Archive for the ‘Not South Carolina Specific’ Category

How solo attorneys can work fewer hours, make more money, and have greater job satisfaction

When I talk to law students or young attorneys about law office management, I often show them the following formula as a method of getting them to think about structuring their practice: Income = hourly rate x hours billed per week x weeks worked per year x percentage of billing collected x (1-percentage of overhead) […]

Odd skirmishes in the battle over credibility

I recently completed a lengthy custody and divorce trial in which the judge asked both attorneys to draft proposed orders. This required us to consider the factual findings we wanted this judge to make. Given that issues of the parties’ credibility would impact all the contested issues, it required a consideration what is meant by […]

In praise of modest decision making in family court

With a new family court judge for Charleston County due to be elected this week, the issue of the candidates’ attributes, and the bigger question of what makes a good family court judge, has been a frequent topic of conversation. A common complaint about some family court judges are that they are “indecisive.” I believe […]

Do you want your attorney to be honest or to tell you want you want to hear?

For the past few years I’ve been seeing an individual counselor who, despite being twenty years my junior, is much wiser than I. Recently we were discussing our roles as counselors–an attorney is not just a legal advocate but also a counselor-at-law. She mentioned learning from her mentor that, although one cannot be rude, one […]

Should one execute a formal agreement at the conclusion of mediation?

A frequent debate among my family law colleagues is whether one should have one’s client execute a formal agreement before concluding mediation if one has reached an agreement-in-principal during mediation. There’s no right answer to this issue–just pros and cons with each position. The benefit of having a formal executed agreement is that it mitigates […]

How mediators and attorneys can make mediation more productive

For attorneys and their clients there’s often much unproductive time during mediation. When the mediator is meeting with the opposing party, the attorney and client are often merely waiting to react to the next offer, and little productive work is being accomplished. Meanwhile, the client is being billed for the attorney’s time. However there are […]

Negotiating with a gun to one’s head

The family court won’t approve agreements that are obtained through coercion. However, “coercion” in this legal sense is quite different, and much more limited, than what coercion means to the general public. If one executed an agreement with a literal gun to one’s head one could repudiate that agreement before or at the hearing to […]

If you expect your spouse’s farts to smell like roses, you are going to be upset[1](or what I’ve learned after twenty-five years of marriage)

My wife and I celebrate our 25th anniversary today. Thanks to a family law practice that exceeded my expectations in personal, professional and financial success, we will be able to celebrate in grand style. The irony that this success is predicated upon the inability of others to sustain their most important familial relationships is something […]