Issue No. 95
December 3, 2018
Click here to download the new Family Court Staff Rosters. I have updated and compiled biographical profiles of our nine new family court judges. Click here to download the profiles of the judges-elect.

In this issue....

  • How to Donate to the New Democratic Judges
  • Judge-Elect Profile: Gloria Lopez
  • Judge-Elect Profile: Angela Graves-Harrington

Judges Become Lawyers Again

Our defeated district judges and their associate judges are beginning to announce their plans for life off the bench. Judge Roy Moore put out the word that the firm of Moore, Vlahakos & Sydow, PLLC will open its doors on January 1, 2019 at 24 Greenway Plaza, Suite 760, Houston, Texas 77046 for family law litigation, arbitration and mediation. I will provide their phone number and e-mail addresses when they become available.

Judge David Farr has announced that his new mediation and arbitration firm will share office space with Judge Moore's new firm. Farr's new phone number will be 713-294-2207. Lawyers can book mediations for next year now. Farr will charge $1,100 per side for a full day mediation and $600 per party for a half day mediation. He will also consult on enforcement or military retirement issues at an hourly rate.

I will help publicize the business plans of any of the judges we are saying "aloha" to.

At least one defeated judge (not Farr or Moore) is supposedly soliciting mediation or arbitration business for the new year in her courtroom or chambers. That is not right and should stop.

Article on Admitting Evidence of Behavior From Before the Prior Order in Modification Cases

The State Bar Family Law Section Report for Fall 2018 includes an article I wrote examining when evidence of behavior or problems from before the order that is being modified can be admitted in a modification case. It is simply not true that bad acts which occurred before the prior final order can never be used in a modification case. Click here to download my article.

Correction for Jared Woodfill

My last issue discussed the District Attorney's very public raid on homo-phobe Jared Woodfill's law offices. I included a photograph of a notice posted on the door of Woodfill's offices last year from the landlord stating that the locks were changed because of failure to pay rent. I have now been told that after Hurricane Harvey, Woodfill's office was out of commission for three weeks and afterwards experienced big climate issues. Either the offices were too cold and staff had to wear winter jackets or it was unbearably hot. Woodfill purportedly told his landlord for a month that he would not pay rent until the climate issues were resolved and for 24 hours the landlord posted notice that the locks were changed. I am told that an agreement was quickly reached reached, the rent was paid and the temperature problems were fixed. If this is indeed what happened, then I should not have mentioned that brief lock-out or used that picture.

I did complain in my last issue about the very public way the DA conducted this raid. The media was tipped off and the proceedings were moved to Woodfill's lobby so that TV cameras could film through the glass walls. In contrast, when the FBI raided Trump's former tax lawyer in Chicago last week, they put paper up on the glass walls of that attorney's offices so the media could not film what they were doing. In a situation where no criminal charges have been filed and in a land where those who are arrested are presumed innocent, that is how raids for evidence should be conducted.
Raids on lawyers' offices: the Woodfill raid on the left, the raid of Trump's former tax lawyer on the right.

The Mongoose Declares Victory

First, I declare victory because Galveston County Associate Judge Steve Baker will have his own court reporter as of today, December 3. I had convinced county commissioners to fund the position last year but it took an article a few months ago in this newsletter to motivate the elected judges to nudge Baker into actually hiring his own court reporter. Mary Goan starts her new position this week and it will no longer be necessary for attorneys to hire their own court reporter for hearings before Judge Baker.

Next, I declare victory because of what the voters did and what the change from Republican judges to Democratic judges means for family cases in Harris County. I started my newsletter seven years ago because of a nasty case in Judge Lombardino's court where a sweet school teacher/mother was being run over by her husband's attorney, Doug York, and the amicus attorney, Jared Woodfill. I eventually got the mother custody of her children. I started this newsletter to improve the family courts. I only asked for:
  • Judges who worked hard and ruled based on the facts and the law;
  • An end to political favoritism;
  • Amicus attorneys who did their jobs and who billed fairly; and
  • A court system that was fair and efficient.

