Archive for December, 2009

My expectations for the guardian ad litem

Recently I fussed at a guardian of whom I am quite fond.  It’s never comfortable to fuss at folks one likes but I come from a culture where it’s considered better form to let others know one’s expectations than to remain silent and not allow others to meet these expectations or explain why they are […]

Judicial Merit Selection Commission report on Judge F.P. Segars-Andrews

The Judicial Merit Selection Commission report on Judge F.P. Segars-Andrews can be located here. It appears my concern that Mr. Simpson and his attorney may have sandbagged Judge Segars-Andrews about the alleged conflict created by the business relationship between her husband and Ms. Simpson’s attorney is not borne out by the facts.  It’s finally clear […]

Holiday visitation: loving your child more than you hate the other parent

Last year, shortly before imposing a criminal contempt sentence on a mother who had repeatedly and blithely interfered with my client’s visitation, the judge asked her: “Do you love your child more than you hate the other parent?”  I have practiced family law for sixteen years, yet the question was initially shocking and I continue […]

Judge F.P. Segars-Andrews’ troubles

If one reads the comments on the Charleston Post and Courier’s web site regarding the Judicial Merit Selection Commission’s preliminary decision that Judge F.P. Segars-Andrews is unqualified to remain a family court judge because of her handling of a divorce case in which there was a business relationship between her husband’s law partner and one […]

Appellate decisions that reduce clarity

One important feature of appellate decisions is that they generally clarify the law.  This clarity leads to greater justice at lower expense as trial court judges, relying upon these appellate decisions, are more likely to treat similarly-situated individuals similarly and because attorneys, relying upon these appellate decisions, are more likely to be able to agree […]

Smith case redux

Yesterday I posted about the December 9, 2009 Court of Appeals decision in Smith v. Smith, 386 S.C. 251, 687 S.E.2d 720 (Ct.App. 2009) noting that the court’s open ended reading of the catchall phrase “such other relief as the court may deem fit and proper” was going to create havoc at family court trials and […]

Court of Appeals decision rewards indefinite pleadings in family court

A few years ago I stopped adding the catchall phrase “and for such other relief as the court deems just and proper” to my family court pleadings.  I believed such a vague request failed to comport with due process and was therefore a nullity.  Most other family law attorneys continue to add such a catchall […]

Our worst moment

As someone who has previously noted my admiration for Tiger Woods, I cannot help but be saddened by his recent “troubles.”  What I hear from a number of his fellow admirers is not only are they disappointed by recent evidence of his misbehavior, but that it challenges their hope that some athlete or celebrity might […]


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