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Effective Appellate Litigation: Improving Your Practice in State and Federal Courts of Appeals (2021 Appellate Practice Section Program)

8:55        Welcome and Introductions

9:00        The Nuts and Bolts of Appellate Litigation in North Carolina Courts

Judge Allegra Collins, North Carolina Court of Appeals, Raleigh
Judge Richard D. Dietz, North Carolina Court of Appeals, Raleigh
Judge Fred Gore, North Carolina Court of Appeals, Raleigh

The past year has been a year of change for appellate practice in the North Carolina courts and there are more exciting changes to come. In this session, three Court of Appeals judges bring you up to speed on the recent and upcoming changes in practice, procedure, and technology at the appellate courts. They describe how to use technology to improve the quality of written and oral presentations, discuss the future of remote oral arguments, explore the shift to e-filing in the trial courts and its ramifications for appellate practice, explain North Carolina's new universal citation system, and preview some appellate rule changes that are likely to arrive soon.

10:03      Hidden Gems: The Surprising Stories Behind Some of North Carolina's Appellate Practices

Matthew N. Leerberg, Fox Rothschild LLP, Raleigh
Elizabeth Brooks Scherer, Fox Rothschild LLP, Raleigh

Over a span of several years, Matt Leerberg and Beth Scherer researched and wrote a comprehensive treatise on North Carolina appellate practice and procedure. As they did so, they discovered that many modern appellate practices have a fascinating historical pedigree. Why are so many mistakes at the notice-of-appeal stage considered "jurisdictional"? Why are orders entered after a final judgment appealable at all? How did the Appellate Rules come to take their current form? Join us as we explore these and many other questions through the lens of history.

11:04      Break

11:14      Strategies and Resources for Addressing the Risks of Remote Work for Mental Health and Professionalism

Judge Lucy N. Inman, North Carolina Court of Appeals, Raleigh
Robert E. Harrington, Robinson Bradshaw & Hinson PA, Charlotte
Richard E. Hicks Ph.D., HRC Behavioral Health & Psychiatry PA, Chapel Hill

The shift to a remote working environment over the past year has serious implications for lawyers' mental health and standards of professionalism. Remote work and accompanying strains on mental health can enhance feelings of isolation, heighten the risk of depression and substance abuse, and lead to unprofessional behavior as lawyers in their communication and work product. Appellate lawyers can be especially prone to these risks given the sometimes-isolating nature of appellate work. In this session, presenters draw on their experience to discuss these issues, advise attorneys on how to recognize situations in which they or their colleagues might benefit from intervention, and make lawyers aware of strategies and resources that are available to help them get back on track.

12:15      Lunch Break

12:45      From the Private Bar to the Federal Bench: What I Know Now That I Wish I Knew Then

Judge Allison J. Rushing, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit, Asheville
Sripriya Narasimhan, North Carolina Department of Justice, Raleigh

In March 2019, after spending nearly a decade practicing appellate litigation, the Honorable Allison Jones Rushing moved from the private bar to the federal bench. Despite many years at the height of the practice, the transition to the bench has brought a host of insights that Judge Rushing wishes she had known when she was writing briefs and crafting oral arguments to convince her now-judicial colleagues. In this session, Sripriya Narasimhan interviews Judge Rushing about those insights and other lessons learned over the last two years.

1:17        Issue Framing

Mark A. Hiller, Robinson Bradshaw & Hinson PA, Raleigh
Timothy P. Lendino, Compass Group North America, Charlotte

How do you turn a dry legal argument into a compelling story that grabs the judge's attention? What does it mean for your argument to have a "theme"? This session focuses on the elusive yet critical skill of issue framing, offering practical guidance. While often referred to in the context of appellate brief writing, issue framing can strengthen your written and oral advocacy in any court, and even outside the courtroom.

2:19        Break

2:29        Cross-Appeals: What, Why, When and How in State and Federal Courts

James W. Doggett, North Carolina Department of Justice, Raleigh
Michelle A. Liguori, Ellis & Winters LLP, Raleigh

Cross-appeals are not everyday affairs in appellate litigation, but when necessary, they can be vital to protecting your clients' interests. In this session, Jim Doggett and Michelle Liguori draw on their significant experience to explain what a cross-appeal is, why you may want or need to file a cross-appeal, and the procedures to be followed for briefing and arguing cross‑appeals under both the North Carolina and federal rules. The state-law portion includes a discussion of cross-appeals in the North Carolina Supreme Court, including dissent-based appeals and cases heard on discretionary review. The presenters also survey data about recent cross-appeals in the North Carolina appellate courts and the Fourth Circuit and discuss a few landmark cross-appeals that highlight the governing rules and pitfalls to avoid.

