The Supreme Court stated in Dogwood v. White Oak, 362 N.C. 191, 657 S.E.2d 361 (2008), that noncompliance with nonjurisdictional rules normally should not lead to the dismissal of an appeal.  The Dogwood Court also stated that the requirements of Appellate Rule 28(b), which govern the content of an appellant’s brief, are generally nonjurisdictional.  Nonetheless, in Edwards v. Foley the Court of Appeals held that the appellants’ failure to include in their principal brief a complete statement of appellate jurisdiction (as required by Appellate Rule 28(b)(4)) was a jurisdictional violation that required dismissal of the appeal—at least for interlocutory appeals.… Continue Reading

Last year, my colleague Kip Nelson warned about the risks of failing to provide a fulsome “statement of the grounds for appellate review” in an appellant’s brief, as required by N.C. R. App. P. 28(b)(4).

In the deliciously named Larsen v. Black Diamond French Truffles, Inc. case from last year, the North Carolina Court of Appeals warned of the jurisdictional significance of failing to include this statement in an opening appellant’s brief. … Continue Reading

When you are waiting on an decision from the North Carolina Court of Appeals, if you are like me, you anxiously scour the new opinions every other Tuesday morning.  And on such occasions, the next best thing to seeing a favorable ruling in your case is coming across a favorable opinion in another case on the exact same issue that the Court will be addressing in your case. … Continue Reading

The North Carolina Rules of Appellate Procedure were changed in 2013 to provide an appellant with a guaranteed right to a reply brief, whereas earlier versions of the Rules allowed a reply brief only in certain circumstances.  See N.C. R. App. P. 28(h).  Under the current Rule, the reply should be a “concise rebuttal of arguments set out in the appellee’s brief” and should not “reiterate arguments” from the principal brief. … Continue Reading

No one wants to have her reply brief stricken as untimely.  But this is a problem easily avoided, right?  Open up your N.C. Rules of Court book to Appellate Rule 28(h) and be sure to file within the time provided.  Just one catch — which edition of the Rules should you consult–the 2013 green book, or the 2014 brown book?

Well, it depends. … Continue Reading