No, Justice Ervin didn’t use the words hot mess. But anyone who slogs their way through the tortured procedural swamp that led to State v. Miller, __ N.C. __ (March 18, 2016), is bound to agree that the procedures adopted in 2006 for appeals in DWI cases have created a nearly impenetrable bog for the parties involved. I’m going to do my best here to succinctly explain what happened in Miller. Then I’ll share an idea for freeing litigants and judges from the procedural muck in which they are currently mired.
Two cases this month from the Court of Appeals, one published and one not, offer different perspectives on the meaning of an appeal for a “trial de novo” in superior court. Neither of the cases speaks directly to what a trial de novo is, but they offer an opportunity to think about the difference between … Read more