3:29        The Lighting of a Fire: Lessons Learned in Supervising Appellate Clinic Students

Sean E. Andrussier, Duke University School of Law, Durham
John J. Korzen, Wake Forest University School of Law, Winston-Salem

It has been said that "education is not the filling of a pail, but the lighting of a fire." In this session, the presenters discuss lessons learned from supervising 3Ls in the appellate clinics they have directed for more than 25 combined years. With advice appropriate for young appellate attorneys, those who supervise young appellate attorneys and everybody in between, they share thoughts on the "lighting of a fire" in appellate counsel.

4:00        Adjourn

† Indicates portion providing Substance Abuse/Mental Health credit
‡ Indicates portion providing Technology Training credit

Thank you

Thank you for joining us Effective Appellate Litigation: Improving Your Practice in State and Federal Courts of Appeals (2021 Appellate Practice Section Program).


  • Sean E. Andrussier

    Sean E. Andrussier is a clinical professor of law at Duke University School of Law, where he is the director of Duke's Appellate Litigation Clinic. He also teaches courses in appellate practice and scholarly writing, and he is running an appellate externship program in the field of federal criminal defense.

    Before joining Duke's faculty, he practiced law with firms in N.C. and Washington, D.C. He previously clerked for Judge Karen LeCraft Henderson (D.C. Cir.) and Judge M. Blane Michael (4th Cir.).

    Click here for more information about Sean.

  • Judge Allegra Collins

    Judge Allegra Collins received her Juris Doctor (J.D.) from Campbell University Adrian Wiggins School of Law. She is the founder of Allegra Collins Law and was a professor at Campbell Law School.

    Judge Collins is the Vice Chair of the N.C. Bar Association's Appellate Practice section and a member of its Appellate Rules Committee. She is a former law clerk to the Honorable Judge Linda Stephens on the N.C. Court of Appeals and a former assistant appellate reporter at the Supreme Court of North Carolina.

    Click here for more information about Judge Collins.

  • Judge Richard D. Dietz

    Judge Richard D. Dietz grew up in a small Pennsylvania Dutch family with roots in the mountains of north central Pennsylvania. He is a Lutheran. He comes from a family of railroad and telephone workers and was the first in his family to attend college.

    Before joining the Court, Judge Dietz was a partner on the Appellate & Supreme Court team at Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton LLP, a 650-lawyer international law firm with its roots in North Carolina.

    In his legal practice, Judge Dietz argued in the U.S. Supreme Court in Abramski v. United States, 134 S.Ct. 2259 (2014), and handled dozens of appeals in other state and federal courts around the country. He argued cases in a wide range of legal areas, including constitutional law, complex business law, criminal law, family law, and tort law. He has also represented a broad array of clients, from Fortune 500 companies to low-income families and indigent criminal defendants.

    Judge Dietz is a North Carolina board certified specialist in Appellate Practice. He previously served as a vice president of the North Carolina Bar Association, as vice chair of the Appellate Practice Section and on the Appellate Practice Section Council. He has also served for more than ten years on the Bar Association's Appellate Rules Committee, a group of lawyers and judges who review the state's appellate rules and draft proposed changes.

    Judge Dietz has served on a number of court-related boards and commissions, including the North Carolina Courts Commission, a group of judges, lawyers, legislators, and private citizens who study and recommend changes to the court system. He currently serves on the North Carolina Equal Access to Justice Commission and chaired the Commission's strategic planning committee.

    Click here for more information about Judge Dietz.

  • James W. Doggett

    James W. Doggett is a deputy solicitor general at the North Carolina Department of Justice, where he represents the State of North Carolina, its agencies, and its officials in civil appeals. He has argued cases before the North Carolina Supreme Court, the North Carolina Court of Appeals, and multiple federal courts of appeals, including the en banc U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit.

