Posted in: Lawyers › None
With a degree in Psychology and with a background in family therapy, appellate lawyer Jasmine D. Smith knows exactly how to work with individuals, couples, and families. Smith combined her knowledge in marriage and family therapy with her passion for writing about complex legal issues to create a unique perspective on appellate law for July’s SC Lawyer magazine article, Clear Agreements as the Best Prevention: Ensuring Your Family Law Case Succeeds on Appeal.
“In my work as an appellate lawyer, I handle all types of appeals,” she says. “This article is geared toward providing an understanding of how our appellate courts may handle specific family law issues.”
Smith—a current civil defense litigation and appellate practice attorney with Robinson, Gray, Stepp, and Laffitte, LLC in Columbia—references a fictitious religious based family who had a young son named Jake. After divorcing, the father converted to another religion and demanded his son practice the traditions as well, which included withdrawing him from the Jewish private school he attended and refusing to pay potential college expenses. To help mitigate common family disputes such as this one, Smith offers two steps to help in decision making:
Have an agreement that is clear, plain, and unambiguous; and
Know and understand how our appellate courts will analyze your issue on appeal
“My hope is that by understanding how the appellate courts will handle the issue, the litigate and trial attorney will have a better understanding upfront to create a record for the appellate attorney to get the result desired in the end if the issue makes its way all the way to the South Carolina Supreme Court,” she says.
While balancing her busy work schedule, Smith stays actively involved with the SC Bar and has presented at several CLE seminars. She is active in many committees and also served as the co-chair of the Leadership Academy Committee from 2016-2022. As a first-time writer for SC Lawyer, she spoke positively about the experience.
“I enjoyed the experience of writing for the SC Lawyer magazine and would recommend other attorneys give it a try.”