Archive for the ‘Not South Carolina Specific’ Category

A client’s tolerance for uncertainty is a consideration in settlement negotiations

There’s a theory that our modern world offers us so little exposure to pathogens that our autoimmune systems overreact to things like pollen and peanuts, causing a massive increase in allergic reactions to relatively benign substances. On a level of culture I see something similar playing out with the human ability to tolerate risk. Evolved […]

Mediator or messenger

During the past few weeks two attorneys I greatly respect have conducted mediations for my clients. One mediator settled every single case, often in circumstances in which I thought reaching settlement would be difficult. The other attorney failed to obtain a settlement in a case that frankly should have settled without much difficulty. This had […]

Crossing the Rubicon

Per wikipedia, during the Roman republic, the river Rubicon marked the boundary between the Roman province of Cisalpine Gaul to the north-west and Italy proper (controlled directly by Rome and its allies) to the south. Governors of Roman provinces were appointed promagistrates with imperium (roughly, “right to command”) in one or more provinces. The governor […]

Smith case reveals judges do more than simply call balls and strikes

  After I posted my blog on the May 9, 2018 South Carolina Supreme Court opinion in SCDSS v. Smith to Facebook, a number of my attorney friends commented with dismay about the court’s consideration of the Grandmother’s limited income as a factor in allowing Foster Parents (and not Grandmother) to adopt the minor child […]

Three methods of reducing the impact of an unfavorable guardian ad litem report

The typical response of an unhappy litigant to an unfavorable guardian ad litem report is to accuse the guardian of bias. While in rare instances the guardian is actually biased, more often the report is fairly accurate (reports, being the product of human beings, are rarely perfectly accurate) and the litigant is simply unhappy with […]

Attorney-client privilege’s crime-fraud exception in family court

The recent FBI search of the records of Michael Cohen, President Trump’s attorney, has raised issues of attorney-client privilege and the crime-fraud exception to that privilege. Attorney-client privilege is the client’s right (and the attorney’s obligation) to shield a client’s disclosures to the attorney and that attorney’s advice to the client from exposure to others […]

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, […]

What’s the question(s) you fear the most?

A colleague, after watching a recent presentation I did on trial preparation, emailed me his appreciation. Part of his comment, “My favorite nugget: ask my client what question does he dread being asked on the stand.” That idea was indeed a “nugget” in my presentation–something I mentioned briefly without elaborating. In my own trial preparation […]

 

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