Issue: No. 35       
February 17, 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.  
In this issue, I write about many topics other than Judge Pratt.  I am extremely disappointed by an excellent judge, Meca Walker, who has accepted illegal campaign contributions under very shady circumstances.  I also write about three new judges, the Harris County Law Library, E-filing and even a little history.

It is hard to imagine the horrifying, criminal, and incompetent reign of Judge Denise Pratt getting worse, but each week it does.  Here are the latest developments:
  • A staggering 85% of attorneys rated Pratt "Not Qualified" in the Houston Bar Association 2014 Judicial Candidate Qualification Poll. This is the worst rating of an incumbent judge in the history of the survey.  Pratt cannot blame that result on liberal Democrats since Republican Charley Prine in the same survey was rated "Not Qualified" by only 15% of the lawyers.  Click here to see the complete results.  
  • Pratt's source of political funds has dried up thanks to my "List of Shame."  Her only contribution for the January 15 reporting period was a single $400 contribution and that came from District Clerk Chris Daniel of all people.  Daniel, Pratt and District Attorney Devon Anderson all share the same political consultant, Alan Blakemore. 
  • I have filed a new, third criminal complaint against Denise Pratt and this is surely the one to get her indicted.  This time there are two eye witnesses to Pratt backdating a court order and the District Clerk's records back up their stories.  I have two sworn affidavits from the eye witnesses.  On April 25, 2013, a pro se mother appeared before Pratt about an enforcement action she had filed and Pratt said she would back date the capias order to March 5 and she did.  Pratt cannot blame her clerks for this backdated capias order that resulted in the wrongful arrest of a father.  Click here to read about the truly terrible injustice in the Osborn - Hyde case.  It is truly mind boggling how badly both parents in this particular case have been treated by Pratt. 
  • The District Attorney's Public Integrity Unit is investigating another instance of Pratt tampering with a government record.  In this case, the D.A. reached out and called the lawyers in to discuss the case without me even being involved.    Pratt's behavior in this case will seem bad to the general public but to family law attorneys, what Pratt did in this case is  proof she is crazy and you will hardly be able to believe it.  The parents and attorneys in this child custody modification case (No. 2007-28477) agreed to temporary orders which Pratt approved on a handwritten order on August 29, 2013.  The typed temporary orders were submitted in September 2013 and months went by without Pratt signing them.  Last month, after reading about Pratt's "New Year's Eve Massacre," one attorney checked and to her horror discovered that Pratt had taken the temporary orders and scratched out "temporary" and handwritten "final" and initialed her change.  Pratt also scratched out or removed all of the mother's periods of possession except for "as agreed."   Insanely, Pratt also appointed an amicus attorney in this "final order."   Pratt made all of the changes to an agreed order that had been signed by the parties.  Pratt made these changes and never notified the parties or attorneys.  Pratt signed this "final" order on December 30, 2013, a day we all know she was very busy dismissing hundreds of cases.  Perhaps this was another way for her to make her court statistics and case count look good.  This situation is being investigated presumably as another instance of tampering with a government record.  Click here to see this stunningly amazing act of madness yourself. 
  • Judge Pratt called into the Matt Patrick radio show on 740AM (apparently from her chambers at the courthouse) and flat out lied about her dismissal of hundreds of cases at the very end of December 2013.  Click here if you want to hear Pratt's interview.  One of the many lies she told is that she gave proper notice of her dismissals and she followed Harris County local rules.  The Harris County Local Rules for Civil District Courts state,"3.6 Dismissal Dockets.  The following cases are eligible for dismissal for want of prosecution pursuant to T.R.C.P. 165a: (a)    Cases on file for more than 120 days in which no answer has been filed or is required by law;  (b)   Cases which have been on file for more than eighteen months and are not set for trial;  (c)    Cases in which a party or his attorney has failed to take any action specified by the court. TRCP 165a(1) says in part,"Notice of the court's intention to dismiss and the date and place of the dismissal hearing shall be sent by the clerk to each attorney of record, and to each party not represented by an attorney and whose address is shown on the docket or in the papers on file, by posting same  in the United States Postal Service."  TRCP 165a(2) says,"Any case not disposed of within time standards promulgated by the Supreme Court under its Administrative Rules may be placed on a dismissal docket."  Each of the hundreds of dismissal orders Pratt signed was a lie because she never gave notice and she never conducted a dismissal docket. Judge Pratt lied to Matt Patrick and his listeners because the rules (and common sense) require notice to the parties before a case can be dismissed and Pratt never gave notice to the hundreds of families whose cases she dismissed without warning. 
  • Pratt got caught running around a political event picking up flyers that lawyers and her fellow Republicans had placed out on tables.  Click here to read a Republican blog article entitled, "The Juvenile Antics of Judge Denise Pratt."  The blog post says,"Judge Denise Pratt is incompetent and should resign or be removed from office. And since it is too late for her to remove her name from the Harris County Republican Party Primary ballot, voters should reject her and put her out to pasture."  The blog even included a photograph of the manic Pratt picking up the flyers that accurately stated what a terrible judge she is.

