A unanimous three-judge panel of the N.C. Court of Appeals has vacated a trial court’s order against the N.C. Division of Employment Security in a dispute involving access to unemployment records.

An attorney who had used the records to help drum up business sued DES over access to the records, despite the federal government’s warning to state officials that North Carolina risked losing federal funding by making the information available. The attorney won a preliminary injunction against the state at the trial court level.

Appellate judges ruled that the trial court must reconsider the case in light of a 2014 state law that makes unemployment compensation information confidential.