Look around your office. There’s paper everywhere, right? Your office is a fire hazard.

How can you fix that problem? You should take two steps: (1) throw all that stuff away; and (2) don’t fill the resulting void with more paper.

The North Carolina Court of Appeals is embarking on a little housekeeping itself. Let’s check in on how that’s going.… Continue Reading

Yesterday’s blog post focused on how the Business Court Modernization Act only applies to “actions designated as mandatory complex business cases on or after” October 1, 2014.  See Session Law 2014-102.  As that post demonstrated, the timing of when a case is designated to the North Carolina Business Court can create different (and unusual) pathways to appellate review.

This follow-up post focuses on the phrase “designated as a mandatory complex business cases,” as that phrase is used in Session Law 2014-102 to determine to which appellate court a Business Court appeal should be taken.  … 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

While we here at NCAPB concern ourselves with all things appellate, rarely do we have occasion to blog about appeals from decisions made in Small Claims Court. Cue up the Court of Appeals’ unpublished decision in Gupta v. Carter to help us address this gap in coverage.

Five weeks after entering a 12-month residential lease, landlord Gupta filed an action in Wake County Small Claims Court against tenant Carter seeking summary ejectment, overdue rent, and court costs.… Continue Reading

The concept of waiver is fairly straightforward and can generally be summed up by the adage “use it or lose it.” But when it comes to appellate practice, the concept can have disastrous consequences. Yesterday’s opinions from the Court of Appeals highlight some of these concerns.

WAIVER IN OBJECTIONS AT TRIAL

Gregory v. Old Republic Home Protection Co. was a wrongful death action resulting from a carbon monoxide poisoning death.… 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

Judges repeatedly tell us that the brief is our best vehicle to explain our view of the case and why the law is in our client’s favor. Unfortunately, it is also a potential trap. In that vein, the North Carolina Court of Appeals recently released several decisions that give helpful reminders to those who are writing briefs.

I. TO CITE OR NOT TO CITE

Under the appellate rules, citation to unpublished opinions is “disfavored” and should only be used if you believe “that an unpublished opinion has precedential value to a material issue in the case and that there is no published opinion that would serve as well.”… Continue Reading

Thinking about proposing an alternative request for relief, asking for a clean win but informing the court that you would settle for lesser relief “in the alternative”?  What about saving your client some money and not including a hearing transcript in the record on appeal?  The following two cases may make you think twice about both decisions.

Yesterday in First Bank v.Continue Reading

1)     Appeal from an order that can be appealed.  The Court of Appeals reminded us today that interlocutory attorney fee awards are not immediately appealable.  Cebula v. Givens Estates, Inc.  Neither are decisions from the Industrial Commission that are limited to the question of insurance coverage.  Owen v. Hogsed.  Neither are orders that dismiss some, but not all, claims.  Fox v.Continue Reading

The North Carolina Court of Appeals decision in Hammond v. Saini arises from a horrific set of facts.  Plaintiff underwent a surgical procedure to remove a potentially cancerous growth from her face.  During the procedure, a cauterizing tool being used by the surgeon ignited oxygen trapped around the plaintiff’s face, resulting in severe burns and injuries to plaintiff.  Plaintiff sued various defendants, and served discovery requests on them.… Continue Reading