North Carolina Appellate Practice Blog

Fox Rothschild's blog about practicing law in North Carolina state and federal appellate courts

Latest from North Carolina Appellate Practice Blog

I am pleased to report that the Supreme Court of North Carolina has selected Grant Buckner as its 17th Clerk of Court. Grant is no stranger to the appellate courts. Early on in his career, he clerked for Judge (and later Justice) Bob N. Hunter at the Court of Appeals and Supreme Court. He then clerked for Supreme Court Chief Justice Mark Martin. For the past few years, however, Grant has been doing yeoman’s work…
Two significant announcements came out of the Fourth Circuit this week.  The first was that the Court announced that in-person oral arguments will resume for the Court’s December argument calendar (December 7-10).  This, of course, is always subject to change pending the status of the pandemic.  A few months ago the Court made a similar announcement of its intention to restart in-person arguments, but then had to reverse course and stay with remote arguments for…
On Wednesday, October 13th, the Supreme Court of North Carolina issued new amendments to the North Carolina Rules of Appellate Procedure.  The key changes, which apply to notices of appeal filed on or after 1 January 2022, are summarized below: Electronic Appellate E-Filing Mandatory for Counsel in All Appeals Mandatory e-filing. Remember approximately 18 months ago when paper-filing of the printed record was mandatory in the Court of Appeals–and then the pandemic shook up the
The Appellate Judges Education Institute Summit is scheduled for November 11-14, 2021 in Austin.  In light of the ongoing worries about COVID, questions arise as to whether an in-person conference is still planned, what steps are being taken to assure the safety of those who attend, etc. As of this writing, the plan is still to meet in Austin.  A committee of personnel from the ABA’s Judicial Division, the National Judicial College, and the AJEI…
Less than a month ago, I excitedly reported about a courtroom reunion for appellate advocates and the Supreme Court justices. Jinx! With the recent surge in Delta variant Covid-19 infections, the North Carolina Supreme Court has postponed in-person oral arguments and reinstated remote oral arguments for the month of August–and possibly more. Cannot say that I am really surprised.  All I can say at this point is, “Darn it.” And “Please folks, do your part…
The return to normalcy continues. Back in March 2021, the North Carolina Court of Appeals issued guidelines for when in-person oral arguments could be scheduled. Then, earlier this month, our Supreme Court returned to in-person oral arguments. Now, the Court of Appeals is letting its old guidelines expire as pre-pandemic procedures return. Yesterday, the Court issued a press release announcing this good news. But the Court noted that it’s also keeping some of…
After more than a year of remote oral arguments, the Supreme Court of North Carolina is ready for some face-to-face time.  Barring a COVID-19 resurgence, both the Justices and advocates will be back in the Justice Building during the week of August 30, 2021 for oral arguments. In a change from pre-pandemic practice, specific argument times are assigned to each case being heard.  For example, on days when five cases are scheduled to be heard,…
Back in January I blogged about how frequently, and in what types of cases, the Fourth Circuit was issuing published opinions after submission on briefs–a new phenomenon in the Circuit made possible only by the pandemic-related suspension of Local Rule 36(a) by Standing Order 20-1.  See here and here.  At the time of those posts, the frequency of the Court’s use of the reprieve from the requirement to have argument for an opinion…
Sad news for North Carolina appellate aficionados. Dan Horne, the Clerk of the North Carolina Court of Appeals, is retiring as of June 30, 2021. As he rides into the sunset, Dan takes with him an impressive amount of experience working in that Court. He began his tenure in 1990 as a law clerk for Judge (later Chief Judge) Gerald Arnold. Two years later, Dan joined the Court of Appeals Office of Staff Counsel as…
It has been more than a year since the Court of Appeals and Supreme Court have held in-person oral arguments.  Thankfully, the appellate courts have been able to continue their important work by utilizing technology to hold WebEx arguments.  And even better, attorneys, clients, and members of the public have been able to see the arguments on the courts’ YouTube pages…. Continue Reading