Petitions for Discretionary Review

The Supreme Court released a batch of orders today, denying review in many cases (as usual) but also granting review in six cases. These six grants—the first from the new Beasley Court—cover issues ranging from federal immigration enforcement by local law enforcement agencies to defamation and Batson challenges.

First up are the habeas petitions of two immigrants detained by the sheriff of Mecklenburg County.… Continue Reading

Last Friday was a blockbuster appellate day for the Supreme Court of North Carolina. Not only did it effectively declare an appellate jurisdiction statute unconstitutional (see Matt’s blog post), but Justice Newby authored a concurring opinion inspired by “It’s a Wonderful Life.”  (“Was Old Man Potter simply morally corrupt or was he also guilty of a crime?”).

For North Carolina’s appellate defenders, however, Friday was not a wonderful day.… Continue Reading

On Wednesday, the General Assembly overrode the Governor’s veto of House Bill 239.  Against opposition from the bench and the bar, the legislature pushed the court-shrinking bill through on a mostly partyline vote.  The override votes came on the heels of a remarkable move by retiring Judge Douglas McCullough–a registered Republican–who reportedly retired a month early to avoid having his seat eliminated by the bill.… Continue Reading

Over the past few months, we have shared several  potential problems created by the Business Court Modernization Act.  Nonetheless, we held a few potential traps close to our vest because, frankly, we were unsure if any of the unique circumstances necessary to trigger the traps would arise.  Recently, we changed our mind on the improbability of those scenarios based on an October 8 order from the North Carolina Business Court. … Continue Reading

There is an unwritten rule regarding the Supreme Court of North Carolina’s willingness to consider amicus input:  Amicus briefs are welcomed during briefing on the merits, but the Court does not want to read amicus briefs supporting or opposing the granting of discretionary review.  Does the same rule apply to amicus motions at the petition stage?

In at least two recent cases, the Supreme Court has granted a motion for leave to file an amicus brief when that motion was submitted alongside the petition for discretionary review. … Continue Reading

On Monday, the North Carolina Supreme Court heard oral argument in Cubbage v. The Board of Trustees of the Endowment Fund of NC State University (a.k.a., the “Hofmann Forest appeal”)  The appeal involves environmental groups’ efforts to stop N.C. State’s sale of Hofmann Forest.  As we previously reported here, the Hofmann Forest appeal is one of five cases that the North Carolina Supreme Court sua sponte “grabbed” on 10 October for consideration before the Court of Appeals could decide the cases. … Continue Reading

In a big day for civil litigation, the Supreme Court of North Carolina on Wednesday issued a watershed opinion limiting the scope of actions under Chapter 75 (the Unfair and Deceptive Practices Act) and a significant decision favoring arbitration agreements.  Most surprising, however, was the Court’s granting of discretionary review in four civil cases of substantial importance to business and other civil interests. … Continue Reading

The case is over, and you’ve won. Feeling bullish, you move for attorneys’ fees. Before the trial court reaches the fees issue, however, your opponent files a Notice of Appeal from the order deciding the merits. Is that an appropriate appeal?

The North Carolina Court of Appeals gave us some helpful guidance today on when interlocutory appeals on the merits of a case are proper when there is a motion for attorneys’ fees still pending.… Continue Reading

About eight times per year, on a Friday morning, the Supreme Court of North Carolina releases a batch of about a half dozen to a dozen opinions.  There’s usually something newsworthy among those opinions to generate a bit of legal or political buzz for the weekend news cycle.

What often goes overlooked, however, is that the Supreme Court releases a large number of “non-opinion” decisions at the same time on those Friday mornings. … Continue Reading

Do you have a large “to read” pile on your desk containing magazines, journals, and newspapers?  You may also have an online “to read” pile.  Do these piles mentally torture you every day you walk into your office?  Well, I have “the pile of all piles,”and the only reason that I can come up with for not burning it is that I sometimes find interesting appellate articles that I want to share with our readers. … Continue Reading