Beth and Matt’s treatise, North Carolina Appellate Practice and Procedure, is finally available!  Published by LexisNexis in both print and online versions, the treatise represents the culmination of several years, and many thousands of hours, of hard work.

The treatise grew out of the same circumstances that spurred us to create this blog in 2011.  The practice of law in North Carolina’s appellate courts can be procedurally tricky. … Continue Reading

On Friday, the Supreme Court displayed how busy it has been this summer by releasing 17 authored opinions.  Justice Per Curiam (who is fond of affirming/reversing “for the reasons stated in the Court of Appeals” majority/dissent) was conspicuously absent.  Justice Earls and Justice Newby vied for the title of “Most Prolific Dissenter.”  And the Court released its first three opinions directly reviewing trial tribunal orders terminating parental rights—and for those wondering, all three opinions were decided by the Supreme Court by published opinion, but without oral argument.… Continue Reading

Did you enjoy opening and comparing three different Supreme Court orders to determine the most current version of a particular Appellate Rule? For those twisted few who did, your joy is gone.

The Supreme Court’s Office of Adminstrative Counsel recently released a PDF codifying the current Appellate Rules  (including the January 1, 2019 amendments) in a single, easy to navigate document.… Continue Reading

In October 2018, I gave a CLE presentations with (now recently sworn in) Judge Allegra Collins: “Life Preservers on the Titanic: Issues Not Properly Preserved for Appellate Review.”  Part of the presentation posed this question: Can the General Assembly enact a rule or law that automatically preserves certain issues for appellate review?  At the time, the answer to that question was as follows:

  • Yes
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I’m old enough to remember the good ol’ days, specifically, 2016, when we had 17 days to file a reply brief in a federal appeal.  Sometimes, you would even get lucky and have the 17th day fall on a weekend, giving you as many as 18 or even 19 days to file that scathing reply.

But then, in honor of a long tradition of counting by sevens that traces its roots through American football to the ancient Babylonians and even Genesis (not the Phil Collins version), the federal rulemakers scrapped the three-day mail rule so that most time periods counted in days would be divisible by 7. … Continue Reading

It was just over one year ago that I wrote about the authority of one appellate panel to overrule another panel when the issue is one of jurisdiction. Last week, the Supreme Court of North Carolina issued an opinion in that case that helps to explain the jurisdiction of the appellate courts. The opinion may also offer a preview of the analysis we will see in the pending State v.Continue Reading

Affirm . . . reverse . . . those are the words that usually appear at the end of an appellate opinion.  But last week, the Supreme Court of North Carolina reminded us that it has broad power when it decides cases.

State v. Hammonds was a criminal case in which the defendant moved to suppress statements made to police detectives while he was involuntarily committed to a mental hospital. … Continue Reading

Holidays, snowstorms, vacations, workloads—mixed in with the winter blahs—have resulted in us getting a little behind on our blogging duties. The appellate courts, however, have not suffered from the same maladies, issuing several important appellate-practice-and-procedure decisions of late.  This special “Catch-Up” post hopefully gets us back on track for the New Year.


Rule 54(b) Certification and Peacock Farms. The question presented in Peacock Farms was whether a Rule 54 certification statement (i.eContinue Reading

As noted Friday, the position of Clerk of Court for the North Carolina Court of Appeals was vacant over the weekend. The good news is that if you call today and ask for the Clerk, you will be directed to a familiar name–if not a familiar voice.

Today, the Court of Appeals announced that Dan Horne is its new Clerk. … Continue Reading

Over the past few months, we have shared several  potential problems created by the Business Court Modernization Act.  Nonetheless, we held a few potential traps close to our vest because, frankly, we were unsure if any of the unique circumstances necessary to trigger the traps would arise.  Recently, we changed our mind on the improbability of those scenarios based on an October 8 order from the North Carolina Business Court. … Continue Reading