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                  
SaltesThe Harris County Slate Endorsers Have Spoken, Now Will the GOP Sheep Obey?

Harris County Republican down-ballot judicial primaries are largely decided by the endorsements mailed to loyal GOP voters by a handful of slate endorsers.  In recent elections, it is impossible to win a GOP judicial primary without the support of at least two of the three big endorsers.  The big news is that Judge Denise Pratt only got one of those endorsements.  Four years ago, they all endorsed Pratt. 

I speak daily to a lot of Republican elected officials, candidates and political operatives (yes - it is a slimy job but someone has to do it).  Based on these endorsements, the consensus seems to be that Charley Prine and John Schmude will win without a runoff.  I personally think "M.L." Walker might squeak into a runoff with Schmude.  Alicia Franklin is expected to either win outright or lead Denise Pratt going into a runoff. There is a slight chance that Anthony Magdaleno could edge out Pratt and come in second place for the 311th. Here is a chart of the slate endorsers who are sending out large mailers to primary voters. Historically, the "Big Three" of Hotze, Polland and Lowry have been by far the most influential.  Other groups and individual precinct chairs endorse candidates and Anthony Magdaleno and Melanie Flowers have gotten their fair share of those endorsements but they do not send out 100,000+ mailers like the following five groups:

PollandLowryHotzePolice Inc.Harris County GOP PAC
I am not endorsing anyone running in the Harris County GOP primaries (in part because my endorsement would probably be used against them).  However, if you have not met John Schmude, the leading candidate (along with M.L. Walker) for the 247th Family District Court, you should.  I invited Schmude to come to Clear Lake and meet with about a dozen attorneys.  There were no contributions or promises made.  I asked Schmude to come introduce himself and explain why we should not be worried about him being a right wing religious nut or about his lack of legal experience.  Schmude accepted my offer, walked into the "Lion's Den" and ended up impressing us all.  He is clearly intelligent, sensitive to the issues attorneys face and extremely likeable. He has years of business experience before going to law school and he volunteered and lived in probably the poorest place in the United States as a young man. Schmude is worth getting to know because he could well be Bonnie Hellum's replacement.  Click here to see his campaign web site.

Anthony Magdaleno is a sad example of what is wrong with the current GOP primary system.  Anthony is a fine, ethical lawyer and I am sure he would be a really good judge.  Anthony is being endorsed by a lot of bloggers, Republican precinct chairs and smaller Republican groups.  However, Anthony lacks the connections and is too much of an outsider to get endorsed by Polland, Lowry or Hotze.  Franklin has a connection to Police Inc. and the newly rejuvenated (but flush with cash) Harris County GOP PAC that Magdaleno could never compete with.  Those folks endorsing Magdaleno lack the ability to pool hundreds of thousands of dollars for mailings to regular Republican voters.  No judicial candidate alone can raise enough money to reach as many voters as Dr. Hotze can.  A lot of Republican activists call for the end of the "slate" system but there is no real alternative.  I am a lawyer and I do not know who the good or bad probate or criminal judicial candidates are, so how could a plumber or teacher or housewife know who to vote for?  Folks who interview judicial candidates and make fair, reasoned recommendations can provide a very good service to voters.  They just should not make a ton of money doing it or be influenced by who pays them the $10 - $15,000 for "advertisements" in their mailers.

