Issue: No. 49              
September 9, 2014
  The Enos Law Firm
  17207 Feather Craft Lane, Webster, Texas 77598
  (281) 333-3030    Fax: (281) 488-7775
  E-mail: greg@enoslaw.com              
  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. 

Many new subscribers have started reading this newsletter in the last few weeks, so I am going to provide a little background for the newbies.  Veteran readers of The Mongoose can skip immediately to the sordid stories below.  I also provide some useful forms for family law attorneys and their staffs in this issue just to keep everything from being totally negative.

Commission on the Protection of Judicial Misconduct Slaps Pratt's Wrists

Here is one quick update: The worthless Texas Commission on Judicial Conduct issued a public reprimand to former Judge Denise Pratt based on complaints I filed against her.  Click here to read the full Commission Sanction, which explains why I worked so hard to get her out of office.  It does little good for the Commission to slap Pratt's wrists months after she was forced to resign and it just shows that bad judges have very little to fear from this gutless agency. 

My Fight to Improve The Family Courts

The horrors of Judge Pratt taught us that local lawyers have to work together to take down bad judges through publicity, criminal indictments and appeals to voters, because the Commission on the Protection of Judicial Misconduct will do nothing.

I started this newsletter three years ago to promote reform and improvement of our family law courts because I was sick of a few judges who did not know or follow the law but who did let politics influence their decisions in divorce and child custody cases.  At the time, most thought I was crazy to publicly criticize judges by name and provide details of their improper and illegal activities.  After all, judges in the family law arena are all powerful and my law practice is limited solely to family law in Harris and Galveston counties.

This little newsletter has played a role in the resignation of a District Clerk and an Associate Judge, the indictment, temporary suspension, conviction and resignation of Judge Christopher Dupuy in Galveston County and the resignation of Judge Denise Pratt to avoid criminal charges in Harris County.  Several brave attorneys stood up to Judge Dupuy in Galveston, but my specific criminal complaint is what he was convicted of (along with perjury about when he first read about my complaint in this very newsletter).  The Harris County District Attorney forced Judge Pratt to resign because of specific witnesses and facts she got from me thanks to tips I received from readers of this newsletter.

A large part of the family law legal community came together to stand up to Judge Pratt, which itself was an unprecedented development.  The stories in this newsletter and my complaints against judges have been on the front page of the Houston Chronicle and featured on local television news.  Candidates for judges have returned campaign contributions after I reported on them and recently, family court judges changed their procedures to protect the privacy of documents filed in CPS cases after I pointed out the problem to them.

Click here to read a story about my efforts to clean up the family courts from the Houston Chronicle in 2013.


Click here to access the archive of past issues of this newsletter to see what issues and judges I have taken on in the past.

The majority of our judges in the family courts are hardworking, honest and fair and they continue with their difficult work knowing they seldom will be mentioned in this newsletter.  In fact, I get a lot of support and tips from the good judges because they take pride in their work and share my repulsion with judges who embarrass their profession.

I do not just lob bombs from the outside.  I spend many hours working behind the scenes, mostly with the dedicated and capable Republican office holders in Harris and Galveston counties to improve our justice system in a variety of ways.

I may be a liberal Democrat myself, but I am comfortable having breakfast with a Republican County Judge and County Commissioner (as I did a few weeks ago) or hosting fundraising parties at my office for quality candidates who happen to be Republicans.  Some day soon, I will be working with (and maybe criticizing) elected Democratic family court judges in Harris County, and I will hold them to the same high standards.

I try really hard to be accurate and fair in my writing in this newsletter and my criticisms of specific judges or policies have nothing to do with politics.  I would be happy with a Republican or Libertarian or Socialist judge if she worked hard, knew the law and treated everyone fairly.  I worked behind the scenes to discourage Democrats to run against our really good Republican family judges in Harris County (with some, but not total, success) and there are some Republican judges on this year's ballot I want to win.  There is no more deserving candidate and no better public servant I know of than our Republican District Clerk, Chris Daniel, and he is just one of several Republicans I am actively supporting.  So please, do not buy the argument that I write my newsletter for partisan political purposes.  Currently, Judge Alicia Franklin's problems with me stem from my puritanical views of the law and ethics and not my political philosophy.  I was, until these new facts came to light, one of Franklin's biggest supporters.

 

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 bill honestly and 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                  
 


 sickening_scandalThe Sickening CPS Billing Scandal Gets Even Worse

What could be worse than ripping off tax payers at the expense of abused children? 

