Issue: No. 45             
August 13, 2014
  The Enos Law Firm
  17207 Feather Craft Lane, Webster, Texas 77598
  (281) 333-3030    Fax: (281) 488-7775
  Please forward this e-mail newsletter to everyone who cares about our family courts!  
Click here for an archive of past issues of The Mongoose.  
It makes me sick to my stomach to report that Harris County has paid Gary Polland $1.9 million since January 1, 2010, primarily in CPS cases (although his fees include some criminal and civil appointments).  Click here if you want to download the 313 page report from the County Auditor which verifies that astounding amount, which does not include fees from appointments in private cases, (that are largely not reported).  Here is the last page of that report:

What will Polland, a former Republican Party Chair, publisher of the Texas Conservative Review and GOP political-endorser-heavy-weight, say about a crusading pseudo-journalist working to protect taxpayers, government ethics and abused children?  Polland had better come up with something to say, because this newsletter is going to focus this Fall on this disgusting situation, which effects more families, which involves more courts and which costs tax payers far more money than former Judge Denise Pratt ever did. 

As part of my "fair and balanced" coverage of this situation, I am giving Mr. Polland a chance to write his explanation of his fees and his ad litem practices. I will publish what he sends me verbatim in my next issue.

I need the help of the legal community to thoroughly and accurately examine this phenomenon. Please contact me  if you have any amicus or ad litem "horror stories" involving Mr. Polland or George Clevenger. Call me or e-mail me at I do not quote or name my sources.  To be fair, please also contact me if either of these extraordinarily politically connected gentlemen have done a really good, "above and beyond what was expected" job on behalf of a child.  I need cause numbers and, if possible, contact information for the parent or person caring for the child, so that every allegation can be verified or refuted.  Most CPS cases are confidential, so copies of court orders would be appreciated.

I am also interested in general in any attorneys ad litem or amicus attorneys who did not meet the child or go to the child's home as required by the Texas Family Code.  This would include the probably illegal situation where a lawyer bills for a home visit but instead sends a non-lawyer (such as a social worker) to actually visit the child. 

Warning to judges (many of whom I consider friends): some of you, if you have any shame at all, are going to be embarrassed by this series of stories.  I cannot imagine how you can explain what is happening to either conservative Republicans or abused children. I consider this a "Republican" scandal because everyone involved are Republicans, including Mr. Polland and the judges who appoint him and sign his pay vouchers.  In my opinion, this is a scandal because it just does not seem right for one man with political connections to be paid so much by the county, regardless of how good a job he is or is not doing for the abused children and alleged criminals he is appointed to represent.

I am paying to order copies of every invoice submitted by Mr. Polland to the county for a certain time period.  It will cost money and time to obtain and analyze hundreds of invoices.  Let me know if you want to help with that effort.
I do not expect to win every case.  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 actually visit the kids in their homes).   Is that asking too much?  Stay tuned.


Greg Enos
The Enos Law Firm                  
  How to Make Millions from Abused Children & Taxpayers

There can be no doubt: Gary Polland is a smart, successful lawyer who knows how to make a lot of money from the practice of law.  Polland is politically powerful and able to influence and profit from every Republican primary election.  Polland should be your hero and role model if high income and political influence are your goals in life.   


I asked a bunch of attorneys with experience in CPS cases how much they guessed Gary Polland had been paid in four and a half years for court appointments. Their guesses ranged from $300,000 - $700,000.  They were totally floored to hear that Polland had been paid $1.9 million by Harris County since January 1, 2010 for court appointments.   Just to be very clear, that is taxpayer dollars being paid to this one man for government court appointments only.  It does not count the many cases where Polland was appointed by judges but paid by private parties. 


My investigation into this incredible situation has just begun, but here is what I know:


Polland has enormous political influence in Harris County Republican primaries, especially with judges, because he is one of the "Big Three" endorsers.  It is virtually impossible to win a Harris County GOP judicial primary, even for an incumbent, without at least two of three endorsements from Hotze, Lowry or Polland.   Unlike Hotze or Lowry, Polland is an attorney.  Click here to see who Polland endorsed in the 2014 GOP primaries.


In CPS cases, where the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services is a party, the courts are required to appoint attorneys for the children and for indigent or absent parents.  The child's attorney in CPS cases is called an "attorney ad litem."  Each judge has near total freedom to choose the attorneys who are appointed in CPS cases.  Attorneys appointed in CPS cases are paid by Harris County after a voucher signed by the lawyer "upon penalty of perjury" is approved by the Judge.  Click here to see a very small sample of CPS vouchers submitted by Mr. Polland. Note the charges for "travel for and conduct home visit and prepare report with photo's" on each invoice.


