Smith case redux

Posted Thursday, December 10th, 2009 by Gregory Forman
Filed under Litigation Strategy, Of Interest to Family Law Attorneys, South Carolina Appellate Decisions, South Carolina Specific

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 suggesting two ways of dealing with it.

Further reflection suggests a third way to deal with it: filing motions to make the pleading more definite and certain pursuant to Rule 12(e), SCRCP.  I am not the only attorney to recognize this option, as my friend and colleague the Honorable Barry W. Knobel, noted the same option.  We all agree that employing this option will simply and, had the Court of Appeals considered the ramifications of its decision, unnecessarily add additional expense to domestic litigation.  However, if this portion of the Smith decision is not reversed, I and many other attorneys may be pouring through opposing pleadings and filing Rule 12(e) motions.

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