Yesterday, the NC Administrative Office of the Courts hosted its inaugural CLE program for the appellate division.  Under the leadership of Grant Buckner, the Director of the Office of Central Staff, and Bryan Boyd, the Clerk of the Supreme Court, a full-day CLE was offered, including remarks by Chief Justice Mark Martin and Chief Judge Linda McGee.

The schedule included a presentation on the genius of the common law, by Professor John Orth; a Supreme Court retrospective and forecast, by Solicitor General Matt Sawchak; fascinating insights into the philosophy and social science of statutory interpretation, by Duke Law Professor Margaret Lemos; and a deep dive into professionalism in the digital and social-media age, by Lisa Sheppard, Executive Director of the Chief Justice’s Commission on Professionalism. … Continue Reading

Are you interested in honing your appellate practice skills?  Want to hear about some of the resources that are available to help you research and write more effectively?  Still need some CLE credit this year?

The Appellate Practice Section of the North Carolina Bar Association is hosting its CLE and annual meeting on Friday, September 30th at the Bar Center in Cary. … 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

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

Anyone else tired of the cold?  Come join me and other appellate practitioners from across the country in sunny Scottsdale, Arizona from February 10 through 12 at the “somewhat annual” DRI Appellate Advocacy conference.

Our appellate team has been attending the conference for many years.  The CLE offerings are uniformly stellar, and the appellate community that attends is welcoming.  This year, judges from the First, Fifth, and Sixth circuits will speak, as well as Justices from Arizona’s and Michigan’s highest courts.… Continue Reading

Judge Dietz shared an interesting brief-writing tip last night with The Chief Justice Joseph Branch Inn of Court. Go with a Century font over Times New Roman, and for any of you still clinging on to the Courier New days, it is time to move on.

Why Century? Two simple reasons—legibility and retention.

As stated by the Seventh Circuit in its Requirements and Suggestions for Typography in Briefs and Other Papers:

Typographic decisions should be made for a purpose.

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Chief Judge William Traxler of the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit will be speaking on June 25, 2015 at a lunchtime CLE at the 18 Seaboard restaurant in Raleigh.  The event is co-sponsored by the Eastern District of North Carolina chapter of the Federal Bar Association and by my firm’s appellate practice group.  I anticipate that the event will sell out, considering that about half of the 60 seats have already been claimed and the CLE is still a month away. … Continue Reading