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At the stroke of midnight, North Carolina’s judiciary entered a new era, with many appellate justices and judges taking the oath office from their homes.  This age-old changing of the guard included Chief Justice Paul Newby being sworn in as the 30th Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of North Carolina.  While COVID has thrown wrinkles into many of the Court’s traditions, the significance of this undertaking is illustrated by this photo of Chief Justice Newby signing his oath of office.  On January 6, 2021, at 10:00 a.m. the Supreme Court will hold a remote investiture ceremony for Chief Justice…
The new year will bring many changes to our state appellate courts.  Another big change was announced yesterday.  With Court of Appeals Chief Judge Linda McGee retiring after over 25 years of service, Chief Justice Cheri Beasley has appointed Judge Donna Stroud as the new chief of our intermediate appellate court, effective January 1, 2021. Judge Stroud has served on the Court of Appeals since 2007—a tenure of 14 years.  She has long been actively engaged with the lawyers in the North Carolina appellate bar.  She also chairs the Chief Justice’s Rules Advisory Commission, which recommends amendments…
Desperately searching for COVID-safe CLE hours?  The North Carolina Court of Appeals is offering appellate continuing legal education courses until the end of February 2021.   According to the Court’s press release, the on-demand video courses are available for free to licensed North Carolina attorneys seeking CLE credit, North Carolina paralegals seeking CPE credit, and the general public.  The courses are divided into six one-hour videos that cover various topics including emerging appellate issues, appellate practice and procedure, ethics, and technology.  Five course videos are available now, and the sixth (covering advanced appellate topics) will be posted later this month. I…
It is hard to believe that it has been three months since Justice Ginsburg passed away.  The NCBA Appellate Practice Section invites you to attend a virtual presentation celebrating  her life, achievements, and legacy.  Join Dean Emerita Suzanne Reynolds as she leads a discussion among Ryan Park, Neil Siegel, and Ruthanne Deutsch about their experience clerking for Justice Ginsburg, her tremendous legacy to the legal profession, and her impact on them personally. The event will take place this Friday at 12:00 p.m.  Register by clicking here, and note that registration for the event closes tomorrow (Thursday) at…
Over the weekend, the last undecided race for North Carolina’s appellate courts was resolved when Chief Justice Cheri Beasley conceded the race to Senior Associate—and Chief Justice-Elect—Paul Newby.   The race was extraordinarily close, with Chief Justice-Elect Newby ultimately prevailing by a margin of 50.0037% to 49.9963%. After two rounds of recounts, and with various protests still pending, Chief Justice Beasley and Chief Justice-Elect Newby announced the amicable resolution on social media.  The Justices’ dignified and measured responses to this most unusual scenario over the past several weeks reflect the high degree of professionalism for which our Supreme Court is…
Last week, the Court of Appeals reinforced the importance of the statutory presumption that a doctor has obtained valid informed consent.  The Hauser v. Brookview Women’s Center court affirmed the trial court’s instruction on the presumption over the plaintiff’s objections.  In a win for providers everywhere, the Court rejected the plaintiff’s arguments that the presumption was only applicable where there were allegations of fraud, deception, or misrepresentation and that it does not apply where there are allegations that the provider did not explain the alternatives to surgery.  The Court also affirmed the exclusion of certain “character” evidence offered by the…
Precisely 364 days ago, Kip previewed  the coming of universal citations.   Twenty-eight days remain until universal citations assume a starring role in judicial opinions and briefs.   And to help practitioners model their own trendsetting citations, the Supreme Court of North Carolina has released a Universal Citation factsheet. Key features include (1) no longer needing the regional reporter reference when citing to North Carolina opinions filed on or after January 1, 2021, (2) replacing parallel pinpoint citations with the opinion’s paragraph number, and (3) omitting the citation’s year parenthetical (the opinion’s year is now embedded in the universal citation).  Two examples…
There is a school of thought in legal writing that you should never put anything too important in footnotes, as some readers might skip over them.  See, e.g., https://www.legalwritingpro.com/articles/the-lowdown-on-footnotes/.  Well, if you are one of those readers, then you would have missed a good footnote from an unpublished Fourth Circuit opinion issued on Monday.    The opinion starts with the sentence “This appeal presents conflict of laws and conflict of interests questions in an insurance coverage dispute.”  This sentence also contains a footnote, which reads, “We apologize in advance for the excitement generated by our framing of the issues…
Those who have known me for any length of time know that for more than a decade I have really, really wanted the Supreme Court to give appellate practitioners clarification on how various transcript-related issues should work in practice.  Today, the Supreme Court of North Carolina granted that wish by amending the North Carolina Rules of Appellate Procedure. For cases appealed on or after January 1, 2021, Appellate Rule 7 has been completely rewritten.   Related changes to Appellate Rules 9, 10, 11, 12, 18, 27, and 28, and Appendixes A and B, have also been adopted.  In my humble opinion,…
The Appellate Practice Section of the North Carolina Bar Association is planning its annual CLE for June 2021.  The Section’s CLE committee is currently assembling the program for the CLE.  In the interest of making the program as relevant and actionable as possible for members of the Section and the bar, the committee invites your input on potential topics and speakers.  If you have suggestions about topics that you would like to see covered or speakers you would like to hear from, or if you are interested in presenting on a particular topic yourself, please contact the co-chairs of the…