Issue: No. 73                                                                                                                   April 17, 2017
In this issue ....                                             PLEASE DISPLAY IMAGES ON THIS EMAIL
Click here to download a chart of Harris County family courts. 

 Harris County Family Law Directory (rough draft) and A New Mongoose Seminar

2017 Directory

Click here to download in PDF a draft of the 2017 Harris County Family Law Directory attorney listings.  Lawyers move, retire, and change names, so I need your help with corrections.  Look at your listing and send me any needed corrections by fax or e-email on the form provided.  The complete directory will list over 1,300 lawyers and have handy listings of courts in Harris County and surrounding counties, custody evaluators, business appraisers, translators, etc.  Make sure your fellow attorneys are also listed.

Mongoose Divorce Seminar

Click here to download a registration form and summary of the May 25, 2017 Mongoose Seminar to be held in the Harris County Jury Assembly Center that Thursday afternoon.  This seminar is for legal assistants and the lawyers who work for them.

Practical, Real World Divorce Seminar

Thursday, May 25, 2017
1:20 -  4:20 pm, Harris County Jury Assembly Center
3.0 hours CLE
Total Cost: $60 if you register by May 19 ( 100% refund if you do not find this seminar to be very useful and practical).   
Cost is $75 if you register after May 19.
Profits from this seminar will go to a law enforcement scholarship in memory of Phillip "Brother" Molis.   Phillip was 23 when he was shot 11 times while working security on April 9 at a Galveston hotel.  His lifelong dream was to be a peace officer and he expected to start working with his many friends in the Galveston Police Department this Fall.  Tragically, the gunmen probably mistook Phillip for a police officer when he caught them breaking into cars in the hotel parking lot late at night.  Phillip died of his injuries on April 15.  Click here to read a short news story about this tragedy that is personal to my family in a lot of ways.
Phillip "Brother" Molis

Seminar Topics:
  • The Mysteries of the District Clerk's Office
  • Best Family Law Practices: Filing a Motion, Setting a Hearing, and Giving Notice
  • Winning the QDRO Battle
  • Best Family Law Practices: Scheduling and Preparing for Mediation
  • Divorcing the House - Dealing with the Family Residence in a Divorce
  • Family Law Discovery for Clients Who Are Not Rich
Click here to download the detailed seminar description and a registration form.

Book Review: Blitzed

I am now prepared to answer the inevitable child's question, "Dad, where did Heroin, OxyContin and Crystal Meth come from?"  I can also now recommend the non-fiction book Blitzed by German journalist Norman Ohler.  This book sheds a startling new light on widespread drug use in Germany during World War II and explains the origins of the drugs that currently plague our modern world.  It turns out that German companies in the 1930's and even earlier invented and patented what we now call cocaine, heroin, OxyContin and crystal meth.  For example, in 1895, the German drug company Bayer invented and marketed as an over-the-counter drug what it trademarked as "Heroin."  The name was derived from the Greek word heros because of its perceived "heroic" effects upon a user.  In 1938, a German company began selling Pervitin, a new drug that we now call "crystal meth" in pill form.  Cocaine was first isolated (extracted from coca leaves) in 1859 by German chemist Albert Niemann.  Oxycodone, the opioid that OxyContin is derived from, was developed in Germany in 1916 and it was sold as "Eukodal" in Germany before and during the war.   It seems that Hitler at the end was addicted to Oxycodone.

This book shows how these drugs kept the German blitzkrieg attacks going and kept Hitler in a euphoric, delusional state.  The relentless Nazi invasion of France, when German soldiers went three days and nights without sleep, was made possible by use of Pervitin (crystal meth).  Relying heavily on the diaries of Dr. Theodor Morell, Hitler's personal physician, Ohler describes  Hitler's drug use throughout the war, which began with a "power injection" of glucose and vitamins before big events, then escalated to cocktails of hormones, steroids, and vitamins, and finally, in his last year, to the use of both cocaine and Eukodal (Oxycodone).    Click here to order this book on Amazon.  Click here to read more from a recent Rolling Stones article.

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 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    Fax: (281) 488-7775
Web site:

  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

  MoneyJudges & Money: The Races for 2018 - Part One
Our family law judges can start fund-raising in May if they are up for election in 2018. Lawyers can expect to be hit up from many different directions for contributions during the next year and a half. Democrats sense that the unpopularity, incompetence and policies of the Trump administration may change the usual voting patterns in Harris County, where Republicans usually win in non-presidential election years. It is easier to motivate voters with anger and fear than it is civic duty. It is well known that demographic changes in Harris County will mean that sooner or later all of our judges will be Democrats. The Legislature is considering eliminating straight ticket voting for trial judges, but it is not clear to me which side that will really help.

