It continues to amaze me how difficult it is for the public to access basic information about the upcoming elections for open seats on the Supreme Court of North Carolina and the Court of Appeals.  While stories with political angles find their way into the press, the fundamentals—which seats are open, why those seats are open, who is running, why voters should care—get little coverage. … Continue Reading

Students of history will remember a bygone era known as late 2018, when Mark Martin was Chief Justice of the North Carolina Supreme Court, the median judge on the shrinking Court of Appeals was elected in 2012, and your parents had purchased enough CDs to elevate the quaint twangs of Bebe Rexha & Florida Georgia Line to the top of the country music charts.… Continue Reading

After two years of uncertainty about the future of the Court of Appeals, there appears to have been a breakthrough.  Yesterday, a bill was introduced by Republicans in the North Carolina Senate that would preserve the size of the Court of Appeals at 15 members.  If the bill becomes law–and I expect it will–the drama surrounding the court shrinkage may end as abruptly as it began.… Continue Reading

Clerk of the Supreme Court of North Carolina Amy Funderburk announced by e-mail Friday that December oral arguments in the Supreme Court will be postponed until after the new year.

Such schedule changes are the norm in election years.  It is common practice for the Court not to hold oral arguments between election day and December 31 in years in which an incumbent is leaving the Court. … Continue Reading

It’s fall, and you know what that means.  Football!  Oops, I mean, The Annual NCBA Appellate Section CLE!

There are lots of ways to get plugged in to the appellate community this week:

Appellate Social Bench and bar alike are invited to mingle at Raleigh Times from 5pm to 7pm tomorrow, Thursday, September 27.   Share your favorite functus officio story over a cold beverage; make new friends and reconnect with old; and generally have a lovely time. … Continue Reading

It is amazing to me how difficult it is for the public to access basic information about the upcoming elections for open seats on the Supreme Court of North Carolina and the Court of Appeals.  Legal challenges find their way into the press, but the fundamentals–which seats are open, why those seats are open, who is running, why voters should care–get little coverage.… Continue Reading

Most election years, the candidates for open seats on the Supreme Court of North Carolina and Court of Appeals participate in a lively forum at the Bar Association’s annual meeting.  It didn’t happen this year, in part because the filing period did not close until after the annual meeting.

Fear not, though.  The Wake Women Attorneys have managed to get nearly all of the candidates together for a discussion next week in Raleigh. … Continue Reading

The 2018 judicial primaries–including those for open Court of Appeals and Supreme Court seats–have been eliminated.  With the senate and the house voting to override the Governor’s veto by substantial margins, Senate Bill 656, the “Electoral Freedom Act of 2017,” has become law.

The law (Session Law 2017-124) provides:

No 2018 Primary for Judicial Offices. – Notwithstanding G.S.

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The Governor has vetoed** a bill that would eliminate the 2018 judicial primaries–including those for open seats on the Supreme Court and Court of Appeals.  It is not clear if the bill has sufficient support to overcome the veto.

Senate bill 656, if it becomes law, would instead allow candidates to file their notices of candidacy between June 18 and June 29, 2018, and then be listed on the ballot in the general election.… Continue Reading