  E-filing E-Filing Tips from the Judges

We are all getting used to e-filing and most of us have questions that we wish someone could answer.  I posed six questions to some of our Harris County judges and Judges Farr, Warne, Moore and Dean were good enough to respond.  I provide below the detailed answers from Judges David Farr and Judy Warne.  Judges Moore and Dean pretty well agree with their answers.   


1.  If it takes 2 - 3 days for an e-filed document's image to appear on-line, how and when should attorneys contact the court about hearing requests and TRO?  Are the courts notified by the clerk that a TRO has been e-filed or is that the attorney's responsibility?              

Judge Farr:  The filings, once imaged, all land in an electronic in-box on my clerk's computer systems and then my clerks go through that inbox daily and sort through the filiings to determine which items need to be brought to my attention immediately or simply need to be set for hearing.  In my court, the clerks have a list of filings that they are to print off and bring to me that day (i.e., writs of habeas corpus/attachment;  de novo appeals of my AJ; TRO's - emergency or otherwise; motions to recuse; findings of fact requests, etc.).  Now that may seem unwieldy (and it is) but it really is simply the electronic age version of a stack of paper filings which the clerks would have had to sort through anyway. Additionally, the Family Intake office of the District Clerk also emails the clerks when they have a rush such as a TRO or Habeas filing but that doesn't necessarily mean that there are never filings that are missed so it is imperative that the attorneys take ownership of their filings and contact the court directly if something appears to have gone awry.  So, if something slips through the clerk's daily inspection, I would consider it the attorney's responsibility to make the court aware of the filing which leads to my response below regarding "walk throughs".

Judge Warne:  I echo Judge Farr's comments about the process and I feel the same way.  It is not offensive to me or the clerks for an attorney to call my clerks to check on the status of something that you believe should have made it to my desk.   The clerks confirm that this is their preferred way to handle it, although they both ask that before you call, confirm that any applicable fees are paid, and wait a little while before you call.  The only problem they are reporting is that attorney's office calls within 5 or 10 minutes of pushing the filing button and are frustrated that we don't have it yet.  I would just urge what Judge Farr said-an efiled document DOES NOT COME straight to the court-it has to go through intake.  Judge Patterson and I check our "box" [where the clerks put the orders for us to review] off and on all day long so once it gets to our clerk's attention, you should not wait long to get it signed.  There is a very serious problem with files that are confidential that I hope to address with Chris Daniel at our upcoming meeting-that is-certain "confidential" files are accessible only to Kristel or a judge.  Melissa cannot access them nor can our assistant clerk.  This means that if Kristel is not here, we have a problem.  We're hoping to address that soon.

2.     Should attorneys bring extra paper copies of pleadings to hearings for the judge?

Judge Farr:  DEEDS has been known to go up and down a bit so there is always the chance that I will not have access to the documents.  I would recommend that the attorney verify that the documents (pleadings, motions, etc.) are in DEEDS by logging on at their office and verifying that the necessary documents are shown in the system.  With that being said, I would bring paper copies of any pleadings or motions or answers that you absolutely will need the court to review as part of the hearing or trial.

Judge Warne:ABSOLUTELY feel free to bring paper copies!!

3.  How will walk throughs of TRO's that seek extraordinary relief be handled if the pleading is e-filed?

Judge Farr: I would refer you back to the verification procedure above in #2 and then just "walk it" like normal with a paper copy just in case.  More than likely what will happen is that you will come in to my clerk and tell her that you have a "walk through" and she will simply pull it up on her computer and then put it in front of me for signature.  Until we have digital signature ability for the judges then the clerk will have to print it off her system anyway and hand it to me for signature but it is a developing system.  So, in effect, the attorney is simply ensuring that the court is aware of the e-filed TRO instead of the old way of coming in and handing them the TRO in paper form.

