Each judge on the Court of Appeals wrote an average of 100 opinions in 2016, in contrast to the 6 opinions written by each of our Supreme Court Justices.
In the past, the legislature has followed these principles, adding seats to the appellate courts when the workload demanded it.
The number of seats on the Court of Appeals has never been reduced in its history, and doing so at this time runs contrary to both the Court’s increasing workload and common sense.
We strongly support Chief Justice Martin’s call for additional funding for our judicial system.
In accord with the resolution of his Commission’s Public Trust and Confidence Committee, we strongly oppose the reduction or expansion of appellate courts based on anything other than workload and demands.
Bill Powers's insight: The Court of Appeals needs and deserves more human resources to do its important work in a timely fashion, not less.
Important changes in the judicial system demand careful review.
Reduction of Court of Appeals judges should only occur after a request by the Chief Justice and the Administrative Office of the Courts based on solid empirical data.
The modern structure of our court system originated with a Blue-Ribbon Committee of the NC Bar Association (the Bell Committee) which produced a report to the General Assembly in 1958 (the Bell Report).
The reforms in the Bell Report were enacted over a decade and describe the current structure of our court system―a unified General Court of Justice with an Appellate Division, General Trial Division or Superior Court, and Local Trial Division or District Court.