Along the way, this newsletter played a major role in getting Judge Dupuy indicted and removed from office, forcing Judge Denise Pratt to resign to avoid criminal charges and convincing a part-time associate judge to resign. I exposed a scandal involving Alicia Franklin and Gary Polland, who were billing more than 24 hours in a day on CPS cases and earning hundreds of thousands of dollars per year on court appointments. Click here to read one of my issues on Alicia Franklin and click here to read what I wrote about Polland. Publicity from my articles resulted in the legislature instituting the "wheel" method of randomly appointing attorneys (but not for amicus appointments). Obviously, abuses continued because the Texas Tribune recently analyzed Harris County juvenile cases in a November 2018 article and wrote, "Gary Polland earned about $515,000 for his court-appointed work in 227 juvenile cases, three juvenile appellate cases, more than 100 family court cases, and probate court cases." Click here to read that article. I also wrote many times over the years to decry the evil influence of the slate endorsers on Republican politics and our family court judges.
The March 2014 protest I organized against Judge Denise Pratt at the Republican county convention was way too fun. I am wearing the Abraham Lincoln suit. Pratt resigned two weeks later to avoid criminal charges based on witnesses who came forward because of stories in this newsletter.

Now, thanks to the recent election (and not anything I did), the entire family court world has changed in Harris County. These new Democratic judges are not going to appoint the same Republican political cronies over and over and it is very clear that the actual or perceived influence of lawyers like Jared Woodfill, Doug York, and Gary Polland will totally disappear on January 1, 2019. Our new judges have a lot to learn, but I have met them all and I am confident that who a parent's attorney happens to be will not decide whether Mom or Dad wins custody. Of course, we are losing some really good judges, like David Farr and Roy Moore, who were scrupulously fair and did not play favorites. I am very hopeful that we will soon get updated local rules for family courts and a system to report fees for court appointments in private cases, especially for amicus fees, that will provide transparency and make sure just a few politically connected lawyers do not get appointed over and over on lucrative cases.

You can be sure that I will investigate and write about any of these new judges who do not live up to these standards. But, I again ask the family law bar to be patient with our new district and associate judges over the next few months as they learn their jobs and we get used to how they do things.

It will be interesting to see, in the near future, who the new judges appoint as amicus attorneys. Some lawyers who are very frequently appointed, such as Claudia Canales, generally do a good job for the children they are assigned to represent. However, Canales went all in campaigning for the Republican judges who appointed her and provided her livelihood (see photo below). I hope that politics of a new sort does not mean that high quality attorneys like Canales are no longer appointed as amicus attorneys in Harris County. It was wrong for politics to determine who received court appointments and it would be just as wrong now if politics determines who does not get appointed.
 Claudia Canales at an early voting location in October 2018 personally campaigning for GOP judges.
I found the "Had Enough" sign misleading and offensive since the incumbent judges this year were mostly Republicans. The sign would have made more sense if it had said "Not had enough? Want more of the same? Elect Republican Judges." Canales was clearly proud of her campaigning because she posted this photo on Facebook. At least Canales got out and actually campaigned for someone, which is far more than most lawyers ever do in political races.

Canales is not alone. Most family lawyers supported the Republican judges. Hundreds joined Judge Moore's Steering Committee and almost all lawyers' contributions went to Republican judges. I attended sparsely attended functions for the Democratic candidates, but even a Democratic Socialist like me supported David Farr and Chris Daniel (miraculously, a Chip Wells sign sprouted at my office right after the election). At some point soon, we all must move on from the election and consider lawyers and judges with open minds based on their abilities, not their past political activities.
In this issue, I finish up my profiles of the Democratic family court candidates (who are now judges-elect). I was lazy and did not finish my series before the election. My aim was to introduce these candidates to family lawyers because they were not very well known and I suspected they might all get swept into office. Now, they will be our judges for the next four years, so we really need to know who they are. Click here to download a PDF of all nine profiles I wrote about our new Harris County family court judges. I will start a series introducing the new associate judges soon.


