Category: Jim Siemens

Jim successfully defends orders on appeal

Jim Siemens, Court of Appeals

Jim Siemens presenting his argument before the Court of Appeals in October.

The NC Court of Appeals published its opinion this week on a case Jim argued before a special session of the Court in October.  Jim was successful in defending equitable distribution, alimony and child support orders entered in Buncombe County last year.  The Defendant-Appellant raised fourteen issues on appeal.  All but one of which were ruled to be without merit.  The equitable distribution and child support orders were affirmed in full, and the alimony order was remanded in part for additional findings on the parties’ expenses.

Judge Valerie Zachary wrote the opinion for this case, and Judge Calabria and Chief Judge McGee concurred.  The Court of Appeals upheld the trial court’s adoption of most of the Plaintiff’s proposed findings and conclusions, as well as acceptance of the Plaintiff’s witness as an expert in accounting, and the application of the terms of the parties’ premarital agreement.  The trial court’s classification, valuation and distribution of assets in its equitable distribution order were also upheld.

The Court of Appeals specifically upheld the trial court’s use of a coverture fraction to value the marital portion of a TSP and subsequently funded IRA and annuity in the equitable distribution order.  The use of the coverture fraction in the context of N.C. Gen. Stat § 50-20.1 and Watkins v. Watkins* was supported by Jim in his brief, and seemed to be of particular interest to the panel during his oral argument before the Court.

The opinion stated in summary, “the trial court’s alimony order must be reversed and remanded for entry of additional findings concerning the parties’ expenses.  We conclude that the trial court did not otherwise err and that in all other respects, its equitable distribution, child support and alimony orders should be affirmed.”

The full published opinion on Kabasan v. Kabasan (COA 17-254) is embedded below, and can be found on the N.C. Appellate Courts website.

*Watkins v. Watkins, 228 N.C. App. 548, 746 S.E.2d 394 (2013).

Jim Siemens Argues Before Court of Appeals in Sparta, NC

Court of Appeals

Jim Siemens presenting his argument before Judge Zachary, Chief Judge McGee and Judge Calabria.

Jim Siemens traveled last week to the mountain town of Sparta, North Carolina to present an oral argument before the Court of Appeals. The argument was part of a special session celebrating the 50th anniversary of the NC Court of Appeals, holding a session of court in a hometown or county with a special connection for each judge. Jim’s case followed a criminal case from Watauga County, and the session drew a small crowd from the Sparta community.

Jim appeared before Chief Judge Linda McGee, Judge Valerie Zachary and Judge Ann Marie Calabria in the Alleghany County Courthouse. He argued in support of three orders on the issues of equitable distribution, alimony and child support. All three orders were drafted by Jim and entered last year by the district court judge presiding in Buncombe County, and are now challenged on appeal by the Defendant.

Jim defended his positions on valuing marital assets including retirement accounts and real property; the use of date of distribution exchange rates to value Brazilian real property; the application of the terms of the parties’ premarital agreement for an equal division of the marital estate; and determining the Plaintiff’s status as a dependent spouse for establishing terms of alimony.

The Court was particularly interested in the issue of valuing the marital portion of a Thrift Savings Plan and subsequently funded IRA and annuity in the equitable distribution trial. Jim gave further support for his argument pertaining to valuing deferred compensation using a coverture fraction in the context of N.C. Gen. Stat. § 50-20.1 and Watkins v. Watkins.*

After Jim’s strong argument before the panel, he now waits for a decision from the Court. More information about the judges on the panel and the Court of Appeals of North Carolina can be found on nccourts.org. More information about the special session can be found on the Twitter page for the NC Judicial Branch.

*Watkins v. Watkins, 228 N.C. App. 548, 746 S.E.2d 394 (2013).

Jim Siemens, Court of Appeals

Jim arguing before the N.C. Court of Appeals. Photo by Chris Mears/NC Judicial Branch.

Alleghany County Courthouse

Alleghany County Courthouse in Sparta, N.C. Photo by Chris Mears/NC Judicial Branch.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Jim Siemens, Court of Appeals

Jim answering questions from the panel.    Photo by Chris Mears/NC Judicial Branch.

Court of Appeals

Judge Calabria, Judge McGee and Judge Zachary. Photo by Chris Mears/NC Judicial Branch.

 

 

BPR Story Features Patton Documents

95 Charlotte

Siemens Family Law Group’s office in the historic    Patton-Parker House.

Blue Ridge Public Radio did a story this week on the historic documents found in the ceiling of the Patton-Parker House during renovations last year. The documents provide glimpses of Asheville’s past through records of the Patton family, which played an influential role in various areas of the city’s history.

The documents have since been donated to Pack Memorial Library in downtown Asheville, and pictures of a few of the pieces are displayed throughout the building at Siemens Family Law Group.

