August 2023 Appellate Recap: Let-the-Heat-Stop Edition

Troy, a white man with brown hair and a beard, wears a white and blue shirt and a black suit.By Troy Shelton 

Welcome to the new bar year for the Appellate Practice Section! While you were weathering this oppressive summer, you may have missed out on some interesting appellate news. Let’s catch up.

Hail to the chief. Judge Albert Diaz was installed as the new Chief Judge of the Fourth Circuit. Judge Diaz keeps his chambers in Charlotte. Before his appointment to the federal bench, he served our state as a Business Court Judge. Here’s the Court’s full press release. Congrats!

Full-court press. Past chair James Kilbourne noted a fascinating order from the Fourth Circuit denying en banc review. For anyone seeking insight into the en banc proceeding in that Court, and how those judges look at the process, you’ll want to see the competing views.

Read more

Video of Appellate Insights Program with Judge Toby J. Heytens

Daniel GibsonBy Dan Gibson

We have some good news if you missed the recent Appellate Insights Program with the Honorable Toby J. Heytens of the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals. We recorded it, and you can watch it online.

You can access the recording by clicking on this link and entering the following passcode: zw7?7n3u

Judge Heytens is the newest member of the Fourth Circuit. His discussion of his role as Virginia’s Solicitor General and his transition to the federal bench were riveting. He also had some great practice tips.

Appellate Practice Section Meeting and CLE

By the Appellate Practice Section 

This year’s Appellate Practice Section meeting and CLE Appellate Lawyering in Context is on April 27, 2022. After a COVID-19 hiatus, we are back to an in-person program, which has a live webcast available, too. You can register online here. We have great content this year. North Carolina Solicitor General Ryan Park, former North Carolina Solicitor General Matthew Sawchak, and former assistant U.S. Solicitor General Jonathan Ellis will be speaking about what it is like to be a solicitor general. Justice (Ret.) Timmons-Goodson and Judge (Ret.) Wanda Bryant will discuss diversity in the appellate bar. In addition, leading North Carolina criminal appellate lawyers will discuss brief-writing tips for all appellate practitioners, and we’ll address changes to the North Carolina Rules of Appellate Procedure, building an appellate practice, and getting the most out of moots.

To celebrate returning to in-person meetings, we are raffling off treatises for appellate practitioners to in-person attendees.  You’ll get to see your friends and win books.

If you are just so excited you can’t wait for the meeting and CLE, we’ve got good news. The Appellate Practice Section is having a social the night before (sign-up link here). Join us at Sitti (137 N. Wilmington St) at 5 p.m. for a night of fun.
We look forward to seeing you there.

NC Supreme Court Starts a Podcast

Dan GibsonBy Dan Gibson 

Listening to your oral arguments can improve your practice – and the North Carolina Supreme Court has just made it easier.

Thanks to the tireless efforts of Fred Wood and the suggestion of our section’s communications chair, the North Carolina Supreme Court has a podcast. The Court is uploading the audio from oral arguments to its podcast.

Oral arguments from 1/5 and 1/6 are already uploaded. The Court plans to upload all future arguments.

You can find the podcast on Spotify and RadioPublic. The podcasts should be on Google Podcasts soon.

The podcast is limited to Supreme Court arguments for now but may expand to Court of Appeals arguments in the future.

Happy listening!

Pre-NCSCHS Gathering

Dan GibsonBy Dan Gibson

This Thursday, October 21, is the anniversary event for the North Carolina Supreme Court Historical Society. For those who are interested in socializing beforehand, some attorneys are planning to gather beginning at 5:30 p.m. at Trophy Brewing & Pizza (827 W. Morgan Street) and then walk over to the event. We would love to see you there.

Please note that this is not an NCBA-sponsored event, and attendees must pay for their own food or drinks. We are hoping to have sponsored social events in the near future.

NCSCHS 2021 Social

Dan GibsonBy Dan Gibson 

The North Carolina Supreme Court Historical Society’s 2021 Social is Oct. 21. The society will be celebrating its 30th anniversary, and the evening will feature a tribute to founding president Charles F. Blanchard.

Please note that the RSVP date is this Tuesday, Oct. 12 (the date by which we must give guaranteed minimums to the caterers). Given the size of the venue, tickets are limited, so please acquire yours as soon as possible if you are planning to attend (i.e., tickets may not be available at the door). We certainly hope you are able to join us for a special evening.

Welcome to a New Bar Year

By Erin Blondel

Welcome to a new bar year as a member of the Appellate Practice Section. After an unusually challenging year for so many, I look forward to spending more time together as we build on the section’s tradition of excellent programing and services.

