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

It doesn’t take long for those who read judicial opinions to come across an unsigned, “per curiam” decision. Many decisions from the U.S. Supreme Court, federal circuit courts, and our state Supreme Court are short-ish opinions that are not ascribed to a single judge or justice. There is a long history of using such opinions “by the court.”

The most recent batch of opinions from the Court of Appeals included 5 unpublished per curiam opinions.… Continue Reading

The future is now, and the NCBA Appellate Practice Section wants to help you be ready.  With the state’s appellate courts, and other courts around the country, going to remote videoconference hearings because of the Coronavirus pandemic, a special program has been put together for May 27.  It is described as follows:

Appellate Practice Section Panel
Preparing for WebEx Oral Arguments in NC Appellate Courts

You are invited to join the Appellate Practice Section for a Zoom panel to learn about preparing for and presenting remote video oral argument in our NC Appellate Courts via WebEx.

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Last year, I blogged about State v. Ellis where a passing motorist gave a Highway Patrol trooper the middle-finger salute and was arrested for his trouble.  A divided Court of Appeals allowed the defendant’s conviction to stand.  The case made it to the Supreme Court, which recently issued an opinion reversing the conviction.

A quick recap of our story.  A trooper was assisting motorists when he noticed that the passenger in a car driving by had extended his hand out the window and was waving. … Continue Reading

A recording of North Carolina’s first virtual oral argument is now available for viewing.   Because the video stream began before the actual arguments commenced, insight is available into how the Court of Appeals and the advocates worked through some technical kinks in the process.  (A round of applause to IT Superhero Fred Wood, who appeared to be getting quite a workout running between offices). … Continue Reading

As previously reported here, the Supreme Court of North Carolina at the end of March issued an order extending all appellate court deadlines falling between March 27 and April 30, 2020 for 60 days.

As a service to the bar, the Clerks of the Supreme Court and Court of Appeals have posted answers to some of the most frequently asked questions they have received about the order. … Continue Reading

On Tuesday, Troy posted on the uncertainty surrounding how North Carolina appeals are being impacted by the coronavirus pandemic.  On Thursday, the Chief Justice issued a catastrophic conditions order extending deadlines and other court proceedings for one month.  Notably, this extension order does not apply to documents filed or acts to be done in the appellate courts. (But see final two paragraphs below).… Continue Reading

Last Friday, Chief Justice Beasley of the Supreme Court of North Carolina, held a press conference on the State judiciary’s response to the coronavirus pandemic.  Most of the announcements during the conference focused on the trial courts.  But there was also some information given during the press conference, and since then, about how the appellate courts are dealing with the pandemic.… Continue Reading

Last Amish Horse and Carriageweek, the Court of Appeals returned to a general question that this blog has addressed before: When is a Notice of Appeal Filing Deadline or Requirement Jurisdictional?  In this instance, the specific issue was whether the Court has jurisdiction over an appeal when a notice of appeal was filed and the record on appeal was filed and the appeal docketed before the trial court entered the order that was being appealed.… Continue Reading

It continues to amaze me how difficult it is for the public to access basic information about the upcoming elections for open seats on the Supreme Court of North Carolina and the Court of Appeals.  While stories with political angles find their way into the press, the fundamentals—which seats are open, why those seats are open, who is running, why voters should care—get little coverage. … Continue Reading