Who is the target audience of an appellate opinion?  Appellate counsel?  Other lawyers?  The public?

For appellate counsel, of course, the written opinion serves to explain the reasoning behind the disposition.  For other lawyers, the written opinion provides a roadmap of the law and the application of that law to a set of facts, which could help guide arguments that can be made in the future in analogous situations.… Continue Reading

Under the North Carolina Rules of Appellate Procedure, an appellant’s brief must contain “a concise statement of the applicable standard(s) of review for each issue.” N.C. R. App. P. 28(b)(6). The appellee is also permitted to state the standard(s) of review if it “disagrees with the appellant’s statements and desires to make a restatement.” Id. Rule 28(c). In many cases, the standard of review is clear and uncontroversial.… Continue Reading