Photo of Robert Edmunds

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

In Pounds, et al. v. Portfolio Recovery Associates, LLC, the North Carolina Court of Appeals recently issued an opinion that may have a significant impact on collections law and arbitrability.

Defendant is an entity that purchases consumer debt.  Plaintiffs are individual credit card holders who had racked unpaid bills on their cards.  Defendant purchased the debts of those individual plaintiffs, then brought suit and obtained default judgments against each.… Continue Reading

Matt blogged last week on Doe v. City of Charlotte, in which we were given multiple lessons in both how to and how not to handle an appeal.  Authoring Judge Dietz’s pre-bench experience as an appellate practitioner shows.

This month, we were also treated to State v. Smith (No 119PA18, filed 14 August 2020), a helpful opinion from the Supreme Court detailing an aspect of issue preservation in criminal cases that the Court addressed earlier this year in State v.Continue Reading

In Batson v. Kentucky, 476 U.S. 79 (1986), the U.S. Supreme Court held that the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment prevents prosecutors in criminal cases from exercising peremptory challenges to excuse prospective jurors solely on account of their race.  As illustrated by State v. Campbell COA18-998-2, filed 21 July 2020, application of that 1986 decision is not easy.… Continue Reading

Last year, I blogged about State v. Ellis where a passing motorist gave a Highway Patrol trooper the middle-finger salute and was arrested for his trouble.  A divided Court of Appeals allowed the defendant’s conviction to stand.  The case made it to the Supreme Court, which recently issued an opinion reversing the conviction.

A quick recap of our story.  A trooper was assisting motorists when he noticed that the passenger in a car driving by had extended his hand out the window and was waving. … Continue Reading

In State v. Golder, 79PA18, filed 3 April 2020, the Supreme Court of North Carolina provided helpful guidance on a vexing issue relating to error preservation:  Does a general motion to dismiss preserve for appellate review arguments relating to insufficiency of the evidence?  At the same time, the Court resolved a split on the issue in the jurisprudence of the Court of Appeals.… Continue Reading

Although the case involving North Carolina Highway Patrol Trooper Thomas Wetherington appears to invite smiles because it focuses on his uniform hat (see “Side Bar” below), in fact it addresses a formidably tough ethical question.  What standards of truthfulness should be expected of our law enforcement officers?  And when one is untruthful, what factors should be considered in determining the appropriate penalty? … Continue Reading

State v. Campbell Soup Cansis a case that is proving as hard to finish off as Freddy Kreuger or Wile E. Coyote. Campbell has earned its third blog entry following yet another opinion by the Supreme Court of North Carolina.   And, like Freddy, the latest apparition gives no guarantees that Campbell’s lurking Appellate Rule 2 issue will not invade our nightmares in the future.… Continue Reading

piggy bank with wooden gavelIn a recent opinion, State v. Rieger, No. COA18-960 (filed 1 October 2019), the Court of Appeals wrestled with what appears to be an issue of first impression: how to calculate court costs following a criminal conviction.

The facts are straightforward.  Initially, misdemeanor charges against defendant were heard in district court.  After losing there, defendant appealed to superior court, where he was convicted of possession of marijuana and possession of marijuana paraphernalia. … Continue Reading

NOTICE:  Take the following post with a grain of salt.  The Court of Appeals issued an updated opinion in the Ellis case on 20 August 2019. Although the opinion is still 2-1, most of the language in the original majority opinion that I blogged about pertaining to appellate practice and procedure has been removed.  The updated opinion also leaves no doubt that the issue of reasonable suspicion was first raised at the trial level.… Continue Reading