Archive for February, 2012

Mixed signals from the South Carolina bar

A few days after posting this, I learned that the “M” in “MCLE” did not mean that this CLE qualifies for ethics hours.  -GF Recently our State Supreme Court ordered that “at least once every three annual reporting periods, attorneys and judges complete one hour of instruction devoted exclusively to substance abuse or mental health issues and […]

Counseling the aggrieved spouse to move on

I finalized a divorce earlier this week in which the other party discovered my client’s adultery a few years ago and filed for divorce twenty months ago.  The case ended with my client agreeing to pay six-figure lump sum alimony.  Yet at the divorce hearing, my client was relaxed and happy while his soon-to-be-ex looked […]

Combining rehabilitative and permanent alimony

For reasons that are only marginally explicable, South Carolina attorneys and judges are reluctant to issue orders or enter agreements that combine rehabilitative alimony with permanent alimony.  However, there are common circumstances in which a combined alimony award makes sense. Permanent periodic alimony is designed to allow a supported spouse to maintain the marital lifestyle […]

The authoritarian nature of anticipated substantial change of circumstances jurisprudence

No modern authoritarian government acts “lawlessly.”  Instead such governments cloak their actions with the veneer of due process but they manipulate the law so that due process is meaningless.  There are (at least) two ways they can accomplish this.  The first is by creating a web of laws so complex and contradictory that no one […]

Overnight paramour restraints and homosexual relationships

A state that denies homosexuals the right to marry has no right to punish them for living together without being married. In 1967, the United States Supreme Court decision in Loving v. Virginia, 388 U.S. 1,  rendered unconstitutional laws preventing marriages between persons solely on the basis of racial classifications.  It then took thirty-one years […]

Stupid (overly broad and vague) parental restraining orders

My one-man war against overly broad restraining orders continued this week, as I observe an accelerating trend towards guardians, litigants and judges wanting to micro-manage the small details of parenting.  At a recent mediation the mediator assumed my client would agree with the guardian’s recommended restraints.  Included in those recommendations were requests that the parents: […]

No more Mr. Nice Guy

So far in the month of February, 2012 the South Carolina Supreme Court has issued six decisions, five of which were attorney disciplinary opinions.  While the bar needs to investigate and discipline incompetent or dishonest attorneys, I have no idea why the Supreme Court decided to issue a February 15, 2012 public reprimand in In […]

I’ve got new plans for Valentine’s Day

The parade of human misery passing by judges dealing with marital disputes must lead many to despair.  The rare tales of a judge doing something creative to resolve these disputes are often amusing.  Consider the Florida judge who finding a husband’s domestic violence towards his wife to be “very, very minor,” sentenced him to take […]