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There is a school of thought in legal writing that you should never put anything too important in footnotes, as some readers might skip over them.  See, e.g., https://www.legalwritingpro.com/articles/the-lowdown-on-footnotes/.  Well, if you are one of those readers, then you would have missed a good footnote from an unpublished Fourth Circuit opinion issued on Monday.    The opinion starts with the sentence “This appeal presents conflict of laws and conflict of interests questions in an insurance coverage dispute.” … Continue Reading

North Carolina General Statute § 7A-30(2) allows for an appeal as of right to the Supreme Court of North Carolina from “any decision of the Court of Appeals rendered in a case…in which there is a dissent.”  Seems pretty straightforward, yes?  If the Court of Appeals issues a decision and one of the judges writes a dissenting opinion, then the losing party can automatically get the case to the Supreme Court, right? … Continue Reading

Another week, another published ruling on an en banc rehearing petition from the Fourth Circuit.  Last week we saw Judge Niemeyer arguing in a published concurring opinion that en banc review should be denied so that the case of Gavin Grimm could proceed more quickly to the Supreme Court.  (Conversely, Judge Wynn concurred with the denial on the grounds that the panel majority was completely consistent with Supreme Court’s recent precedent, and thus there was no need for further review at all, by any court.)   … Continue Reading

A few years ago I wrote about The Curious Cases(s) of the Published Denial of Rehearing.  In that post,  which focused on two published denials of rehearing from the Fourth Circuit in the span of a week, I noted a prior instance of this relatively rare occurrence in the much publicized case of Gavin Grimm (then known in the caption as “G.G.”),… Continue Reading

The Fourth Circuit announced today that in-person oral arguments would continue to be suspended for the October 27-30 argument session.  As with the September session, cases assigned to pre-argument review “will be scheduled for argument by video-conference or teleconference, submitted on the briefs, or continued to a later session, at the direction of the panels in each case.”

Link to announcement is here.… Continue Reading

The Fourth Circuit has extended its suspension of the Local Rule 36(a) requirement that published opinions have oral argument.  Effective immediately, Chief Judge Gregory has extended Standing Order 20-01, originally adopted on March 23, 2020, to allow for published opinions without argument in “cases assigned for pre-argument review, tentatively calendared, or calendared for argument while in-person argument sessions are suspended due to the coronavirus.” … Continue Reading

Can a party “manufacture” appellate jurisdiction for an otherwise interlocutory appeal through the voluntary dismissal of remaining claims?  That question was generally answered in the negative by the Supreme Court in 2017 in Microsoft Corp. v. Baker, 137 S. Ct. 1702 (2017).  There, the Court held that  plaintiffs could not subvert the final-judgment requirement for appellate jurisdiction from 28 U.S.C.… Continue Reading