paper people chain and gavelMichelle Connell is one of the few lawyers in North Carolina who is Board-certified in both family law and appellate practice.  And as of last week, she’s now part of our appellate team!

I’ve always been amazed at just how many family-law appeals are heard by our Court of Appeals.  Pull the latest annual statistical report, and you’ll see:  about 20% of that court’s civil docket consists of domestic cases—divorce, equitable distribution, child custody, child support, alimony, and so on.  The issues resolved by the court are of critical importance to the parties, of course, but are also often of importance to the rest of the civil bar as well.  In fact, many significant decisions that affect us all arose in the family-law context.

Before last week, we didn’t have anyone on the team who focused on family-law appeals.  But now we do!

Most of our readers probably already know Michelle, as she is well-known statewide and beyond for her vast experience in the family-law appellate sphere and for her leadership in groups like the Appellate Rules Committee and the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers.  Michelle does her share of trial-level work, but she also carries a surprisingly large caseload of appeals where she was brought in just for the appeal—the highest compliment.

More good news:  Michelle is joining the blogging team as well.  Michelle will be sharing her insights into our appellate courts’ forays into family law.  With the addition of Michelle, we now have folks on the NCAPB team dedicated to reporting on every category of case seen by the North Carolina appellate division.

Michelle joins us with Wes Gelb, another family-law partner with a passion for complex valuation issues that rivals our passion for appeals.  I, for one, look forward to learning from Michelle and Wes, and am proud that we can offer Michelle’s keen eye to you, our readers.

–Matt Leerberg