New Practice Guide: Defense Motions and Notices in Superior Court

I’m happy to announce my first indigent defense practice guide, Defense Motions and Notices in Superior Court. As the title implies, it’s a court-ready guide for practitioners about common defense motions in superior court criminal cases at the trial level. While it is primarily written with non-capital felony cases in mind, the information will hopefully be useful to all criminal defense attorneys.

The guide is in more or less chronological order of how a criminal case proceeds. Each entry lists the authority for the motion, its basic concepts, applicable deadlines, and any practice pointers. Because it is not a treatise on each type of motion, there are links and references to more detailed information throughout the guide. I can’t say that it includes every type of motion that one may need to file in any given case, but my goal was to put all of the requirements for the most common and important motions all in one place (along with those of a few less common motions as well). One might use the table of contents as a checklist for motions practice. I hope and expect to add to it eventually. So if any readers have suggestions for a motion to add, please let me know.

You can access the guide for free on the Defender Manuals website, here. Scroll over the Practice Guides tab at the top of the page and, when the dropdown menu appears, click on Defense Motions and Notices in Superior Court. You also can click on specific sections of the guide, such as Discovery Motions or Trial-Specific Motions.

This will be the first in a series of practice guides I plan to write. Each will focus on a specific area of criminal law and will follow a similar format. Some, like this one, will be more focused on procedure; others will focus on substantive criminal law. Next up in the series will be defending habitual felon cases, and probably defending sexual assault cases after that. If readers have suggestions for a topic they would like to see become a practice guide, let me know. Many thanks to John Rubin and the fine folks in SOG Publications and Information Technology for all their editing and production assistance.

4 thoughts on “New Practice Guide: Defense Motions and Notices in Superior Court”

  1. You say, on page 31, “North Carolina has no speedy trial statute.” What about NCGS 15-10? It’s kind of an oddball statute that seems to deal with pre-indictment delay, but it is entitled “Speedy trial or discharge on commitment for felony.”

    • Thanks TJ. Fair enough. I see 15-10 more as promising release than trial despite the title, and it’s referenced a little further along. It’s also so seemingly narrow that I didn’t consider it as a general speedy trial statute like most states have and like we used to have until ‘89.


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