Monday, August 29, 2011

Memphis Divorce Attorney Larry Rice: on Property Division in Tennessee

Memphis, Tennessee Divorce Attorney Larry Rice gives an overview of how to divide property in divorce cases. He explains the two different types of property: separate property and marital property. Larry Rice defines separate property as any property acquired prior to the marriage or received as a gift or inheritance during the marriage. He also discusses marital property and states that judges tend to consider other factors such as income and separate property when determining how to divide the spouse's marital property.

To view the entire video, please follow the link below:

Friday, August 26, 2011

Memphis Divorce Attorney Larry Rice: on Pendente Lite Hearings in Tennessee

Memphis Divorce Attorney Larry Rice discusses the purpose of Pendente Lite Support hearings in Tennessee. Pendente Lite, Latin for "pending litigation," is a good way to establish temporary child support until the final divorce hearing. Attorney Larry Rice explains that the Divorce Referee only considers income, expenses and the Child Support guidelines when deciding temporary support at the Pendente Lite hearings. Other factors that would contribute to granting a fault divorce in Tennessee do not hold much weight at a Pendente Lite hearing.

To view this entire video, follow the link below:

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Clerking at Rice Law: by Erin O'dea

Silence is one of the hardest arguments to refute. ~ Josh Billings 
([Henry Wheeler Shaw] 19th Century American humorist)

Maybe Mr. Rice chose me to write this blog because he believes people, and especially his law clerks, can learn something from every task they perform. As a recent graduate of the Cecil C. Humphries School of Law, I can attest to the fact that many of my fellow graduates, including myself, have struggled with putting into practice the knowledge that the quote above imputes. I have been clerking at Rice, Amundsen & Caperton since April 2010, and on my first day at work I learned that the number one reason to practice law is to: HAVE FUN, which is why it was only appropriate that this blog entry begin with a quote from an American humorist.

I recently had the misfortune of taking the Tennessee Bar Exam, and I can only pray that I studied enough to ensure I would never have to face that BEAST again. My boyfriend, who has said he was beginning to forget what I look like, assures me I did, but I will not believe his biased reassurances until I see my name on that list October 7th at noon. I have left the 12 hour study days behind, and replaced them with workdays of similar length, the main difference being: human interaction, which makes work that much more pleasant, most of the time. At work new developments have arisen in cases I left behind, new procedures have been put in place around the office, and new faces have appeared in the hallways, but one thing has not changed… every day is an opportunity to learn and improve.

I have learned a lot from the attorneys who practice with the firm, but the most important thing has been that I can never stop learning, as long as I want to be successful, that is. Mr. Rice makes sure that every mistake, every victory, and even every menial task teaches us something. Mr. Rice recently sent everyone in the office a link to an article entitled, “Negotiation as a Form of Persuasion: Arguments in First Offers”. The article talked about the different ways a first offer can be presented to an opposing party in ADR, the possible psychological impacts of the differing styles of presentation, and how an attorney can use this information to get positive results for his or her client.

The article states that though there is an advantage to making the first offer in any negotiation process, attorneys have a tendency to present their first offer with too many arguments of why the opposing party should take their offer. Studies show that parties who made the first offer achieved better results if their initial offer did not contain any arguments as to why the offer was a good one. Why, you ask? The general consensus was that providing arguments with the initial offer caused the opposing party to feel the need to generate counter-arguments, which makes sense if you were ever a 1L trying to answer a professor’s question and your argument prompted some gunner in the front row to play devil’s advocate so that he could potentially get some gleaming letter of recommendation from that professor. (I bet that gunner was really disheartened when he saw the generic letter that professor wrote to the Bar on his behalf… “I believe this candidate has the character and fitness to be a member of the Bar in Tennessee. Sincerely, Professor Don T. Brownnoseme”)

What can you take away from my summation? The party making the initial offer will come closer to the result desired if they layer their arguments in the negotiation process, and reveal their arguments only as those arguments are needed. We as attorneys are taught to be adversarial, and if you give us a reason why you are right, we’ve been taught to give you a reason why you are wrong. However, in this instance, if the offering party becomes greedy, and attempts to blow the other side away at the beginning, in one fell swoop, that offering party may just end up with nothing. Now, I’ll ask myself, what have I taken away from the task given to me? Sometimes your best argument is the one you don’t make.

This is the way the world ends

This is the way the world ends

This is the way the world ends

Not with a bang but a whimper. ~ T.S. Elliot

If you found my ramblings at all interesting, you may find this article even more interesting. The author gives tips on what can be taken away from the study done by the authors of “Negotiation as a Form of Persuasion: Arguments in First Offers.” You must pay to read this article, but if you are interested in reading the full article you can click here to purchase it. Rice, Amundsen & Caperton is in no way affiliated with either of these websites, and does not profit in anyway if you click on the above listed links, or buy the article mentioned in this blog post. We simply thought these were interesting topics, and thought some of you might find them interesting as well.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Memphis Divorce Attorney Larry Rice: on Parenting Issues in Tennessee

Memphis Divorce Attorney Larry Rice discusses the importance of not involving children in the divorce process. He recommends still parenting together by emphasizing each parents' love for their children and by not criticizing the other spouse in front of the children. Larry Rice also addresses the main components and faults of the Child Support Worksheet in Tennessee. He concludes by reiterating his point to parent together and to not talk badly about the other spouse.

