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

Chief Justice Cheri Beasley recently sat down with Tim Boyum of Spectrum News for his podcast Tying It Together. It was a great interview, and we recommend that you check it out. In the process, you’ll hear about the Chief Justice’s childhood and early jobs, as well as her formative years as a public defender. It’s good stuff, and it’s always helpful for practitioners to get a better perspective on our appellate judges.… Continue Reading

On Friday, while you were you tapping your toes to bluegrass on Fayetteville Street, the Supreme Court was filing its latest opinions, with a focus on disputes over child custody and child abuse and neglect proceedings. Those are fine and well, but we like to make sure the Court’s other orders, especially on pending petitions, also get some attention.

The Court allowed just two petitions for discretionary review on Friday, but they’re of significant interest to healthcare providers and medical malpractice practitioners.… Continue Reading

Back in March, the Court of Appeals in Ramsey v. Ramsey dismissed a party’s appeal for cumulative non-jurisdictional violations that the Court described as “gross and substantial noncompliance with the North Carolina Rules of Appellate Procedure.” (See prior posts on Ramsey here and here.)  On Tuesday, in K2HN Construction, NC, LLC v. Five D Contractors, Inc., the Court dismissed another appeal that had a tortured relationship with the State’s appellate rules. … Continue Reading

In addition to our petition tracker for PDRs already granted by the Supreme Court, we also keep an eye on interesting petitions pending before the Court. Below are recently filed petitions that, among other things, ask the Supreme Court to consider dumping the State’s contributory negligence doctrine and to stop the State from informing the public about an upcoming voter identification requirement.… Continue Reading