Archive for October, 2012

“Irresponsible procreation” as a defense of DOMA

On October 18, 2012, in 2-1 decision in the case of Windsor v. United States, 699 F. 3d 169 (2nd. Cir. 2012), the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit concluded that Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) violates equal protection and is therefore unconstitutional.  Many Supreme Court watchers believe this […]

Should there be a cause of action for paternity fraud?

A colleague of mine, T. Ryan Phillips, emailed me an October 1, 2012 Tennessee Supreme Court opinion in the case of Hodge v. Craig, 382 S.W.3d 325 (TN. 2012).  That opinion approves a cause of action for paternity fraud within that state.  With the rise of paternity testing, this cause of action may become more common […]

What proof is needed to obtain a physical cruelty divorce?

Physical cruelty is one of South Carolina’s four fault divorce grounds.  Physical cruelty is “actual personal violence, or such a course of physical treatment as endangers life, limb or health, and renders cohabitation unsafe.” Gorecki v. Gorecki, 387 S.C. 626, 693 S.E.2d 419 (2010).  In considering what acts constitute physical cruelty, the family court must consider […]

A yellow light for hackers

The rare occasions when I am required to wade into the morass of the federal Stored Wire and Electronic Communications and Transactional Records Access Act (SCA), 18 U.S.C. § 2701 and Wire and Electronic Communications Interception and Interception of Oral Communications Act. 18 U.S.C. § 2501, I find myself hopeless lost and call upon our […]

What’s so important about financial declarations?

Financial declarations are often the most important piece of evidence in any family court case.  Filling them out and executing them in a cavalier manner is dangerous. South Carolina Family Court Rule 20(a) mandates: In any domestic relations action in which the financial condition of a party is relevant or is an issue to be considered […]

Impeaching a guardian ad litem who’s gone (too) rogue

Twenty years experience shows that there’s some validity to Robert Rosen’s jaundiced view of guardians ad litem in private custody cases, best expressed by the title of one of his articles for South Carolina Lawyer: “Getting Rid of the GAL: How to Save Your Client from Those Expensive, Unnecessary Officious Intermeddlers.”  As Rosen’s article notes: […]