Posts Tagged ‘Litigation Strategy’

Appellate considerations stemming from res judicata consequences of domestic abuse or contempt findings

The doctrine of res judicata prevents the relitigation of issues previously decided between the same parties. The doctrine requires three essential elements: (1) the judgment must be final, valid and on the merits; (2) the parties in the subsequent action must be identical to those in the first; and (3) the second action must involve […]

Buying the child(ren)’s time

There’s a never discussed but occasionally employed litigation strategy of using money to purchase time with (or limit an opposing party’s access to) children. Earlier this month I settled a case in which grandparents used money to keep their own daughter from having enforceable visitation with her daughters. At the time of mediation my clients […]

Softening up an unrealistic defendant

I began trial in a visitation establishment case yesterday. While preparing for trial earlier this week my client (the plaintiff) asked me how I thought the case would end. I informed him it would likely settle halfway into my cross examination of the defendant. I was unduly pessimistic. About 15% of the way into my […]

The difficulties of predicting alimony reduction on retirement

In 2012 South Carolina passed a statute, S.C. Code § 20-3-170(B), in which one subsection set forth criteria for the family courts to consider when modifying alimony upon a supporting spouse’s retirement. One assumed the goal was to create greater certainty and uniformity for retirement-based alimony reduction/termination cases. However this subsection lists six factors for […]

Marital property as lump sum alimony

There are occasionally cases in which a spouse who would typically pay significant permanent periodic alimony as part of a marital dissolution has destroyed his career around the time of the parties’ separation. Often this career destruction was the cause of the marital dissolution: a spouse charged with a crime that leaves him incarcerated or […]

What de novo appellate review is actually doing

I thought it noteworthy when the Supreme Court remanded Stoney v. Stoney, 421 S.C. 528 , 809 S.E.2d 59 (2017), back to the Court of Appeals to apply an even less deferential (to the family court) standard of review for an appeal in which the Court of Appeals had granted the appellant practically everything she […]

An evasive or incomplete answer is to be treated as a failure to answer

I find it curious that attorneys routinely treat incomplete or evasive discovery responses as no big deal. From my reading, Rule 37(a)(3), SCRCP, could not be more clear, “For purposes of this subdivision an evasive or incomplete answer is to be treated as a failure to answer.” Further, Rule 37(a)(2), SCRCP, makes it clear that […]

The guardian’s questionnaire is additional interrogatories

While not thought of as such, the guardian’s questionnaire is akin to additional (child-custody related) interrogatories. As an example, the current questionnaire of a local attorney/guardian, S. Maria Averill, whose work I greatly respect follows: Admittedly such questionnaires are not answered under oath. Still, inaccurate responses or responses that trash the other parent or that […]

 

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