Texas Family Code Sec. 107.004(d)(1) states:


(d)  Except as provided by Subsection (e),an attorney ad litem appointed for a child in a proceeding under Chapter 262 or 263 [CPS cases] shall: (1)  meet before each court hearing with: (A)  the child, if the child is at least four years of age; or (B)  the individual with whom the child ordinarily resides, including the child's parent, conservator, guardian, caretaker, or custodian, if the child is younger than four years of age; and (2)  if the child or individual is not present at the court hearing, file a written statement with the court indicating that the attorney ad litem complied with Subdivision (1).

Attorneys appointed on CPS cases are paid a  lower hourly rate than lawyers in private cases are paid.  For example, I charge my clients $350 per hour for my work in divorce and child custody cases.  Harris County pays CPS attorneys hourly rates which range from $75 to $125 per hour, depending on the specific service provided.  Pay for trials is $300 to $500 per day.  Young attorneys, who need experience and who want any paying case they can get, often seek CPS appointments.  These young attorneys work hard to impress the judges and, because they are new, do not take CPS clients for granted.  Massive amounts of appointments for just a few older, politically connected attorneys, take away from younger attorneys this opportunity to gain experience, help children and make a little money.   


Most importantly, representation of abused children in CPS cases is not supposed to be an "assembly line" business to enrich the politically connected.  CPS work takes time, dedication and focus on a few children at a time.


The $1.9 million paid to Polland by Harris County does not include what Polland has been paid in private cases by the parties where he was appointed a mediator or amicus attorney by a judge.  In non-CPS child custody cases, the attorney appointed to represent a child is usually called an "amicus attorney."   


The vast majority of amicus attorney appointments in family cases in Harris County are not reported as required.  Texas Supreme Court Order No. 07-9188 and Section 71.035(b) of the Texas Government Code require each district clerk and county clerk to prepare a monthly report listing each fee paid in the amount of $500 or more for each appointment made by a judge of any district, county, or probate court, a court master, or court referee of a person to a position for which any type of fee may be paid in a civil case, probate case, or proceeding governed by Titles 1, 2, or 4 of the Texas Family Code.   


The reports from Harris County does not include most private case appointment fees in civil cases.  However, the current report from the Texas Judicial Council shows, for example, that Polland was paid $5,143.00 in May 2014 in cause no. 2013-19426 where Civil District Judge Lana Shadwick appointed Polland to be an attorney ad litem in an injury case. Click here to see a campaign video of Polland endorsing Judge Shadwick.  Here is an image of Mr. Polland I found with a Google search:  




Judge Lombardino just appointed Polland as amicus attorney, for example, in July 2014 in Cause No. 2014-35039 (a private custody case) and ordered an initial fee of $1,750.  Judge Denise Pratt in October 2013 (when she was seeking Polland's endorsement) appointed Polland in Cause No. 201340272 and ordered that Polland be paid an initial fee of $5,000.  The fees in those cases were not reported by the District Clerk.  These are just a few examples of many appointment fees Polland has been paid in private civil cases. An amicus attorney in some custody cases is paid $30,000 or more by the parents.  Polland could easily be making tens of thousands of dollars per month from appointments in private cases and there is no way of knowing because judges, attorneys and the District Clerk are not complying with the Texas Supreme Court order and Government Code requirement to report such fees. 


Mr. Polland is also often appointed to represent indigent defendants by criminal judges in Harris County. Appointed criminal defense lawyers are also paid by the county. For example, in June 2014, Polland was ironically appointed in the 351st Criminal District Court to represent a woman charged with prostitution (3 or more priors) in Case No. 143094001010-3.  A search of the District Clerk's website for Polland's bar number (16095800) shows dozens of criminal cases where Polland was appointed to represent defendants.


The $1.9 million Polland has been paid by Harris County since January 1, 2010 works out to $8,119.66 per week.  Divided by $125 per hour (the minimum and usual non-trial hourly rate for CPS cases), that is 65 hours of billed legal work per week, every week, 52 weeks per year with no vacations or holidays.  That would leave Mr. Polland very little time for his private appointments, mediations and civil cases where a client actually hires him.  In contrast, for my clients, I work 7 - 10 hours per day but I usually bill a total of 4 - 6 hours per day.  I clearly could learn a lot from Mr. Polland on how to efficiently bill for my time.


