N.C. R. App. P. 30. Oral Argument and Unpublished Opinions
(a) Order and Content of Argument.
(1) The appellant is entitled to open and conclude the argument. The opening argument shall include a fair statement of the case. Oral arguments should complement the written briefs, and counsel will therefore not be permitted to read at length from briefs, records, and authorities.
(b) Time Allowed for Argument.
(1) In General. Ordinarily a total of thirty minutes will be allowed all appellants and a total of thirty minutes will be allowed all appellees for oral argument. Upon written or oral application of any party, the court for good cause shown may extend the times limited for argument. Among other causes, the existence of adverse interests between multiple appellants or between multiple appellees may be suggested as good cause for such an extension. The court of its own initiative may direct argument on specific points outside the times limited. Counsel is not obliged to use all the time allowed, and should avoid unnecessary repetition; the court may terminate argument whenever it considers further argument unnecessary.
(2) Numerous Counsel. Any number of counsel representing individual appellants or appellees proceeding separately or jointly may be heard in argument within the times herein limited or allowed by order of court. When more than one counsel is heard, duplication or supplementation of argument on the same points shall be avoided unless specifically directed by the court.
(c) Non-Appearance of Parties. If counsel for any party fails to appear to present oral argument, the court will hear argument from opposing counsel. If counsel for no party appears, the court will decide the case on the written briefs unless it orders otherwise.
(d) Submission on Written Briefs. By agreement of the parties, a case may be submitted for decision on the written briefs, but the court may nevertheless order oral argument before deciding the case.
(e) Unpublished Opinions.
(1) In order to minimize the cost of publication and of providing storage space for the published reports, the Court of Appeals is not required to publish an opinion in every decided case. If the panel that hears the case determines that the appeal involves no new legal principles and that an opinion, if published, would have no value as a precedent, it may direct that no opinion be published.
(2) The text of a decision without published opinion shall be posted on the Court’s web site at https://appellate.nccourts.org/opinions, and reported only by listing the case and the decision in the advance sheets and the bound volumes of the North Carolina Court of Appeals Reports.
(3) An unpublished decision of the North Carolina Court of Appeals does not constitute controlling legal authority. Accordingly, citation of unpublished opinions in briefs, memoranda, and oral arguments in the trial and appellate divisions is disfavored, except for the purpose of establishing claim preclusion, issue preclusion, or the law of the case. If a party believes, nevertheless, that an unpublished opinion has precedential value to a material issue in the case and that there is no published opinion that would serve as well, the party may cite the unpublished opinion if that party serves a copy thereof on all other parties in the case and on the court to which the citation is offered. This service may be accomplished by including the copy of the unpublished opinion in an addendum to a brief or memorandum. A party who cites an unpublished opinion for the first time at a hearing or oral argument must attach a copy of the unpublished opinion relied upon pursuant to the requirements of Rule 28(g). When citing an unpublished opinion, a party must indicate the opinion’s unpublished status.
(4) Counsel of record and pro se parties of record may move for publication of an unpublished opinion, citing reasons based on Rule 30(e)(1) and serving a copy of the motion upon all other counsel and pro se parties of record. The motion shall be filed and served within ten days of the filing of the opinion. Any objection to the requested publication by counsel or pro se parties of record must be filed within five days after service of the motion requesting publication. The panel that heard the case shall determine whether to allow or deny such motion.
(f) Pre-Argument Review; Decision of Appeal Without Oral Argument.
(1) At any time that the Supreme Court concludes that oral argument in any case pending before it will not be of assistance to the Court, it may dispose of the case on the record and briefs. In those cases, counsel will be notified not to appear for oral argument.
(2) The Chief Judge of the Court of Appeals may from time to time designate a panel to review any pending case, after all briefs are filed but before argument, for decision under this rule. If all of the judges of the panel to which a pending appeal has been referred conclude that oral argument will not be of assistance to the Court, the case may be disposed of on the record and briefs. Counsel will be notified not to appear for oral argument.
287 N.C. 671; 288 N.C. 737; 289 N.C. 731; 296 N.C. 743; 303 N.C. 715; 324 N.C. 613; 354 N.C. 609; 355 N.C. 776; 356 N.C. 706; 358 N.C. 824; 359 N.C. 883; 363 N.C. 901.