Archive for October, 2009


My wife, Karen Klickstein-Forman, LISW-CP, and I co-mediated our first cases today, mediating three abuse and neglect cases in the Charleston County Family Court, completely settling two and settling the treatment plan, but not the merits finding, in the third case. Social worker-attorney teams are considered quite effective in co-mediating family law issues, as are […]

Family leave = family values

80° sunny day in Charleston and my morning calendar fell apart…so I decided to do lunch at my second grader’s school.  After lunch I organized an impromptu game of basketball for her and her classmates. Going to lunch at her school communicates love and care.  It is largely the privilege of the unemployed (many “stay-at-home” […]

Entrepreneurial cognizance within the professions

Last week Thomas L. Friedman, three-time Pulitzer Prize winner and New York Times columnist, wrote a piece describing the current recession as largely caused by “an education breakdown on Main Street.”  He singled out the legal profession, noting: A Washington lawyer friend recently told me about layoffs at his firm. I asked him who was […]

The distinction between a witness who doesn’t understand the question and who doesn’t understand why you are asking the question

I am not one of those lucky souls who can speak extemporaneously in perfectly coherent paragraphs.  Thus, when conducting cross-examinations, I am not surprised when a witness informs me that he or she does not understand my question.  More rarely a witness on cross-examination–most typically the opposing party–will comment that he or she did not […]

216 months redux

A few months ago I blogged on the concept that a child’s minority only lasts for 216 months and that the number of months of minority remaining should determine how much energy and fortune to put into a custody case.  Once a child turns eighteen the family court can no longer order custody or visitation. […]

Despite guilty plea to simple assault and battery on child at issue, Court of Appeals reverses family court finding that defendant abused child

The Court of Appeals’ decision in South Carolina Department of Social Services v. C.H., L.K., T.M. and D.M., 386 S.C. 58, 685 S.E.2d 835 (2009), reversed the family court’s finding that L.K. abused her friend’s child, and placing her on the Central Registry, despite L.K. pleading guilty to simple assault and battery on child at issue.  The […]

How to deal with the witness who, on cross-examination, loses the ability to answer questions

One of the things I am enjoying about mentoring newly-licensed attorneys is the opportunity to share little tips on how to deal with common litigation problems that seem to frustrate many attorneys.  This is a tip we discussed today. A common problem in cross-examination is the witness who was so able to answer questions directly […]

Emergency hearings versus expedited hearings

Unlike a number of my family law brethren, I seek few emergency hearings; unlike almost all of my family law brethren, I seek many expedited hearings.  My colleagues often fail to see a distinction (“you requested an emergency hearing for that!” is a frequent response when they are confronted with my request for an expedited […]