Every two years, Polland makes a lot of money from his business, Conservative Media Properties, LLC, doing business as the Texas Conservative Review, which endorses candidates in Republican primaries.  Candidates give Polland money to pay for his mailers and local judicial candidates almost have to pay Polland because voters simply cannot know which of the dozens of judicial candidates are qualified.  In election season, judges come to the attorneys asking for contributions, except for Polland.  Unlike the rest of us, Polland is able to go to the judges and ask them for money.  He is in a truly unique and powerful position.


My next issue will attempt to analyze which judges are appointing Polland and which paid his for-profit business for "advertisements" in his endorsement newspaper.  For the next few months, a special feature in this newsletter will list each new appointment in family courts Polland gets and which judge appointed him.  The judges who are appointing Polland are going to feel the spotlight even if they are unwilling to publicly explain why they choose him out of the hundreds of lawyers who seek appointments.



You will soon see a day by day analysis of the fee vouchers Polland has submitted for payment so we can see how many hours he is actually billing for all cases for each day (something each judge reviewing individual vouchers would not know). 


However, to be fair to Mr. Polland, I am inviting him to write an explanation of his massive fees paid by county taxpayers and I will print verbatim what he has to say in my next newsletter.  I do ask Mr. Polland to include answers to these specific questions:


  1. How do you explain to fiscally conservative Republicans how one man could be paid $1.9 million by the county in four and a half years?  Did you know that is roughly how much the United States pays the President?
  2. When you bill the county for 5.0 hours almost every time for home visits with the children you represent, are you personally going to see the kids?
  3. Do you agree that the Texas Family Code, Sec. 107.004(d)(1), requires the attorney appointed to represent children in CPS cases to personally visit the child at home before every court hearing?  Does this law allow a non-lawyer or an attorney who is not the amicus appointed by the judge to conduct these mandatory home visits? 
  4. Do your bills to the county include any charges for other attorneys or even non-lawyers to perform these home visits?  If so, do the judges know you are doing this?
  5. Does every single voucher you sign when you request fees for court appointments state that you certify "under penalty of perjury" that the County Auditor can rely on the information you provide?  Are these payment vouchers a "government record?"
  6. Do almost all of your appointments in CPS cases come from just a few judges?  If so, why?
Mr. Polland: write a defense of your "get rich off the tax payers and appointments from the judges who depend on me for endorsements" business model and I will print it verbatim in my next newsletter.  Please answer my questions and point out any part of the above story that is incorrect.  The hundreds of lawyers who aspire to help people, make decent incomes and uphold the integrity of our judicial system all want to learn from you! 


Greg Enos - The Anti-Polland


All fans of Star Trek have heard of "matter" and "anti-matter."  I am the "anti-Polland," not because I am against him or harbor any ill-will toward him.  I do not know him personally and he is probably a smart, fun guy.  I am proudly the "anti-Polland" because we are so different.   


I rely on private enterprise and paying clients for my business.  Polland makes the vast majority of his large income from taxpayers and judicial appointments.   


I am very involved in politics, like Polland, but it costs me a lot of money every election.  In contrast, Polland makes money off elections.   


I do not handle CPS cases and, except for Judge Roy Moore once per year, I do not accept appointments from judges.   


Polland makes his money off the system.  I spend my money and a ridiculous amount of my time criticizing the system and trying to reform it (which explains why I have been up by 4:30 a.m. three days in a row working on this newsletter).   


Polland is a Republican and calls himself, "conservative."   I am a Democrat who is very liberal on social issues, even though I work with and support Republican officeholders all the time.  The Republican candidates I supported this election cycle got my help, not a bill for payment.  I held fundraisers for Republicans, contributed money, used my office for phone banking and spent Election Day at a voting place.  In short, I actually tried to help candidates instead of just counting the cash I received from them. 


I worry about abused children, honest government and how taxpayers' money is being spent, so maybe that makes me the true conservative.  The integrity and reputation of our judicial system is truly important to me.  If Ronald Reagan in his prime came back to life and visited the Harris County family and juvenile courts and read this newsletter, I bet the "Gipper" would agree with me that this entire situation is just not right.






be him

"Together, attorneys can improve our family courts!"


Want to See How Much the County Paid Your Friends?  Go to the County Auditor Website! 