Judge Warne:  Again, my clerks prefer that you call the clerk and tell them it's coming or walk through an extra copy per Judge Farr's suggestions.  Since the clerks CANNOT TAKE PAPER in the courtroom, if it is so urgent that it can't wait, bring it down and the clerk will find one of us to review and deal with it.  I will comment that we see frequent requests for "extraordinary" relief that really aren't, and since this is a big exception to the rule, I would caution attorneys to not cry wolf and try to make it a habit of bringing down a paper copy of every TRO they file.  Because of the Supreme Court mandate and the total inability of our clerk to process paper in the courtroom, these should really be urgent and extraordinary.  Also, even if we sign an order, if the case has not been "filed" the clerks can't process it, so the attorneys should be absolutely certain that their staff or filing person actually pushed the "send" button so that a case number, etc. is assigned which will allow the clerk to then process anything we sign.

4.     Most importantly, what can be done about emergency situations that cannot wait 2 -3 days for the imaged document to appear?  If the other parent is about to leave the country with the child or was arrested Monday for cocaine possession and is to pick up the child tomorrow on Thursday, how can lawyers present their requests for emergency relief fast enough to protect the child?

Judge Farr: In the 312th, just bring it in on paper.  The clerks are under instructions from the clerk's office NOT to take paper but the judge has the ability to trump that and require the clerk to take a paper filing.  It is still a hybrid system for those purposes and I am not going to turn away a potential problem involving a child's best interest because of a clerk issue.                 

Judge Warne:  Ditto Judge Farr's response.

5.     When do judges want to see scans of actual signatures as opposed to /S/ Greg Enos typed on a document?

Judge Farr:  I don't' care. 

Judge Warne:  While I have a lack of comfort with the /s/, I'm learning to adapt.  If it's something the attorney is verifying [yes believe it or not someone has filed a "verified" pleading where the notary appears to have notarized the /s/], I think the signature should appear. 

6.     At entry, how should attorneys handle the hand written changes that are made to orders at the last minute based on agreement or the court's ruling?  Do we have to go back to the office to scan and e-file again?  Can the judge take the order and give it to the clerk?

Judge Farr:  Same answer as to #4.  Make the annotations on the paper order at the entry hearing and hand it to my clerk for signature.  Again, for now, I have to sign a paper copy ANYWAY and then that has to be scanned after I sign it so I'm not going to get mired in that process now and make the Bar's job more difficult.  When the electronic signature capability is up then we will have to adjust from there but it is an evolving procedure. 


Judge Warne:   Bring a paper copy to the entry hearing, make the changes, we'll re-image the revised version after I have signed.





Library"Home Away From Home" - The New Harris County Law Library Can E-File for Attorneys, Enlarge Exhibits, Make Copies and Print E-mails

The Harris County Law Library on the ground floor of the Congress Plaza Building next to the Family Law Center provides many useful services to attorneys, including scanning documents and e-filing, printing, access to e-mails, copying and even enlarging exhibits.  Attorneys are charged $7.50 for the first document that is e-filed and $3.00 for each additional document.  There is an extra $5 fee if you pay by check or credit card.  The law library offers Skype conferencing, faxing, color copying and can bind documents.  If you have not visited the new library, you check it out. 




