Phillips Law Firm Offers Legal Representation In The Following Areas

 

FAMILY LAW

* Separation and Divorce

* Child Custody and Visitation

* Child Support

* Modification of Custody, Visitation or Support

* Grandparent's Rights

Separation and Divorce

   What was supposed to be "until death do us part" sometimes regretfully falls apart well before that. Separation and Divorce is often intensely emotional and a time of tremendous upheaval. The Phillips Law Firm understands and will come alongside you during this time to take some of that burden off of you.

South Carolina recognizes four "fault-based" grounds for divorce: Adultery, Physical Cruelty, Habitual drunkenness or drug abuse, and Desertion. With a fault-based grounds for divorce a final hearing may be requested within 90 days of the date of the filing of the Complaint. In addition to the "fault-based" grounds for divorce, South Carolina also recognizes a "no-fault" divorce in which the parties may get a divorce after living separate and apart for one year. 

We know what your rights are and will work so that you can get your life back on track and find your "new normal". You can and you will get through this difficult time. And we will help you. 

Child Custody and Visitation

   This is without a doubt the most traumatic aspect of any divorce. It is not uncommon for both parents to believe they are the best caregivers for the minor child or children. The Court looks to specific factors when considering what is in the best interest of the child and may award parents sole, joint, or shared custody of a minor child. It is generally ideal if the parents can agree on a custody and visitation schedule, so as not to lengthen the time of the litigation and minimize any emotional toll the litigation takes on the children. If a custody and visitation schedule cannot be agreed upon, the Court will appoint a Guardian ad litem to represent the interest of your child/children, and you can rest assured that we will be ready to fight for you if it becomes necessary.

Child Support

  Unless the parties agree otherwise, the amount of child support is generally determined by the South Carolina Child Support Guidelines. In rare circumstances the court may depart from these guidelines if there is are unusual circumstances. 

Unfortunately, there are some parents who do not hesitate to use their children as pawns in the child support and visitation arena. Primary custodians sometimes withhold visitation without justification, and sometimes the parent obligated to pay support refuses. When and if this happens, the Phillips Law Firm is ready to step in and hold the other party accountable to do what they are obligated to do.

Modification of Custody, Visitation, or Support

   The Court that entered the final order of custody, visitation and support retains the jurisdiction to modify the final order should circumstances warrant it. In general, there must be a considerable and substantial change in the circumstances that existed at the entry of the final order, and those considerable and substantial changes must substantially affect the best interest and welfare of the minor child or children. If this has happened in your case, call us to see how we can help you.

Grandparents Rights

  This is an area of law that is evolving in South Carolina. There are factors that a Family Court looks to - always considering the best interest of the minor children - that may cause them to order visitation for grandparents of a minor child if either or both of that child's parents are deceased, or sometimes even if the parents are divorced or living apart. Call us today to set an appointment to see if your circumstances are such that a Court may order visitation if you are no longer getting to see grandchildren with whom you have already formed a relationship and bond.

 

Civil Litigation

Civil litigation is a broad term that includes any area of law that can be tried in the Court of Common Pleas. These areas include:

* Personal Injury and Wrongful Death

* Medical Malpractice

* Wrongful Termination

* Business Disputes

* Contract Disputes

* Victims of Sexual Abuse

 

Medical Malpractice 

Medical negligence or "malpractice" occurs when a physician or surgeon fails to provide the standard of care that would be expected of a reasonable physician or surgeon in the same field of practice. Doctors and other health-care providers must follow certain standards when caring for patients. Their failure to follow standards may include doing something they should not have done, or the failure to do something they should have done. If they do not follow the standard of care, and if their failure to follow that standard causes harm or damage to you or a loved one, call to set up an appointment to consult with us about your potential case.

Personal Injury and Wrongful Death 

We represent individuals and the families of individuals who have been seriously injured or killed as a result of the negligent or wrongful conduct of others. We understand the tactics of insurance companies and how their attorneys think. Insurance companies are only interested in minimizing their economic exposure when a serious injury or death has occurred and they hire attorneys whose job it is to undermine each aspect of your claim. Some attorneys are not willing to take a case to trial and as a result settle cases for less than their value. We have a proven record in the courtroom and are not afraid to take a case to trial to obtain the best possible result.

