Archive for the ‘Not South Carolina Specific’ Category

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 […]

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 […]

If you like it, put a ring on it

Within popular culture, the viewpoint on marriage is that it’s something women intensely desire and something men have to be dragged into reluctantly. In this mindset, marriage enables women to raise children with a stable helpmate and source of income while men give up their “freedom” and money while being forced into a life of […]

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 […]

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 […]

Passports and child custody

I know family court judges who don’t have passports and am frankly shocked–until you experience foreign cultures its hard to truly understand that radically different approaches to parenting other than the current American middle-class norm might be effective (and might not be potentially abusive). The world is diverse and increasingly interconnected. Children who don’t get […]

A too broad and too narrow definition of cheating

A few months ago, an attorney friend asking me if I’d ever “cheated” on my wife. Being a legalistic sort, I asked back, “what do you mean by cheating?” He didn’t think it was a question that needed clarification. In this culture, he’s right–which is a shame. A definition that considers all adultery cheating is […]


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