Friday, August 24, 2007, 10:20 AM

NC SCT Grants NC Bar's Petition For Review In Jurisdictional Dispute

Today the NC Supreme Court granted a petition for discretionary review in Gilbert v. North Carolina State Bar (the Court of Appeals' opinion is here). In this case, while an attorney disciplinary proceeding against Gilbert was pending before the Bar, Gilbert filed an action against the Bar in superior court alleging that the Bar was acting in bad faith and conducting a vindictive prosecution. He sought an injunction to enjoin the Bar from prosecuting the action. Despite the Bar's objection that the superior court had no jurisdiction to interfere with a pending disciplinary proceeding, the superior court granted a preliminary injunction, and then granted a permanent injunction on summary judgment. The Bar appealed that order, but because the superior court's judgment hadn't yet fixed damages, the Court of Appeals dismissed the appeal as interlocutory. The Bar petitioned for review to present two issues: 1) Did the Court of Appeals err in dismissing the Bar's appeal of the injunction as interlocutory? 2) Did the Superior Court have jurisdiction to permanently enjoin the Bar's prosecution of an attorney disciplinary proceeding? Today the Supreme Court granted the petition.

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