Nazi_HaterI Am Not A Nazi Lover or Jew Hater  
But I Really Do Love History and  
What We Can Learn From the Past


Few Republicans really are prejudiced morons.  However, several GOP stalwarts who are defending Judge Denise Pratt by calling me antisemitic and a "Nazi lover" are too stupid to be believed.  At recent political events, Pratt's supporters are telling those who turn out to oppose Pratt that they should not be attacking Pratt because Greg Enos, the leader of this "unfair smear" campaign against Pratt, is a "Nazi loving Jew hater."  One attorney, who makes thousands of dollars on appointments from Judge Pratt, told Phil Placzek that he should be ashamed as the child of a Holocaust survivor to be associating with someone like me.  A GOP precinct chair from Katy is also saying similar things about me.   The evidence of my disturbing prejudice according to these idiots is the following photograph that I put at the bottom of most of my newsletters:

be him

I showed this photograph to a fifth grader and asked her what it meant to her and she said,"It means that just because everyone else is doing something bad, you don't have to; it is okay not to do what everyone else does if it is not right."  That little girl is clearly far smarter than Pratt's Republican political operatives.   

I will let you decide if I am glorifying Nazi's or being antisemitic by suggesting that we should all be like the man shown in this photograph.  This photograph, in which a man identified as August Landmesser refuses to give the Nazi salute, was taken on June 13, 1936 at a shipyard as a new German Navy ship was being launched.  According to a book his daughter wrote, Landmesser  joined the Nazi Party in 1931 to boost his chances at employment. In 1935, he became engaged to Irma Eckler (a Jewish woman) and was expelled from the party.   They registered to be married in Hamburg, but the Nuremburg Laws enacted a month later prevented it. Landmesser and Eckler's first daughter Ingrid was born in October 1935.   In 1937, Landmesser and Eckler tried to flee to Denmark but were apprehended. She was again pregnant, and he was charged and found guilty in July 1937 of "dishonoring the race"  under Nazi racial laws. Landmesser appealed and argued that neither he nor Eckler knew that she was fully Jewish, and he was acquitted in May 1938 for lack of evidence, with the warning that a repeat offense would result in a multi-year prison sentence. The couple publicly continued their relationship, and on in July 1938, he was arrested again and sentenced to two and a half years in the concentration camp Borgermoor.   Eckler was detained by the Gestapo  and held at the prison Fuhlsbuttel, where she gave birth to a second daughter, Irene.  From there, she was sent to the Oranienburg concentration camp, then to the Lichtenburg concentration camp for women, and then the women's concentration camp at Ravensbruck.  Their children were initially taken to the city orphanage. Ingrid was later allowed to live with her maternal grandmother; Irene went to the home of foster parents in 1941. After her grandmother's death in 1953, Ingrid was also placed with foster parents. A few letters came from Irma Eckler until January 1942. It is believed that she was taken to the so-called Bernburg Euthanasia Center in February 1942, where she was among the 14,000 killed.   
Meanwhile, Landmesser was discharged from prison in January 1941. In February 1944, he was drafted into a penal battalion.   He was declared missing in action and presumed killed during fighting in Croatia in  October 1944. [Most of the above story is from Wikipedia].

No one can envy Herr Landmesser for the tragic life he lead all because he stood up for what was right and bravely loved a woman the law said he could not be with.  However, I think even Republicans and Democats should all admire him for refusing to join everyone else in the crowd in making the Nazi salute on that sunny June day in 1936.

be him
"Together, attorneys can improve our family courts!"

In this issue...


MecaMeca Walker: (1) To Thine Own Self Be True, and (2) Return the Illegal Contributions You Should Have Never Accepted
Meca Walker is an experienced, good judge. Walker had the character to stand up for her opponent, John Schmude, when he was smeared by an anonymous and hateful e-mail. Apparently those qualities are not that important in a Republican primary, so Judge Walker has succumbed to advice to not be herself. 

Walker has accepted illegal campaign contributions under very questionable circumstances.  Walker realized last night after communicating with me that probably $20,000 of contributions she accepted in late December violate the Judicial Campaign Fairness Act.  Walker was not going to return contributions when it just looked like something unethical had happened, but now, she says she will return contributions if I am right and the law has been violated.

I may be expecting too much, but I want judges to know the law, follow the law, act ethically and avoid even the appearance of impropriety.''

I have given Judge Walker the chance to provide her own statement in response to this story.  Click here to read Walker's rebuttal.

