This week, the Court of Appeals reiterated the bounds of Rule 54(b) certification, highlighting that the language of the rule—which allows a party to immediately appeal from “a final judgment as to one or more but fewer than all of the claims or parties”—is only applicable when a judgment is, in fact, final.

In Lennar Carolinas, LLC v. County of Union, the Court of Appeals was asked to review the denial of a summary judgment motion by the County.… Continue Reading

Last week, the State of Arizona made an interesting litigation decision.

As part of the ongoing litigation over the opioid crisis, Arizona filed a complaint against Purdue Pharmaceuticals and its owners, the Sackler family, alleging violations of Arizona’s Uniform Fraudulent Transfer Act. The suit alleges that the Sacklers stripped the assets of Purdue by making large cash transfers out of the company, and that these transfers threatened Purdue’s ability to satisfy possible upcoming judgments stemming from civil suits arising out of the opioid crisis.… Continue Reading

Late last week, the Supreme Court issued a ruling in two cases concerning the constitutionality of political gerrymandering: Rucho v. Common Cause, a case arising out of North Carolina, and Lamone v. Benisek, arising out of Maryland. Rucho, which readers of this blog are likely familiar with, involves a challenge to the redistricting plan originally enacted by the Republican-controlled legislature in 2016. … Continue Reading

On Monday, October 28, 2019, the Fourth Circuit will be sponsoring a Criminal Appellate Practice Seminar at the Omni Hotel in Richmond, Virginia. There will be panels and presentations on effective writing and oral advocacy, an appellate ethics session, updates on recent Supreme Court and Fourth Circuit cases, as well as other useful tips on appellate practice in the Fourth Circuit.… Continue Reading

The Office of the Solicitor General of North Carolina is seeking applications for a new Assistant Solicitor General! The Assistant Solicitor General participates in all aspects of the office’s operations, including drafting appellate briefs and presenting oral argument in both state and federal appellate courts. In addition to getting to work on some of the highest profile appellate cases in North Carolina, the Assistant Solicitor General also has the opportunity to work closely with North Carolina’s Solicitor General, the inestimable Matt Sawchak.… Continue Reading

The Supreme Court’s Office of Administrative Counsel has published an up-to-date set of the General Rules of Practice for the Superior and District Courts of North Carolina.  This is the first codification of the Rules since the promulgation of the rule set in 1970.  The Court has adopted many amendments to the rules that differ in form and style from the original, and so in order to improve readability and clarity, the Administrative Counsel has made several non-substantive changes to the form and style of the new codification that differ from the “as-approved” rule.… Continue Reading

The Supreme Court of North Carolina isn’t wasting any time in getting back to work after the 2018 elections.  As Matt wrote  last week, after the election, the Court cancelled oral arguments that had been previously scheduled for December, a common practice when an incumbent is leaving the Court. One of the affected cases was Dickson v. Rucho, the North Carolina gerrymandering case that has been winding its way through the State and Federal Court systems since 2011.… Continue Reading

The North Carolina Court of Appeals recently issued an opinion that serves as a helpful reminder about what must be included in a record on appeal.

In Burton Construction Cleanup & Landscaping, Inc. v. Outlawed Diesel Performance, LLC, the plaintiffs sued over allegedly defective car repairs. The plaintiffs appealed following a trial, arguing in relevant part that the trial court had erred in (1) denying their motion for summary judgment, which had been filed and heard prior to trial, and (2) granting the defendant’s motion for directed verdict.… Continue Reading

Lawsuits regarding North Carolina’s congressional maps, originally drawn in 2011 and the subject of seemingly endless litigation, are once again back before the Supreme Court of North Carolina. This time, however, the trip may be short.

First, some background: the suits at issue here were originally filed challenging several state and congressional districts on the basis of racial gerrymandering. Following multiple rounds of appeals to, and remands from, the United States Supreme Court and several intervening decisions in related cases, the Wake County Superior Court issued a final order on February 11, 2018, concluding that the challenged districts were unconstitutional but that no further remedy could be offered since the maps had already been redrawn, and dismissing the other claims as moot.… Continue Reading

As I wrote last week, after the Supreme Court held that the plaintiffs in Gill v. Whitford had failed to prove that they had standing to bring their voter dilution claims, the best chance for the Supreme Court to actually reach the merits of political gerrymandering any time soon lay with a case out of North Carolina, Rucho v. Common Cause.… Continue Reading