NC chief justice announces new parental leave for attorneys

The worlds smallest baby was born at 8.6 ounces. (Sharp HealthCare/CBS)

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) -- North Carolina's chief justice will be announcing new rules for attorneys that quadruple the amount of time they can take off from court appearances after the birth or adoption of a child.

Chief Justice Cheri Beasley will provide details of the change Tuesday. But online changes made to rules for attorney appearances in appellate, Superior and District courts show that attorneys will be able to take 12 weeks off within 24 weeks of the birth or adoption. The change is in addition to the three weeks of leave attorneys can already take.

Under the rule, attorneys will tell the courts when they're unavailable so that their cases aren't scheduled.

The change comes after a meeting in February between various legal groups and the chief justice's professionalism commission.