Walker is not using her first name "Meca" on the ballot and is instead going by "M.L. Walker."  Judge Walker is licensed as "Meca Latreice Walker" and that is the name on her driver's license, diplomas, judicial web site and even her campaign finance reports.  No one can recall her ever going by "M.L."  I can only assume Meca is worried that the God-fearing Christians who make up such a large portion of the Republican electorate might mistake her for a Muslim
or a foreigner or even (gasp!) an African-American.  The Texas Election Code Sec. 52.031 does allow candidates to be listed on the ballot using initials for their given names, so what Judge Walker is doing is certainly legal.  However, what Walker is doing with her name is like legendary Texan Ima Hogg running for county commissioner as "I. Hogg."

Even more disappointing is Walker's decision to accept and then keep $45,000 in contributions in one day from nine people closely associated with a rich car dealer who had a pending case at the time in Walker's court.  It appears that $20,000 of those contributions violate the contribution limits of the Judicial Campaign Fairness Act.

The divorce case between car dealer Don McGill and his wife has been boiling along in the 247th District Court since December 3, 2012 in Case No. 2012-71279.  The following donations were accepted by Walker, the Associate Judge of the 247th, on December 27, 2013:

  • $5,000 from John McGill and $5,000 from his wife Jelena McGill
  • $5,000 from Lilian Borjas, the Comptroller at Don McGill Toyota
  • $5,000 each from Michael Hartman, the General Manager at Don McGill Toyota, and his wife.
  • $5,000 each from Michael Mynatt, another Manager at Don McGill, and his wife.
  • $5,000 each from Ricky Simmer, Fixed Operations Manager at Don McGill, and his wife. 

The Judicial Campaign Fairness Act, which Walker has agreed to comply with, limits contributions to $5,000 per person, which includes a spouse and unmarried minor child.  Election Code Sec. 253.155(b).  The four $10,000 contributions from the married couples clearly violate the law.  Judge Walker says she did not realize this problem until I e-mailed her campaign manager last night.  As shown below, these donations were made and accepted under very sleazy circumstances and Walker had no plans to return the money until she realized the law was broken.  I have a huge problem with that.  


 A far right Republican blogger, Bob Price, posted a story about these contributions (which he did not know were illegal) on February 7.  Click here to read the blog post, which has since been taken down (the super conservative author of this post also attacked Judge Walker for following the law and allowing gay people to adopt children, which is something to give Walker credit for in my book).  Three days later,  Judge "M.L." Walker replied in a statement:


Judge Walker does not know the litigant, she has never met the litigant, and she has never presided over any hearing involving the litigant.  Judge Walker was made aware on February 6, 2014, that the nine donors were connected to a litigant involved in one of the two thousand plus cases pending in the 247th District Court.  A supporter of Judge Walker collected nine checks from nine donors. Judge Walker accepted the donations from the supporter not knowing that the nine donors were affiliated with a litigant with a case in the 247th District Court. Judge Walker has never heard any matters involving this litigant nor will she ever hear any matters involving the litigant.


Walker must have forgotten that on December 9, 2012, she signed a Temporary Restraining Order for Mrs. McGill in this case and she has been present several times in court when the case was on the docket (Walker is usually in the courtroom when Hellums calls her docket). Any rich litigant in the 247th this past year would have known Walker was running to replace Hellums. It has been my experience that Associate Judges are usually aware of big, complex cases in their courts that involve hundreds of millions of dollars, big shot attorneys and many settings on unusual motions.  It is an insult to Walker's intelligence to suggest that she did not immediately know who these nine donors were associated with or that she did not at least ask who these nine non-lawyers were who had given her the largest donations of her campaign.

On her January 15 campaign finance report, Walker reported $100,007.96 in contributions and these nine donations were 45% of that total.  I have worked on many judicial campaigns and candidates are excited to get even $500 (much less $5,000) from a non-lawyer they do not know and the first question was always,"Who is this?"  Is Walker saying she got $45,000 in one day from nine non-lawyers and she did not ask who it was from? 