Law Firm Baby Steals the Scene in Firm Video
Click here to view my firm's best video yet. The video features me and nine month old Berklee explaining possession orders for children under age three. Actually, I do the explaining and Berklee provides very cute distraction. Berklee was at our office for the first five months of her life since we set up a nursery in her mother's office. Filming with a baby would be great practice for voir dire where attorneys have to improvise, react to the unexpected, and go with the flow. This sweet kid got wilder and wilder as we filmed and the final product is probably more funny and cute than informative.

Book Reviews - Two Very Good and Very Different Books

I read a lot. Yet, I seldom review the many books I mostly consume relating to Sherlock Holmes or Victorian England of the late 1800's. In between books on current politics and recent American history, I buy and digest many volumes that provide information or inspiration for my magnus opus on the true story behind the world's first consulting detective. For example, I own every book ever written on the 1880 Battle of Maiwand in Afghantistan, where a young British army surgeon was injured (once, maybe twice) about six months before he returned to London and met his soon-to-be famous flatmate.

Below on the left is the cover of the 1887 Beeton's Christmas Annual which first published the original Sherlock Holmes story. On the right, is the cover art for my work in progress, which explains in minute detail the real story behind the "fiction" of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. My law firm's resident artist, editor, blogger, and video editor, Caitlin McGregor, turned my crude design for a cover into amazing art.
The following books are very good and interesting, but they are an eclectic mix and they may not be your cup of tea.

Fanny by Gaslight by Michael Sadleir is a gritty romance published in 1940 and set in London of the 1870's. I enjoyed the historic detail and the heart breaking love story. It was easy to see why this was such a popular book 80 years ago. The book was made into a 1944 movie and a 1981 BBC mini-series. One reviewer said:

Fanny by Gaslight is the tragic life story of a young girl born to two lovers and brought up in the seediest possible corner of Victorian London. Her early life as well as her adulthood is littered with pimps, prostitutes, drunkards and schemers but she herself stands apart from the degeneracy around her.... In this polarised world “sex” is part of the “honest” section and “marriage” is presented as a deeply hypocritical state. As Fanny’s father comments: “I have some reason for not regarding marriage as the element of a love affair that is made in heaven. Heaven comes at an earlier stage if it comes at all”. Fanny herself identifies with this non conformity and refuses to marry the man that she loves, a steadfastness for which she pays in heavy coin. I understood her best when she says to her lover: “I am an outside person. I always have been, and I am too proud to come inside – at any rate at present”.

Fanny is smart and honest and she comes so very close to happiness and wealth. The tavern owners and brothel madames are the good honest people in this book, unlike most of the nobility and "gentlemen" Fanny encounters. This book was a really enjoyable page turner. But, I had to turn the pages carefully because my copy is a yellowed second edition from 1940 and it clearly has entertained many a reader over the decades. Click here to order this book from Good Reads . I strongly recommend this book.
COMBAT MEDIC: A soldiers story of the Iraq war and PTSD by S.M. Boney IV is a numbing tale of battle and survival written by a U.S. Army medic who lived the horrors of war in Iraq and came home to suffer from PTSD. I read this book to understand how combat might effect a young army doctor. The book made me want to hug every veteran I meet and punch the politicians who will not get our soldiers out of the endless wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. I did not know that medics often do as much fighting as any other soldier. The exhausting and brutal up-close fighting in the world's largest cemetery, Wadi-Us-Saalam, in the holy city of Najaf, really shook me. No movie could possibly do this book justice. Click here to order this book from Amazon. Click here to go to the warrior's website and learn more about him and his struggle with PTSD.

