North Carolina now has a new way to address the legal needs of what would be pro se appellants entering the legal system. The Supreme Court of North Carolina and the Court of Appeals have approved the creation of the North Carolina Appellate Pro Bono Program. This program is a collaboration of judges, judicial officials, and attorneys including:|
- Judge Richard Dietz, North Carolina Court of Appeals
- Judge Linda Stephens, Hedrick Gardner
- Troy Shelton, Ellis & Winters and North Carolina Bar Association's (NCBA) Appellate Practice Section
- Matt Wunsche, North Carolina Guardian ad Litem program
- Sylvia Novinsky, North Carolina Pro Bono Resource Center
The program will be coordinated by the Pro Bono Committee of the N.C. Court of Appeals and the NCBA’s Appellate Practice Section Pro Bono Committee, and will screen and refer pro se litigants to pro bono attorneys, provided the litigants qualify for in forma pauperis status and present at least one non-frivolous issue on appeal.
For a volunteer attorney to participate in this new program, the attorney will need to join a list maintained by the Appellate Practice Section of the NCBA and attend an appropriate Continuing Legal Education (CLE) class. The Appellate Section also will make a mentor available to any volunteer attorney who requests one, but that mentor will not enter an appearance in the appeal.
The inaugural CLE will be held on April 13, 2018 from 8:30 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. at the Court of Appeals and has been approved for three hours of general CLE credit and .25 hours of ethics CLE credit.
Those interested in participating in the program may visit ncprobono.org/appellate for additional information or register now.