Issue: No. 61                                                                                 March 26, 2015
  A New Mongoose Format and a Successful Mongoose Seminar

This 61st edition of The Mongoose premieres a new format that is easier to read on mobile phones. Each article will be summarized and then you can select a link to read the full story.

In this issue...
The first Mongoose Seminar, The Ultimate Discovery Seminar, on March 12, was a great success.  About 160 attorneys and paralegals attended and Judge John Schmude briefly spoke to the group.  Here are a few comments I received about the seminar:
  • Thanks so much for the discovery seminar yesterday.  The subject matter and materials were highly relevant, the delivery fast-paced, on point and even amusing; ... Thanks also for making the price so affordable.  
  • I absolutely loved, loved, loved your seminar.  I have done many CLE's in the last 14 years and yours kept me interested the entire time.  We already have incorporated most of your useful tools into our practice ... 
  • I wanted to add my voice to the chorus praising your recent "Ultimate Discovery Seminar."  I thought it was fabulous!  It was informative, well-paced and loaded with invaluable information.  
  • I did enjoy all the presenters as well as the information.  That is one thing that really impressed me about your seminar was that all of the presenters were interesting.  I have been to many seminars (as I am sure you have as well), where there were a few presenters who kept you interested and the rest of them were boring.  So kudos on that, you did good in picking your presenters!!
  • It was a good seminar and I am already using one of the forms today.
  • One of the best seminars I have ever been to... fast paced, interesting and even funny at times, never boring and full of interesting information and great forms I know we will use.
I offered a money back guarantee if anyone thought the seminar was not useful, interesting and fast paced and no one asked for a refund.  I plan to present seminars about every two months starting next Fall.  The Seminar Book (paper and forms) will be on sale for $20 starting in April.

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     
 The Enos Law Firm
  17207 Feather Craft Lane, Webster, Texas 77598
  (281) 333-3030    Fax: (281) 488-7775
Web site:

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The Mongoose

  Lemkuil Dan Lemkuil and the 308th
After two withdrawals on pending cases are resolved, Dan Lemkuil will no longer practice in the 308th as long as his wife is the Associate Judge in that court nor will he accept new cases already pending in the 308th.  I understand that if any new cases filed by Mr. Lemkuil randomly fall in the 308th, then they will be randomly assigned to another court.  This is a wise decision and policy by an attorney and judges who care about the integrity of our justice system.  I am happy that there is no need to print the lengthy article I had written on this subject, in part because I consider Alyssa Lemkuil to be one of our best Associate Judges (even if she does not always rule for my clients).  Friendly, smart and fair are a great combination in a judge and a handful of cases involving her husband should not detract from what a good judge Mrs. Lemkuil is.
I am not just a bomb thrower and complainer.  If possible, I try to resolve issues behind the scenes and not in print.  I am not out to embarrass people or ruin reputations or careers.  I just want  to reform and improve our justice system that is supposed to serve families and children in their darkest hours.
WeddingThere is Still Time to Buy Judge Franklin a Wedding Gift
Click here to read my full article which has links to news coverage (including video of my appearance on ABC13) on the Judge Franklin Wedding Gift "Scandal." My full article cites the Penal Code and Code of Judicial Conduct and provides a partial defense of Judge Franklin.

There is still time to buy a wedding gift for Judge Alicia Franklin before her April 4 wedding.  Whether you are motivated out of friendship or more practical purposes, Franklin made it very easy for you to buy her a gift on-line.  Until Tuesday, anyone on the planet was able to see her Honeymoon Pixie site and quickly order her gifts for her honeymoon.  Suddenly, after a very critical article was posted on the Republican blog Big Jolly about this unseemly situation, the links disappeared.  Then, the site required a password then within hours the public could again see the couple's gift wish list and buy them gifts.  Try clicking this link to possibly see it for yourself.  A Google search for "Alicia Franklin Doug York" pulls up this gift registry website and several others.  Here is part of what you were able to see until this week about the Franklin - York wedding:

Judge Franklin and Mr. York are also registered on a variety of sites for gifts, including The Knot and Williams-Sonoma. These on-line wedding registry sites are now common.  However, if you are a judge, there is something unseemly about soliciting gifts from the general public.  Two well-off professionals, one of whom is an elected judge (and who made over $800,000 in court appointment fees in CPS cases in recent years), could perhaps have told their wedding guests to make charitable donations in their names out of a sense of propriety and, as it turns out, to avoid criticism from fellow Republicans.  I have now talked to many attorneys and family law judges, and they all agree that Franklin was at best unwise in seeking wedding gifts in the way she did.  A counter-argument is now being made for Franklin, but as you will see in my full story, the facts do not support the defense some are making on behalf of the judge/bride-to-be. 

