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

Last week I blogged about an en banc opinion from the Fourth Circuit for which authorship of the majority opinion was attributed to two judges.  (See here) This week from the Fourth Circuit came another two judge oddity-a panel opinion in which the panel consisted of only two judges.

28 U.S.C.  § 46 governs the makeup of Circuit Court panels, and directs in subsection b that each circuit “may authorize the hearing and determination of cases and controversies by separate panels, each consisting of three judges…unless such judges cannot sit because recused or disqualified, or unless the chief judge of that court certifies that there is an emergency including, but not limited to, the unavailability of a judge of the court because of illness.”… Continue Reading

On Monday, Governor Roy Cooper appointed Judge Mark Davis to the Associate Justice seat recently vacated by now-Chief Justice Beasley. Soon-to-be Justice Davis has served on the North Carolina Court of Appeals since 2012. Ironically, Judge Davis’s appointment to the Court of Appeals in 2012 was to fill the vacant seat created by then-Judge Beasley’s elevation to the Supreme Court.

Before serving on the Court of Appeals, Judge Davis served for five years as a Special Deputy Attorney General in the North Carolina Department of Justice.… Continue Reading

Note: much of the information below comes from The American Lawyer’s October 23 “Daily Dicta,” by Jenna Greene.

He started as a pro se plaintiff alleging First Amendment (and other) violations by a number of federal judges, an FBI agent, and a US Marshal.  Now William Bond has been represented by some of the heaviest of legal heavyweights as his case makes its way up towards the highest court in the land. … Continue Reading

Judge Bill Pittman and I will sit down for a fireside chat this Monday to muse about the private practice of law, with a view from the bench and from the bar.  As part of the Open World international exchange program, we will be hosting the discussion for the benefit of a visiting delegation from the Moldovan judiciary.   The Moldovan delegation is especially interested in how lawyers and judges are trained and interact in the United States.… Continue Reading

The President issued a thirteenth wave of federal judicial nominations on Thursday, including two new Fourth Circuit nominations:  Marvin Quattlebaum and Jay Richardson, both from South Carolina.

The White House Press Release had this to say about Judge Quattlebaum, who joined the federal district court bench only a few weeks ago:

If confirmed, A. Marvin Quattlebaum, Jr., of South Carolina will serve as a Circuit Judge on the U.S.

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Imagine that Judge Waldo has orally ruled against your client.  A proposed written order has been submitted by the parties to the trial court.  You are gearing up for an appeal.  However, before a written order is entered, Judge Waldo wins the lottery and immediately retires to explore the world.  Can another trial court judge sign the proposed order?  Can a substitute judge rule on a new trial motion?… Continue Reading

On Tuesday, October 24, 2017, Chief Justice Mark Martin issued the following statement about Senate Bill 698, which seeks to amend the North Carolina Constitution to provide for two-year terms for all judges and justices in North Carolina:

Statement of Chief Justice Mark Martin on Senate Bill 698

Nowhere in America do voters elect their general jurisdiction judges for two-year terms of office.

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As previously blogged about here, here, here, and here, the North Carolina General Assembly recently passed a bill that would reduce the number of seats on the North Carolina Court of Appeals from 15 to 12.  Now the constitutionality of the bill is being challenged in court by North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper, who had vetoed the bill but then saw that veto overridden by the General Assembly. … 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