The Harris County Auditor's website has a very useful and interesting Vendor Payment Search screen that allows you to see how much a particular attorney or company has been paid by the county over a specified time range.  Click here to go to that web page.

The Top 22: Who Got Paid the Most Since 2010 for Court Appointments?

Click here to see a list from the County Auditor showing everyone who has been paid by the County for court appointments since January 1, 2010.  This report has a slightly different total for Mr. Polland than the other report I received, even though it covers the same time period.

Here are the top 22 recipients of county funds for court appointments out of 1,574 payees according to this report:

Oliver Sprott Jr  $1,682, 655

Gary Polland  $1,676,194

Jerome Godinich $1,161,871

R.P. Cornelius  $1,619,476

Ricardo Gonzales $1,596,910

National Screening Center   $1,297.398 

Danny Easterling  $1,036,530

Alvin Nunnery  $1,031,498

George Clevenger  $1,001,987

Donna Everson  $981,361

William Thursland973,759

Angela Phea  $973,650

Michael Trent   965,053

Hattie Shannon  $950,180

Geraldo Acosta   $917,927 

The Griffin Law Firm  $910,299

Sylvia Escobedo  $901,981

Bonnie Fitch  $852,952

Jimmy Ortiz  $843,672

John Maisel    $814,444

Claudia Canales    $822,387   

Alicia Franklin    $806,005


As a taxpayer, I am astounded that Harris County spent a total of $160.3 million for court appointments in a little over four years.   

Mea Culpa: More Brave Folks Who Opposed Pratt and an Admission of My Uncouth Words

I screwed up in my issue before last.  I omitted some brave folks who helped oppose Judge Pratt and I wrote something that caused a class guy and a great lawyer to compare me to George Clevenger (oh the pain!) and accuse me of a public shake down for campaign cash.

Bill De La Garza should have been included on the list of attorneys who signed the public letter calling on Pratt to resign.  Sallee Smyth played a big part in standing up to Pratt in appellate courts and in providing me information and early encouragement.

The post-election Mongoose included this sentence on election results from Galveston County:

The few attorneys who supported Mr. Schmitz over Anne Darring should demand a refund. [7 names of lawyers] ...  all are hopefully sending Mrs. Darring their warmest and most sincere congratulations this morning (just like I am for Jack Ewing!).

A Harris County attorney named in my article took this to be a public shake down for campaign contributions for Ms. Darring, which could not be further from my intent.  I meant it to be a humorous jab at the very few lawyers who supported a very bad judicial candidate (Schmitz) even as I noted that I myself did not support one of the winners, Mr. Ewing.  I apologize to those attorneys who contributed to Schmitz who were offended by my silly writing.

I do want to note that Jack Ewing has turned out to be the most gracious winner of a contested judicial election I can recall.  Just after the election, Ewing called a lawyer who had posted some comments about him on Facebook that questioned Mr. Ewing's temperament and emotional control.  Ewing told the lawyer that what he had written was mostly right and Ewing admitted he had been like that in the past.  Ewing told the surprised attorney what an honor and obligation it was to be elected judge and he told the lawyer to immediately call him out if he ever failed to show a calm, fair judicial temperament. That phone call and Ewing's actions in general since the election have really made a positive impression on the folks who supported Judge Foley or Donnie Quintanilla.

Sober Reflections on the Advanced Family
Law Seminar

We survived another Advanced Family Law Seminar in San Antonio.  In the midst of the drinking, networking, judicial ass-kissing, golfing, wine tasting and politicking, there was some very high quality CLE.  Kyle Sanders and his cohorts did an awesome job this year planning this seminar.

The Mongoose booth was one of the most popular stops on "exhibition row" and I handed out many coffee travel cups, legal articles, court charts and seditious ideas.  The "Mongoose girls," my beloved Toni and our pal Anna, had a well deserved break from work and kids.

I organized a party for the Galveston County judges and lawyers for Tuesday night and forensic CPA Charlie Gerhardt, sponsored the fun event.

The talk on "Testimony of Children" by Judge Meca Walker and me seemed to go well. A presentation at Advanced is different from almost any other CLE event because of the big room and audience, bright lights and cameras.  It was a true pleasure working with Judge Walker.

 chartNew Courtroom Chart for Lawyers 

Click here to download my chart that tells you where Harris County Family Courts are located, who their judges and staffs are and when their docket calls are supposed to start.





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 very 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. 

Attorney Greg Enos