On Friday, the Supreme Court of North Carolina amended Rules 28, 29, and 33.1 of the North Carolina Rules of Appellate Procedure.  While the most significant changes involve amicus curiae briefs, the Supreme Court also took a baby step into the world of mandatory appellate e-filing.  A summary of the changes—including my initial thoughts on different features of and questions that could arise under the amendments—follows.… Continue Reading

Confession. I don’t do Twitter.  Social media platforms like Facebook and LinkedIn already drive me semi-crazy. (How many posts do you scroll through before giving yourself permission to stop!?!? And why can’t everything be on one platform?!?!).  Judge Richard Dietz of the North Carolina Court of Appeals, however, has me searching for my twitter password.  On Monday, Judge Dietz tweeted the following:

Tomorrow, the N.C.

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In May 2016, we reported how the Supreme Court of North Carolina held oral argument in Morganton, North Carolina for the first time in over a hundred years.  A year later, eastern North Carolina is getting its own Supreme Court visit. On Tuesday, May 9 (tomorrow) the Supreme Court will hear oral argument in two cases at Edenton’s Historic Chowan County Courthouse: one at 9:30 a.m.… Continue Reading

On Monday afternoon, Bryan Boyd, Clerk of the Supreme Court of North Carolina, informed affected counsel that the December 2016 oral argument calendar–previously  scheduled for the week of December 12– has been cancelled.  The affected cases have not yet been rescheduled.

With Justice-elect Michael Morgan set to join the bench in January 2017, speculation is whirling as to whether the Supreme Court is seeking to wrap up cases before Justice Edmunds’ departure. … Continue Reading

According to an analysis by Kenzie Rakes at her new blog www.ncappellatestats.com, about one-in-seven, or 14%, of cases in the North Carolina Court of Appeals were orally argued in 2015.

That may seem like a low number, but remember that the denominator of that fraction includes pro se cases and others that would not make for a productive in-person discussion of the issues.  … Continue Reading

No tattling allowed if someone buys scalped tickets to attend this event. For the first time since the Civil War era, the Supreme Court of North Carolina is preparing a westward trek to Morganton, North Carolina for two oral argument sessions. The ticket-only event will occur on Tuesday, May 17, and Wednesday, May 18 in the Old Burke County Courthouse.

Cases being heard include a challenge by the Cleveland County Schools System to the funding of charter schools and a constitutional challenge to a statute changing control of Asheville’s water system from the city to the metropolitan sewer district.… Continue Reading

UNC School of Law has just launched an ambitious moot-court program for practitioners, organized by the law school’s Holderness Moot Court program and its faculty advisor, Professor Donald Hornstein.  Anyone with an upcoming argument in the Supreme Court of North Carolina or the North Carolina Court of Appeals is eligible to participate.  The Program will put together a panel of moot-court judges, including a faculty member and a law student, to ask questions of the advocate in UNC’s moot courtroom.… Continue Reading

The Fourth Circuit will hear oral arguments at Campbell’s law school in downtown Raleigh on September 17.  A panel of the court will consider three cases, including a First Amendment case and two criminal appeals.  Of course, the identity of the panel members will not be revealed until the morning of the arguments.

I think it very likely that the law school’s courtroom will be packed, and seating is on a first-come-first-served basis. … Continue Reading

Yesterday, the Maryland Appellate Blog featured remarks from the Fourth Circuit’s newest federal appellate judge, Pamela Harris, on the Fourth Circuit’s collaborative culture.  The remarks from Judge Harris are particularly insightful because she had a robust appellate practice before joining the Fourth Circuit.  Want to know more about how Judge Harris approaches briefs and oral arguments?  What appellate tactics “go over like a lead balloon” at the Fourth Circuit? … Continue Reading

On Monday, the North Carolina Supreme Court heard oral argument in Cubbage v. The Board of Trustees of the Endowment Fund of NC State University (a.k.a., the “Hofmann Forest appeal”)  The appeal involves environmental groups’ efforts to stop N.C. State’s sale of Hofmann Forest.  As we previously reported here, the Hofmann Forest appeal is one of five cases that the North Carolina Supreme Court sua sponte “grabbed” on 10 October for consideration before the Court of Appeals could decide the cases. … Continue Reading