I question the wisdom of this excited bride (who happens to be a judge) for signing up for these public wedding gift registries.  However, I feel that the criticism of Judge Franklin in the recent Big Jolly Republican blog went too far and I certainly do not think Franklin was soliciting gifts from lawyers.   

I have known about Franklin's on-line wedding gift registries for months but I chose not to write about them.  This did not become news until a Republican blogger who has supported Franklin against Pratt and me wrote a blistering attack in Big Jolly and now other news outlets have picked up the story.

Channel 13 news ran a story on this controversy and I agreed to be interviewed in order to defend Franklin once it was clear they were going to run a story whether or not they spoke to me.  Click this link to read my full story, read the full Republican blog written by a former Franklin supporter, see the TV news story and consider my analysis and partial defense of Judge Franklin.  The Houston Press blog has now also published a story about the Franklin - York gift registry, which includes a statement by Doug York defending his betrothed and invoking the Almighty in their defense.  Click here to read that article in The Houston Press.

This newsletter goes to many news directors, editors, columnists, television and print reporters in the Houston area and I often work with my news competition on stories.  I prefer not to be on television if I can help it, but this time, when Miya Shay called me, I wanted to make sure that this controversy was considered in proper context.  Of course, most of what I said was edited out from the final snippet that was shown on television.  What Franklin did was perhaps tacky, unseemly and unwise, but it was not illegal nor did she violate the ethical rules for judges (based on what is known so far).  As my full article notes, there were many good reasons for Franklin to not sign up for public gift registries like other brides simply because she is a judge and she is held to a different standard.  I feel bad that this controversy has marred the week before her marriage, but Franklin could have avoided this entire mess by heeding the simple words of the Preamble to the Texas Code of Judicial Conduct:

...judges, individually and collectively, must respect and honor the judicial office as a public trust and strive to enhance and maintain confidence in our legal system.

Click here to read my full story on this Wedding Gift "Scandal" and see my partial defense of Judge Franklin. 
Legal News You Can Use...

DRODRO Now Offering Parenting Coordination

The Domestic Relations Office is now offering Parenting Coordination as authorized under Chapter 153, Subchapter K, Texas Family Code.  The service will be provided by a DRO employee who is a Licensed Professional Counselor, Licensed Master Social Worker, or Psychologist and has complied with the TFC's training requirements.  Attached is the DRO Order to access these services.  There is a sliding scale fee based on each party's gross income which compensates for six sessions.
Click here to download an order (in Word) appointing the DRO as parenting coordinator (which is the confidential type who, unlike a parenting facilitator, cannot testify).

MandamusA Mandamus is the Solution When A Judge "Pulls a Pratt" and Will Not Rule

A petition for mandamus just filed this week against one of our best family judges by the fearless Patsy Wicoff provides good legal authority that a judge who takes months to rule after a trial has abused his discretion and should be ordered to make a decision.  Click here to see this very educational mandamus petition.

HBASuper Useful HBA Guide to Family Court Procedures

The HBA Family Law Section  compiled a super useful guide to the procedures and rules of each of the Harris County Family District Courts.  Now, you can know who requires mediation prior to temporary order hearings, etc.  Click here to download this document which every family lawyer and paralegal needs to have handy.

FormA Form You Can Use: An Agreement to Abate Formal Discovery and Exchange Financial Documents

A school teacher and a plumber who are getting a divorce and not fighting over the kids, who are close to agreement and who do not own complex property, should often not have to answer dozens of production requests asking for such things as two year old credit card statements or cell phone bills.  Sending and responding to full blown written discovery in such a case is wasteful and simply not needed to settle or even try the case.


Early on in such a case, the attorneys could agree to not serve or respond to formal written discovery for 75 days and instead to exchange the following property documents in 20 days:


  1. The most recent statements for every bank, retirement, financial and credit card account in either spouse's name (wife will provide copies of joint accounts).
  2. Most recent statements or an Internet printout showing the current balance on all loans, including auto loans and the mortgage.
  3. Deed and deed of trust to the family residence and for each auto the VIN, year, make, model, current mileage and list of options the vehicle has as requested for valuation of such a used vehicle at 
  4. Lists of items husband wants from the house and what wife wants back from the items husband took from the house when he moved out.
  5. If either spouse is claiming separate property, documents that would support such a claim, including statements showing 401k balances just prior to marriage, documentation of gifts or inheritances, etc.
  6. Sworn inventories and appraisals and requested property divisions shall be exchanged 20 days after the deadlines to exchange property documents set forth above.

Click here to download a form entitled,"Agreement to Abate Discovery and Exchange Financial Documents." 

Useful Attorney Links...
Harris County Vacation Request Form
HBA Family Section Summary of Harris County Family Court Procedures

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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 and Harris County, Texas.  

Greg Enos

Board Certified in Family Law, Texas Board of Legal Specialization

The Enos Law Firm