    Jim received his undergraduate degree with honors and highest distinction from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where he was a member of the Order of the Golden Fleece. He received his law degree from Columbia Law School, where he was a Kent Scholar, a Stone Scholar, and a notes editor on the Columbia Law Review.

    After law school, Jim clerked for the Honorable Fortunato P. Benavides on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, and practiced law in New York City at Cleary Gottlieb Stein & Hamilton LLP. Earlier this year, the North Carolina Supreme Court cited his student note in its landmark decision that held that parties in North Carolina's state courts need not satisfy federal standing requirements.

  • Jonathan Y. Ellis

    Jonathan Y. Ellis is an Assistant to the Solicitor General at the U.S. Department of Justice. He has filed more than 85 briefs in the U.S. Supreme Court on a host of issues including various aspects of constitutional law, immigration law, copyright law, patent law, administrative law, and others. He has also argued seven cases in the Supreme Court.

    Before joining the Office of the Solicitor General, Jonathan practiced at Latham & Watkins in its Supreme Court and Appellate Group. Prior to Latham, he clerked for the Chief Justice of the United States, John G. Roberts, Jr., and for Judge A. Raymond Randolph of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit.

    Jonathan is a Wilmington native (though he moved to Cary when he was two months old and lived there until college) and a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania Carey Law School and North Carolina State University.

    Click here for more information about Jonathan.

  • Judge Fred Gore

    Judge Fred Gore grew up in Supply, NC. After high school he joined the North Carolina National Guard as an infantry soldier. He completed basic and advanced individual training at Fort Benning, Ga., before leaving for college.

    Judge Gore attended the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, where he majored in Business with a concentration in Marketing and obtained his B.S.B.A. in 1998. Judge Gore worked in the business world for several years with companies like Nike before going back to law school. He was admitted to Appalachian School of Law in Grundy, Va., and graduated with his Juris Doctorate. In Law School Judge Gore excelled as a well-rounded student and member of his community while completing over 300 hours of community service and he was also selected to Who's Who of American Law Students in 2003 and 2004.

    In 2012 Judge Gore rejoined the District Attorney's office. In 2014, while serving as a prosecutor, Judge Gore was elected to the District Court Bench and served Bladen, Brunswick and Columbus Counties as District Court Judge. He obtained his Certification as Juvenile Court Judge and served as the primary juvenile judge for the district until 2020. Judge Gore was elected to the North Carolina Court of Appeals in 2020 and started his eight-year term in 2021.

    Click here for more information about Judge Gore.

  • Robert E. "Rob" Harrington

    Robert E. "Rob" Harrington is a member of Robinson Bradshaw & Hinson PA in Charlotte. Rob litigates complex business disputes. He represents corporate clients in a broad range of contract, trade practice and other business matters. Rob has served as lead counsel in cases in various jurisdictions, including the North Carolina Business Court and other state and federal courts in North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia, Georgia, Mississippi and Louisiana. He has frequently defended financial institutions in consumer lending disputes and lawsuits arising from their service as fiduciaries.

    Rob chairs the firm's Litigation Department. He served as president of the Mecklenburg County Bar, was appointed by the Chief Justice of the North Carolina Supreme Court to the North Carolina Commission on the Administration of Law and Justice and serves as a member of the board of governors of the North Carolina Bar Association. For his professional work and civic engagement, North Carolina Lawyers Weekly recognized Rob as Lawyer of the Year in 2017 and Business North Carolina included him in its annual Power 100 list for 2020.

    Rob received his B.A. degree, magna cum laude, from Duke University and his J.D. degree with high honors from Duke University School of Law in 1987.

    Click here for more information about Rob.

  • Richard E. Hicks PhD

    Richard E. Hicks PhD a licensed psychologist and a licensed clinical addictions specialist, is Executive Director of HRC and Director of EAP Programs (BarCARES representing the largest of those programs).

    Dr. Hicks received undergraduate degrees in Psychology and Electrical Engineering from North Carolina State University. He obtained a Masters and Doctorate in Clinical Psychology from the University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill. He has provided psychological services to adults, adolescents, and children in a variety of outpatient and inpatient settings since 1998. He served on the Board of the North Carolina Psychological Association from 2009-2015, and he currently serves on the North Carolina Substance Abuse Professional Practice Board.

    Click here for more information about Dr. Hicks.

