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

Last year we reported here when the Supreme Court obtained a new oral argument timing system to assist counsel and the Court in keeping track of oral argument time remaining.  We recently learned that the Court of Appeals added the same or similar system to its oral argument podium.

While I have not yet seen the Court of Appeals’ system up-close, you can catch a peak of it by watching WRAL’s video of the ACC v.Continue Reading

Continuing a recent trend of tackling more thorny civil cases, the Supreme Court of North Carolina will hear three high-profile civil cases this October.  Notably, two of the three cases are before the Court in its discretion (not by appeal of right).

As part of our ongoing coverage of the Supreme Court, we offer here a preview of the issues confronting the Court in those three cases. … Continue Reading

The NCBA’s Appellate Rules Committee recently updated its oral argument guides. 

The only real substantive change to note in the comparison chart is that counsel can now take electronic devices like laptops and phones into the Fourth Circuit courthouse.  However, these electronic devices must remain in the off position while in the courtrooms.  This change was instituted because previously counsel who checked out of  hotels the morning of oral arguments had to leave their valuable electronic devices outside of the courthouse or ask the security guards to hold them.  … Continue Reading

As previously mentioned here, the NC Association of Defense Attorneys recently held its annual practical skills CLE for young lawyers.  The practical skill covered this year was appellate oral argument.

After multiple rounds of oral argument, the final round of the mock appellate argument competition was held at the North Carolina Supreme Court.  The final round was judged by experienced oral advocates, including several North Carolina appellate judges. … Continue Reading

If you are a blog subscriber, you may have noticed some repetitive traffic from our blog mailing list this past week.  We apologize for the inconvenience, but are pleased to announce that the blog was recently moved to a faster server.   With this move, the blog pages should load much faster for our blog visitors. 

This behind-the-scenes update also presents an opportunity to highlight one of the key features of our appellate practice blog that you may not know about: the Rules and Practice Guides page. … Continue Reading

The Appellate Rules Committee recently released two new “Guides for Counsel.” These oral argument guides are designed to assist attorneys arguing before the North Carolina Supreme Court and North Carolina Court of Appeals.  For example, the guides provide tips for preparing for oral argument, as well as practical information regarding the location of the courts, where to park, how your oral argument time is monitored, where to sit, and whether your argument notes will fit on the podium.… Continue Reading

A few days ago, we told you here that the North Carolina Supreme Court had a new oral argument timing system.  Since that time, we took a trip to the North Carolina Supreme Court to get more details (and pictures) of the new system in “mock” action. 

As you can see from the photos below, the new timer system has two components. … Continue Reading