Divorce Is…’ 40 Words That Define Divorce

If you could choose only one word to describe the experience of divorce, which word would you pick?

It’s not an easy task, but when we took the prompt to our readers on Facebook and Twitter recently, they drew from experience and offered up a wide range of definitions. While some said a split was “sobering” and “trying,” others adopted a more positive outlook — “pivotal,” one said, while a reader on Facebook likened divorce to rebirth.

Click through the slides below to read all of the answers, then head to the comments and let us know which word you’d pick to define divorce.

Written by Huffington Post. To read the full article, click here. For more information on family law attorneys, visit our website http://www.jwbrookslaw.com

South Carolina Is Faulted on Child Services

In South Carolina, people accused of sexually abusing children do not face trial for years. Children who report abuse are not interviewed for weeks. Churches often stand between victims and help.

Those were among the findings of a privately financed report that comes as South Carolina is working to shore up its child protective system. The state is facing lawsuits and legislative scrutiny after a series of deaths, rapes and other assaults on children who were in state custody.

The report was welcomed by Gov. Nikki R. Haley, who said it offered useful recommendations for improving how the state — both the government and its citizens — can better address childhood sexual trauma.

It also prompted Ms. Haley to recount her own experience as a physically abused child.

Written by Kim Severson. To read the full article, click here. For more information on family law attorneys, visit our website http://www.jwbrookslaw.com

Why your law firm managing partner or chair should go social

Alexander Ingram (Alex_M_Ingram), an account coordinator at InkHouse Media + Marketing, shared some thoughts this morning on why your CEO should go social.

For years, CEOs protected themselves from the public and left most of the talking to their PR agencies. Regularly communicating in a public forum was simply not part of a CEO’s job description. Today, the massive onslaught of businesses adopting social media has provided a unique opportunity for finally personalizing the voice – and influence – of these company leaders. However, with a few high-profile exceptions (Richard Branson), CEOs have largely remained out of the mix, often too busy to take the time to participate in the incessant roar of the social channels. Executives, particularly the CEO, can provide a perspective that no one else in your business can, and social media offers a great platform to disseminate that message.

Ingram’s logic applies equally to managing partners or executive committee chairs at law firms. Despite social providing law firm leaders a unique and powerful opportunity, by and large, they’ve been silent.

Written by Kevin O’Keefe. To read the full article, click here. For more information on family law attorneys, visit our website http://www.jwbrookslaw.com

DOMA and Prop 8: The Supreme Court Could Punt On Gay Marriage

Another day of the Supreme Court issuing rulings on cases, another opportunity to not issue a decision on the two most anticipated cases of the year.

Despite the Court’s decision in the highly anticipated Fisher v. University of Texas affirmative action case regarding race conscious decision-making in university admissions, there is still no word on decisions for the duo of same-sex marriage cases that have been eagerly anticipated since the cases were argued earlier this year. Instead, the Court has announced that it will return Tuesday and Thursday mornings to — presumably — issue a ruling on both cases (likely on Thursday).

In preparation of what promises to be an onslaught of intense media coverage and irrational Facebook back-and-forths here is a quick rundown on the gay marriage cases the Court is set to rule on.

In US v. Windsor the Court addresses whether or not the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) violates federal law by not allowing same-sex couples to have access to federal programs and laws.

Written by Derek Miles. To read the full article, click here. For more information on family law attorneys, visit our website http://www.jwbrookslaw.com

Social media will soon drive more traffic to law firm websites than search engines

Law firms looking to draw traffic to their websites and blogs will want to move on from SEO to social media.

Technology journalist, Ben Weitzenkor (@benkwx), reports in Entrepreneur Magazine that social media may soon drive more traffic to websites than search engines.

Last year, half of all internet users ages 18 to 23, and 43 percent of users ages 24 to 32, used social networks as their go-to internet-discovery resource, according to a new report from Cambridge, Mass.-based Forrester Research. Overall, social networks like Facebook and Twitter are the preferred means of discovery for nearly a third of all Americans, up from 18 percent in 2010.

At the same time, 54 percent of American internet users still relied on traditional search results to find the information they were looking for. As expected, that number is on the decline and, according to the report, represents a seven-point drop in overall search engine popularity from 61 percent in 2010.

Written by Kevin O’Keefe. To read the full article, click here. For more information on family law attorneys, visit our website http://www.jwbrookslaw.com

56% of people use social media when looking for attorney

Pursuant to a recent survey by The Research Intelligence Group, 56% of consumers (72% of minorities) who looked for an attorney in the past year used social media during their search.

The survey commissioned by the Rainmaker Institute found that nearly one-quarter used a social media channel such as Twitter or Facebook to ask their friends for recommendations of lawyers or firms they have used for similar matters. Not unusual in that the leading place people turn when looking for a lawyer is a person they trust.

How did they use social media in their search for a lawyer?

21% of those searching for an attorney checked out the social media pages of lawyers or firms.
20% used social media to create a ‘short list’ of lawyers based on referrals and recommendations received through social media
Almost 20% vetted the names of lawyers they were considering with their social media contacts
Nearly one-quarter made a final selection of a lawyer based in part on what they learned through their social media contacts

Written by Kevin O’Keefe. To read the full article, click here. For more information on family law attorneys, visit our website http://www.jwbrookslaw.com

Family Law in the Age of Facebook

Call her Ms. Smith. She was single, fun and interested in men, she declared on her Facebook profile. Photographs on her page depicted her canoodling with her latest boyfriend at a Dallas cocktail lounge. A Budweiser sign is prominently displayed overhead.
But for Rick Robertson, the family law attorney who was representing her soon-to-be ex-husband (call him Mr. Smith) in a divorce and child-custody dispute, Ms. Smith’s Facebook postings afforded a Perry Mason moment.
Until then, Ms. Smith had successfully been denying her husband full visitation rights with his infant son on grounds that he was “abusive and had alcohol issues.” After Robertson asked for—and got—Ms. Smith’s Facebook password in open court, however, the discussion no longer turned on Mr. Smith’s moral character but on her own.
Ms. Smith’s statements and postings on Facebook “came back to bite her,” Robertson says. “The woman was clearly not single, but still married. She was also the mother of a 1-year-old son.”
The result? Ms. Smith undermined her credibility and accusations toward Mr. Smith. Robertson’s client won full visitation rights and ultimately gained leverage in securing more favorable terms in a divorce settlement. Even so, as Robertson emphasized while sitting in his tastefully appointed offices overlooking the manicured fairways of Gleneagles Country Club’s golf course in Plano, a posh suburb just north of Dallas, divorce court is not the place for clear-cut legal victories.

Written by Paul Sweeney. To read the full article, click here.