Judge Roy Moore is far ahead of the judicial pack in organization and he has a fund-raiser planned for Tuesday, May 16, 2017 at B&B Butchers, located at 1814 Washington Avenue.  Judge Moore has for months been sending out e-mails inviting lawyers to join his steering committee. His early emails included his complete list and noted which attorneys had not yet committed. Moore politely asked attorneys to suggest those who might want to join his team, but some took his emails as a thinly veiled reminder that he had a list of those who are not supporting him. Of course, Moore is such a good judge, that every lawyer should show their support of him, regardless of such reminders. I am an avowed liberal Democrat and I enthusiastically joined the Moore re-election team.

. . . . Click here to read the full article which discusses Judges Prine, Warne, Franklin-York and Farr.  The full article explains what our family court judges are doing to prepare for re-election or retirement.  The article tells you when the first fund raisers are, how much each judge already has in the bank and analyzes the Democrats' chance of sweeping Harris County next year.  The "Trump Effect" is explained so that you can understand why local Republicans are so nervous about next year.

I am no longer running my complete articles in the body of the newsletter.   I am instead linking to the full, complete articles on my blog in order to keep the size of this e-mail newsletter manageable when it appears on your phone or computer.  Click here to review all of my blogs.
  MaldonadoJudge Julia Maldonado: Words Matter, Not Money
I was prepared to write the headline, "Houston, We Have a Problem" during the second week of newly elected Judge Julia Maldonado's term, but I truly think things have turned around in the 507th.  I am ready and willing to criticize a Democratic judge if the facts warrant, but I am starting to be impressed by what I am seeing.

Judge Julia Maldonado cannot raise campaign funds for a while as she is not up for re-election until 2020. Usually, once a lawyer is elected judge, attorneys swarm to contribute money after the fact. However, Maldonado's post-election fund-raising was surprisingly anemic, despite the fact that a large number of family law attorneys are progressive and really Democrats. Maldonado had to stop raising funds on March 8 and I think that some of the unusual and concerning procedures she initially adopted upon taking office discouraged many lawyers and dampened financial support for her. Currently, the 507th is not, thank goodness, requiring the filing of sworn inventories even in uncontested, agreed divorces, as it was in the first two weeks of Maldonado's term.

..... Click here to read the complete article, which lists Judge Maldonado's largest contributors and discusses her sometimes annoying habit of closely reading every order she signs (and even comparing them line for line with the settlement agreements they are based on).  The full article also discusses Doug York's decision (in a case recently kicked to the 507th) to join as his co-counsel Judge Maldonado's good friend and campaign treasurer just two days after Maldonado took office.

I am no longer running my complete articles in the body of the newsletter.   I am instead linking to the full, complete articles on my blog in order to keep the size of this e-mail newsletter manageable when it appears on your phone or computer.  Click here to review all of my blogs.

  truthA Step Closer to the Truth about Lucrative Court Appointments - Part One
A very small, select number of attorneys make hundreds of thousands of dollars each year because they are regularly appointed by family and juvenile court judges to be amicus attorneys representing children in private custody cases in which the parties can afford to pay very large fees.  The law that requires random appointment of lawyers for most positions (infamously called the "wheel") specifically does not apply to amicus attorneys or discovery masters.  Each judge has the unfettered, and largely secret, ability to reward certain lawyers with these very lucrative appointments. There is no way to really track who gets these appointments, which judges make the appointments or how much the appointees are paid.  Public transparency and accountability has been sorely lacking for years.  Now the Harris County Family District Judges are requiring a new reporting form to bring transparency to this issue.  I applaud the judges, but more is needed.

