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

The Supreme Court of North Carolina is exploring a proposal to adopt a universal citation format for North Carolina appellate court opinions. The format would implement sequential numbers for all opinions and a paragraph-based numbering system for pinpoint citations. The Court’s Technology Committee has prepared a report that describes the proposal in detail.  The idea has been percolating for years across the country, and other states have previously adopted similar formats.… Continue Reading

This post was co-written by Erin Catlett, a Fox Rothschild summer associate and rising third-year law student at UNC-Chapel Hill. Join me in welcoming Erin to the fascinating world of North Carolina appellate practice and procedure. EBS

Does the statutory right to appellate review of a superior court’s final judgment under N.C. Gen. Stat. § 7A-27(b)(1) apply to a criminal appeal by the State?… Continue Reading

On Monday, October 28, 2019, the Fourth Circuit will be sponsoring a Criminal Appellate Practice Seminar at the Omni Hotel in Richmond, Virginia. There will be panels and presentations on effective writing and oral advocacy, an appellate ethics session, updates on recent Supreme Court and Fourth Circuit cases, as well as other useful tips on appellate practice in the Fourth Circuit.… Continue Reading

About a year ago, we blogged on Zloop v. Parker Poe, in which the North Carolina Business Court dismissed an appeal because the notice of appeal was directed to the North Carolina Court of Appeals instead of the Supreme Court of North Carolina (pursuant to N.C.G.S. s. 7A-27(a), almost all appeals from Business Court orders go directly to the Supreme Court). … Continue Reading

Today we’re introducing a new feature for the blog: the petition tracker. You can check out the petition tracker page here, or by clicking on “Petitions Allowed” in the banner at the top of any page on the blog.

Although our state constitution says that the “courts shall be open,” open hasn’t always meant “clear.” Before we created this feature, we realized that it wasn’t easy to track the cases pending at the Supreme Court.… Continue Reading