Drafting exercise for doctrinal course

Family Law                                                                             Professor Leigh Goodmark

                                                                                     University of Baltimore Law School

                                                   Divorce Complaint Assignment

I.  Goals of Assignment 

A.        To enhance your understanding of the substantive law and procedural rules governing divorces in Maryland.

B.        To gain experience drafting documents in family law matters.

II. Assignment

As counsel for Angela Kim-Curran, draft a complaint in the matter of Angela Kim-Curran v. Mark Curran.  Base your complaint on the information that you obtained during your in-class interview of your client on Tuesday, October 9, 2012.  You may refer to external resources, including form books and online forms, to guide you in your drafting. Plead all viable grounds for divorce and include requests for any form of legally defensible relief that your client expressed interest in during the interview.  This assignment will be due before class on Thursday, October 25, 2012.

III. Grading

This assignment is worth 15 points.  Complaints will be graded as follows:

Venue:  2 points

Grounds:  4 points

Relief:  5 points

Factual accuracy: 2 points

Mechanics (punctuation, spelling, etc.): 2 points

Teacher’s Notes to use in role play of client interview

I.      Angela Kim-Curran interview

a.  Your address:  5 West Chase Street, Baltimore, MD 21201; 410-555-1212

b.  His address:  3430 Courthouse Drive, Ellicott City, Maryland 21043; 443-555-1212

c.  Married 4/19/07 to Mark Curran in a civil ceremony in Cecil County, Maryland

d.  Angela works as a sales clerk in an upscale boutique in Baltimore City

e.  Mark works in Howard County as a salesman at Verizon Wireless

f.  Separated 6/12/11

g.  Lived in MD since 1997


He has lived in Maryland since 1979

i.  No kids

j.  Own a home worth $300,000 with a mortgage of $275,000; some furniture purchased during the marriage; each owns a car titled in their own name purchased during the marriage and fully paid off; have joint bank accounts (checking: $750; savings: $6,000)

Story:  Very happily married for first three years of marriage, but things slowly started to go awry. He began making mean jokes about her friends and family and started to insist that she spend her free time with him rather than socializing with others.  He insisted that she provide him with receipts for all of the money she spent, and yelled at her when she couldn’t account for her expenditures down to the penny.  He called her repeatedly at work during the day, so much so that her boss threatened to fire her if he didn’t stop.  When she stopped taking his calls, he would come into the store where she worked and stand by the door, glaring at her if she talked to male customers.  He criticized her weight and her sloppiness around the house and began to call her nasty names (make them up if pressed).  On one occasion in 2010, Mark kicked her in the backside after telling her that she had gotten fat.  Early in 2011, he began keeping her up all night, making her tell him how she spent every minute of her day, questioning her about all of the people she talked to during the day.  She began to lose weight, and friends and co-workers commented on how pale and unhappy she looked.  She went to a doctor complaining of chest pain; the doctor found no heart related illnesses and suggested she might be experiencing panic attacks.  Finally, on May 10, 2011, she decided to leave the house.  About a month later, she called him to tell him that she wasn’t coming back and that she intended to file for divorce; his response was, “Do what you want.  I don’t care.”



If asked:  you are not seeking alimony because you want a clean break from Mark, but you would like to keep your car (he can have his), change your name back to Angela Kim, keep some of the furniture that was bought during the marriage but that you really care about, and split what’s in the bank accounts.