Archive for September, 2009

AMBER alerts against fathers

Yesterday, South Carolina issued an AMBER alert for two-year-old Geomari Young after his father, Geonaldo R. Young, alleged beat Geomari’s mother (Geonaldo’s ex-girlfriend) and “kidnapped” him. Under South Carolina law, one cannot kidnap one’s own child, as the kidnapping statute, S.C Code Ann. § 16-3-910, does not apply “when a minor is seized or taken […]

Family law’s massive sociological experiment(s)

Last night, while driving to the birthday party of my friends’ son, I was speaking on the phone to one of my oldest and dearest friends (the best man at my wedding).  He lives in Northern California, where he has custody of his two children from a first marriage.  He also has a license from […]

Legal obligations versus ethical obligations: Why should parents have to support their adult children?

We live in a culture that increasingly confuses ethical obligations with legal ones.  For example, I believe I am ethically obligated to help out those less fortunate and to contribute something to my community; however I would not force others to give to charity or do community service.  Others might believe it is their ethical […]

Finding my religion

It does not take a cynic to note a high correlation between people becoming involved in custody cases and “finding religion.” So long as judges confuse religion with morality and morality [the duties we owe God] with ethics [the duties we owe each other], there are advantages to be had in family court by claiming newly-found […]

For Better or Worse?

Any bride-to-be who expects that her intended will be satisfied with once-a-week vanilla sex is either too young or naive to get married.  We men are strange creatures.  Yet the family courts seem fixated on men’s innocuous sexual peccadillos in deciding custody and alimony.  Many a forensic computer examiner remains gainfully employed under the theory […]

South Carolina Supreme Court allows writ of certiorari to challenge discovery order

The September 21, 2009 Supreme Court opinion in Hollman v. Woolfson, 384 S.C. 571, 683 S.E.2d 495 (2009) approves an unusual use of a writ of certiorari: allowing the writ to challenge the circuit court’s ruling compelling discovery.  Typically a party seeking to challenge a lower court’s order compelling discovery must be found in contempt for not […]

Maybe they shouldn’t hear voting rights cases?

The September 21, 2009 Supreme Court opinion in Financial Federal v. Brown, 384 S.C. 555, 683 S.E.2d 486 (2009) contains an anomaly: Justice Beatty’s “majority” opinion received fewer votes than Justice Kittridge’s “concurring” opinion [a concurring opinion is an opinion that reaches the same result as the majority opinion but does it on a different or additional […]

Orange juice and toast: Creating maximum damage from partial answers in depositions

If I am deposing a hostile witness or opposing party, I often start with an innocuous line of questioning I call “orange juice and toast.”  The line of questioning goes like this: Q. When I ask you questions, I’m going to be looking for what I perceive to be not just accurate answers but complete […]


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