Posts Tagged ‘Litigation Strategy’

The most obvious malpractice there is in South Carolina family law

About five years ago–after being burned for the umpteenth time by entering a temporary consent order binding my client to a temporary support without first obtaining a financial declaration from the opposing party, only to subsequently learn that the other party’s income and expenses would not have justified such generous support–I vowed never again to […]

Defending the client’s deposition

An attorney tasked with defending a client’s deposition is doing most of the work prior to the deposition. While I have a frequently asked question on how a deponent should act at his or her deposition, the basic gist is: understand the question before you answer it; don’t lie; answer the question asked (but don’t […]

There is no formula to predict South Carolina alimony obligations

There’s a chart circulating amongst South Carolina family law attorneys that lists most of the published alimony opinions and has columns for the amount of alimony ordered, length of marriage, the spouses’ respective incomes and expenses, grounds for divorce, and other factors described in the alimony statute. My understanding is that family law attorneys look […]

Shouldn’t a party’s assets be a factor in “ability to pay” family court attorney’s fees?

E.D.M. v. T.A.M., 307 S.C. 471, 476-77, 415 S.E.2d 812, 816 (1992) is the seminal South Carolina case in deciding whether to award a prevailing party attorney’s fees in family court. It lists four factors the family court should use to determine an award of fees. Excepting the “beneficial results” factor, the other three factors […]

You ain’t my only (or even final) audience: the unacknowledged revolution that Lewis and Stoney have wrought

By the start of this millennium I believe I had developed a reputation for overtrying my domestic cases: that is, I was considered an attorney who wasn’t satisfied with proving a contested fact though one source but would attempt to prove contested facts through as many sources as possible. The common byproduct of this approach […]

The unusual distribution of bi-weekly overnights in most custody trials (or why one’s unlikely to get 50/50 custody except by agreement)

When I first started trying custody cases a quarter century ago, the family court was pretty uniform, and uncreative, in its awards of visitation to the non-custodial parent. Absent a mother’s unfitness, she was very likely to get custody. Absent the non-custodial parent’s unfitness, that parent was likely to get every other weekend. If the […]

Vacating court approved agreements

Most family law attorneys will occasionally get contacted by an unhappy litigant who wishes to “appeal” his or her court approved agreement. The simple answer to that request is that “you can’t.” The “court will not entertain appeal from an order issued with parties’ consent.” Hooper v. Rockwell, 334 S.C. 281, 513 S.E.2d 358, 363 […]

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 […]

 

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