All too often after a divorce trial, one or both parties is unhappy with the decision reached by the trial judge. It could be about property division issues, custody and parenting, support or other matters within the Judgment. Not all hope is lost, though! You have the right to appeal a final judgment of the Probate and Family Court, by filing a Notice of Appeal in the trial court within 30 days of entry of the judgment. Keep in mind that being disappointed with the terms of the judgment is not a legitimate basis for seeking an appeal.
I hope you are all staying cool. It’s brutal out there today!
The court system is hierarchical. Each court has authority to render judgments and decisions but until you hit the Supreme Judicial Court, those judgments can be appealed only if the judge somehow did not comply with the rules that govern hearings and trial and the underlying laws.
Most family law cases end up at the Probate and Family Court. All trials are conducted without a jury through what is known as a bench trial, with the judge hearing the evidence and rendering a decision.
A deposition is a commonly used discovery device in many divorce cases. Many people are nervous or even afraid of being deposed. Follow these nine tips to help relieve some of the anxiety surrounding a deposition.
A deposition calls for a witness (often, but not always, one of the parties) to give oral testimony under oath before trial. Depositions are conducted in front of a court reporter and are then reduced to a transcript. Transcripts are often admitted into evidence at trial, where they may be used to either strengthen or dispute the testimony offered.
As a family law attorney, I use depositions for three purposes:
- Discover relevant information.
- Observe the demeanor, poise, and memory of the deponent (the person being deposed).
- Commit the deponent to a version of the facts.