Posts Tagged ‘Credibility’

Odd skirmishes in the battle over credibility

I recently completed a lengthy custody and divorce trial in which the judge asked both attorneys to draft proposed orders. This required us to consider the factual findings we wanted this judge to make. Given that issues of the parties’ credibility would impact all the contested issues, it required a consideration what is meant by […]

Better to be an adulterer than an adulterer and a liar

A mentee recently asked me if one should admit an allegation of adultery in a responsive pleading when the adultery is obvious.  While I think the question has a clear cut answer, my view isn’t shared by all of my colleagues.  I continue to see adultery denials in responsive pleadings even when the adultery is […]

Using prior consistent statements to bolster credibility

A few years ago I was court appointed in a Department of Social Services abuse and neglect case as the lawyer for a twelve year old who was accusing her stepfather of sexually molesting her.  Unique in my career, I was not her guardian or the lawyer for her guardian: I was her lawyer.  Thus […]

Lewin affirms family court fee award in face of Father’s multiple challenges

In the December 14, 2011 opinion in Lewin v. Lewin, 396 S.C. 349, 721 S.E.2d 1 (Ct. App. 2011), (in which I represented the losing appellant, though I was not his trial counsel), the Court of Appeals affirmed multiple challenges Father brought to the lower court’s award of $18,955 in fees and costs to Mother.  Lewin represents an interesting […]

Beaten by implicit credibility determinations

My client, for completely explicable reasons, but much to my disappointment, has decided not to seek rehearing and eventual certiorari of the unpublished May 18, 2011 Court of Appeals opinion in Dulaney v. Dulaney.  In a completely related item, I just finished my second day of cross examining an alleged contemnor in a rule to […]

Maybe we’re taking the deference to the family court judge’s credibility determinations too far?

The February 23, 2011 Court of Appeals opinion in Reiss v. Reiss, 392 S.C. 198, 708 S.E.2d 799 (Ct.App 2011) makes me question whether the appellate courts are taking the deference to family court judge’s credibility findings too far.  In Reiss, Husband got beaten miserably at trial and he didn’t obtain any relief from this appeal. […]

Noting a party’s failure to call witnesses to testify as an attack upon that party’s credibility (part two)

In part one of this blog I explained how an opposing party’s failure to call certain witnesses at trial could be considered as negatively impacting that party’s credibility.  Here I will describe the various methods and pitfalls for creating a court record that would allow a family court judge or appellate court to make these […]

Noting a party’s failure to call witnesses to testify as an attack upon that party’s credibility (part one)

Friday I presented my lecture for the annual Family Court Bench Bar on How to Draft a Family Court Final Order that will get Sustained on Appeal.  A topic my lecture covered that was not in the lecture materials was various ways one can “pull” credibility findings from the trial record to include in the […]


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