A Fourth Circuit published opinion from earlier this week revealed an interesting panel composition issue, as the panel that heard the oral argument in the appeal was slightly different from the panel that ultimately issued the opinion. In Foodbuy, LLC v. Gregory Packaging, Inc., when introducing the panel of Circuit Judges Niemeyer and Agee and District Court Judge Kleeh sitting by designation, the opinion noted with an asterisk that “after argument, Judge Quattlebaum recused himself, and Judge Niemeyer elected to participate on the earlier recorded oral argument, briefs, appendices, and district court record.” … Continue Reading

Last week I blogged about the Fourth Circuit’s recent published opinions that, due to the pandemic-prompted suspension of Local Rule 36(a), did not have the usual oral argument.   The research for that post revealed that almost every conceivable “type” of opinion had been issued under Standing Order 20-1: civil opinions, criminal opinions, immigration opinions, opinions fully affirming the lower court, opinions fully reversing the lower court, opinions partially affirming and partially reversing, opinions with dissents, opinions with concurrences. … Continue Reading

The COVID-19 pandemic has forced many changes in the legal profession over the last 10 months.  Those receiving the most focus have been, for obvious reasons, things like remote proceedings such as telephonic hearings and video conference arguments in trial and appellate courts.  We’ve even heard of remote jury trials.  But there have also been many less publicized departures from the norm required by this unprecedented public health crisis. … Continue Reading

In the first three weeks of 2021, I have heard nothing but positive feedback about the Supreme Court’s transcript-related rules updates–previously blogged about here.

In more good news, the Supreme Court’s Office of Administrative Counsel has published an updated codification of the North Carolina Rules of Appellate Procedure incorporating the November 2020 transcript-related amendments.  Remember, however, that these amended rules only apply to cases appealed on or after 1 January 2021. … Continue Reading

As mentioned previously, several new judges are joining the Court of Appeals this month.  Similar to the Supreme Court’s ceremony, the investiture ceremony for these new judges will be held virtually at 10:00 a.m. on Thursday, January 14th.  Members of the public can watch the ceremony on the judicial branch’s YouTube page.  More information about the ceremony can be found here.… Continue Reading

 

The recent opinion of the North Carolina Court of Appeals in M.E. v. T.J., No. COA18-1045 has more twists than a Chubby Checker look-alike contest. The opinion is long and the facts and procedure are somewhat convoluted, but here’s a bare-bones synopsis.

Plaintiff and defendant, both women, were dating. When plaintiff decided to end the relationship, defendant allegedly became abusive.… Continue Reading

On December 30, 2020, Darren Jackson accepted Governor Cooper’s appointment to serve on the North Carolina Court of Appeals. Judge Jackson is a former law partner of Judge Donna Stroud, who recently ascended to the post of Chief Judge on the state’s second highest court.

Prior to accepting the appointment, Judge Jackson had been a member of the North Carolina House of Representatives since 2009.… Continue Reading

At a largely virtual investiture ceremony broadcast this morning on the Supreme Court’s Youtube page, The Honorable Paul Martin Newby took the oath of office to become our highest court’s 30th Chief Justice.  Newly minted Justices Phil Berger, Jr. and Tamara Barringer were also sworn in as the two junior-most associate justices on the Court.

As Beth noted last week, it is common for incoming jurists to take the oath on January 1, but then participate in a more formal investiture ceremony several days later.… Continue Reading