Appellate Specialization

The North Carolina State Bar announced last week that four attorneys had met the practice requirements and passed the examination necessary to be designated as Board Certified Specialists in Appellate Practice.  Congratulations to Pat Kane, Kip Nelson, Sherri Horner Lawrence, and Mark Sigmon!

With the addition of Pat and Kip to the rank of specialist, Fox Rothschild (nee Smith Moore Leatherwood) now boasts five board certified specialists as members of the firm’s North Carolina appellate team. … Continue Reading

Note: My colleague, Pat Kane, wrote a must-read article on final judgments losing their finality  today that you should not overlook.

I recently wrote an article for the State Bar’s Board of Legal Specialization highlighting current tips and traps in appellate practice and procedure. Because the article hyperlinks extensively to more detailed blog content, it is a handy roadmap to hotbed issues facing today’s appellate practitioners. … Continue Reading

Are you interested in honing your appellate practice skills?  Want to hear about some of the resources that are available to help you research and write more effectively?  Still need some CLE credit this year?

The Appellate Practice Section of the North Carolina Bar Association is hosting its CLE and annual meeting on Friday, September 30th at the Bar Center in Cary. … Continue Reading

The NC State Bar’s Board of Legal Specialization is accepting applications for board certification in appellate practice now through July 1, 2016.  Certification is granted by the Board of Legal Specialization to assist members of the public in identifying lawyers who are experienced and knowledgeable in their area of legal need. The program also seeks to improve the competency of members of the bar by establishing an additional incentive for lawyers to continue to learn and grow in their practice areas.… Continue Reading

The NC State Bar Board of Legal Specialization is accepting applications now through July 1, 2015.  Board certification provides a great way to enhance your career.  Certification is granted by the Board of Legal Specialization and assists members of the public to identify lawyers who are experienced and knowledgeable in their area of legal need. The program also seeks to improve the competency of members of the bar by establishing an additional incentive for lawyers to continue to learn and grow in their practice areas.… Continue Reading

“Brevity is appreciated.”  “A short brief can be very effective.” How many times have you heard appellate judges make statements like this about appellate briefs?  While I can most certainly understand an appellate judge’s desire for shorter briefs, a soon-to-be-published article in the Journal of Empirical Legal Studies examines whether more concise briefs are correlated with success on appeal.  The full paper is accessible here, but the abstract notes surprisingly that for civil appellants in the Ninth Circuit, “briefs of greater length are strongly correlated with success on appeal.… Continue Reading

On  November 24, 2014, the North Carolina State Bar’s Board of Legal Specialization announced the latest group of board certified specialists.  Two new Appellate Practice Specialists were certified, including Smith Moore Leatherwood appellate attorney and regular contributor to this blog, Matt Leerberg.  Vernon Sumwalt, already a board certified Workers Compensation Law Specialist, also added appellate practice to his specialization repertoire.… Continue Reading

In the latest court appointment news, Governor McCroy has appointed Richard “Rich” Dietz to the North Carolina Court of Appeals seat being vacated by Judge Bob N. Hunter’s impending appointment to the North Carolina Supreme Court.

Soon to be Judge Dietz is no stranger to appeals.   In addition to having an active appellate practice, Judge Dietz is vice-chair of the NCBA’s Appellate Practice Section, a long-time member of North Carolina’s Appellate Rules Committee, and will be one of only two board certified appellate practice specialists on the North Carolina Court of Appeals.… Continue Reading

For those eyeing an appellate practice specialization, don’t miss the upcoming CLE, “2012 View From the Bench” at the Grandover Resort in Greensboro on December 13, 2012.  The CLE will feature the sitting Chief Judge on the North Carolina Court of Appeals, Judge John Martin, as well as several other jurists and thinkers.  The CLE qualifies towards the requirements for the appellate practice specialization.… Continue Reading

On November 21, 2011, the North Carolina State Bar’s Board of Legal Specialization announced the latest group of board certified specialists. The Board also certified North Carolina’s first-ever crop of Appellate Practice Specialists–including Justice Jim Exum and Beth Scherer, two Smith Moore Leatherwood appellate attorneys and contributors to this blog.

The new Appellate Specialists are:

Christopher Browning Jr., Raleigh
Michelle Connell, Raleigh
Justice James Exum, Raleigh
Judge Martha Geer, Raleigh
Tobias Hampson, Raleigh
John Korzen, Winston-Salem
John Maddrey, Raleigh
Jonathan McGirt, Raleigh
Justice Burley Mitchell, Raleigh
Preston Odom, Charlotte
Frank Queen, Waynesville
Leslie Rawls, Charlotte
Douglas Ruley, Leichester
Matthew Sawchak, Raleigh
Elizabeth Scherer, Raleigh

Congratulations to all of the new board-certified Appellate Specialists!Continue Reading