Opinions from the Supreme Court of North Carolina.

When less than a full complement of Supreme Court Justices considers a case being reviewed from the Court of Appeals, the result is sometimes an even split.  These days, the tie is usually announced in a per curiam opinion that includes such language as “Because the members of the Court are equally divided as to both issues, the holding of the Court of Appeals is left undisturbed and stands affirmed …Read More

Chief Justice Martin Addresses Senate Bill 698

On Tuesday, October 24, 2017, Chief Justice Mark Martin issued the following statement about Senate Bill 698, which seeks to amend the North Carolina Constitution to provide for two-year terms for all judges and justices in North Carolina: Statement of Chief Justice Mark Martin on Senate Bill 698 Nowhere in America do voters elect their general jurisdiction judges for two-year terms of office. This is as it should be. Electing judges for …Read More

AJEI Offers Great Appellate CLE

The Appellate Judges Education Institute is being held in Long Beach, California from November 2-5.  Though the time to register is short, AJEI is a great chance to meet appellate advocates from across the country and hear presentations on a wealth of topics.  It is sponsored by Duke University School of Law so a lot of local talent attends.  Here’s a link to the web site.   I hope to see you there. –Bob Edmunds …Read More

WHAT JUST HAPPENED? A Guide To Dispositions In North Carolina Appellate Opinions

Most lawyers, upon learning that a case on appeal has been decided, immediately flip (or scroll) to the last page of the opinion to see the result. Reading the analysis can wait.  The disposition determines whether you are going to enjoy calling your client with the news. But other than telling you that you won or lost on appeal, what do the different disposition statements mean?  Case dispositions can be …Read More

What Steps Must An Appellee Take To Preserve A Cross-Issue Under Appellate Rule 10(c)?

Writing as a blogger is something entirely new for me. As an alumnus of both of North Carolina’s state appellate courts, I will always be mindful that I possess knowledge of, and have participated in, matters that must remain confidential.  But now that I’m an outsider, I can comment as a careful observer on issues that affect appellate litigation.  Here goes! Numerous cases discuss the steps an appellant must take …Read More