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Court of Appeals says email notice is notice

In an order designed to terrify civil, domestic and appellate lawyers, the South Carolina Court of Appeals, in an August 26, 2015 order in the case of Wells Fargo Bank, N.A. v. Fallon Properties, SC, LLC, dismissed an appeal as untimely because it determined that the notice requirement to set the deadline to appeal began […]

It is likely practicably impossible to terminate alimony due to “continued cohabitation” in South Carolina

In January 2013, noting that none of the seven published South Carolina appellate opinions dealing with the issue of “continued cohabitation” had found it existed and therefore terminated alimony, I blogged, “Is there ever sufficient evidence of “continued cohabitation” to terminate alimony?” Seven months later the Court of Appeals finally affirmed a “continued cohabitation” alimony […]

Hobbling your own attorney

Folks hire attorneys to accomplish their legal goals. Too often those same folks hobble their attorneys by failing to remedy counterproductive behavior. It may be human nature to blame one’s problems on outside factors but it is astounding how often family court litigants refuse to correct the behaviors that undermine their legal goals. More than […]

Doubling down on stupid

Sometimes the greatest service an attorney can offer a client is to walk the client back from looming disaster. However it requires skill and experience to recognize that disaster awaits, and a different skill set to successfully convince the client that a conciliatory approach is necessary. A decent sized subset of domestic cases involve situations […]

Do you want to be right or do you want to be happy?

There’s a divorce client from five years ago who I have remained friends with on Facebook. When I first met him–and began representing him–he was trying to extricate himself from a short marriage that had produced no children and from a wife who he did not believe was compatible. His wife, while unhappy with him, […]

South Carolina Supreme Court holds child abuse examiners are not to be used as expert witnesses

In a criminal appeal that has implications for family law attorneys who defend abuse and neglect proceedings, on August 5, 2015, in the case of State v. Anderson, the South Carolina Supreme Court reversed a criminal sexual conduct with a minor conviction because the trial court allowed the forensic examiner of the child to provide […]

Is it conscionable for private attorneys to bring child support establishment actions in South Carolina?

Recognizing that the title of this blog is provocative, I still rarely represent mothers seeking to establish child support and actively discourage most mothers from retaining me to do so. Given the preferential treatment such mothers receive when bringing these actions through the Department of Social Services (DSS), it is rare that I can honestly […]

Court of Appeals requires DSS to offer mother more treatment

The August 3, 2015 Court of Appeals opinion in SCDSS v. Briggs reverses a family court determination that the South Carolina Department of Social Services (DSS) did not have to offer Mother further services and creating a permanency plan of termination of parental rights (TPR) or relative placement. In Briggs, on August 2, 2013, Briggs’s […]

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