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

Last week, the State of Arizona made an interesting litigation decision.

As part of the ongoing litigation over the opioid crisis, Arizona filed a complaint against Purdue Pharmaceuticals and its owners, the Sackler family, alleging violations of Arizona’s Uniform Fraudulent Transfer Act. The suit alleges that the Sacklers stripped the assets of Purdue by making large cash transfers out of the company, and that these transfers threatened Purdue’s ability to satisfy possible upcoming judgments stemming from civil suits arising out of the opioid crisis.… Continue Reading

Last week I blogged about an en banc opinion from the Fourth Circuit for which authorship of the majority opinion was attributed to two judges.  (See here) This week from the Fourth Circuit came another two judge oddity-a panel opinion in which the panel consisted of only two judges.

28 U.S.C.  § 46 governs the makeup of Circuit Court panels, and directs in subsection b that each circuit “may authorize the hearing and determination of cases and controversies by separate panels, each consisting of three judges…unless such judges cannot sit because recused or disqualified, or unless the chief judge of that court certifies that there is an emergency including, but not limited to, the unavailability of a judge of the court because of illness.”… Continue Reading

Most readers of this blog are familiar with the Appellate Judges Education Institute, an annual seminar devoted to appellate practice.  Don’t be distracted by the name.  AJEI has programs for appellate practitioners and staff attorneys, in addition to judges.

Registration for AJEI 2019 is now open. AJEI is an intellectual feast for lovers of appeals and, as you can see from the program available on the registration site, 2019 is no exception. … Continue Reading

We hope you’ve been enjoying the Petition Tracker we launched last month. We’re letting you know that we’ve revamped the format to make it both easier to read and sortable. One of the new columns we added shows the types of issues involved, in case you’re interested in a particular topic. For frequent visitors, you’ll notice that the tracker is now in reverse chronological order, so the freshest petitions are always on top.… Continue Reading

We all remember the old common law rule that every dog gets one free bite, with the bite putting the owner on notice of the dog’s anti-social tendencies.  In today’s more crowded world, where both dogs and pedestrians have proliferated and frequently mingle, the applicable law has become more complex.  While some states still follow the one-bite rule, the North Carolina General Assembly has imposed strict liability on the owner of a “dangerous dog” that injures a person or damages property. … Continue Reading

Late last week, the Supreme Court issued a ruling in two cases concerning the constitutionality of political gerrymandering: Rucho v. Common Cause, a case arising out of North Carolina, and Lamone v. Benisek, arising out of Maryland. Rucho, which readers of this blog are likely familiar with, involves a challenge to the redistricting plan originally enacted by the Republican-controlled legislature in 2016. … Continue Reading