I want to warmly thank Stephen Feldman for his excellent leadership as chair last year. I am honored to assume responsibility as chair after several years on the section council and in section leadership. I am currently an academic fellow at Columbia Law School researching criminal law and policy after serving seven years as an assistant United States attorney in the Eastern District of North Carolina.

Section leadership is already working on planning many interesting events, and we will provide more information you as they draw nearer. In the meantime, please note some key dates for this year:

  • September 23, 2021: Section council meeting
  • December 2, 2021: Section council meeting
  • March 11, 2022: Section council meeting
  • April 27, 2022: Annual meeting and CLE
  • June 2, 2022: Section council meeting

If you are interested in becoming more involved in the section or have suggestions for programs or events, please contact me at [email protected]. If you would like to remain a section member for this bar year and have not already renewed your section membership, please try to do so by the end of August.

Thank you for the opportunity to serve as your chair this year. I look forward to working with all of you.

Join the Appellate Practice Section for Effective Appellate Litigation: Improving Your Practice in State and Federal Courts of Appeals

Jonathan Ellis

Erik Zimmerman

By Jonathan Ellis and Erik Zimmerman

The Appellate Practice Section is pleased to present its 2021 CLE, Effective Appellate Litigation: Improving Your Practice in State and Federal Courts of Appeals.

During this program, superstars of the North Carolina bench and bar will cover a variety of topics to help you become a better and more effective appellate attorney.



Our speakers include:

  • Judge Allison J. Rushing, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit
  • Judge Allegra Collins, North Carolina Court of Appeals
  • Judge Richard D. Dietz, North Carolina Court of Appeals
  • Judge Fred Gore, North Carolina Court of Appeals
  • Judge Lucy N. Inman, North Carolina Court of Appeals
  • Sean E. Andrussier, Duke University School of Law
  • James W. Doggett, North Carolina Department of Justice
  • Robert E. Harrington, Robinson, Bradshaw & Hinson, P.A.
  • Richard E. Hicks, Ph.D., HRC Behavioral Health & Psychiatry PA
  • Mark A. Hiller, Robinson, Bradshaw & Hinson, P.A.
  • John J. Korzen, Wake Forest University School of Law
  • Matthew N. Leerberg, Fox Rothschild LLP
  • Timothy P. Lendino, Compass Group North America
  • Michelle A. Liguori, Ellis & Winters LLP
  • Sripriya Narasimhan, North Carolina Department of Justice
  • Elizabeth Brooks Scherer, Fox Rothschild LLP

Read more

Be a Part of The Bluebook Club

By Amie Sivon

Please join the Appellate Practice Section for our next Bluebook Club meetings. Sign up now to join a small group of other appellate-minded attorneys for a Zoom social meeting. You can choose from two dates (or join us for both). Each registrant will be assigned into a small group of other participants for a quick and fun discussion over the lunch break. Whether you have attended one of our previous sessions or are a new participant, we would love for you to join us!

First Option

When | Thursday, May 13, noon to 12:30 p.m.

RSVP | Click here (please log in to register)

Notes | Only those registered by noon on May 12 will be able to attend. The Zoom link will be sent before the event.

Second Option

When | Tuesday, May 25, 1 to 1:30 p.m.

RSVP | Click here (please log in to register)

Notes | Only those registered by noon on May 24 will be able to attend. The Zoom link will be sent before the event.

Join the Appellate Practice Section for a Fireside Chat with the Chiefs

By Kip Nelson

Please join us for the Appellate Practice Section’s final Appellate Insights event of the bar year, a Fireside Chat with the Chiefs, featuring Chief Justice Paul Newby of the Supreme Court of North Carolina and Chief Judge Donna Stroud of the North Carolina Court of Appeals. Chief Justice Newby and Chief Judge Stroud were sworn in as chiefs of their respective courts in January 2021. During this program, they will discuss their distinguished careers, their responsibilities as chiefs, and their perspectives on the work of the North Carolina appellate courts. Duke Law School Professor Marin K. Levy, a national expert on appellate courts and appellate process, will moderate. We hope you will join us to learn more about the North Carolina appellate courts from the unique perspective of the courts’ distinguished chiefs.

When | Thursday, May 6, 1 to 2 p.m.

Where | Zoom

RSVP | Click here (please log in to register)

Notes | Only those registered by noon on May 5 will be able to attend this event. A Zoom link will be sent the afternoon or morning before the event.

Questions? Please contact Andrea Bradford at [email protected].