In a case where wealthy parents are fighting over their children, some lawyer is probably going to get a lot of money serving as the amicus attorney.  In some courts, those appointed to be the amicus attorney for the children in such cases are very often friends and political supporters of the judge.  This is not true in many courts, and most judges look for the best lawyers to represent children. And, most lawyers who accept court appointments make very little money compared to the work they do on such cases.  Almost all lawyers who serve as amicus attorneys really do care about the children they represent.  I very rarely am asked to serve as an amicus attorney, it is usually by just one judge, and the work I do is usually for free or close to it.  I know many lawyers who provide similar service because they just consider it part of the work we do within the justice system.  However, one dirty secret we all know about family law is that a select few attorneys, some of whom are in fact  really good lawyers, make small fortunes off amicus appointments.  There are frequently cases in which  the amicus attorney is paid by court order over $100,000.  Those super-lucrative cases tend to go to the same lawyers over and over again and those lawyers almost always turn out to be big political contributors to the judges who appoint them.  This does not happen in every court, but we all know it occurs and most of us know which judges and which lawyers are involved.

I have complained about this high dollar amicus racket since I started this newsletter.  Three years ago, I exposed the fact that a few politically connected attorneys were making hundreds of thousands of dollars from appointments on CPS cases and sometimes billing over 24 hours in a single day.  The result was the 2015 law that required random appointments in such cases and now things are much better.  Unfortunately, Texas Government Code Ch. 37 on random selection of attorneys ad litem does not apply to the appointment of amicus attorneys in private cases. At least, the fees for appointments on CPS cases are easy to review because they are paid by the county, which provides complete and searchable reports on fees for court appointed lawyers in CPS cases.  However, there is no way to track who is being appointed amicus attorney by which judge and how much is being paid to those appointees.

Now, the Harris County family judges say they are requiring a specific form to be used in all cases involving any payment for court appointments.  This is a great start, but as explained below, it is clear this first step is not  enough to clean up this particularly offensive problem.

Click here link to download in PDF the Harris County order that is now said to be required for all court appointees in family court.

All lawyers who are appointed to be amicus attorneys, ad litems in private termination or service by publication cases, or big money "Discovery Masters" and even those who serve as mediators need to understand how the judges want this form to be used.

Click here to download the complete article and read answers from Judges Farr and Prine to my pesky questions about how this form will be used.  The full article also explains why this order form for appointment fees needs to be specifically required by new local rules or a standing order.

I am no longer running my complete articles in the body of the newsletter.   I am instead linking to the full, complete articles on my blog in order to keep the size of this e-mail newsletter manageable when it appears on your phone or computer.  Click here to review all of my blogs
  elevatorsExpect Delays Getting to the 15th and 16th Floors
Harris County voters in 2007 approved bonds to fund construction of a new family law center, but instead the family courts were moved to the Civil Courthouse.  Suddenly, the number of visitors to the Civil Courthouse quadrupled.  Worse, all but two of the family courts were put at the top of the building, on the 15th and 16th floors.  Now, we are all going to pay the price for this poor planning for months because of elevator problems.  Six elevators serve floors 8 - 17 and six elevators serve floors 2- 8.  All public elevators and the one freight elevator serve the basement and the first floor.  The one freight elevator goes to all floors.  Judges and court staff have private elevators for their use.

Recently, three of the six public elevators that serve the upper floors (where most of the family courts are) have been out of operation.  This week, even the freight elevator went out.

Click here to read the complete article, which includes the latest elevator news from Judge Farr.  It may be that we face planned elevator outages for months.

Our staffs need to warn clients and witnesses about these delays.  Lawyers might as well just call in late every time in advance if their court appearances at 9:00 a.m. are at the top of the Civil Courthouse.  One alternative is to take the working elevators to the 8th floor and then take the stairs to the 15th or 16th.  Opening an oxygen tank dispensary at the landing of the 11th and 14th floors is looking like a viable business opportunity.

I am no longer running my complete articles in the body of the newsletter.   I am instead linking to the full, complete articles on my blog in order to keep the size of this e-mail newsletter manageable when it appears on your phone or computer.  Click here to review all of my blogs.
automaticAutomatic Child Support Increases Can Work
Court orders in Texas almost always provide for automatic decreases in the event one child turns 18, graduates high school, etc.  A few cases have upheld automatic future INCREASES in child support.  In re D.S., 76 S.W.3d 512 (Tex. App. - Houston [14th Dist.] 2002, no pet.) approved a trial court's order which contained an automatic future INCREASE in the father's child support when he was due to complete his medical residency.

Click here to complete the full article which analyzes this little known case and which suggests other situations where clever lawyers and mediators might consider automatic future increases in child support.

linksUseful Links for Lawyers
Harris County Vacation Request Form
HBA Family Section Summary of Harris County Family Court Procedures

be him
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 be fore 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