Today, the Supreme Court of North Carolina gave some grace on appellate filings impacted by the coronavirus pandemic. The order issued by the Court does three things:

  1. Extends for 60 days all deadlines imposed by the Rules of Appellate Procedure that fall between March 27, 2020 and April 30, 2020 (inclusive of those dates).
  2. Encourages the electronic filing of all documents with the appellate courts.
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Fourth Circuit Chief Judge Gregory today issued “Standing Order 20-01,” which temporarily suspends Fourth Circuit Local Rule 36(a) requiring that any published opinion have oral argument.  Due to the social distancing required by the coronavirus pandemic, “cases calendared for oral argument in March or April 2020 but not presented at oral argument may be decided by published opinion with the unanimous consent of the panel.” … Continue Reading

Here is a compilation of the current status of the federal appellate courts and announcements about their respective changes, closings, and procedures as of the afternoon of March 19, 2020.  Click on the name of the court to be taken directly to that court’s website.   As with everything surrounding the coronavirus pandemic, things are changing rapidly, so we encourage you to check the courts’ websites frequently if you have pending cases and deadlines.… 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

Although the case involving North Carolina Highway Patrol Trooper Thomas Wetherington appears to invite smiles because it focuses on his uniform hat (see “Side Bar” below), in fact it addresses a formidably tough ethical question.  What standards of truthfulness should be expected of our law enforcement officers?  And when one is untruthful, what factors should be considered in determining the appropriate penalty? … Continue Reading

State v. Campbell Soup Cansis a case that is proving as hard to finish off as Freddy Kreuger or Wile E. Coyote. Campbell has earned its third blog entry following yet another opinion by the Supreme Court of North Carolina.   And, like Freddy, the latest apparition gives no guarantees that Campbell’s lurking Appellate Rule 2 issue will not invade our nightmares in the future.… Continue Reading

Human skullWe’ve been following the saga of Hamlet H.M.A., LLC v. Hernandez throughout 2019. Last Friday, the Supreme Court finally issued its opinion in the case. Yesterday, Pat blogged on confusion caused by the tie vote in Hamlet. In this post, we read between the lines to consider what was going on behind the scenes in Hamlet.

Hamlet involves the “learned-profession exemption” in section 75-1.1.… Continue Reading

MazeA while back, Justice Edmunds wrote a post that did a deep dive into what it means for the state’s jurisprudence when a case is “affirmed without precedential value.”  Matt followed that up with discussion of a Business Court opinion in which Judge Gale concluded that a Court of Appeals opinion that is “affirmed without precedential value” is not binding authority in subsequent cases, but rather has only persuasive value.  … Continue Reading

breaking newsBack in June, the Supreme Court of North Carolina sought feedback on a potential change to the citation format for North Carolina appellate court opinions.  This week, the Court has officially made plans for the universal citation format to go into effect.  The purpose of the change is to present “an immediate, permanent, and medium-neutral” citation the moment an opinion is issued.… Continue Reading

piggy bank with wooden gavelIn a recent opinion, State v. Rieger, No. COA18-960 (filed 1 October 2019), the Court of Appeals wrestled with what appears to be an issue of first impression: how to calculate court costs following a criminal conviction.

The facts are straightforward.  Initially, misdemeanor charges against defendant were heard in district court.  After losing there, defendant appealed to superior court, where he was convicted of possession of marijuana and possession of marijuana paraphernalia. … Continue Reading