Contempt

‘Best Efforts’ in Contracts—A Subjective Standard?

Barker v. Barker is a case that has significance far beyond family law. Joseph Barker agreed to pay for his daughter’s college bills, so long as she “diligently applied” herself in school. When Joseph received Holly’s college reports, he learned that Holly (a) had finished her Fall 2011 semester with a 1.000 GPA, (b) was on academic probation for the first three semesters of school; and (c) was enrolled in 16.5 hours but earned only 7.5 hours of credit. In the Spring 2011 semester, Holly improved her GPA for a cumulative GPA of 2.000, narrowly escaping academic probation. Not surprisingly,…

Diamonds Are Forever; Valid Purge—Not So Much

There now is a fascinating TV Series about a man whose life lasts forever, which is aptly called Forever. It’s a great entertainment. But I digress. Point here is, valid contempt purges do not. Contempt purge simply cannot last forever. In Wellons v. White, the Court of Appeals reminded again that a civil contempt order must have a purge that is not “impermissibly vague.” Just as importantly, the purge must be finite, meaning that there should be an end to the punishment. (If you really need something that lasts forever, consider a permanent injunction or diamonds.) The sentiment “Go think…

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