Last week the North Carolina Court of Appeals dismissed an appeal based on what it described as “substantial noncompliance” with the appellate rules. The dismissal in Smith v. North Carolina Department of Public Safety involved two non-jurisdictional defects—Appellant’s failure to cite legal authority in a brief and Appellant’s failure to provide a transcript of the proceeding from which this appeal arose.… 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

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

Three months ago we posted an appellate practice tip regarding Appellate Rule 7 and the court reporter’s duties in delivering and filing a completed trial court transcript. We noted that, to avoid potential problems with transcripts, appellate practitioners should follow up with the court reporter after a request to file a transcript is made. Today the Court of Appeals released an opinion in In Re T.Continue Reading

Family law appellate practitioners have one of the most difficult jobs in the bar.  They have to master the complicated family law statutes and the quirks of District Court practice, navigate the treacherous waters of the Appellate Rules, and, to top it off, understand how those two realms interact in the appellate arena.  In short, their job is scarier than a six-foot tall teenager with no costume demanding candy at your door an hour after trick-or-treating was supposed to have already ended.… Continue Reading