Archive for the ‘Of Interest to General Public’ Category

Was there wisdom in the “tender years” doctrine

There is no doubt that the “tender years” doctrine–which favored granting mothers custody of young children–would not pass constitutional muster in the 21st century. Such gender based classifications cannot survive strict scrutiny as there is no “compelling governmental interest” that favors mothers over fathers in determinations of infant custody and, even if there were, a […]

The legislative paternalism of South Carolina’s name change law

When my wife was a social worker at a local hospital she once acted as a case manager for a mother giving birth to twins. That mother had allowed her five year-old son to name the newborns. Thus, there are teenage twins running around the LowCountry with the names “Bubba” and “Mufasa.” No South Carolina […]

Court of Appeals (surprisingly) authorizes reversal of determination of paternity based on father’s fraud claim

Ever since DNA testing became sufficiently accurate to conclusively exclude paternity, there’s been a tension between the goals of establishing paternity with finality and with accuracy.  Previous South Carolina case law has indicated a possibility of overturning prior but inaccurate determinations of paternity.  The August 2, 2017 Court of Appeals opinion in Ashburn v. Rogers […]

Equal protection challenge to domestic abuse statute leaves law in chaos

The July 26, 2017 Supreme Court opinion in Doe v. State has left South Carolina’s Protection from Domestic Abuse [a civil, family court, statute] and Criminal Domestic Violence [a criminal statute] laws in chaos. Doe stems from an equal protection challenge brought a lesbian who sought protection from domestic abuse against her ex-fiancé. That statute, […]

Where’s the public good in “Pro bono publico”?

At some point the Latin phrase for the concept that lawyers should provide volunteer services was shortened from “pro bono publico” to simply “pro bono.” I have no idea when or why it happened, but in the context of family law (at least how it’s practiced in South Carolina) losing the public good aspect of […]

The smartest client I ever had

I went to a top tier liberal arts college to obtain my undergraduate degree. Many of my classes there involved reading and discussion on the concepts of truth, beauty and honor. It was assumed that the study of liberal arts was training us for a life of public service and intellectual pursuit. Very little focus […]

Half a life

I was 9,930 days old when I married Karen Anne Klickstein on December 30, 1989.  As of March 8, 2017, I had been married 9,930 days–half a life. That day’s approach had me reflecting on the meaning of marriage. I spend much of my time working with people in unhappy marriages. Sometimes they are certain their […]

The more things change…. (ode to the Fish House Punch)

1732 Philadelphia: A gentlemen’s boating club on the Schuylkill River is planning its annual Christmas party. For the first time in its history ladies will be welcome. Colonial America is a drinking culture and cocktails are a mid-19th century invention. Punch will be served. To commemorate the occasion these gentlemen decide to invent a new […]

 

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