The story, along with a slideshow featuring some of the donated documents, is available on the Blue Ridge Public Radio site: Historic Patton Documents Find New Home at Pack Library.

Jim and Brenda honored by 2017 Super Lawyers

Siemens Family Law Group is happy to announce that Jim Siemens and Brenda Coppede have been honored as 2017 Super Lawyers. Jim was first recognized by Super Lawyers in 2012 and is included again in North Carolina’s Family Law category. Brenda is honored in the Family Law category as a Super Lawyers Rising Star.

The Super Lawyers selection process combines peer review and evaluation with independent research.  Once nominated, lawyers are evaluated based on indicators of peer recognition and professional achievement, then reviewed by practice area.  The final Super Lawyers list includes no more than 5 percent of North Carolina lawyers.

More information can be found on Jim and Brenda’s Super Lawyers profiles.

SFLG Moves to Patton Parker House Oct. 3

Siemens Family Law Group is proud to announce its move to the Patton Parker House.

95 Charlotte

Siemens Family Law Group’s new office at 95 Charlotte Street.

The Patton Parker House, at Charlotte and Chestnut St., offers a distinguished history and character that suits the firm’s clients and style of practice.  The history of this location will be thoughtfully displayed, and available to you and to our community.  We look forward to greeting you there.

Siemens Family Law Group will be open for business at the Patton Parker House October 3rd, 2016, with parking and entry from the front or the back of the home.  The firm’s new mailing address, effective October 3rd, will be 95 Charlotte St., Asheville, N.C. 28801.

Representing the Dependent Spouse

Jim Siemens and Brenda Coppede recently presented at the North Carolina Bar Association’s Family Law Section Annual Meeting in Charleston.  Jim and Brenda’s CLE topic was Representing the Dependent Spouse, and you can take a look at their presentation materials below.

 

Jim Siemens named 2016 Super Lawyer

Jim Siemens has been honored as a 2016 Super Lawyer, included again in North Carolina’s Family Law category. Jim was first recognized by Super Lawyers in 2012.

The Super Lawyers selection process combines peer review and evaluation with independent research.  Once nominated, lawyers are evaluated based on indicators of peer recognition and professional achievement, then reviewed by practice area.  The final Super Lawyers list includes no more than 5 percent of North Carolina lawyers.

More information about Jim and the Super Lawyers honor can be found on Jim’s Super Lawyers profile.

Jim Siemens honored in 2016 Legal Elite

Jim SiemensSiemens Family Law Group is pleased to announce Jim Siemens’ inclusion in Business North Carolina’s 2016 Legal Elite.  Each year, Business North Carolina honors the state’s top lawyers in business-related categories.  Every active lawyer in the state is given the opportunity to participate by selecting peers they feel are at the top of their fields.  Fewer than 3 percent of the state’s lawyers made this year’s list.  Jim is included in the Legal Elite Family Law section for the third year.  The complete list and more information about the selection process can be found on Business North Carolina’s 2016 Legal Elite website.

Plans for SFLG and Patton-Parker House

Patton-Parker House

Citizen-Times photo

The Patton-Parker House and plans for Siemens Family Law Group were featured in the Asheville Citizen-Times on Sunday. The article highlights the history of the house, the Preservation Society’s involvement, and Jim Siemens’ plans for the future. Read the story, Historic Patton-Parker House finds new owner, to learn more about the historic building that will house Siemens Family Law Group in 2016.

 

 

 

Historic Landmark to be New Home for SFLG

Patton-Parker House

Jim with the keys and plans for the Patton-Parker House at 95 Charlotte Street.

Siemens Family Law Group will be moving its office to the historic Patton-Parker House in 2016. Located at 95 Charlotte Street, the Victorian-style home was built in 1868 by Thomas Walton Patton, who served as mayor of Asheville in the 1890s.

The Patton-Parker House has been a part of various notable events in Asheville’s history. During the Civil War, the site served as a military encampment known as “Camp Patton,” used by both Union and Confederate forces. In 1894, Helen Morris Lewis conducted a meeting at the Patton-Parker House for a community rally that led to the formation of the North Carolina Equal Suffrage Association. Thomas Walton Patton and his sister, Frances Louisa, worked to reform jails and prisons and to improve the welfare of women, children and people living in poverty. They were also instrumental in the formation of Mission Hospital, the public library, and the YMCA and YWCA. The African-American community known as “Mountainside” was originally part of the Patton holdings, and the Patton family donated land to establish several local churches, including First Presbyterian Church, Trinity Episcopal Church, and St. Matthias Episcopal Church.

The Patton-Parker House is on the National Register of Historic Places and is designated a Local Historic Landmark by the City of Asheville. Siemens Family Law Group looks forward to becoming a part of the history of this Asheville landmark!