The Court of Appeals has new COVID-19 procedures for its voluntary appellate mediation program. The full document is here, but highlights include:
- For mediation deadlines that fall between March 27 and April 30, parties have an additional 60 days to request appellate mediation.
- Consent to appellate mediation forms may now be submitted electronically or emailed.
- Appellate mediations by Court of Appeals judges are on hold until at least May 1—or longer if Governor Cooper extends his stay-at-home order.
- If everyone consents, a private appellate mediation may be conducted telephonically.
- If the cards align just right, some appellants that have consented to appellate mediation will have 150 days after filing their record on appeal to file their opening brief. [i.e., 30 days per Appellate Rule 13 + 60 days per Supreme Court’s COVID-19 extension order + 60 days per routine mediation extension order].
- The Court of Appeals may cancel mediation in a particular case if expediting is deemed necessary.
- The Court of Appeals will grant reasonable additional extensions upon party request.
Update: In August 2020, the Court of Appeals issued a document stating that Court of Appeals judges were now offering remote appellate meditations.