Archive for June, 2011

Does looking at online pornography make you an unfit parent?

Does looking at online pornography make you an unfit parent?  At least one local family court judge seems to think so. I had a motion to compel hearing earlier this week.  One of the answers I thought was evasive was a response to my question about whether there was anything about my client that made […]

Disloyal collegiality in the prosecution and non prosecution of motions to compel

South Carolina attorneys are expected to be collegial.  Part of that collegiality is a reluctance to file motions to compel discovery responses and a frequent acceptance of discovery responses that are incomplete or evasive.  Another part of that collegiality is a general understanding that a demand for fees as part of a motion to compel […]

Court of Appeals holds Rule 59(e) motion does not authorize family court to modify final order, sua sponte, in manner not requested by the moving party

The June 29, 2011 Court of Appeals opinion in Wannamaker v. Wannamaker, 395 S.C. 592, 719 S.E.2d 261 (Ct. App. 2011) (refiled August 11, 2011 with a slightly altered analysis of the equitable distribution issue) involved three issues, two of which were not novel.  The unnovel issues: In a sixteen year marriage, where the supported spouse earns $30k […]

Verifying interrogatory answers

I prosecuted a motion to compel recently against an experienced attorney.  One of the things I wanted his client compelled to do was verify the answers to my client’s interrogatories.  At the hearing the opposing attorney reported that, until he received my motion to compel, he was unaware of the requirement that interrogatory answers be […]

Free Ethics CLE August 12, 2011

Charlie Tex Davis, staff attorney for the South Carolina Office of Disciplinary Counsel (ODC), is one of my favorite ethics speakers.  He explains in clear and lively terms exactly the sort of behaviors that get attorneys into trouble and how to avoid conduct that violates the rule of professional conduct or mitigate the consequences that […]

Can inability to remedy a child’s morbid obesity be considered child abuse or neglect?

Until recently I had been representing the family of a child whose morbid obesity led to repeated Department of Social Services interventions.  His medical doctors could find no organic reason for the child’s morbid obesity and warned he was at high risk of early death or serious health problems unless he lost weight and kept […]

Didn’t she read the owner’s manual?

Went to another temporary hearing yesterday to “learn” from reading the opposing party-wife’s affidavit that my husband-client likes to “drink beer” and “visit adult websites.”  Well duh. Aren’t women reading the owner’s manual before purchasing husbands?  I’m pretty sure it notes that husbands like to drink beer and visit adult websites.  Admittedly when a husband […]

Indignance over representing indigent costs South Carolina attorney

The June 21, 2011 South Carolina Supreme Court opinion in Ex Parte Brown 393 S.C. 214, 711 S.E.2d 899 (2011), finally establishes “that the Takings Clause of the Fifth Amendment to the United States Constitution is implicated when an attorney is appointed by the court to represent an indigent litigant.  In such circumstances, the attorney’s services constitute […]