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

Time ClockNo, this post is not a tribute to David Ives. In many appellate cases, it really is all in the timing.

Some appellate rules regarding timing are easy to state. The deadlines to file a notice of appeal, an opening brief, and a petition for discretionary review are relatively straightforward.

But other timing issues are less obvious. The most recent set of opinions from the Court of Appeals addresses several of these thornier problems.… Continue Reading

GavelThe petition tracker has been updated with the Supreme Court’s most recent rulings on petitions for discretionary review.  The Court accepted three new civil cases dealing with various topics such as charter schools, municipal development ordinances, and evictions.  The Court will also be reviewing a juvenile delinquency case and (via a petition for writ of certiorari) another TPR case.  As always, we will keep you updated as new developments occur.… Continue Reading

scary pictureSince 2015, this blog has frequently discussed whether the text of Appellate Rule 21 places restrictions on the Court of Appeals’ authority to grant relief by writ of certiorari.   See here, here, here, here, herehere, and here.   The Supreme Court has also written frequently about whether the text of Appellate Rule 21 places restrictions on the Court of Appeals’ discretionary authority to grant relief by writ of certiorari.… 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

paper people chain and gavelMichelle Connell is one of the few lawyers in North Carolina who is Board-certified in both family law and appellate practice.  And as of last week, she’s now part of our appellate team!

I’ve always been amazed at just how many family-law appeals are heard by our Court of Appeals.  Pull the latest annual statistical report, and you’ll see:  about 20% of that court’s civil docket consists of domestic cases—divorce, equitable distribution, child custody, child support, alimony, and so on. … 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

space shuttleFor the past 25 years, an oral argument before the United States Supreme Court was considered an oddity when an advocate managed to squeeze two or three sentences in before being interrupted by the bench.  Last Thursday, the Supreme Court stunned the SCOTUS bar by noting in its newly revised “Guide for Counsel” that the justices “generally” will not ask questions of either party during the first two minutes of oral argument.  … Continue Reading

The trial judge who presides over a hearing or trial is supposed to, and usually does, sign the resulting written order. But what happens if that normal process is not followed? What options do the parties have?

Last week, the Supreme Court articulated one option that is not available: filing a notice of appeal. In re C.M.C. involved a bench trial of a petition for termination of parental rights.… 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