In Harris County, a few judges are appointing lawyers in CPS cases to represent abused children or their parents and allowing those attorneys to make small fortunes off false billing.  In recent issues, I have reported that former Republican County Party Chair and influential GOP primary endorser, Gary Polland, earned $1.9 million from court appointments since 2010.  Click here to read that earlier story.

I reported that Judge Alicia Franklin, when she was an attorney working on CPS cases, billed the county 32.25 hours in one day (plus she also got paid for five court appearances on that same day).  Those total hours came from over a dozen different invoices submitted over a period of months.  All of the vouchers submitted by Franklin made it look like she did all of the work and certainly do not note that any associate or staff member did the work.  As noted below, the law seems clear that an attorney or guardian ad litem appointed to represent a child should not bill for work done by another attorney.

Franklin billed the county for "post office runs" and simply printing documents and other tasks that attorneys simply do not charge for. It appears that Franklin even billed for lawyer work done after she was sworn in as a judge. Franklin herself was paid $806,005 by Harris County since 2010.  I filed a criminal complaint against Franklin with the Harris County District Attorney and suggested that D.A. Devon Anderson recuse herself.  Click here and here to read my last two issues details about Ms. Franklin's impossible to believe billing.

Here are a few recent developments with this sordid scandal:

polland_vouchers1.  Polland CPS Vouchers Reveal Amazing Billing

I finally received the pay vouchers for just three months of billing by Gary Polland.
 


I am paying to have these vouchers analyzed (as I did with Alicia Franklin), but here is one startling finding I quickly made by looking through these vouchers:  Gary Polland billed Harris County for four home visits totaling 19 hours on one single day and the gullible or complicit judges approved his vouchers and the county apparently paid him.  In CPS cases, the law requires the attorney ad litem appointed to represent the child to personally visit the child at home before each court appearance. Polland, who almost always bills exactly 5.0 hours for "travel to and conduct home visit; draft report with pictures" billed the following for one day, August 10, 2013:
  • Case No. 2013-04442J, 313th Juvenile District Court - 5.0 hours for a home visit (invoice submitted 8/15/13)(note the duplicate, "corrected" invoice also submitted).
  • Case No. 2009-21265 - 311th Family District Court - 5.0 hours for home visit (invoice submitted 8/14/13)
  • Case No. 2011-06808J - 315th Juvenile District Court - 4.0 hours for a home visit (invoice submitted 9/6/13)
  • Case No. 2011-58664 - 308th Family District Court - 5.0 hours for home visit (invoice submitted 8/29/13).

Please Click here to see these invoices, which clearly make it look like Polland did all of this work and which certainly do not mention any associate or social worker conducting these home visits.  It is clearly not possible for one attorney to conduct four or five home visits or to honestly bill 19 hours in one day.  Did Polland visit a child at home at 3:00 a.m.?

It is also very odd that Polland almost always bills exactly 5.0 hours for these home visits, regardless of where the child lives.  I have now seen hundreds of CPS pay vouchers, and most attorneys bill from 2.0 to 3.5 hours for home visits and the number of hours they claim always varies because, of course, the time they spend in travel and visiting the child varies every time.

In future issues, I will explore whether Polland is billing for home visits that he is not conducting himself.  Almost everyone involved in CPS cases in Texas (outside of about five courts in Harris County) firmly believe that the law requires the specific person appointed ad litem to visit the child at home.  It is not proper or legal to send a substitute attorney or a non-lawyer to conduct the home visit and it certainly is not right for the appointed attorney to bill the county as if he had done the work.


mainstream2.  Mainstream Media Plays Catchup to The Mongoose

It is not really fair to expect a small paper like The Houston Chronicle to dedicate the same kind of resources to true investigative journalism that an established, well funded outfit like The Mongoose can use to ferret out government malfeasance. My competition has at least noticed that there is a story out there.  Click here for a PDF of the Chronicle story on my complaint about Judge Franklin.  I am not sure why the sub-headline did not say,"Complaint alleges new judge charged for over 32.25 hours in one day."   




