It’s been a hot topic for years: does the North Carolina Supreme Court want to hear from amici when the Court is weighing whether to allow discretionary review of a decision of the Court of Appeals?

You can see why amicus participation would be helpful. In North Carolina, one statutory pathway to discretionary review is showing that “the subject matter of the appeal has significant public interest.”… Continue Reading

On Friday, the Supreme Court of North Carolina amended Rules 28, 29, and 33.1 of the North Carolina Rules of Appellate Procedure.  While the most significant changes involve amicus curiae briefs, the Supreme Court also took a baby step into the world of mandatory appellate e-filing.  A summary of the changes—including my initial thoughts on different features of and questions that could arise under the amendments—follows.… Continue Reading

A party has an appeal of right to our Supreme Court from certain decisions of the Court of Appeals under N.C. Gen. Stat. § 7A-30.  The overwhelming majority of those appeals of right are taken from Court of Appeals decisions in which there was a dissent.  N.C. Gen. Stat. § 7A-30(2).  Section 7A-30(2) has an oft-forgotten sibling, however.  Section 7A-30(1) provides the right to appellate review by the Supreme Court of any decision of the Court of Appeals that “directly involves a substantial question arising under the Constitution of the United States or of this State.”… Continue Reading

There is an unwritten rule regarding the Supreme Court of North Carolina’s willingness to consider amicus input:  Amicus briefs are welcomed during briefing on the merits, but the Court does not want to read amicus briefs supporting or opposing the granting of discretionary review.  Does the same rule apply to amicus motions at the petition stage?

In at least two recent cases, the Supreme Court has granted a motion for leave to file an amicus brief when that motion was submitted alongside the petition for discretionary review. … Continue Reading