Archive for the ‘Attorney’s Fees’ Category

South Carolina Supreme Court September 2012 case of the month fizzles into unpublished dud

Ex parte: Belinda Davis-Branch. In re: Larry Solomon v. Betty Jean Solomon was the South Carolina Supreme Court’s September 2012 “Case of the Month.”  Had the Supreme Court affirmed the family court’s ruling–which I was almost certain it wouldn’t–it might have revolutionized family law attorney fee collection practice in South Carolina and made it much […]

Lewis affirms child custody but remands child support based on improper imputation of husbands’s income

The November 14, 2012 Court of Appeals opinion in Lewis v. Lewis, 400 S.C. 354, 734 S.E.2d 322 (Ct. App. 2012), provides some guidance on imputing income to unemployed spouses and parents and deciding whether to award joint custody. In Lewis, the family court denied Husband’s request for joint custody and imputed monthly income to him of […]

South Carolina Supreme Court amends Rules of Professional Conduct to address the charging of advance fees by lawyers

Today the South Carolina Supreme Court adopted amendments to the Rules of Professional Conduct to address the charging of advance fees by lawyers.  Given recent confusing disciplinary opinions regarding the handling of minimum fees or non refundable retainers these new rules provide welcome clarity. The primary change is the addition of Rule1.5(f), which reads: (f) […]

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 […]