There are three quotes from the Chronicle story that stand out:
  • Judge David Farr, the administrative judge of the county's nine family courts, said he believes the law is clear that only the lawyer appointed to a case may be paid.
  • Jim McCormack, former general counsel and chief disciplinary counsel of the State Bar of Texas, said the complaint [filed by Greg Enos] "raises serious questions of fraud, theft and dishonest conduct." "Those allegations should be fully investigated by the appropriate prosecutor and the State Bar of Texas," he said. "Allegations of fraudulent payment requests by a lawyer to a government entity, as well as the alleged charging of unconscionable fees implicate both the criminal laws applicable to everyone and the disciplinary rules governing lawyers."
  • Consultant Jim McGrath, whose public relations firm Franklin hired, was dismissive of Enos' complaint, calling it a "political smear job" by a "self-described 'liberal Democrat.' "


Franklin is not saying who her criminal defense lawyer will be, but she has hired a public relations firm to handle my allegations.  I am not very impressed with the defense that is being mounted by this local PR dude (a ghost writer for second tier GOP minor celebs), so I have prepared a much better response that we all wish Franklin would say (see side bar).

Other mainstream media has become interested in the story as well.  I would expect the Houston television and radio news outlets to start talking about this issue this week.




nail3.  "The Nail in the Coffin" for Attorneys Falsely Billing Harris County on CPS Cases
 
This is perhaps the most important development in the CPS billing scandal reported in this newsletter because the false billers were claiming that there was nothing wrong with the appointed attorney billing for work done by another lawyer.

A wise probate judge in Austin who reads The Mongoose e-mailed me about an appellate case that holds exactly what I have been saying: a lawyer appointed by a judge as an ad litem cannot and should not bill for work done by other attorneys (except in unusual circumstances and then only after informing the court).  Let's see these "CPS appointment law firms" and mega-billers explain this:

When a guardian ad litem is appointed, the trial court intends that appointed attorney to personally protect the minor's interests and to act as an officer of the court.  Accordingly, it is generally not anticipated or reasonable for a guardian ad litem to delegate his ad litem responsibilities to other attorneys.   We recognize, however, that extenuating circumstances may occasionally arise which justify another attorney's involvement.   In those situations, prior approval from the trial court of the second attorney's involvement is preferable when time and circumstances permit;  when prior approval is not possible or practical, a subsequent finding by the court that the additional attorney's services were reasonable and necessary will suffice.   ....We hold that a guardian ad litem may not be compensated for time expended by other attorneys, unless the trial court has made a specific finding that the other attorney's services were reasonable and necessary under a particular extenuating circumstance.

Goodyear Dunlop Tires N. Am., Ltd. v. Gamez, 151 S.W.3d 574, 588 (Tex. App. - San Antonio 2004, no pet.)(citations omitted)(emphasis added). 

 

Texas Family Code Section 107.015(d) says the voucher submitted to the county for payment by the ad litem on a CPS case shall list, "...the fees charged and hours worked by the guardian ad litem or attorney ad litem."  The statute does not say the voucher can include hours charged or worked by, "the attorney ad litem or her associate or designated representative."

Remember what Judge David Farr told the Houston Chronicle last week:

Judge David Farr, the administrative judge of the county's nine family courts, said he believes the law is clear that only the lawyer appointed to a case may be paid.

I have rewritten my legal article that explains in detail why it is not proper for a person appointed attorney ad litem to bill for work done by other attorneys in light of the Gamez case.  Click here to read my revised article.

crime4.  Is False Billing on CPS Cases a Crime?

There is no doubt that in some instances, a lawyer who falsely bills the county for court appointed work can be convicted and sent to prison.


Last week, I was in an outlying county discussing this CPS billing scandal with some very good criminal attorneys.  They were all amazed by the huge fees that are awarded to CPS attorneys in Harris County and they all agreed that what Alicia Franklin had done when she was billing as a CPS attorney was clearly totally wrong.  Their debate was on the odds that Franklin could be convicted of a crime.  They noted that the CPS pay vouchers do not specifically say that the attorney submitting the voucher was stating "under penalty of perjury" that only she did the work billed for.  They argued over whether it is a crime to submit a pay voucher that gives the false appearance that only one attorney did the work while not explicitly making that statement on the voucher.  In fairness to Franklin, I certainly recognize that a truly independent prosecutor or grand jury or criminal jury may well conclude there is not enough evidence to indict or convict her of a crime.  I am firmly convinced, however, that what Franklin and others have done in CPS billing, with the assistance of a few judges, is ethically and morally wrong.

I say again, as a former fan and supporter of Alicia Franklin and as someone who helped in so many ways to get her in the position she is in now, I am truly saddened and disappointed by what I have had to report about her.  This smart lady should have known better and the people who care about her should have given her much better guidance and advice.

