While we normally focus on procedural issues in North Carolina appellate law, a trio of recently decided United States Supreme Court cases arising out of North Carolina affect everyone living in this state.  So in a departure from the norm, what follows is an analysis of these cases and how they will impact both the present and future of electoral districts in the Tar Heel state.… 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

Confession: until today, I did not realize there was a divide. When making the possessive of a singular noun ending in s, I always added the extra s after the apostrophe. My last name ends in s, so I ought to know, right?

According to legal writing guru Bryan Garner, most prefer s’s (e.g., Jones’s confession), but using the apostrophe alone, without the extra s (e.g.,… Continue Reading

Jerry Hartzell recently published an article in the April 2014 issue of the North Carolina Advocates for Justice’s Trial Briefs. The article is entitled “Probability of Success on Appeal: Reversal Rates for the Fourth Circuit and the North Carolina Court of Appeals.”

The article is worth an independent read, but Jerry concluded that in 2013 “the North Carolina Court of Appeals reversal rate (in whole or in part) exceeded the Fourth Circuit’s reversal rate by a factor of ten.” … Continue Reading