Yes, we are still an appellate blog. The Business Court, however, has been particularly active in the appellate sphere these past few months. As reported in June, the General Assembly has been considering a bill to “modernize” the North Carolina Business Court. On Saturday, a final bill was presented to the Governor, which he is expected to sign.
Senate Bill 853 would amend section 7A-27 to shift to the North Carolina Supreme Court venue over appeals of right from final judgments and most immediately appealable interlocutory orders of the Business Court. So basically, all Business Court cases will completely bypass the North Carolina Court of Appeals.
According to the General Assembly’s fiscal notes, “approximately 250 cases [are] currently pending in the North Carolina Business Court” and “19 of those cases are on appeal with the Court of Appeals.” However an estimate of how many additional cases will reach the Supreme Court is hard to predict as Section 3 of the bill also expands the issues applicable for a case to qualify as a complex business case.
In addition, both final and interlocutory orders that hold a state statute unconstitutional on its face would be appealed directed to the Supreme Court. As applied challenges to a state statute resulting in a temporary injunction against the State would be immediately appealable to the North Carolina Court of Appeals, despite the fact that those orders are interlocutory.
We are interested to know your thoughts on these changes. Aware of other legislation that affect our appellate courts? Let us know in the comments below.