I am also pondering a thoughtful and heartfelt apology to Anthony Magdaleno, who ran his campaign seeking reform and refused to curry favor to the big slate endorsers in the GOP primary.  I mistakenly reached the pragmatic and ignoble conclusion that Anthony could not beat Pratt in the primary without those endorsements.

tyranny #1
 
formA Useful Form To Close Out Files

Click here to download a useful form to help attorneys and their paralegals keep track of orders that need to be drafted and entered.  There are often many forms that must be prepared along with a final or temporary order, such as a wage withholding order, BVS form, new child support account form, deeds, etc. 

My law firm uses this form to stay organized on who is drafting, what needs to be drafted and when the documents need to be ready.

Please share your comments or your own forms.

  

  

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

Click here to be inspired by an amazing video of a mongoose taking the fight to a pride of lions. I have seen the same look of surprise that those lions showed on the faces of a few judges in the last few years. 
   
bridges   
new_ruleOne More Time: The New Rule on Business Record Affidavits

Click here to download the form I have prepared in response to the amendment of Tex. R. Evid. 902(10) on business record affidavits.  In my last edition, I attached a link to a draft version of the rule, rather than the official version of this new rule, which became effective on September 1, 2014.  I thank Russ Burwell for pointing out that error and I direct you this time to the correct, official, final order adopting this new rule approved August 19, 2014.

Please note, this new rule applies to cases filed on or after September 1, 2014, which means the prior rule requiring affidavits and records to be filed with the clerk, still applies to pending cases.  Parties can and should agree in writing not to file the actual records in the pending cases.

Just to be sure, here is the full text of the final rule we now have to comply with:

RULE 902.
SELF-AUTHENTICATION

The following items of evidence are self-authenticating; they require no extrinsic evidence of authenticity in order to be admitted:

(10) Business Records Accompanied by Affidavit.  

 

The original or a copy of a record that meets the requirements of Rule 803(6) or (7), if the record is accompanied by an affidavit that complies with subparagraph (B) of this rule and any other requirements of law, and the record and affidavit are served in accordance with subparagraph (A). For good cause shown, the court may order that a business record be treated as presumptively authentic even if the proponent fails to comply with subparagraph (A).

 

(A) Service Requirement. The proponent of a record must serve the record and the accompanying affidavit on each other party to the case at least 14 days before trial. The record and affidavit may be served by any method permitted by Rule of Civil Procedure 21a.

 

(B) Form of affidavit. An affidavit is sufficient if it includes the following language, but this form is not exclusive:

 

1. I am the custodian of records [or I am an employee or owner] of __________ and am familiar with the manner in which its records are created and maintained by virtue of my duties and responsibilities.

 

2. Attached are ____ pages of records. These are the original records or exact duplicates of the original records.

 

3. The records were made at or near the time of each act, event, condition, opinion, or diagnosis set forth. [or It is the regular practice of __________ to make this type of record at or near the time of each act, event, condition, opinion, or diagnosis set forth in the record.]

 

4. The records were made by, or from information transmitted by, persons with knowledge of the matters set forth. [or It is the regular practice of __________ for this type of record to be made by, or from information transmitted by, persons with knowledge of the matters set forth in them.]

 

5. The records were kept in the course of regularly conducted business activity. [or It is the regular practice of __________ to keep this type of record in the course of regularly conducted business activity.]

The official comment to this new rule states:

Comment to 2014 Change: At the direction of the Legislature, the requirement that records be filed with the court before trial has been removed. See Act of May 17, 2013, 83rd Leg., R.S., ch. 560, 3, 2013 Tex. Gen. Laws 1509, 1510 (SB 679). The word "affidavit" in this rule includes an unsworn declaration made under penalty of perjury. TEX. CIV. PRAC. & REM. CODE 132.001.  The reference to "any other requirements of law" incorporates the requirements of Sections 18.001 and 18.002 of the Civil Practice and Remedies Code for affidavits offered as prima facie proof of the cost or necessity of services or medical expenses. The form medical expenses affidavit that was added to this rule in 2013 has been removed as unnecessary. It can now be found in Section 18.002(b-1) of the Civil Practice and Remedies Code.
  
forumYou (and Alicia Franklin) Should Have Been At The Family Judge Candidate Forum!      

