If you were waiting anxiously, as I was, for the Chief Justice of the North Carolina Supreme Court to elucidate the process for challenging a Business Court designation, which I wrote about a couple of weeks ago, your torture is over.
Chief Justice Parker ruled in a short Order in Ekren v. K&E Real Estate Investments, LLC that the "Motion to Revoke Status as a Mandatory Business Court Case" filed last month was "denied." The Order was posted on the Business Court website yesterday.
There was no explanation about whether a "Motion to Revoke" is the proper procedure to follow under G.S. §7A-45.4 to get a final review of a Business Court designation. In fact, there was no discussion at all of how to appeal to the Chief Justice, as the statute says to do, when that final review is sought. The Order looked much like one of the form Designation Orders that the Chief Justice issues when assigning a case to the Business Court
I was hoping for more, as you know from my earlier post on the issue. But if this blog only covered the keenly written opinions with business litigation value that come from the NC Supreme Court, it would be a long and lonely vigil. In four years, I’ve only written about a Supreme Court decision once. That post was aptly titled "Lightning Strikes."
The lack of output from our Supreme Court has been the subject of much discussion, including this piece in the Greensboro News & Record. My personal empirical research on the Court’s productivity (conducted by my cat, Dusty, upon my special assignment) showed that in 2011, the Court issued only 13 civil opinions. Dusty (pictured below) arrived at that number by excluding all 2011 opinions captioned "State v. ____." Of the 13 civil opinions, 7 were "per curiam," meaning that no Justice of the Court had individual responsibility for authoring the "opinion." Per curiam opinions typically have little discussion of the merits or the defining law.
So it’s no surprise that after the Ekren "decision" we are left without any independent analysis from the high state Court on how to oppose Business Court jurisdiction. And Dusty had no comment. She went out hunting chipmunks after completing her project, and then took a nap. So there’s nothing more to say, except that Dusty was known to my daughters as the "smart cat" of the family even before her dumb sister got outside and ran away. Dusty was uniquely qualified to conduct this research. But as you can tell from her picture, she found the project very boring.