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Tag Archives: N.C. Court of Appeals

Having it both ways (access required)

Trial lawyers throughout North Carolina are calling for legislators to close a loophole in the state law that lets counties, towns, cities and school boards buy liability insurance without losing the protection of governmental or sovereign immunity.

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Murder defendant loses right to cross-examine witness (access required)

Murder defendant loses right to cross-examine witness

A murderer who threatened to kill a witness and his family forfeited his right to cross-examine the rattled witness during trial, the N.C. Court of Appeals determined in a ruling of first impression. The appeal highlighted a murky area in state law: The N.C. Rules of Evidence are silent on the doctrine of forfeiture by wrongdoing, which also had not been addressed directly in the state’s case law— until now.

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Appeals court cuts time between case filings and dispositions (access required)

Despite budget cutbacks, the North Carolina Court of Appeals is now moving its cases from docketing to opinion in nearly half the time it needed in earlier years. That’s by design, according to Chief Judge John C. Martin. “We embarked on a plan five or six years ago to eliminate backlogs and expedite the handling of appeals,” Martin said. “Back then it was taking a year, maybe a little longer, from the date an appeal was docketed to the date of opinion. Now it takes on average seven to eight months.” Actually, Martin understates the improvement. The average time from docketing to disposition is now 198 days — just under seven months.

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