Wednesday, December 13, 2006, 3:52 PM

No Appeal to NC Supreme Court from Stann

In Stann v. Levine, which we wrote about in November, the COA deemed that improper line spacing, among other things, constituted a "substantial" procedural violation and dismissed an appeal.

Judge Geer dissented, noting that "this Court increasingly elevates form over substance in its attempt to apply our Supreme Court's decision in Viar " ... and proposing that only those errors "that substantively affect the ability of the appellee to respond and this Court to address the appeal" be grounds for dismissal.

Judge Geer's dissent would seem to have provided an ideal vehicle to get Supreme Court clarification on the scope and meaning of Viar, which, as Sean noted in his recent Seay v. Wal-Mart post, gets interpreted differently by different COA judges, with some using Viar as a basis for a bright-line dismissal approach and others finding dismissal warranted only where the violations were egregious or prejudicial to the appellee or the court.

Unfortunately, we'll have to wait for another means to Supreme Court review of the Viar confusion: We've learned that Stann settled right around the time of the COA decision, and that, as a consequence, there will be no appeal to the NC Supreme Court.

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