Although the case involving North Carolina Highway Patrol Trooper Thomas Wetherington appears to invite smiles because it focuses on his uniform hat (see “Side Bar” below), in fact it addresses a formidably tough ethical question.  What standards of truthfulness should be expected of our law enforcement officers?  And when one is untruthful, what factors should be considered in determining the appropriate penalty? … Continue Reading

Our state appellate courts have long held that a timely notice of appeal is a jurisdictional requirement. See, e.g., State v. Patterson. (For an interesting discussion on this topic, see section 28.02[3] in Beth and Matt’s treatise.)

Federal courts, on the other hand, have taken a different approach. For example, the Supreme Court in 2017 clarified that unless prescribed by statute, a rule-based timeline for filing a notice of appeal is “not jurisdictional” but is instead a “mandatory claim-processing rule.”… Continue Reading

This week, the Court of Appeals reiterated the bounds of Rule 54(b) certification, highlighting that the language of the rule—which allows a party to immediately appeal from “a final judgment as to one or more but fewer than all of the claims or parties”—is only applicable when a judgment is, in fact, final.

In Lennar Carolinas, LLC v. County of Union, the Court of Appeals was asked to review the denial of a summary judgment motion by the County.… Continue Reading

State v. Campbell Soup Cansis a case that is proving as hard to finish off as Freddy Kreuger or Wile E. Coyote. Campbell has earned its third blog entry following yet another opinion by the Supreme Court of North Carolina.   And, like Freddy, the latest apparition gives no guarantees that Campbell’s lurking Appellate Rule 2 issue will not invade our nightmares in the future.… Continue Reading

Almost two years ago, I blogged about a relatively rare phenomenon: a published denial of a petition for rehearing.  Back then, two recent Fourth Circuit cases had produced petitions for rehearing and then subsequent denials of those petitions. But while decisions denying rehearing are typically just one-sentence orders, with nothing more by way of explanation, those two cases had prompted judges to write separately to express their views on the issues at the core of the petitions.… Continue Reading

It continues to amaze 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.  While stories with political angles find their way into the press, the fundamentals—which seats are open, why those seats are open, who is running, why voters should care—get little coverage. … Continue Reading

In an earlier post, Beth detailed best practices for when a Rule 59 motion will successfully toll the 30-day appeal period under Appellate Rule 3.  See here.  To recap, tolling requires a “proper” Rule 59 motion—which means meeting a litany of requirements, including that the motion: (i) seeks relief from a final judgment; (ii) generally applies only to post-trial judgments; (iii) seeks relief pursuant to one or more grounds listed in Rule 59(a); (iv) seeks a valid form of relief from the contested final judgment; and (v) does not reargue matters already decided by the trial court. … Continue Reading

You may have noticed a lull in new posts here over the holidays.  There’s good reason: we’ve been renovating the site, like a hotel adding an omelet station to its continental breakfast. We had to break a few eggs in the process, but it was well worth it.

The key changes:

  • The blog should load faster—much faster.
  • We consolidated our many linked resources into fewer tabs on the top of the main page.
Continue Reading

Human skullWe’ve been following the saga of Hamlet H.M.A., LLC v. Hernandez throughout 2019. Last Friday, the Supreme Court finally issued its opinion in the case. Yesterday, Pat blogged on confusion caused by the tie vote in Hamlet. In this post, we read between the lines to consider what was going on behind the scenes in Hamlet.

Hamlet involves the “learned-profession exemption” in section 75-1.1.… Continue Reading

MazeA while back, Justice Edmunds wrote a post that did a deep dive into what it means for the state’s jurisprudence when a case is “affirmed without precedential value.”  Matt followed that up with discussion of a Business Court opinion in which Judge Gale concluded that a Court of Appeals opinion that is “affirmed without precedential value” is not binding authority in subsequent cases, but rather has only persuasive value.  … Continue Reading