Please take a look at my website dedicated to the 2020 Presidential campaign and the race for the Democratic nomination: . We are on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter as well.
I may not win every case (even if in my heart I expect to). I just want an efficient system in which my client gets a fair hearing before a judge who works hard, knows the law, and does not play favorites. I also expect judges to appoint qualified amicus attorneys who zealously look after children (and who actually personally visit their minor clients in their homes). Is that asking too much? Stay tuned.
Greg Enos
The Enos Law Firm
The Enos Law Firm
  17207 Feather Craft Lane, Webster, Texas 77598
 (281) 333-3030
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How to Donate to Our New Family Court Judges
The family law attorneys of Harris County did not donate to the campaigns of the Democrats who were elected to be our new judges. The good news is that the judges-elect are not all slamming us with "retire the debt" fundraisers. However, they each will need some money in their campaign accounts to pay for various expenses over the next three years before the law allows them to again accept donations when they run for re-election. A donation of just $100 will be noticed and appreciated by these folks whereas a contribution of $1,000 to their GOP predecessors was barely enough to get a "thank you." Some of the judges-elect have self-imposed limits on political donations they will accept. Tristan Longino, for example, will not accept more than $500 from any individual.

Here is the information for making a donation to the judges-elect. Click here to download the list in PDF. All but one of the judges-elect accept donations on their campaign websites. I have provided addresses for the campaigns if you prefer to mail a check.

Tristan Longino      245th
Tristan H. Longino Campaign, P.O. Box 79524, Houston, TX 77279

Angela Graves-Harrington   246th
Angela L. Harrington Campaign, 1200 Rothwell Street, Houston, Texas 77002

Janice Berg         247th
106 Avondale, Houston, Texas 77006

Sandra Peake         257th
9660 Hillcroft, Suite 435, Houston, Texas 77096

Gloria Lopez         308th
Gloria Lopez Campaign, 2121 Sage Road, Suite 110, Houston, TX 77056

Linda Dunson         309th
Linda M. Dunson for Judge Campaign, P.O. Box 670785, Houston, Texas 77267

Sonya Heath         310th
P.O. Box 811, Houston, TX 77001-0811

Germaine Tanner      311th
Germaine Tanner Campaign, P.O. Box 691612, Houston, Texas 77269

Chip Wells         312th
Clinton Chip Wells for Judge, 603 Avondale, Houston 77006

Barbara Stalder      280th
5205 Broadway #501, Pearland, TX 77581

Sandra Peake hosted a "Thank You" event this past Saturday.
Chip Wells is going to try to raise some money just before Christmas at a location to be announced on December 18.
Profiles of Judges-Elect: Gloria Lopez
I am hurrying to finish my profiles of the Democratic judicial candidates who are now our judges-elect.
Click here to download a PDF of profiles of all nine new family court judges in Harris County.

Gloria Lopez was elected to replace Judge Lombardino in the 308th District Court. Lopez grew up in McAllen and graduated from THE University of Texas in three years with a triple major in Government, Spanish, and Psychology. She graduated from Texas Southern's Thurgood Marshall School of Law in 2010 and was licensed in November 2010. Ms. Lopez worked for a civil law firm for 13 months, then worked for a family law firm for a year, before starting her solo practice in 2012. Her law practice for the last six years has focused solely on family law cases.

Lopez lives in Spring, is married and has a dog. Her nieces and nephews have lived with her for eight years. Lopez enjoys working on do-it-yourself home projects such as putting up siding and drywall and installing hardwood floors. She also enjoys traveling.
The soon-to-be-Judge Lopez sent me this statement:

There are a number of reasons why I want to be a judge. Three of the most important are my deep respect for our system of justice, the desire to restore esteem to the family law bench, and my want to inspire my nieces and nephews to be fearless and reach for their dreams. One of the lessons I’ve learned from my experience as a lawyer is that justice depends not only on the laws but on who is interpreting and applying the law. I want to be a judge because equality and fairness before the law is not just a legal principle to me, it is my entire reason for being a lawyer. I will be the kind of judge who treats everyone with respect, who provides everyone a full and fair hearing, and who strives to reach a just result. I will be the type of judge that our family law justice system depends upon: absolutely honest, impartial, and independent. In my court, there will be no room for stereotypes, biases, or cronyism. Mine will be a court of respect, empathy, and justice.