Everyone (except Alicia Franklin) who is running in a contested election for a family court bench in Harris County appeared last Friday at an amazing CLE Event and Judicial Candidate Forum organized by the bi-partisan Family Lawyers for Good Judges PAC.  Candidates debated and answered tough questions and then the lawyers in attendance voted in a judicial preference poll.  There was also a panel discussion on "What Makes a Good Judge?"


The winners of the judicial preference poll were from both parties:

John Schmude (R) - 247th
Charley Prine (R) - 246th
Barbara Stalder (D) - 280th
Jim Evans (D) - 308th
Sheri Dean (R) - 309th
Sherri Cothrun (D) - 311th 

The organizers of this event and PAC put together a great event.  Their idea, that lawyers will donate to a single PAC to pool money for the best candidates and will not donate to individual candidates, is brilliant (thanks Frank Hale!).  The leaders of this PAC are Marcia Zimmerman, Maisie Barringer, Shari Goldsberry, Kimberly Levi, Bill De La Garza and Christina Tillinger.  Click here to check out their website.
 

 defenseThe Defense Alicia Franklin Should Be Making

The public relations flack Judge Franklin has hired (with either campaign funds or money she made on CPS cases), is not doing a very good job for her.  It does not really help Franklin to tell her to lay low and say nothing while the PR firm tells the press that my 100% provable facts are just a "political smear."  Here is what Franklin's spokesperson would be saying if I were Franklin's media and political advisor:

First of all, it is a shame you are not looking into the hard work Judge Franklin is doing every day in her courtroom to provide justice to families and children.  She took on a court that was devastated by her predecessor's incompetence and she has already done a mountain of work to close out cases and correct errors Judge Pratt made.  I suggest you sit for a few hours in Judge Franklin's courtroom and decide for yourself what her dedication to justice and the law is.

The issues Greg Enos has raised about the appointment and payment of attorneys in CPS cases do need to be looked into.  Judge Franklin is committed to honesty and transparency in government and she calls on County Judge Ed Emmett to establish a task force to study these problems.

Judge Franklin is using her own broad experience in representing children in CPS cases every day when she appoints attorneys and closely monitors their fees.

The specific allegations made by Greg Enos do not reflect anything wrong Judge Franklin has done.  Law firms routinely bill for work done by their associate attorneys and paralegals and that is all Judge Franklin did.  Her work as a lawyer was monitored by experienced, caring judges in the juvenile and family courts and those judges knew full well that Ms. Franklin was being paid, in part, for work done by her staff.  The vouchers Franklin submitted did not say "Only I did this work" and there is no place on the forms to note that an associate did the work.  Enos should be blaming the wording of the voucher form or perhaps the law, but not Judge Franklin.

Mr. Enos' complaints are really about an entire system that  needs some reform and not about the 100% appropriate actions of Judge Franklin. 

Judge Franklin is happy for any real journalist or investigator to carefully examine the billing she submitted to the county during the time she worked with such dedication and energy to protect abused children.

It is election time and we trust that the voters will not be confused by these allegations made by a Democrat who obtained his "evidence" from Judge Franklin's political opponent.


If you really want "fair and balanced" journalism, can I do anything more than stick to real facts I can prove AND write the defense for the person I am accusing of wrongdoing?  I still stand by my offer to Judge Franklin to print verbatim any response she has to these facts I have presented.  Mr. McGrath can call or e-mail me with his client's side of the story any time he wants.

Of course, I can refute everything I wrote above as Franklin's best possible defense.  Most importantly:
  • The law does NOT allow a guardian or attorney ad litem in CPS cases to ordinarily bill for work done by other attorneys (see the Gamez case I cite in this newsletter).
  • If Franklin was billing for other attorneys' work, she should have said that on her vouchers, which clearly make it look like she did all of the work.  What would happen if a deputy sheriff turned in a voucher for 32.25 hours of overtime in one day and when confronted, claimed he was billing for work a few other deputies did too?  That officer would be fired and then arrested.
  • The judges who approved Franklin's vouchers are clearly not reviewing or monitoring the billing of attorneys in CPS cases.


hullA Partial Defense of Judge Lynn Bradshaw-Hull

I may criticize judges in this newsletter, but it is for unfair policies or unethical or criminal acts. I almost never write to complain about how a judge has ruled in a specific case (with only rare exceptions, Charley!).  It is almost impossible for anyone to second guess a judge unless you have listened to every minute of testimony and argument and seen all of the evidence (or read the transcript and handled the appeal).  