  • Mark A. Hiller

    Mark A. Hiller is a commercial litigator. He helps clients navigate their complex disputes at all stages, from pre-litigation through appeals. He has represented clients in high-stakes disputes in a range of industries, including health care, manufacturing, telecommunications, banking and government contracting. Mark's experience includes representing or advising clients on significant matters involving class actions, business and contract disputes, intellectual property, trade secret disputes, cybersecurity and the False Claims Act. He also has represented clients in government investigations.

    Before joining Robinson Bradshaw, Mark served as a law clerk to U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor and practiced law at a litigation boutique in Washington DC.

    Click here for more information about Mark.

  • Judge Lucy N. Inman

    Judge Lucy N. Inman has served on the North Carolina Court of Appeals since her election in 2014. She previously served as a special superior court judge for four years, presiding in trials and hearings in more than 40 of our state's 100 counties.

    Judge Inman started her legal career as a law clerk to Chief Justice Jim Exum of the Supreme Court of North Carolina. She then practiced civil litigation for 18 years, first in California and later in North Carolina. She received her JD in 1990 from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Law and her BA in English in 1984 from N.C. State University. Judge Inman's first career was as a newspaper reporter.

    Judge Inman serves on the Board of Directors of NC BarCARES, a nonprofit provider of free, confidential and professional counseling to lawyers and judges. She has previously served in leadership positions with the North Carolina Bar Association and the North Carolina Association of Women Attorneys.

    Judge Inman and her husband Billy Warden live in Raleigh.

    Click here for more information about Judge Inman.

  • John J. Korzen

    John J. Korzen is the Director of the Appellate Advocacy Clinic and an Associate Professor of Legal Writing. He is certified by the North Carolina State Bar Board of Legal Specialization as a specialist in Appellate Practice. He has argued appeals in the Supreme Court of the United States, Fourth Circuit, Eleventh Circuit, Supreme Court of North Carolina, and the Court of Appeals of North Carolina. He has supervised the work of third-year law students in all of those appellate courts and others.

    Before joining the faculty in 2003, John practiced law for a total of eleven years, with Smith Helms Mulliss & Moore in Greensboro, and Anderson Korzen & Associates in Kernersville. He previously served as a law clerk for the late Sam J. Ervin, III, then Chief Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit. Before attending law school,

    John taught grades 4 through 7 in the Winston-Salem/Forsyth County School System for six years. He and his wife Catherine live in Kernersville and they have three daughters.

    Click here for more information about John.

  • Matthew N. Leerberg

    Matthew N. Leerberg is Managing Partner of Fox Rothschild LLP's Raleigh office, a member of the firm's Executive Committee and Co-Chair of the Appellate Practice Group. He focuses his practice on helping businesses navigate state and federal litigation and appeals.

    Click here for more information about Matt.

  • Timothy P. Lendino

    Timothy P. Lendino is Corporate Counsel at Compass Group, a global foodservice company with its U.S. headquarters in Charlotte, NC. In that role, Tim supports the procurement operations of the company, which involves vendor contracting, commercial dispute/litigation management, antitrust compliance, and other corporate compliance matters.

    Prior to joining Compass Group, Tim was a commercial litigator at Bradley and Smith Moore Leatherwood. As a commercial litigator, Tim was particularly focused on practicing in the North Carolina Business Court, and he served as a vice-chair for that Court's rules committee and clerked for the Honorable John R. Jolly, Jr.

    Click here for more information about Timothy.

  • Michelle A. Liguori

    Michelle A. Liguori is an appellate and trial-court litigator at Ellis & Winters LLP in Raleigh, where she represents clients in a broad array of civil and criminal litigation matters. At Ellis & Winters, Michelle has litigated numerous commercial disputes involving claims for breach of contract, breach of fiduciary duty, and corporate information rights. She has also defended several class actions, and regularly writes about issues that arise in the class-action context. Michelle's practice also involves estate disputes, product-liability defense, and consumer-protection litigation.

    Before joining Ellis & Winters in 2018, Michelle spent three years helping federal judges decide appeals as a staff attorney and law clerk at the United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit. She later worked for the Solicitor General's Office at the North Carolina Department of Justice, handling civil and criminal appeals in the state and federal appellate courts. At Ellis & Winters, Michelle has worked on numerous appeals that have arisen in civil litigation matters, and she represents criminal defendants in the North Carolina appellate courts as a member of the Office of the Appellate Defender's Criminal Appellate Roster. Michelle is also on the Criminal Justice Act Appointments list for the Eleventh Circuit.

