Archive for July, 2011

Genius? Or Idiot?

If one doesn’t begin one’s family law career with a manic-depressive temperament, one is likely to retire with one.  Because family court judges are invested with so much discretion–especially on issues of alimony, child custody and attorneys fees–even seasoned attorneys can be wildly inaccurate in their assessment of likely outcomes.  Every year I have a […]

Talk to the judge, not to opposing counsel

Early in my legal career I used to habitually drive the Honorable Wayne Morris Creech nuts over what I perceived as minor offenses.  Saying “yeah” rather than “yes” would lead to admonishment.  Perhaps nothing drove him crazier than when I would directly address opposing counsel in responding to counsel’s arguments.  I was never quite sure […]

Have we no shame?

Fyodor Dostoevsky said “The degree of civilization in a society can be judged by entering its prisons.”  What do articles like this excellent Glenn Smith piece in Sunday’s Charleston Post & Courier, documenting the death of a young man in a South Carolina prison, or the recent United States Supreme Court opinion in Brown v. […]

Weiner v. Wu

I thought our culture was acting silly when it forced Congressman Anthony Weiner from office for twittering his junk to a 30 year old woman and then lying about it.  However, Congressman David Wu’s recent resignation after it was disclosed he had a sexual encounter with an 18 year old girl is just.  I base […]

DIY domestic litigants

One pitfall of having a legal blog is I receive frequent calls from folks seeking free legal advice.  A common question is whether they need an attorney to handle their family law problem. The analogy I use in answering that question is whether someone needs a mechanic to do car repair.  A few folks are […]

Court of Appeals holds ex-wife’s alimony claim possibly not time barred due to ex-husband’s violence and threats

In the July 20, 2011 decision in Ross v. Ross, 394 S.C. 261, 715 S.E.2d 359 (Ct. App. 2011), the Court of Appeals remanded the issue of whether the Wife’s petition for alimony could defeat a claim of untimeliness due to her Husband’s alleged pattern of violence and threats of violence towards her.  The Court of […]

Supreme Court grants termination of parental rights, finding mother’s failure to support was “willful”

In SCDSS v. M. R. C. L., 393 S.C. 387, 712 S.E.2d 452 (2011), it took the South Carolina Supreme Court less than a year to reverse the Court of Appeals’ opinion, 390 S.C. 329, 701 S.E.2d 757 (Ct. App. 2010), which itself reversed a family court grant of termination of parental right against a mother whom the […]

Fussing at clients so the family court judge won’t

Often my family court clients complain that I am not “taking [their] side” because I fuss at them regarding their behaviors.  These clients are accurate in their assessment.  This is especially true when my client is involved in a domestic case in which the contested issues involve a great deal of judicial discretion–typically child custody […]


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