Honestly, I’m not a headhunter in disguise.  A few days after my March 15 “Now Hiring” post, the Supreme Court posted another position: Special Counsel for Public Affairs & Innovation. Looks like the Supreme Court is looking for someone to assist the Court and the AOC in managing its relationships with the legislative branches of the government. (For the twitter-oriented, AOC is the acronym that was synonymous with North Carolina’s Administrative Office of the Courts long before Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez hit the Twitter scene.).… Continue Reading

In October 2018, I gave a CLE presentations with (now recently sworn in) Judge Allegra Collins: “Life Preservers on the Titanic: Issues Not Properly Preserved for Appellate Review.”  Part of the presentation posed this question: Can the General Assembly enact a rule or law that automatically preserves certain issues for appellate review?  At the time, the answer to that question was as follows:

  • Yes
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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

If you don’t put postage stamps on your holiday cards, they aren’t going to make it to their intended destinations. Similarly, if you don’t have a file stamp on the order you are attempting to appeal, you aren’t going to get a ruling on the merits from the appellate court.  At least that’s what the Court of Appeals held in its opinion on Tuesday in McKinney v.Continue Reading

On June 9, 2017, the Supreme Court of North Carolina issued a unanimous opinion holding that when an employer admits the compensability of an injury under the Worker’s Compensation Act, the injured worker is thereafter entitled to a presumption that future medical treatments are causally related to the original compensable injury. Before the ink could dry on Wilkes v. City of Greenville, a “broad coalition of private and public organizations” convinced the General Assembly to essentially nullify the impact of the Supreme Court’s decision.… Continue Reading

North Carolina Court of Appeals Judge Doug McCullough earlier today announced his retirement from the bench, effective immediately, only a month and a few days before he was to reach the mandatory retirement age on May 28.  Governor Roy Cooper immediately appointed former Court of Appeals judge John Arrowood to fill the seat left vacant by Judge McCullough’s early retirement. … Continue Reading

It was just over one year ago that I wrote about the authority of one appellate panel to overrule another panel when the issue is one of jurisdiction. Last week, the Supreme Court of North Carolina issued an opinion in that case that helps to explain the jurisdiction of the appellate courts. The opinion may also offer a preview of the analysis we will see in the pending State v.Continue Reading

When reading through recent batches of opinions from the North Carolina Court of Appeals, you may notice a new feature: a statement regarding the Court’s jurisdiction. While such a statement is required in an appellant’s brief, see N.C. R. App. P. 28(b)(4), it is not required in an opinion. And although the Court has addressed jurisdiction if necessary, opinions have not traditionally included a separate statement on jurisdiction when it was not in dispute.… Continue Reading

We have blogged several times on the fact that North Carolina is one of only two states that does not allow a federal court to certify questions to its state courts for guidance on issues of state law.  Recently, a Fourth Circuit concurrence by Judge Thacker contained another public plea for North Carolina to adopt a certification mechanism–quickly. In Stahle v.Continue Reading

Sometimes the juiciest info is found in the comments.  In October, I blogged about State v. Biddix—a Court of Appeals’ opinion that appeared to significantly limit the Court of Appeals’ certiorari authority under Appellate Rule 21.  Even though a state statute specifically granted a criminal defendant the right to challenge his guilty plea by writ of certiorari, the Biddix court held that this statutory authority was trumped by Appellate Rule 21, which does not specifically authorize review of guilty pleas by certiorari.… Continue Reading