Archive for the ‘Attorney’s Fees’ Category

Obtaining funding for an ongoing family court case

Unless one filed a specific request for advance suit costs, at most motions for temporary relief the family court will only award fees (if it awards fees) that cover work done through the motion for temporary relief.  However in contested family court cases (and if one needs a contested motion for temporary relief the case […]

When can a family law attorney be required to pay the other party’s fees?

A few weeks ago one of my mentees inquired whether there were circumstances in which an attorney could be required to pay the other party’s attorney’s fees.  There are two circumstances I am aware of and a wise attorney avoids those circumstances. An attorney can be required to pay the other side’s fees for having […]

Supreme Court alters equitable distribution award and reverses reservation of alimony

N.B., on May 8, 2013, the South Carolina Supreme Court slightly modified its original opinion.  For more information read Supreme Court reconsiders equitable distribution of marital home. The February 20, 2013 Supreme Court opinion in Wilburn v. Wilburn deals with numerous interesting, sometimes novel, equitable distribution issues.  The appeal stemmed from a divorce action in a […]

South Carolina Supreme Court September 2012 case of the month fizzles into unpublished dud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