Gloria Lopez decided to run specifically against Judge Lombardino because s he personally saw the negative effect of political cronyism on her clients and decided she needed to do something about that. She also wanted to see cases get moved as she had one case in the 308th that was pending for five years. Gloria seems to embody the principles behind this newsletter and her experiences in the 308th mirrored the reasons why I started this publication in the first place. Judge-elect Lopez's primary goal in life is to be a positive role model for children who look like her and she seems to be succeeding very nicely. I found her very inspiring to talk to and I cannot wait to see her in action.

Lopez also wants to see her court reflect our community and she is very proud of her choice to be her associate judge - Ryan Salfiti. Mr. Salfiti is a first generation Jordanian-American and speaks fluent Arabic. Click here to learn more about Mr. Salfiti.

Click here to see the Lopez campaign website.
Democratic Judge-Elect Profile: Angela Graves-Harrington
This is my next-to-last profile of our family court judges-elect. I will profile our new protective order judge, Barbara Stalder, in my next issue. Click here to download a PDF of profiles of all nine new family court judges in Harris County.

Angela Graves-Harrington is replacing Charley Prine as the judge of the 246th District Court. Angela graduated from the Thurgood Marshall School of Law in 2006 and was licensed in 2007. She has operated her own firm since then, but has been of-counsel for the Alex Hernandez Law Group and the Quezada Law Group. Her practice has been almost exclusively limited to family law.

Graves-Harrington, 41, is the mother of two sons, ages 15 and 5. She has been married to her high school sweetheart, Darryl, for 16 years. Angela attended Mississippi State University and Jackson State University for her undergraduate studies.

I can already tell that Judge Angela is someone more than capable of standing up for herself. When Charley Prine threw a tantrum and threatened her with trespass charges when she came to visit the 246th, Ms. Graves-Harrington went straight to the media and Fox 26 ran a story that should have made Prine regret his outburst. Click here to see that story one more time.
Judge-elect Graves-Harrington sent me this statement:

For over a decade, I have represented clients in all phases of litigation, from mediations and arbitrations to bench and jury trials. Practicing law has given me a wealth of technical knowledge, but my family has been the most integral factor in preparing me to serve as a family court judge.
As a wife of almost 17 years and mother of two sons, I understand the compassion and empathy required during times of discord and conflict. The practicality of daily family life, coupled with my years of experience representing families, has given me a unique perspective to compassionately serve as the judge of the Harris County 246th Family District Court.
As an officer of the court, I have observed judges completely sidestep precedence and legislate from the bench. Litigants in Harris County courts deserve able, fair, and independent judges who will follow the law. I plan to fully interpret the law in an honest and integral way. Every person who enters my courtroom can be confident that my rulings will be based solely on the merits of his or her case.
As a family law attorney, I fully appreciate the tremendous impact judges in family courts can have on families. I understand the complexities of family law cases, and I will ensure that justice is administered in my court in a fair, compassionate and impartial manner.
As a software analyst in my previous career, I acquired technical skills that are transferable to the courtroom. I plan to incorporate advanced technology into my courtroom’s daily processes to streamline the flow of the cases and create more effective means of communication between the court and all parties in the cases. 
As your future judge, I look forward to serving the court with compassion, integrity, and respect. 

Graves-Harrington has selected Yahaira Quezada to be her associate judge. Click here for a profile of Ms Quezada.

Click here to see Mrs. Graves-Harrington's campaign web site.
Thank you for your support! Together We Can Make Our Profession Better and Our Courts More Fair
Attorney Greg Enos has been through his own divorce and child custody battle (he won) and understands what his clients are going through. Enos graduated from the University of Texas Law School and was a successful personal injury attorney in Texas City before he decided his true calling was to help families in divorce and child custody cases. Greg Enos is active in politics and in Clear Lake area charities. He has served as President of the Bay Area Bar Association and President of the Board of Interfaith Caring Ministries. The Enos Law Firm serves clients in Galveston County, Brazoria County and Harris County, Texas.
Greg Enos
Board Certified in Family Law, Texas Board of Legal Specialization
The Enos Law Firm
www. divorce
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