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In today's fast-paced and rapidly evolving legal and business environment, in-depth legal knowledge, creativity, and outstanding written and oral advocacy skills are essential to solve our clients' most difficult legal challenges.  Our attorneys have honed the art of appellate advocacy through countless arguments before the state and federal appellate courts and in other administrative forums.

Board-certified appellate specialist Matthew Nis Leerberg leads the Smith Moore Leatherwood Appellate Team, which offers a wealth of experience, analytical ability, and procedural knowledge.

Our attorneys represent clients through every stage of the appellate process, including identifying cases that may be headed for an appeal, issues preservation, post-trial motions, and interlocutory appeals and writs.  We also advise our clients in understanding whether to take an appeal and the chances of prevailing.

Members of the Smith Moore Leatherwood Appellate Practice Team also produce the North Carolina Appellate Practice Blog,, which provides news, information, tips, and resources for practicing law in North Carolina's state and federal appellate courts.

Issues briefed and argued by members of the Appellate Team include:

  • Whether a hospital can be liable for "interfering" with a physician's treatment of a patient
  • Whether indirect purchasers can sue under North Carolina's antitrust and unfair trade practice laws
  • Whether OSHA violations can establish negligence "per se" in a lawsuit brought by an injured worker
  • Whether public school students are constitutionally entitled to an education that meets a minimum standard of quality
  • Whether a neurophysiologist can testify about the cause of a head injury, and if so, in what situations
  • Whether tort plaintiffs have a right to intervene in litigation over liability insurance coverage
  • Whether summary judgment standards govern motions to confirm arbitration awards
  • Whether a psychiatrist can be liable to a former patient based on crimes committed by the patient after the doctor-patent relationship ended
  • Whether a federal court has jurisdiction over state law claims that are factually based on a bankruptcy appeal but otherwise unrelated to the bankruptcy
  • Whether an employee may avoid termination by making claims aimed at circumventing his at-will employment contract
  • Whether one can enforce a service mark on the word "Pinehurst," even when it is part of the name of a town, the "Village of Pinehurst"


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(336) 378-5352
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(704) 384-2616
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(864) 751-7691
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(336) 378-5304
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(404) 962-1077
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A blog about practicing law in
North Carolina state and federal appellate courts


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