The Court of Appeals has new COVID-19 procedures for its voluntary appellate mediation program.  The full document is here, but highlights include:

  1. For mediation deadlines that fall between March 27 and April 30, parties have an additional 60 days to request appellate mediation.
  2. Consent to appellate mediation forms may now be submitted electronically or emailed.
  3. 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.
  4. If everyone consents, a private appellate mediation may be conducted telephonically.
  5. 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].
  6. The Court of Appeals may cancel mediation in a particular case if expediting is deemed necessary.
  7. The Court of Appeals will grant reasonable additional extensions upon party request.

–Beth Scherer