Walker only received ten donations of the maximum $5,000 per person during the period covered by her last report and nine came in on the same day and several of those donors had the last name "McGill" and most listed as their employer "Don McGill Toyota."  Who in Houston would not recognize the name "Don McGill?"  Who was the Walker "supporter" who bundled these nine donations and slipped them to the judge without an explanation?   Did Walker not call these donors and thank them for their amazing generosity? 

Is M.L.'s judgment so bad that she thought it was appropriate to accept those donations under these circumstances or is it any better if she didn't figure it out or didn't want to figure our why those donations were made?  The entire situation stinks and of course Walker has not returned the donations (she has presumably spent them).  Walker's campaign says she did not realize for five weeks who the donations came from and by February, when she realized it was from folks connected to Mr. McGill, she thought it would look bad if she returned the donations.  So, she thought it looked better to keep the money?

Walker is simply too smart and savvy to possibly play dumb in this situation.

Like a true politician, Walker blames one of her opponents for spreading the word about these contributions, as if Walker taking the money, either knowingly or without asking any questions, is not the real problem.

Apparently Judge Bonnie Hellums was able to see there was a problem (maybe because her husband, Mr. Stith, is Walker's campaign treasurer).  On February 7, 2014 (the same day Mr. Price's blog post first appeared), Judge Hellums sua sponte recused herself from the McGill divorce case. 

The Republican District Attorney should investigate these donations because: (1) they illegal exceed the maximum campaign contribution limits, and (2)  it would be a crime for someone to give money to his or her family or employees and have them donate to candidates in order to exceed the $5,000 per person limit and improperly influence a judge. Libel Alert: I of course do not know that any such thing happened and I am not accusing anyone of a crime since maybe these nine folks spontaneously decided to give $5,000 of their own money to a judge they did not know, who coincidentally was working in and running for the court where Big Daddy McGill's divorce was pending.  Someone in authority needs to ask these donors why they suddenly decided to give the maximum to Judge Walker, where the money came from and who asked them to do it -- and who the hell collected the checks and delivered them to Walker?

In conclusion -- shame on this otherwise excellent judge for being willing to compromise her integrity to win, including pretending her name is not Meca, for accepting illegal contributions, keeping these McGill donations under the very suspicious circumstances, and then not being completely forthcoming about those donations.  I am writing this as a concerned attorney who cares about the integrity of our family courts AND as a disappointed fan of Judge Walker.  I want this story to serve as a warning to judges and judicial candidates in the future not to let this crap happen again.

Let me say again, M. L. Walker is a damn good judge.  She should have just run as a Democrat in a primary where voting for Obama, treating gay people fairly and being named "Meca Latreice" would be correctly viewed as good things.  However, a judge who breaks the law should not succeed in either party.  Walker will now have to be judged by Republican primary voters who need to know that this judge has accepted illegal campaign contributions made under almost certainly unethical circumstances.

GriffithKatrina Griffith is the New CPS Associate Judge

Regional Administrative Judge Olen Underwood, after receiving input from the Harris County Family and Juvenile judges, has hired Katrina Griffith to be an Associate Judge for CPS cases.  Judge Griffith will preside over specific CPS cases as referred from all of the family and juvenile court judges beginning in several weeks.  Click here to read a Houston Chronicle story about this new court and the funding battle behind it.

CooperJim Cooper is the New A.J. for Judge Roy Moore
Diane Guarilglia is returning to private practice and 245th District Judge Roy Moore has selected James "Jim" Cooper to be his new Associate judge starting March 3.

 BretBret Griffin Appointed Judge of 212th District Court
The future President of Texas A&M University (yes, you heard that from me first, but count on it) Governor Rick Perry appointed Bret Griffin to replace Susan Criss as Judge of the 212th District Court in Galveston.  Griffin will hold this appointed post until the votes are canvassed after the November General Election. If Griffin wins the GOP primary, he will win in November and be judge for four more years since no Democrat is running for the 212th.   Griffin, a former felony prosecutor then criminal defense attorney and, recently, a civil litigator as well, has wisely kept Judge Criss' entire staff. 

