Introduction

Arbitration can be less costly and more efficient than litigation. For this reason, businesses often prefer to arbitrate their disputes, and include arbitration provisions in their contracts. North Carolina courts generally enforce these provisions, citing the state’s “strong public policy favoring the settlement of disputes by arbitration.” Johnston Cnty. v. R.N. Rouse & Co., 331 N.C. 88, 91 (1992).… Continue Reading

In State v. Golder, 79PA18, filed 3 April 2020, the Supreme Court of North Carolina provided helpful guidance on a vexing issue relating to error preservation:  Does a general motion to dismiss preserve for appellate review arguments relating to insufficiency of the evidence?  At the same time, the Court resolved a split on the issue in the jurisprudence of the Court of Appeals.… Continue Reading

The Fourth Circuit yesterday amended its prior Order suspending the oral argument requirement for published cases to apply to “cases tentatively calendared for May 5-8, 2020.”   The Court noted that

Although the pressures of the public health crisis preventing in-person argument in
March, April, and May 2020 have occasioned a temporary change in the court’s practices,
the court is nonetheless affording these cases equal jurisprudential rigor and attention.

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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