To view the entire video, follow the link below:

Friday, August 19, 2011

Memphis Divorce Attorney Larry Rice: on Modification of Child Support in Tennessee

Memphis Divorce Attorney Larry Rice discusses the conditions in which child support and alimony can be modified. He explains that there must be significant unforeseen circumstances such as a fifteen percent increase or decrease in the party's income in order for child support to be changed. Mr. Rice also discusses the differences between alimony in solido and alimony in futuro, stating that only alimony in futuro can be altered under certain circumstances.

To view the entire video, follow the link below:

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Clerking at Rice Law: by Jessica Farmer

Creating Your Legacy: Your Mom Was Right…Again.

I attended the Pillars of Excellence Ceremony over the weekend. It was a beautiful ceremony with many deserving honorees. Tribute after tribute, I began to notice a common theme. These men were not only academically proficient, skillful and hard-working, but they were professional, well-liked individuals.

How does one create his or her own professional legacy? How do you make it a positive one? Let’s face it, people talk. Professional reputations are important. How do you maintain the image you want? Well, it’s the same advice your mom has been giving you for years, “treat others as you want to be treated.”

Work with your opposing counsels to reach a resolution for your clients, not to satisfy your own end of “beating out another lawyer.” Think before you speak and act. Why is that so often forgotten?

I am fortunate to work for a firm that works each day to treat people with respect, both inside and outside of our doors. The partners and attorneys at our firm do not undervalue their employees, even all the way down the chain of command to the clerks. They do not underestimate their opposing counsels’ abilities or a judge’s ability to make an informed decision. They do not view a client’s problems as unimportant. I believe that is why they are so well-respected.

I am fortunate to work in a place where my work and the work of those around me is valued and appreciated. It is an important lesson that I am grateful to be learning so early in my career. You start building your professional reputation at an early age. It starts with showing your appreciation and respect for others. Add a little hard work, careful thinking, attention to detail, and, of course, a little luck, and you might just be fortunate enough to create a positive legacy that lasts.

I’m proud to work for Rice, Amundsen & Caperton, a firm whose legacy speaks for itself…

Monday, August 15, 2011

Memphis Divorce Attorney Larry Rice: on Marital Dissolution Agreements in Tennessee

Memphis Divorce Attorney Larry Rice discusses how spouses should approach negotiating before signing the Marital Dissolution Agreement (MDA). He explains the complexity of the MDA and advises couples to seek counsel when it is time to draft the MDA. Larry Rice also suggests the appropriate setting for a successful negotiation between spouses before signing the Marital Dissolution Agreement.

To view the entire video, please follow the link below:

Friday, August 12, 2011

Memphis Divorce Attorney Larry Rice: on Legal Separation and Annulment in Tennessee

Memphis Divorce Attorney Larry Rice defines legal separation and annulment. He explains that couples usually resort to legal separation because they are avoiding accepting the fact that the marriage is over and they need a divorce. However, under rare circumstances legal separation can be a good thing. Larry Rice also discusses annulments and describes them as alternatives to divorce when you find that the marriage was void from the beginning.

To view the entire video, follow the link below:

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Clerking at Rice Law: by Chelsea Conn

One of the interesting aspects of Family Law is an attorney’s role as counselor. This was the very situation I witnessed last week. Family Law attorneys don’t just work for their client toward a solution in a financial way, but they can help heal their clients in an emotional way, as well. Consider a client who may recount a history of abuse and infidelity. This client would have a difficult time keeping composure because of the hurt and years of distress. By listening and empathizing with a client, a Family Law attorney can be a comfort to their clients emotionally.

The ability to pay attention to the emotions of a client and counsel them on the next steps of the divorce process in a way that a client can fully understand is a very important quality to have as a Family Law attorney. Many other types of law can be far less emotional. However, I enjoy Family Law because as an attorney in this field you are able encourage and create a close bond with your client.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Memphis Divorce Attorney Larry Rice: on Grounds for Divorce in Tennessee

Attorney Larry Rice discusses the various legal grounds for divorce including, but not limited to, adultery, habitual abuse of alcohol or narcotics, living separately for more than two years, willful or malicious desertion, conviction of a felony, bigamy, and inappropriate marital conduct, which is the most common ground for divorce. He also defines fault and no-fault divorces, explaining the differences between the two types.

To view the entire video, please follow the link below:

Friday, August 5, 2011

Memphis Divorce Attorney Larry Rice: on Domestic Violence in Tennessee

Memphis Divorce Attorney Larry Rice discusses the twists and turns of abusive relationships and the vicious cycle that couples in violent relationships become caught in. He also discusses the effects of spousal abuse on children and how the parent can take initiative and get out of the situation before the effects on the children and family escalate.

To view the complete video, please follow the link below:

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Memphis Divorce Attorney: on Discovery in Tennessee

Memphis Divorce Attorney Larry Rice discusses the stressful components of the discovery process when going through a divorce. He elaborates on the rules of discovery and the challenges both the attorneys and clients face when preparing the discovery.

To view the entire video, please follow the link below: