Archive for the ‘Of Interest to Family Court Litigants’ Category

Getting bossy with custody clients

I have a saying that custody cases are the rare litigation in which it is acceptable for an attorney to change the facts.  While the parties’ parenting skills at the beginning of the case are relevant, their parenting skills at the end of the case can be even more relevant.  Guiding a client to change […]

The aggravation of equitably dividing household furnishings

Early in my career I spent an afternoon with two estranged spouses and a friendly opposing counsel auctioning the parties’ household furnishings to the highest bidder as the method of equitable distribution.  From this I developed two insights: 1) this is the fairest way to equitably divide household furnishings; and 2) this is an insane […]

Family Court Procedure 101 Materials

On June 10, 2017, Dana Adkins and I, on behalf of Charleston Pro Bono Legal Services, presented a seminar explaining family court procedure to pro se litigants.  The intent is to repeat this seminar throughout the state and repeat it on occasion locally (as the population of pro se litigants is ever changing).  Materials below.  Feel free to circulate […]

In praise of opinionated lawyers

Folks who know me well–and even some who don’t–consider me the most opinionated person they know. I accept their judgment. Given something I’ve thought about, I have an opinion on it. Who makes better queso fundido: Minero or Pancito & Lefty? Having finally eaten a both, I now have an opinion. Which beach is better: […]

Seminar on “How to Represent Yourself in Family Court”

Please help me spread the word about this seminar, which Dana Adkins and I are presenting on behalf of Charleston Pro Bono Legal Services on Saturday June 10, 2017 at 10:30 a.m. at the Charleston County Public Library (68 Calhoun Street). It will be three hours of explaining family court procedure to pro se litigants. There […]

Who has the burden of proof on the willfulness element of contempt?

A few days ago I prosecuted a contempt action. The proof for one of the allegations of contempt was very document intensive and mathematical–reimbursement for unpaid medical expenses–and another was heavily reliant on exhibits. I figured that establishing violations would be easier by having my client explain the records through direct testimony rather than by cross-examining […]

The time to prepare for trial is long before trial

I’m always amazed when the court asks me if I can be ready for a multi-day trial it wishes to set a few weeks hence. The level of preparation necessary to determine that trial is necessary is vastly lower than the level of preparation necessary to actually try the case. It requires months–at least three […]

Learn something new every day: involuntary non-suits in family court

I’ve long been aware that one could use Rule 41(b), SCRCP, to move to dismiss an action for failure to prosecute or as a sanction for the other party failing to comply with the rules of civil procedure or a court order. However yesterday, at the end of my case in chief of a contempt […]

 

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