The EDNC Chapter of the Federal Bar Association will host a luncheon with Judge Allyson Duncan of the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit in Raleigh on August 30. Judge Duncan, who just celebrated 15 years on that collegial court, is always an engaging speaker.  I hope to see you there.

Who:               You

Why:                To hear Judge Duncan reflect on her path to, and time on, the bench; practical aspects of federal appeals; and tips for brief writing and oral argument.… Continue Reading

Way back when I was a law clerk, I knew I wanted to be an appellate lawyer.  I asked my Judge how to go about making that happen.  She told me, unequivocally, that the best way to get appellate experience was to be an appellate lawyer with the United States Attorney’s office or the Federal Public Defender’s office.  Those are the “frequent fliers” in the Fourth Circuit, not civil private-practice lawyers, she explained. … Continue Reading

Former clerks, friends, and many others gathered at the Pavilion at the Angus Barn on Saturday to celebrate the judicial career of Allyson K. Duncan, Judge on the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit.

Judge Duncan has served on that fine court for fifteen years, since her unopposed confirmation in 2003.  Judge Duncan’s accomplishments during that span are too numerous to list here, but I would encourage anyone looking for an education to ask her about her tireless efforts to build bridges between our judiciary and nascent judicial systems around the world.… Continue Reading

I’m old enough to remember the good ol’ days, specifically, 2016, when we had 17 days to file a reply brief in a federal appeal.  Sometimes, you would even get lucky and have the 17th day fall on a weekend, giving you as many as 18 or even 19 days to file that scathing reply.

But then, in honor of a long tradition of counting by sevens that traces its roots through American football to the ancient Babylonians and even Genesis (not the Phil Collins version), the federal rulemakers scrapped the three-day mail rule so that most time periods counted in days would be divisible by 7. … Continue Reading

Just in time for spring, it’s the NCBA Appellate Practice Section’s spring social!  Thanks to a great line up of sponsors, we have a fantastic event in store.

Not a member of the Appellate Practice Section?  It’s never too late to join our fine group.  Click here, or call (919) 677-0561 and ask for the membership department.

Here are the details for the social:

WHEN | Thursday | April 12 | 5 – 7 pm

WHERE | Whiskey Kitchen | 201 W Martin St | Raleigh

WHO | All section members, appellate judges, their law clerks, and appellate clerks of court.… Continue Reading

There’s a big Clean Water Act case being argued in the Fourth Circuit this week.  Here’s the gist:  suppose you discharge pollutants into the ground, and they seep into surface waters.  Does the Clean Water Act–which only regulates discharges into surface waters–apply?

Apparently the nation’s district courts are split on this issue.  The Fourth Circuit tackles it this week in Upstate Forever v.Continue Reading

There are some things you can do only in North Carolina.  Like cook on the world’s largest frying pan.

But there are some things you can do everywhere but North Carolina.  Like certify a question of state law to the state’s highest court.  North Carolina is the only state in the Union that does not accept certified questions from the federal courts.… Continue Reading

Consumer data breaches are a big problem. Sophisticated thieves hack into systems we thought were secure, pilfering reams of sensitive information: names matched with social security numbers, dates of birth, bank account numbers, and more.  Fraudulent credit cards are opened in the names of the innocent.  Real harm ensues.

But what about more mundane cybersecurity mishaps? A stolen laptop or phone that just happens to have sensitive data on it? … Continue Reading

Along with changes to the federal civil procedure and bankruptcy rules, the Federal Rules of Appellate Procedure will likely see a significant change in less than a month. Unless Congress decides otherwise, the revisions will provide new page and word count limits for certain filings and clarify which items are to be included in the word count. Importantly, under revised Rule 32, principal briefs will be limited to 13,000 words (rather than 14,000), and reply briefs will be limited to 6,500 words (rather than 7,000).… 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