Archive for the ‘Attorney’s Fees’ Category

Court of Appeals affirms custody, property division and fees

Can anyone explain the Court of Appeals’ thought process in what family law decisions it will publish? On April 8, 2015, mere weeks after deigning to publish two TPR reversals that both involved novel legal issues, it published its first family court opinion of 2015 (not counting a revised opinion in Srivastava v. Srivastava) in […]

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) […]

Court of Appeals continues recent trend of rejecting a family court’s credibility determinations

One portion of this opinion was substantially modified on February 25, 2015: Refiled opinion in Srivastava makes revisions to equitable distribution ruling. The December 23, 2014 Court of Appeals opinion in Srivastava v. Srivastava has an interesting analysis on the ability to pay as a factor in an award of attorney’s fees in family court actions […]

Supreme Court sets procedures for family court attorney fee awards

The December 3, 2014 South Carolina Supreme Court opinion in Buist v. Buist, 410 S.C. 569, 766 S.E.2d 381 (2014), sets forth procedures to be used in setting attorney fee awards in family court cases. This opinion recognizes the difficulties of preserving fee award issues when the litigants don’t know the court’s decision on attorney’s fees […]

Supreme Court completely reverses Court of Appeals and reinstates family court’s alimony, property division and attorney fee award

The July 2, 2014 Supreme Court opinion in Crossland v. Crossland, 408 S.C. 443, 759 S.E.2d 419 (2014), completely reverses the prior Court of Appeals opinion and reinstates family court’s alimony, property division and attorney fee award. The family court had awarded Wife permanent periodic alimony. The Court of Appeals remanded the alimony award back to the […]

Court of Appeals rules prevailing party shouldn’t have to pay the other side’s attorney’s fees

The June 4, 2014 Court of Appeals opinion in Brown v. Brown, 408 S.C. 582, 758 S.E.2d 922 (Ct. App. 2014), reversed a $5,000 attorney fee award the family court made to Mother despite Father prevailing on the contested issue of which child support worksheet to use. The primary issues at trial were the number of overnights Father […]

Court of Appeals finds prenuptial agreement only partially limited family court’s jurisdiction

The March 26, 2014 Court of Appeals opinion in Meehan v. Meehan, 407 S.C. 471, 756 S.E.2d 398 (Ct. App. 2014) determined that the Meehans’ prenuptial divested the family court of jurisdiction for some issues but not the issue of attorney’s fees as it related to child custody and support. Prior to their marriage, the Meehans entered […]

The potential domestic client who wants the attorney to work on promise of payment

The combination of the front loaded nature of contested family court cases (i.e., preparing for motions for temporary relief) and the general reluctance of attorneys to sue clients for fees means that experienced family law attorneys generally require significant up-front retainers before beginning representation.  However many (most?) folks who needs family court attorneys have limited […]