One sentence of Rule 3(c) of the North Carolina Rules of Appellate Procedure provides: “If timely notice of appeal is filed and served by a party, any other party may file and serve a notice of appeal within ten days after the first notice of appeal was served on such party.”

If one party appeals from a final judgment, what can be included in the other party’s cross-notice of appeal?… Continue Reading

In its final set of opinions from 2016, the North Carolina Court of Appeals provided some helpful reminders for appellate practitioners.

1. Unless some other exception applies, you may appeal from an interlocutory order only if it affects a substantial right. In Pass v. Brown, the Court reminded us that an appellant must identify a substantial right affected by each issue, not by an immediate appeal as a whole.… Continue Reading

On occasion, the Supreme Court of North Carolina will grant a petition for discretionary review and then later decide that the grant was “improvidently allowed.” See, e.g., here and here and here. The U.S. Supreme Court sometimes reaches the same result.

Because these opinions usually provide little, if any, explanation, we are often left to guess at the basis for the court’s decision.… Continue Reading

Savvy practitioners know that some post-trial motions toll the deadline for filing a notice of appeal, but motions brought under Rule 60 of the Rules of Civil Procedure do not. So what happens when a trial court rules on a Rule 60 motion after the final judgment’s appellate deadline?  If the final judgment was not appealed, can a party appeal from the Rule 60 decision?… Continue Reading

When reading through recent batches of opinions from the North Carolina Court of Appeals, you may notice a new feature: a statement regarding the Court’s jurisdiction. While such a statement is required in an appellant’s brief, see N.C. R. App. P. 28(b)(4), it is not required in an opinion. And although the Court has addressed jurisdiction if necessary, opinions have not traditionally included a separate statement on jurisdiction when it was not in dispute.… Continue Reading

You want to appeal an interlocutory order, and with great relief you find a case in which your legal issue affected a substantial right that allowed for such an appeal. Phew. You are in the clear, right?

Wrong. Just because one case found a substantial right does not mean that the court will find it in your case. In Dewey Wright Well & Pump Co.Continue Reading

Yesterday’s batch of opinions contained an unusual nugget: an entire opinion devoted to arguably the most powerful of all appellate tools, the writ of certiorari. In State v. Biddix,  the Court of Appeals denied a petition for writ of certiorari by concluding that the court was prohibited from invoking certiorari to address an issue on appeal, rather than simply exercising its discretion to deny the petition. … Continue Reading

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

Ignore that Rule of Appellate Procedure!  How often do you hear me say that?  I would wager not often, but the Court of Appeals’ recent opinion in Magazian v. Creagh precipitates a friendly warning to take a figurative red pen and strike out a portion of Appellate Rule 3.

Magazian involved a plaintiff’s attempt to “renew” a foreign judgment issued in 2001. … Continue Reading

Jerry Hartzell recently published an article in the April 2014 issue of the North Carolina Advocates for Justice’s Trial Briefs. The article is entitled “Probability of Success on Appeal: Reversal Rates for the Fourth Circuit and the North Carolina Court of Appeals.”

The article is worth an independent read, but Jerry concluded that in 2013 “the North Carolina Court of Appeals reversal rate (in whole or in part) exceeded the Fourth Circuit’s reversal rate by a factor of ten.” … Continue Reading