Court of Appeals Summer Appellate Seminar

Responding to COVID-19’s impacts on law students by providing an online seminar to provide practical knowledge and experience.

This five-week seminar ran from June 1 – July 1, 2020. The seminar was conducted via Webex and will consist of interactive lectures, recommended readings, and optional research and writing assignments. Lecturers were Judge Richard Dietz and Judge Philip Berger Jr. of the Court of Appeals. Classes were offered at no cost to law students interested in practicing in the North Carolina appellate courts.

The seminar classes had two formats: (1) lectures and (2) small group meetings. Lecture sessions lasted 50 minutes and consisted of a presentation by the judges with group interaction using the Webex chat function. Small group meetings lasted 45-60 minutes and give students the option to discuss hypothetical problems or case studies with the judges through video or audio. Small group meetings were limited to 15 students per session to ensure all students have an opportunity to participate in the discussion. 

Some classes involved hypothetical problems, case studies, or other materials that should be reviewed in advance. A link to these materials is included in the schedule below. Participants received an email reminder before each class with links to the relevant course materials.

June 1
Introduction and Overview of Appellate Practice and Procedure (Dietz & Berger)
June 3
Trial Courts, Preservation, Appellate Jurisdiction, Standards of Review, and Related Issues (Berger)
June 8
Case Study in Statutory Interpretation – Criminal Law (Berger)
June 11-18

Small Group Meetings
Interpretive Theories on Appeal (Dietz)
June 15
Applied Legal Writing: Practical Legal Writing Tips and Using Technology in Brief Writing (Dietz)
June 16-19

Small Group Meetings
Internships and Clerkships (Berger)
June 22

Emerging Issues in Appellate Practice (Dietz)
June 24

Arguing in Trial Courts v Appellate Courts (Dietz & Berger)
June 25-30

Small Group Meetings
Ethics and Professionalism in Appeals and Legal Writing (Dietz)
July 1

Judgments, Mandates, and Further Appellate Review — Wrap Up (Dietz & Berger)