Archive for the ‘Not South Carolina Specific’ Category

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 […]

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: […]

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 […]

United States Supreme Court holds a state court may not order a veteran to indemnify a divorced spouse for the loss in the divorced spouse’s portion of the veteran’s retirement pay caused by the veteran’s waiver of retirement pay to receive service-related disability benefits

The United States Supreme Court rarely issues opinions addressing family law, making the May 15, 2017 opinion in Howell v. Howell blogworthy. Howell addresses an issue that arises in divorces involving military members and that I had previously assumed had been addressed by the Supreme Court in Mansell v. Mansell, 490 U. S. 581 (1989): […]

Keeping smart people from doing stupid stuff

When I attended law school no one informed me that I would spend a substantial part of most days talking smart people out of doing stupid stuff. Lessons in best practices doing this could have been one of my more valuable practimum experiences had anyone thought to teach this. It seems to be the lot of most […]

Giving it away

When I mentor newly licensed attorneys, one of the more important lessons I try to impart is that they should be clear about when and why they are doing unpaid work and insure they get paid for their remaining work. This isn’t intended to denigrate doing uncompensated work for the public good: for both ethical […]

Better to be underemployed than overemployed

There was a recent (April 18, 2017) opinion piece by David Leonhardt in the New York Times titled, “You’re Too Busy. You Need a ‘Shultz Hour.’” In it Leonhardt discusses the work of psychologist Amos Tversky on the importance of setting aside time each day to do strategic thinking about one’s job. He quotes Tversky, […]

Don’t expect the other side to pay your attorney’s fees

Folks going through marital litigation–and, less often, folks going through custody disputes– often contact me regarding representation with the expectation that the other side will be required to pay my fee and the concurrent hope that I will work without an initial retainer (or for a low retainer) based upon that expectation. These litigants assume […]

 

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