In Batson v. Kentucky, 476 U.S. 79 (1986), the U.S. Supreme Court held that the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment prevents prosecutors in criminal cases from exercising peremptory challenges to excuse prospective jurors solely on account of their race.  As illustrated by State v. Campbell COA18-998-2, filed 21 July 2020, application of that 1986 decision is not easy.… Continue Reading

Almost two years ago, I blogged about a relatively rare phenomenon: a published denial of a petition for rehearing.  Back then, two recent Fourth Circuit cases had produced petitions for rehearing and then subsequent denials of those petitions. But while decisions denying rehearing are typically just one-sentence orders, with nothing more by way of explanation, those two cases had prompted judges to write separately to express their views on the issues at the core of the petitions.… Continue Reading

scary pictureSince 2015, this blog has frequently discussed whether the text of Appellate Rule 21 places restrictions on the Court of Appeals’ authority to grant relief by writ of certiorari.   See here, here, here, here, herehere, and here.   The Supreme Court has also written frequently about whether the text of Appellate Rule 21 places restrictions on the Court of Appeals’ discretionary authority to grant relief by writ of certiorari.… Continue Reading

A few weeks ago, the North Carolina Court of Appeals in Connor v. Connor rejected an argument that a notice of appeal signed by a pro se litigant was defective under Appellate Rule 3(d) “and thus did not confer jurisdiction.”  Appellate Rule 3(d) states that a notice of appeal must “be signed by counsel of record of the party or parties taking the appeal[] or by any such party not represented by counsel of record.”… Continue Reading

Last week’s batch of opinions from the Court of Appeals includes a procedurally complicated case in which the court granted a writ of certiorari–only to dismiss a large portion of the appeal “as untimely and interlocutory.”  The opinion shines light on several faulty presumptions that can trip up an appeal. Intrigued?  Read on.

In Engility v. Nell, the defendants sought review of two orders:  (1) a February 2017 order granting a motion to quash and imposing sanctions, and (2) a Rule 60 order denying relief as to the February 2017 order because the defendants contended that they had not received adequate notice and an opportunity to be heard on the motion to quash.… Continue Reading

The UNC School of Government recently released an updated manual on abuse, neglect, dependency, and termination of parental rights.  The online version of the updated manual is located hereChapter 12 addresses appeals and is a must read for those working in this area of appellate practice.  For more information on the manual and its purpose, see the School of Government’s blog post found here. Continue Reading