Posts Tagged ‘Legal Culture’

Was there wisdom in the “tender years” doctrine

There is no doubt that the “tender years” doctrine–which favored granting mothers custody of young children–would not pass constitutional muster in the 21st century. Such gender based classifications cannot survive strict scrutiny as there is no “compelling governmental interest” that favors mothers over fathers in determinations of infant custody and, even if there were, a […]

Charleston’s daily paper wins Pulitzer Prize for series on domestic violence

On April 20, 2015, the Charleston Post and Courier won the 2015 gold medal for public service, the most prestigious of the Pulitzer Prize awards for journalism, for the paper’s series on domestic violence, “Till Death Do Us Part.” Among the P&C journalists sharing this award is a friend, Glenn Smith, whose reporting on the […]

Why do mothers (more typically) get custody?

A college student, interested in a career in family law, interviewed me earlier this week for a school project. Mostly he asked questions related to family law and one of his questions expressed a common assumption: Why do mothers get custody? This isn’t an inaccurate assumption. Mothers get custody more often than fathers–although not nearly […]

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 […]

Eating our seed corn

Two recent news stories, one local and one national, highlight just how badly our society is doing caring for the majority of our children, especially our neediest children. Locally, on January 12, 2015, national advocacy organization Children’s Rights, the South Carolina Appleseed Legal Justice Center and Matthew T. Richardson, partner at the South Carolina law […]

Marijuana use and child custody in South Carolina

One of my oldest and dearest friends was awarded custody of his two children and kept custody until they emancipated.  Not only was he openly using marijuana during that time, he was also openly growing it and selling it. He did not live in South Carolina. Along with exposing children to non-marital sexual relationships, nowhere […]

The Burgess opinion and “The End of Men”

Every published opinion tells a story and the January 15, 2014 Court of Appeals opinion in Burgess v. Burgess, 753 S.E.2d 566 (S.C. App. 2014), tells a particularly interesting one.  Like Hanna Rosin’s “The End of Men: And the Rise of Woman,” Burgess demonstrates a culture that defines men primarily as providers and shows little use […]

The feminization of family law

Two generations ago there were few woman lawyers.  The early career paths of our first female Supreme Court Justices, Sandra Day O’Connor (Stanford 1952) and Ruth Bader Ginsburg (Columbia 1959), were limited by their gender.  Reading their biographies produces profound admiration for the obstacles they overcame in reaching the pinnacle of our profession.  Despite being […]

 

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