Archive for the ‘Attorney’s Fees’ Category

For second consecutive week Court of Appeals reverses and remands family court order due to inadequate factual findings

Last week, in Tillman v. Oakes, 398 S.C. 245, 728 S.E.2d 45 (Ct. App. 2012), the Court of Appeals reversed and remanded a family court custody order due to insufficient factual findings.  On June 6, 2012, in Buist v. Buist, 399 S.C. 110, 730 S.E.2d 879 (Ct. App. 2012), the Court of Appeals reversed and remanded a family […]

Convoluted attorney’s fees case results in Supreme Court reinstating the family court award

The February 1, 2012 Supreme Court decision Chisholm v. Chisholm, 396 S.C. 507, 722 S.E.2d 222 (2012), caps decade-long litigation into the amount of attorneys fees Husband is required to pay Wife.  Meanwhile, the Supreme Court’s majority opinion unwittingly implicates issue preservation concerns that might seem to require a prevailing party on appeal in the Court of Appeals […]

Lewin affirms family court fee award in face of Father’s multiple challenges

In the December 14, 2011 opinion in Lewin v. Lewin, 396 S.C. 349, 721 S.E.2d 1 (Ct. App. 2011), (in which I represented the losing appellant, though I was not his trial counsel), the Court of Appeals affirmed multiple challenges Father brought to the lower court’s award of $18,955 in fees and costs to Mother.  Lewin represents an interesting […]

One hundred things I don’t know about South Carolina family law

This blog is inspired by myriad important family law issues that current South Carolina case law and statute don’t adequately answer.  None of these questions is merely academic, as each has come up at least once in my eighteen years of family law practice.  I have firm opinions on the correct answer to some of […]

In opinion with numerous oddities, Supreme Court approves active/passive approach to valuing marital property

In the October 31, 2011 opinion in Burch v. Burch, 395 S.C. 318, 717 S.E.2d 757 (2011), the South Carolina Supreme Court finally ratifies the passive versus active gain distinction the Court of Appeals has used for years in determining the valuation date for marital assets that change value between the date of filing and the […]

More mixed signals from South Carolina Supreme Court on handling flat fees

The September 12, 2011 public reprimand issued by the South Carolina Supreme Court in In the Matter of Michael James Sarratt, 394 S.C. 209, 715 S.E.2d 337 (2011), perpetuates its opaque guidance on the proper handling of flat fees. Sarratt handled some of his work on a flat fee basis.  Because he treated these fees as […]

At least he got the laptop back

N.B., the Court of Appeals opinion in Pittman v. Pittman was subsequently refiled with a different analysis on the transmutation issue. See Rearranging the deck chairs Thomas F. McDow is a friend of mine and an exceptional attorney.  When I noted that the appeal he pursued in Pittman v. Pittman, resulting in a published decision today [August […]

Disloyal collegiality in the prosecution and non prosecution of motions to compel

South Carolina attorneys are expected to be collegial.  Part of that collegiality is a reluctance to file motions to compel discovery responses and a frequent acceptance of discovery responses that are incomplete or evasive.  Another part of that collegiality is a general understanding that a demand for fees as part of a motion to compel […]