Do dissents exist at the Supreme Court of North Carolina?

After last month's post on dissents at the Court of Appeals of North Carolina, I received a few questions about dissents at the Supreme Court of North Carolina.  Before addressing SCONC dissents, I think some context about the number of SCONC opinions is useful.


In 2016, the SCONC issued 68 written opinions: 44 (65%) identified an author and 24 (35%) were issued per curiam.  As a result, no single justice came close to authoring 24 opinions.  Justice Jackson authored eight opinions, which are the most by a justice and one-third of the number of per curiam opinions.  The below chart shows how many opinions each justice authored.


Of the authored opinions, nine garnered a dissent, meaning 20% of authored opinions were dissented from.  The below chart shows how many times a justice dissented and how many dissents a justice received.


As you can see, Justice Beasley dissented the most and Justice Edmunds received the most dissents.  It is also interesting that Justice Hudson was the only justice that did not receive a dissent and Justice Edmunds was the only justice that did not dissent at all.

The rate of dissenting opinions, however,  decreases to 15% when per curiam and authored opinions are considered together.  Interestingly, one per curiam opinion was the result of the court being divided 3-3, as shown in the below chart.  


While a majority of the SCONC’s opinions in 2016 were unanimous, dissents did occur with greater frequency than at the COA. (15% of SCONC opinions received a dissent while only 5% of COA opinions received a dissent in 2016.)