    In addition to her law practice, Michelle serves the next generation of lawyers as an adjunct professor at Duke Law School, where she has taught legal writing to international L.L.M. students, and scholarly writing to J.D. students. She is also a member of the Board of Directors of the Harvard Club of the Research Triangle.

    Click here for more information about Michelle.

  • Sripriya Narasimhan

    Sripriya Narasimhan serves as Deputy General Counsel to North Carolina Attorney General Josh Stein. In that role, she manages the Department's high-stakes litigation and offers strategic counseling on matters at both the trial and appellate level in state and federal courts. In addition, Narasimhan manages crises and advises the AG on his strategic and policy goals and substantive legal positions.

    Narasimhan's work focuses on constitutional law and civil rights matters, with a special focus in the areas of the separation of powers and executive power, voting rights, reproductive justice, gender discrimination, economic justice, and immigration. Additionally, she leads and works with multistate coalitions on civil-rights issues.

    Narasimhan previously served as Associate General Counsel at the U.S. Department of Transportation, where she counseled the Secretary on the Department's regulatory programs and litigation and enforcement. Before that, she practiced trial and appellate law at Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher in New York and Washington D.C., and was a member of the adjunct faculty at the George Washington University Law School.

    Click here for more information about Sripriya.

  • Judge Allison J. Rushing

    Judge Allison J. Rushing serves on the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit. Before joining the bench, Judge Rushing practiced law as a partner at Williams & Connolly LLP, where her practice focused on appeals and Supreme Court litigation.

    Throughout her career in private practice, Judge Rushing was consistently recognized among Super Lawyer's "Rising Stars" and by The National Law Journal's "Appellate Hot List." Legal 500 praised her "excellent writing advocacy skills," and she was annually recognized for her commitment to pro bono representation.

    Judge Rushing is a native of Hendersonville, North Carolina. She graduated summa cum laude from Wake Forest University and magna cum laude from Duke University School of Law, where she was Executive Editor of the Duke Law Journal and a member of the Moot Court Board.

    After law school, Judge Rushing clerked for then-Judge Neil Gorsuch of the United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit, Judge David Sentelle of the United States Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit, and Justice Clarence Thomas of the United States Supreme Court.

    Click here for more information about Judge Rushing.

  • Elizabeth Brooks Scherer

    Elizabeth Brooks Scherer is a Board Certified Specialist in Appellate Practice who for 15 years has devoted her entire practice to federal and state appeals. She recently co-authored Lexis' North Carolina Appellate Practice and Procedure treatise (©2019) with her Fox Rothschild colleague, Matt Leerberg.

    Beth has a long history of leadership within the appellate bar. For example, she has chaired both the Appellate Rules Committee and the Appellate Practice Specialization Committee. She is also a founding member and regular contributor to the North Carolina Appellate Practice Blog, a leading resource on North Carolina appellate practice and procedure.

    While Beth has a well-known passion for mentoring younger appellate lawyers and fostering excellence in the field of appellate practice and procedure, her greatest joy is raising three kids with her husband of 17 years.

    Click here for more information about Beth.

  • Erik R. Zimmerman

    Erik R. Zimmerman is a shareholder in the Research Triangle office of Robinson Bradshaw. He represents clients in a broad range of commercial litigation matters, with a focus on appeals. He has argued in the Fourth Circuit, the North Carolina Supreme Court, and the North Carolina Court of Appeals, and has filed numerous briefs in the U.S. Supreme Court, the North Carolina appellate courts, and other federal and state appellate courts across the country. Erik clerked for Chief Justice of the United States, John G. Roberts, Jr., and for Judge J. Harvie Wilkinson III of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit.

    Before joining Robinson Bradshaw, he practiced for several years in the appellate group at Gibson Dunn in Washington DC.

    Erik graduated from Stanford Law School and Harvard University. A Cary native, he now lives in Chapel Hill.

    Click here for more information about Erik.

September 14, 2021
Tue 8:55 AM EDT

Duration 7H 5M

This live web event has ended.

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