Archive for the ‘Not South Carolina Specific’ Category

Visitation schedules for firefighters (or anyone who works 24-hours on/48-hours off)

One can always tell when an attorney has failed to really focus on his or her client when a parent who works a 24-hours on/48-hours off work schedule ends up with an every-other-weekend visitation schedule. Such visitation schedules doom such workers to parenting failure. The every-other-weekend visitation schedule is predicated on the idea that both […]

The drawback of preventing non-parties from attending mediations

ADR Rule 5(d) states that “ADR [Alternative Dispute Resolution] conferences are private. Other persons may attend only with the permission of the parties, their attorneys and the mediator.” In family court mediations, parties will often want their non-party family members to attend the mediation. Typically, this will be step-parents [for custody mediations] or parents [for […]

Discovery for defending domestic violence allegations in family court cases

Allegations of domestic violence in family court cases are often akin to shock grenades: intend to knock the other party back and on the defensive. When these allegations are accompanied by substantial corroborating evidence, they can have significant impacts on custody and alimony rulings.  Because most domestic violence occurs in private, the court’s determination of […]

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 […]