After Dogwood, it is fairly rare that an appellate court will dismiss an appeal for rules violations. However, that reluctance does not give carte blanche to appellate practitioners, as the Court of Appeals reminded us today. In Williamson v. Williamson, the appellant relied on “bald assertions of error absent citation to any legal authority.” Furthermore, the appellant did not include transcripts from the trial court hearings, which prevented the court from “meaningful appellate review.”… Continue Reading

We often hear that proper citations and “bluebooking” really do not matter, but judges may disagree. Last week the Supreme Court of North Carolina released an opinion in Cummings v. Ortega that reversed a trial court’s order granting a medical malpractice plaintiff a new trial. The substantive law involved the admissibility of juror affidavits, but the Supreme Court also provided a stark reminder for all brief-writers.… Continue Reading