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At the stroke of midnight, North Carolina’s judiciary entered a new era, with many appellate justices and judges taking the oath office from their homes.  This age-old changing of the guard included Chief Justice Paul Newby being sworn in as the 30th Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of North Carolina.  While COVID has thrown wrinkles into many of the Court’s traditions, the significance of this undertaking is illustrated by this photo of Chief Justice Newby signing his oath of office. … Continue Reading

Desperately searching for COVID-safe CLE hours?  The North Carolina Court of Appeals is offering appellate continuing legal education courses until the end of February 2021.   According to the Court’s press release, the on-demand video courses are available for free to licensed North Carolina attorneys seeking CLE credit, North Carolina paralegals seeking CPE credit, and the general public.  The courses are divided into six one-hour videos that cover various topics including emerging appellate issues, appellate practice and procedure, ethics, and technology. … Continue Reading

Precisely 364 days ago, Kip previewed  the coming of universal citations.   Twenty-eight days remain until universal citations assume a starring role in judicial opinions and briefs.   And to help practitioners model their own trendsetting citations, the Supreme Court of North Carolina has released a Universal Citation factsheet.

Key features include (1) no longer needing the regional reporter reference when citing to North Carolina opinions filed on or after January 1, 2021, (2) replacing parallel pinpoint citations with the opinion’s paragraph number, and (3) omitting the citation’s year parenthetical (the opinion’s year is now embedded in the universal citation). … Continue Reading

Those who have known me for any length of time know that for more than a decade I have really, really wanted the Supreme Court to give appellate practitioners clarification on how various transcript-related issues should work in practice.  Today, the Supreme Court of North Carolina granted that wish by amending the North Carolina Rules of Appellate Procedure.

For cases appealed on or after January 1, 2021, Appellate Rule 7 has been completely rewritten.   … Continue Reading

Requesting that trial judges modify their judgments or orders is not for the faint of heart.  Informing a trial judge that he or she has likely goofed is not fun, but it is often necessary.  Indeed, the Appellate Rules usually force litigants to alert trial judges to potential errors in the hopes that they will fix their errors—saving valuable judicial and party resources by obviating the need for an appeal. … Continue Reading

COVID-19 interrupted the plans of many North Carolina law students.  In-person classes (Cancelled).  Students (Sent home).  Summer internships (Postponed, shortened, or cancelled).

In the midst of these upheavals, the Court of Appeals showed aspiring advocates how to turn lemons into lemonade.  Judges Richard Dietz and Phil Berger, Jr. created a five-week, no-cost, online seminar for law students.  The topic?  North Carolina appellate practice and procedure. … Continue Reading

A recording of North Carolina’s first virtual oral argument is now available for viewing.   Because the video stream began before the actual arguments commenced, insight is available into how the Court of Appeals and the advocates worked through some technical kinks in the process.  (A round of applause to IT Superhero Fred Wood, who appeared to be getting quite a workout running between offices). … Continue Reading

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.
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As previously reported here, the Supreme Court of North Carolina at the end of March issued an order extending all appellate court deadlines falling between March 27 and April 30, 2020 for 60 days.

As a service to the bar, the Clerks of the Supreme Court and Court of Appeals have posted answers to some of the most frequently asked questions they have received about the order. … Continue Reading

On Tuesday, Troy posted on the uncertainty surrounding how North Carolina appeals are being impacted by the coronavirus pandemic.  On Thursday, the Chief Justice issued a catastrophic conditions order extending deadlines and other court proceedings for one month.  Notably, this extension order does not apply to documents filed or acts to be done in the appellate courts. (But see final two paragraphs below).… Continue Reading