Out of a total of 24 opinions, the Supreme Court’s most recent set of opinions included nine criminal cases, three terminations of parental rights, and six direct appeals from Business Court decisions.

Of those six Business Court appeals, three were decided with written opinions and three were decided per curiam. What is noticeable, however, is that the three per curiam opinions were not one-pagers.… Continue Reading

Except for appeals in really old cases, appeals from a final judgment entered by a Business Court judge are properly taken to the Supreme Court of North Carolina, not the Court of Appeals.

So what happens when a party files a notice of appeal in a Business Court case that mistakenly names the Court of Appeals as the court to which appeal is taken?… Continue Reading

Last fall, Justice Edmunds analyzed the subtle policy questions presented when a Court of Appeals decision is affirmed “without precedential value” by a divided Supreme Court.  A robust discussion followed in the “comments” section.

Last Friday, Chief Judge Gale of the North Carolina Business Court weighed in on the debate in Zloop v. Parker Poe.  He concluded that the business court is not bound by Court of Appeals decisions that are later affirmed by the Supreme Court without four votes (often, by a 3-3 tie with one recusal). … Continue Reading

**Update:  Defendant CHS has filed a petition for writ of certiorari, here.**

Last year, something unusual happened in a business court case. In the course of denying summary judgment to a defendant, Judge Gale recognized that the legal question presented was “significant and controlling” and “require[d] an interpretation of two opinions from the North Carolina Supreme Court.”  Judge Gale “urge[d] the supreme court to docket the appeal” from his order in Kornegay Family Farms, LLC v.Continue Reading

On July 5, 2016, the Court of Appeals dismissed an appeal for failure to include the business court designation papers.  In Grasinger v. Williams, the court reasoned that, without information about designation appearing in the record, it could not be 100% sure whether the case was designated for the business court before October 1, 2014.  That date matters, because cases designated after October 1, 2014 must be appealed directly to the Supreme Court, not the Court of Appeals.… Continue Reading

Many thanks to Judges Diaz, Gale, and Ridgeway and to all who attended for making last week’s Federal Bar Association CLE a great success.  I’m posting the written materials here for future reference.  More details on the CLE from my original post can be found below.

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In North Carolina, parties with business disputes may have the choice among as many as four “forums” in which to bring their case:  state superior court; superior court with a Rule 2.1 designated judge; business court; and federal court.… Continue Reading

The Governor and the General Assembly have been busy.

After being nominated for a business court slot over a year ago, Mike Robinson was finally confirmed by the General Assembly earlier this month.  Judge Robinson will be sworn in on July 1, 2016, and will serve a five-year term.  Judge Robinson will eventually sit in the new business court at Wake Forest University School of Law when it is ready around January 2017.… Continue Reading

In North Carolina, parties with business disputes may have the choice among as many as four “forums” in which to bring their case:  state superior court; superior court with a Rule 2.1 designated judge; business court; and federal court.

This initial decision can have important consequences for the life cycle and strategy of the case.  The differences in the ways those cases are appealed are particularly fascinating. … Continue Reading

Our state appellate system allows for appeals from final judgments, appeals from interlocutory orders that affect a substantial right, and appeals from orders that are final as to one claim or party if the trial court certifies there is no just reason for delay. But there is a key category of order that is missing from this list:  orders turning on a controlling issue of law.… Continue Reading

In October 2015, I blogged about In re Pike, a single Business Court order that resolved four consolidated actions.  Because the actions were designated on different dates, the right to appellate review of this single order was split between the North Carolina Supreme Court and the North Carolina Court of Appeals.  At the time, I suggested that a bypass petition was likely the best way to resolve this “perfect storm.”… Continue Reading