Attorney Erin Duncan – Recap

My recap of recent events: I have been aggressively closing out my existing case load from my prior law firm so I can devote all of my time to Ayo and Iken clients. In case you do not know, I had a family law practice in Central Florida prior to joining with Ayo and Iken. I decided I liked the idea of working with a team of family law attorneys so I closed the practice to join my current firm.  Lately there have been lots of morning hearings.  I have also been working on heated discovery battles – the process of giving and getting financial documents. During the last week I had an emergency on drug testing for one of my clients that formerly tested positive. The court saw my way on that one and my client prevailed. I have either been in court or mediation at least three times a week during the last month. And lately I have been quite the traveler.  My menu of traveling to courthouses has included Orange County, Seminole County, and Brevard County. Tomorrow I will be in Lake. That’s the life of a busy attorney – in case you were thinking about going to law school.  I have gotten very comfortable with the new state e-filing system so that has not been a concern. On Monday I attended an Inn of Court meeting.  That is a gathering of attorneys for the purpose of learning new developments in the law. We talked about imputation of income – the process of putting support in place when a person purposefully loses their job.  I have had a lot of private lunches and meetings on Alimony reform. In this part of my life I seem to be becoming more political and I actively take part in advocating for or fighting against certain new laws. I have also had a lot of board activities. I am on the executive committee of the Orange County Bar Association. If all of that is not enough, I am also working with an old friend that will be running for judge in Seminole County. Recently I was scheduled to speak with LGBT – lesbian, gay, bisexual foundation about state of change in the laws.

Recently Interesting Things: Just filed a Motion for Judgment on the Pleadings. Those are pretty uncommon in family law. It is a way to get an early decision from the judge without going through a trial. I was lucky because I was able to  reuse an old motion from one of my colleagues. That is one of the advantages of working with a large team.  I am now waiting to hear the result.

Just recently a client tested positive for drugs in a child abuse case. This case has everything, and I mean everything. There is a jurisdictional fight between several states, some criminal matters, and some dependency matters, all rolled up in the same case. Throw on top of that the other side having a free legal aid attorney and the case has become a real challange. Stay tuned on that one.

Trends: In Orange county, because of several new judges on the bench, we will be seeing more requirements for attorneys to discuss and confer before filing motions. Imagine that, discussing and conferring! There will be an emphasis on either resolving the case or knocking out some of the issues before anything is filed. The judges have promised to dismiss motions where we do not comply with the new requirements.  The judges will also be awarding more attorney fees against those that do not comply. That should be interesting.  Also, the latest effort on alimony reform is ruffling the local attorneys and there is a lot of talk.

Surprising Facts Department: A client has been battling with a home lender for over 8 months to modify their mortgage. The client applied for refinancing, jumped through hoops for 8 months, and did everything the bank asked.  During this time there were no mortgage payments made. The house is hopelessly upside down. After 8  months of jumping through hoops the bank unexpectedly denied the modification. The reason: the client had a steady paycheck. But the original problem was still there – the existing money was woefully inadequate to pay the mortgage.  Then the bank made an unusual suggestion …. .   They said if the client was divorced the numbers would then justify a modification  That’s right, the bank representative suggested a divorce!  Here is where the surprise comes in. The client plans on a divorce, then a loan modification, and then a fancy wedding. Talk about meeting life head on!


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