I also appreciate the attitude of most experienced family court judges, that not every request for a protective order based on alleged domestic violence or threats of violence, should be granted.  I believe that victims of domestic violence should be protected and nothing makes me angrier than a bully or an abuser.  However, I know that people make false allegations or exaggerate true events or try to gain tactical advantages in divorce or custody cases by asking for protective orders. 

A domestic violence protective order is a "nuclear weapon" that has huge impact on the civil rights of the respondent.  Protective orders should be granted but only when the evidence truly establishes the violence has occurred and that there is good reason to believe it will happen in the future.  It all depends on the facts and evidence of each specific case.

My way of looking at domestic violence protective orders made me disagree with the basic premise behind some recent articles in the Houston Chronicle about Harris County's dedicated domestic violence court, the 280th.  Click here and here to read the articles that were critical of 280th Judge Lynn Bradshaw-Hull (a Republican) because some in the District Attorney's office and those in the "domestic violence industry" are upset that the judge does not grant protective orders as often as they would like.

Click here to read a report from the Harris County Domestic Violence Coordinating Council (HCDVCC), that paints a very unflattering picture of Judge Bradshaw-Hull.  The report provides a few selected anecdotes from alleged victims of domestic violence whose applications were denied.  I did not see any such stories from people who won before Bradshaw-Hull in the way they wanted to.  It really comes across as a few people with "sour grapes" being quoted in a report that criticizes the judge.  I was not there and I have no idea whether "Angela" or "Stacy" really should have won, but I know that there are always people upset because they did not win in court.  Cherry picking a few stories from sore losers does not prove a judge is doing anything bad.  The judge is really not in a position to ethically respond on the substance of the cases or why she ruled the way she did, so such case specific criticisms are really not fair.

The D.A. in Harris County is very spoiled and used to almost getting her way with judges in criminal courts.  Thus, it must be a shock to have to appear before a judge who expects cases to actually be proven.  Here are the statistics used to criticize Judge Bradshaw-Hull:

2010   
No. of P.O. Applications: 2,123
Orders Denied: 89 (4.2%)
Orders Dismissed: 948 (44.7%)
Orders Granted: 1,086 (51.2%)

2013   
No. of P.O. Applications: 1,440 (drop of 32% from 2010)
Orders Denied: 114 (7.9%)
Orders Dismissed: 605 (42%)
Orders Granted: 721 (50.1%)

The judge should not be blamed if the D.A. or private parties apply for fewer Protective Orders.  The judge also has little to do with cases that are dismissed because dismissals usually result from lack of service or a change of heart by the movant.  In 2013, of the cases that were not dismissed, Judge Bradshaw-Hull granted protective orders in 86% of the total remaining cases.

The D.A. did provide statistics that make it look like the judge denied 55% of the protective order applications in 2013 decided in contested hearings.  It appears that in 2013, 505 protective orders were granted based on agreement or default and 26 were granted after a contested hearing and 32 were denied after a contested hearing.  That is like saying the District Attorney does not win DWI cases as often as it should at trial.  The problem with that criticism is that the good, strong cases result in agreements because the defendant knows he or she will lose.  The cases that go to trial are usually the weak cases and it is not surprising that the defendant often wins those cases.

I assume the real criticism of Judge Bradshaw-Hull is that she is so tough on protective orders that she is discouraging women or the D.A. from even filing and asking for such orders.  If that is the case, then the D.A. is just not strong enough to stand up for victims of domestic violence if she is now reluctant to proceed on many cases because she might lose.

I just find it hard to accept these numbers as proof that the judge makes it too hard for victims of domestic violence to get protective orders.  The hurt feelings of alleged victims of domestic violence or their supporters or the D.A. is just not evidence.  No one can really fairly second guess Judge Bradshaw-Hull unless a neutral observer actually watched an entire hearing.

I concede that I have never presented an application for a protective order in the 280th and I am mostly ignorant of the true situation.  I have heard disturbing stories of how Judge Bradshaw-Hull treats people and talks to attorneys and parties.  The judge's apparent obsession with only using her particular forms does seem to put form over substance, especially when people's lives could be at stake.  The judge does not always come across well in her public speaking and she seems to have made a lot of people very unhappy with her.  However, I need a lot more data before I could say she is a bad judge in the way this HCDVCC report so clearly implies.
 


  




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