Perry chose Griffin over Patricia Grady, the other leading candidate for the GOP nomination for this position.  Grady, the wife of County Court No. 1 Judge John Grady, had the support of her former boss, County Judge Mark Henry, the GOP County Chair and, most notably, our State Senator, Larry Taylor.   Senator Taylor is extremely unhappy that the century old tradition known as "Senatorial Courtesy" was not honored by the Governor as usual.  Traditionally, the Governor, even in interim appointments, does not appoint someone who is opposed by his or her State Senator of the Governor's political party.  Taylor, an insurance agent, made no secret that he opposed Brett Griffin, who he views as a personal injury attorney and protege of mega-P.I. lawyer Tony Buzbee.

Republican Taylor even attacked Governor Perry in a harshly worded statement, which said in part:

It is an unprecedented action for a Governor to overrule the objection of the hometown Senator whose district includes the appointee. This appointment is being made at the behest of Gov Perry's new friend, Tony Buzbee, a personal injury trial lawyer who has certainly benefitted from and has even bragged about, his success in friendly legal venues. Brett Griffin is too close to Mr. Buzbee. He has worked for Buzbee, his wife works for Buzbee, they are partners in a business venture and Buzbee almost fully funded Mr. Griffin's last campaign for judge. Now, more than ever, the people of Galveston County deserve an impartial judge who will run a fair court. This appointee does not meet that test and that's why I am supporting Patricia Grady. She is the most qualified in this race and she will not be beholden to anyone.
Bret Griffin is totally qualified to serve as the 212th District Judge hearing felony criminal and civil lawsuits.  I say this in Griffin's defense even though I am a friend and supporter of Ms. Grady (I have a Pat Grady sign in front of my office).  The fact that Griffin has represented  plaintiffs in   civil suits is a qualification, not a disqualification, for this office.  Griffin has worked with Buzbee and clearly Buzbee, the former chair of the Galveston County Democratic Party, has a lot of money and pull with Governor Perry.  Buzbee helped coach Perry for the debates during Perry's embarrassing presidential run and Perry recently appointed Buzbee to be an A&M regent (that is one sure vote for President Perry).


County GOP Barbara Meeks has joined the debate by posting a message on Facebook saying how disappointed she was in Governor Perry for appointing Griffin.  Meeks said:


Now we see that LIES are being circulated about a capable, hard working candidate, Patricia Grady.  She is the hardest working candidate since Michelle Slaughter and has much more courtroom experience.  We recognize the signature of this nasty type of negative campaigning and sadly I predict it will not end.  Let me assure you, strong Republican Patricia Grady, Candidate for the 212th District Court, has not accepted ANY money from Steve Mosytn.  Tony Buzbee is about as Republican as Lloyd Criss, the current chairman of the Galveston County Democratic Party, a position Buzbee once held.  If I had to make an educated guess, I would say that Buzbee is pushing for a presidential appointment from long-shot Perry.


My friend Senator Taylor is helping Grady beat Griffin in the primary and is attacking Griffin because of his legal experience and his ties to Buzbee.     I still strongly support Pat Grady (for all that is worth in a GOP primary).  However, it seems to be a pretty sad comment on the misinformed state of the Republican electorate that our new judge selected by the Republican Governor can possibly be criticized because he does have experience in civil litigation, even if some of those cases involved suing corporations, including insurance companies.    How can representing consumers and injury victims against insurance companies and polluters be considered morally wrong or a reason not to be elected judge? 


It may be that Perry's surprise appointment of Griffin was the best thing to ever happen to Grady's campaign, but I hope she will not join those who are attacking Griffin because he has represented plaintiffs in lawsuits.  


Click here to read the Galveston Daily News article about just how irate Senator Taylor was about this judicial appointment.   



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