Posts Of Interest to Family Law Attorneys

The only two goals of responding to discovery

There are common bad practices of responding to discovery. One often sees responses that are incomplete and only partially respond to the request. The rules of civil procedure are quite explicit that an “incomplete answer is to be treated as a failure to answer.” Such incomplete responses subject the responder to a motion to compel, […]

Materials from preparing for family court temporary hearing lecture

The following is the outline for a presentation Elizabeth Stringer, Karen Fine, and I presented at the Charleston School of Law on January 12, 2018.  Links to word drafts of the materials follow. Temporary relief SCRFC 21 Substantive relief one is seeking at the conclusion of a case that is sought prior to trial Can […]

Supreme Court clarifies when email notice is proper notice

In 2015, when the Court of Appeals, in the case of Wells Fargo Bank, N.A. v. Fallon Properties, SC, LLC, 413 S.C. 642, 776 S.E.2d 575 (Ct. App. 2015), dismissed an appeal due to untimely service of the notice of appeal where appellant had received written notice of the entry of the order via email, […]

Should side jobs lead to increased support obligations?

One of the many fundamental unfairnesses in South Carolina’s child support system is that a payor’s increased income almost universally leads to an increase in child support while any decrease in the payor’s income requires the payor to prove he or she (generally he) isn’t underemployed or didn’t suffer the decrease in income due to […]

The (un)likeable lawyer

Recently I took over representation in a divorce case from a younger, less-experienced attorney. That attorney sought my advice on what I thought she should have done differently. Being the mentoring type, I suggested she drop by the next time she was in my neighborhood and we could discuss it. Thus we met last week […]

Should the law differentiate mutual combat from domestic abuse

I recently attended the South Carolina Bar’s annual guardian ad litem training. One of the presenters discussed “Domestic Violence and its Impact on Children.” Her oral presentation, but not her written materials, differentiated two types of domestic violence. The first–and this is not how she labeled it–is what one might think of a low-level mutual […]

Someone didn’t get the memo

As part of the February 7, 2018 Shearouse advance sheet, the Supreme Court asked the South Carolina General Assembly to approve a change to the rules of appellate procedure. One of the proposed changes would add a “Standard of Review” section to appellate briefs: (D) Standard of Review. If all the issues are governed by […]

The time to start thinking about trial is when you start the case

Prospective domestic relations clients often begin their search process by determining whether they want a “negotiator” or a “litigator.” If they hope to resolve the case amicably, they search for a negotiator; if they want “victory”–whatever they perceive as victory–they seek a litigator. Such potential clients frequently ask me a variation of the question: am […]


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