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

Is there institutional disharmony in the Fourth Circuit? That’s the question that one judge suggested, in a concurring opinion, that lawyers and judges might be asking after an en banc opinion released on Tuesday.  In response, the judge whose dissenting opinion prompted the question submitted that the apparent tension we are witnessing within the Court is simply a “vigorous exchange of views over basic and fundamental principles of law,” and that such a “robust” exchange enhances “mutual respect and collegiality.”… 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

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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Chief Justice Mark Martin of the Supreme Court of North Carolina delivered the State of the Judiciary Address at the NC Bar Association’s annual meeting this morning.  The address included a call to action to the General Assembly:  submit to the people of the State a constitutional amendment allowing merit selection of judges.   This charge was quite well received in the room, as the bar association has been working for decades to reform how we select judges in North Carolina.… Continue Reading

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

After 12 years of service on the North Carolina Court of Appeals, Judge Sanford Steelman retired from the bench effective June 30, 2014.  (For the curious, this is part of the reason for the flood of opinions issued by the Court of Appeals over the last several weeks, as the court needed to clear out Judge Steelman’s docket.)  I, for one, am particularly grateful for Judge Steelman’s years of service to the Appellate Rules Committee, and wish him well going forward.… Continue Reading