Injuries resulting from motor vehicle accidents require the guidance of an experienced attorney. Insurance companies continue to take advantage of injured parties simply because those injured don't know the law. We have years of practice and an impressive track record representing people who have suffered significant injuries in motor vehicle accidents. We work with physicians and other health care providers to access and review all the short and long-term medical aspects of your care. Our knowledge of South Carolina's automobile, insurance and liability laws means we understand the different sources of recovery available to car accident victims and their families as well as the various theories of liability that enable those victims to collect from the parties who caused them harm.

EMPLOYMENT LAW

* Wrongful retaliation or termination

* Wage Payment and Overtime Cases

* Harassment and Discrimination

* Non-compete Agreements

* Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) violations

Wrongful Termination

Generally, in South Carolina you are considered an "employee-at-will". That simply means you may quit your employment at any time and for any reason unless you are restricted by a contract, and an employer may terminate you at any time and for any reason as well. However there are several notable exceptions to this rule. You may not be fired if:

1) you have an employment contract - whether it is express or implied;

2) the termination would violate some other law - such as discrimination, whistle-blowing, or anti-retaliation statute;

3) the termination violates a clear mandate of public policy;

4) the employee has provided "independent consideration" for the employment.

If you believe you have been terminated under one of the scenarios listed above, give us a call to set up a consultation.

Wage Payment and Overtime Cases

There are times when an employer tries to take advantage of an employee by not paying them the wages that are due to them. This can come in the form of:

 * nonpayment or underpayment of hourly wages

 * nonpayment or underpayment of overtime

 * treating hourly employees like they are salaried

 * not properly compensating you for the time it may take to prepare or dress for your work that is required by your employer

 * Unfairly handing "comp" time

Harassment and Discrimination

 * Federal Statutes and state laws prohibit discrimination based on race, religion, sex, disability, age (over 40) and other personal characteristics. Harassment and discrimination can take many forms in the workplace other than just termination. Some cases may be blatant infractions of civil rights, while others are more subtle violations, but are nevertheless actions that mistreat employees. 

   If you have been a victim of either blatant or subtle harassment or discrimination, give us a call to set up a consultation. 

Non-Compete Agreements

 * Unreasonably restrictive non-compete agreements can cause serious financial consequences for employees who concentrate their efforts in certain business areas because such agreements often attempt to prevent employees from working in their field in a certain geographic area, and for a certain period of time. 

  If your livelihood is at stake and you are uncertain whether your employer has unreasonably restricted you from making a living, let us take a look at your non-compete to see if we might be able to help you.

Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA

   If you meet certain qualifications - like being employed with the same employer for at least a year and your employer has 50 or more employees within a 75-mile radius of where your work, you may be entitled to time off from your work to address your own important medical issues or those important medical issues of your family. 

   If an employer violates an employee's rights under FMLA by adversely treating that employee who took the time off, that employee may bring an action against his employer.  If this has happened to you or someone you know, call us to set up a consultation.

Business Organizations and Transactions 

We represent new and established businesses and offer advice on the many legal issues that are encountered daily. We help entrepreneurs set up their company, advise them about their choice of business formation (partnership, Limited Liability Company, S or Regular Corporation) and about relations with investors, lenders, partners, suppliers, and customers.

We represent individuals who have been injured as a result of the negligent design or manufacture of an unsafe product. We assist those injured individuals in bringing their claims and being fairly compensated for their injuries.

Products Liability 

We represent individuals who have been injured as a result of the negligent design or manufacture of an unsafe product. We assist those injured individuals in bringing their claims and being fairly compensated for their injuries.

Basic Estate Planning and Probate 

We provide legal advice and counsel to clients regarding the preparation of simple wills, living wills and healthcare power of attorney. We understand the pain of losing a loved one and the emotions that come with the territory. Come to us and let us handle the courts in matters of probate. 

Criminal Defense

It is absolutely essential that in a free society, before we deprive a citizen of his or her liberty, we require the government to prove their case beyond a reasonable doubt. Good people sometimes make poor decisions and find themselves in trouble with the law. Young people often do things that are acts of immaturity that can follow them for years to come. Effective criminal defense includes investigating the facts, knowing the law, and aggressively protecting the rights guaranteed to us by the Constitution. We represent clients in both State and Federal Courts in the following areas:

  • Felonies
  • Violent Crimes
  • Drug Offenses
  • White Collar Crimes
  • DUI