Tuesday, April 15, 2008, 9:29 PM

COA Excuses Rule Violations

In decisions today the Court of Appeals (COA) excused rule violations, i.e., it didn't dismiss the appeals. In one case the appellant omitted a statement of the standard of review from his brief, thus violating Rule 12(b)(6). In another case the appellant failed to cite an assignment of error after stating the question presented in its argument, in violation of Rule 28(b)(6).

In another case the COA closed with this warning: "In closing, we are constrained to remind counsel that '[t]he Rules of Appellate Procedure are mandatory; an appellant's failure to observe the rules frustrates the process of appellate review and subjects the appeal to dismissal.' Here, our review of the issues raised by this appeal has been impeded andprolonged by a multitude of appellate rules violations, both in the record and in the appellant's brief. While, in this case, 'we elect[ed] to exercise the discretion accorded us by N.C.R. App. P. 2 to consider this appeal on its merits despite appellant's violations of the Appellate Rules,' counsel is admonished to observe the rules in the future." (Citations omitted)


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