I.  You Can’t Have One Without the Other: Notice of Appeal Must Designate Both Final Judgment and Intermediate Order

Approximately three years ago, I blogged on Majerske v. Majerske, an unpublished Court of Appeals decision that dismissed an appeal for a notice of appeal defect.  Reason: The notice of appeal identified the intermediate order that the appellant was challenging on appeal, but not the trial court order that converted the case into a final judgment.… Continue Reading

On June 9, 2017, the Supreme Court of North Carolina issued a unanimous opinion holding that when an employer admits the compensability of an injury under the Worker’s Compensation Act, the injured worker is thereafter entitled to a presumption that future medical treatments are causally related to the original compensable injury. Before the ink could dry on Wilkes v. City of Greenville, a “broad coalition of private and public organizations” convinced the General Assembly to essentially nullify the impact of the Supreme Court’s decision.… Continue Reading

We have blogged several times on the fact that North Carolina is one of only two states that does not allow a federal court to certify questions to its state courts for guidance on issues of state law.  Recently, a Fourth Circuit concurrence by Judge Thacker contained another public plea for North Carolina to adopt a certification mechanism–quickly. In Stahle v.Continue Reading

I can’t pass up the opportunity to blog about an appellate case titled Don’t Do It, [Sic] Empire, LLC v. Tenntex, COA 15-938 (Mar. 1, 2016) ([sic] in original)—especially when that case involves a failure to preserve an issue for appellate review under Appellate Rule 10. I also feel compelled to write about the Court of Appeals’ published opinion in State v.Continue Reading

A party has an appeal of right to our Supreme Court from certain decisions of the Court of Appeals under N.C. Gen. Stat. § 7A-30.  The overwhelming majority of those appeals of right are taken from Court of Appeals decisions in which there was a dissent.  N.C. Gen. Stat. § 7A-30(2).  Section 7A-30(2) has an oft-forgotten sibling, however.  Section 7A-30(1) provides the right to appellate review by the Supreme Court of any decision of the Court of Appeals that “directly involves a substantial question arising under the Constitution of the United States or of this State.”… Continue Reading

Sometimes the juiciest info is found in the comments.  In October, I blogged about State v. Biddix—a Court of Appeals’ opinion that appeared to significantly limit the Court of Appeals’ certiorari authority under Appellate Rule 21.  Even though a state statute specifically granted a criminal defendant the right to challenge his guilty plea by writ of certiorari, the Biddix court held that this statutory authority was trumped by Appellate Rule 21, which does not specifically authorize review of guilty pleas by certiorari.… Continue Reading

In what is sure to fuel an already vigorous political debate, the North Carolina Supreme Court upheld North Carolina’s school voucher program yesterday, dissolving the trial court’s injunction prohibiting disbursement of funds to private and religious schools on behalf of qualified students.  In Hart v. State of North Carolina, the Court ruled that the school voucher legislation was constitutional, stating that “the wisdom of the enactment is a decision for the General Assembly,” not the courts.… Continue Reading

In June, we blogged on how a United States Supreme Court decision interpreting a North Carolina statute of repose had created some strange bedfellows in the General Assembly–which had almost immediately rushed to “clarify” North Carolina’s statute of repose.  The General Assembly’s “clarification” efforts were directed toward saving lawsuits pending in the Eleventh Circuit that had been brought by U.S. Marines and their families who had been exposed to toxic groundwater at Camp Lejeune.… Continue Reading

On Friday, most of the NCAPB bloggers were attending the NCBA’s annual appellate practice CLE.  However, a buzz of non-CLE chatter was excitedly circulating around the room.  Had anyone ever heard of the Supreme Court–on its own initiative–taking a case from the Court of Appeals before a decision was filed?  By the time I left the CLE, I had confirmed that two pending cases, and potentially a third, had been sua sponte removed from the Court of Appeals’ docket and placed on the Supreme Court’s docket for discretionary review while we were attending the CLE.  … Continue Reading

It was a pleasant surprise this morning to discover that the Maryland State Bar Association’s Maryland Appellate Blog was discussing a point of North Carolina appellate practice and procedure.

The impetus of the discussion was the United States Supreme Court’s recent decision in CTS Corp. v. Waldburger, where the Court was called on to decide whether the express preemption of state statutes of limitations set forth in the federal superfund environmental clean-up law known as CERCLA also applies to state statutes of repose. … Continue Reading