There is a school of thought in legal writing that you should never put anything too important in footnotes, as some readers might skip over them.  See, e.g., https://www.legalwritingpro.com/articles/the-lowdown-on-footnotes/.  Well, if you are one of those readers, then you would have missed a good footnote from an unpublished Fourth Circuit opinion issued on Monday.    The opinion starts with the sentence “This appeal presents conflict of laws and conflict of interests questions in an insurance coverage dispute.” … Continue Reading

Those who have known me for any length of time know that for more than a decade I have really, really wanted the Supreme Court to give appellate practitioners clarification on how various transcript-related issues should work in practice.  Today, the Supreme Court of North Carolina granted that wish by amending the North Carolina Rules of Appellate Procedure.

For cases appealed on or after January 1, 2021, Appellate Rule 7 has been completely rewritten.   … Continue Reading

The Appellate Practice Section of the North Carolina Bar Association is planning its annual CLE for June 2021.  The Section’s CLE committee is currently assembling the program for the CLE.  In the interest of making the program as relevant and actionable as possible for members of the Section and the bar, the committee invites your input on potential topics and speakers. … Continue Reading

Did you miss this week’s inaugural session of The Bluebook Club?  Never fear–you have a second chance.  The Appellate Practice Section’s new program offers networking and socializing opportunities for anyone interested in appellate practice.   The next session will be Thursday, November 19th at 1:00 p.m.

You can sign up here.   Note that you will have to be logged in to your NCBA account to register.… Continue Reading

In Pounds, et al. v. Portfolio Recovery Associates, LLC, the North Carolina Court of Appeals recently issued an opinion that may have a significant impact on collections law and arbitrability.

Defendant is an entity that purchases consumer debt.  Plaintiffs are individual credit card holders who had racked unpaid bills on their cards.  Defendant purchased the debts of those individual plaintiffs, then brought suit and obtained default judgments against each.… Continue Reading

If you follow the Fourth Circuit, you know that there has been a noticeable increase in the number of en banc cases that the Court has taken, and in those cases there has been some sharp disagreement between the Judges.  See, for example, this prior blog post.  Or check out this post from our friends at the Maryland Appellate Blog.… Continue Reading

In its most recent set of petition rulings, the Supreme Court of North Carolina added five new cases to its discretionary docket.  These cases involve:

  • the scope of the North Carolina False Claims Act;
  • the evidence required for a criminal threats conviction;
  • whether satellite-based monitoring constitutes an unreasonable search;
  • personal jurisdiction in the age of cell phones; and
  • the interpretation of automobile insurance policies.
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A writ of certiorari is a discretionary, extraordinary writ—and is therefore never granted as a matter of right. See, e.g., King v. Taylor, 188 N.C. 450, 451, 124 S.E. 751, 751 (1924) (explaining that the writ “is allowed only on a reasonable show of merits and that the ends of justice will be thereby promoted”). Not surprisingly, it has long been the rule that a party seeking a writ of certiorari must explain why the writ should be granted.… Continue Reading

North Carolina General Statute § 7A-30(2) allows for an appeal as of right to the Supreme Court of North Carolina from “any decision of the Court of Appeals rendered in a case…in which there is a dissent.”  Seems pretty straightforward, yes?  If the Court of Appeals issues a decision and one of the judges writes a dissenting opinion, then the losing party can automatically get the case to the Supreme Court, right? … Continue Reading