Archive for May, 2010

Court of Appeals notes it’s unlikely parents agree to their habitually intoxicated spouse having custody of their children

A couple of interesting things are happening in yesterday’s Court of Appeals opinion in Bodkin v. Bodkin, 388 S.C. 203, 694 S.E.2d 230 (2010), which, with one small modification, affirms the decision of the family court on disputes over the grounds for divorce, alimony, property division and attorney’s fees. To me the most interesting aspect of the […]

How would Obamacare critics respond to this family?

I received a call from a woman yesterday wanting to know the process of turning over custody of her son to her parents.  Typically when I get such inquiries it’s because a mother is entering the military or an inpatient substance abuse facility.  This mother wasn’t.  Instead the rationale for her request was that her […]

Gone fishing

Last Friday I attended a motion in which the primary issue was whether my client’s discovery request was a “fishing expedition.”  The term “fishing expedition” is commonly bandied about by attorneys.  It typically arises in three legal contexts: when police stop and frisk someone; when attorneys cross-examine a witness; or when one party seeks discovery–typically […]

More thoughts on the election of judges

Shortly after the South Carolina Supreme Court rejected Judge Segars-Andrews’ appeal seeking to overturn the decision of the Judicial Merit Selection Commission that she was unqualified to remain a judge, I blogged about the difficulties in designing a good system to select judges: How else should we select judges? In today’s New York Times, former […]

State of Abuse

The first in a series on Child Protective Services in South Carolina was published in today’s Charleston Post & Courier:  State of Abuse.   This initial piece accurately describes what I see in family court abuse and neglect cases. Subsequent articles in the series can be found here: DSS not meeting requirements; here: The guardians; and here: Norton center […]

Winning too big

Very early in my career I handled my first contested custody case which resulted in my client, a young medical student, obtaining custody of his children.  A few years later, representing that same client, I tried my first custody modification case, defending a claim brought by his now ex-wife.  Since this was my first custody […]

The attorneys or clients who cry wolf

In Aesop’s fable of “The Boy Who Cried Wolf” a shepherd boy entertains himself by repeatedly pretending a wolf is attacking his sheep.  Each time the villagers come running to assist him only to discovery it’s a false alarm.  Eventually the boy suffers consequences when a real wolf comes and the villagers, thinking it’s another […]

The picayune distinction between amended and supplemental pleadings

Are there other family law attorneys out there who file supplemental pleadings?  In my sixteen plus years of family court practice, I can’t recall any.  Instead, they always appear to file amended pleadings.  I think there’s a difference between an amended pleading and a supplemental pleading.  Given the right circumstances, one could make an issue […]