Attorneys appointed to represent abused children and their parents in CPS cases as attorneys ad litem are routinely billing Harris County for work done by associate attorneys and non-lawyers who work for the person appointed ad litem. This is wrong and violates the law. Click this link to download this article in PDF: Ad Litem is Not a Law firm. In a regular divorce or child custody case, a law firm can represent the client and an attorney in charge is designated. However, any authorized attorney can work on the case or appear in court for the client. So, for example, Mr. Smith can hire The Enos Law Firm to represent him in his child custody case and perhaps Greg Enos or Christina Tillinger might appear in court for the client or maybe even an outside attorney would be asked to make an appearance for Mr. Smith, as long as the client consented. A wise, ethical and experienced family judge explained to me how attorney ad litems in CPS cases are different than private ... Read More >
Archives for September 2014
Law Firm Rules for Fair Billing
A lot of attorneys, including me, are looking at their own billing practices after my articles on the outrageous and apparently false billing in CPS cases by Alicia Franklin. I have written ten simple rules for honest billing that I have now adopted as my law firm's policy. 1. Bill accurately and fairly and follow the “Golden Rule” – how would you want to be billed if you were the client? 2. Bill actual time spent and round up only a little. If you spend 3 minutes on a phone call, bill 0.10 instead of 0.25. If you literally were on the phone for 30 seconds with the client, do not bill for the call at all. 3. If you travel to court or elsewhere for more than one case, divide the travel time between the clients. 4. Do not bill for more than one client at once. If you are editing a pleading while sitting in court waiting to be called on another’s client case, only bill for one client during that period of time and do not ‘double ... Read More >
Did Alicia Franklin Work as a Lawyer and Charge Harris County for CPS Work After She Became Judge?
Click this link to download in PDF my full article, with documentary evidence, which establishes that Alicia Franklin billed Harris County for CPS legal work she did as a lawyer after the date when she was sworn in as a judge: Franklin billed for lawyer work after she became a judge. ... Read More >
Alicia Franklin accepted a Campaign Contribution from a Party to a Case When Franklin Was The Amicus on his Case
I highly recommend that you click the following link to download this article in PDF, which includes copies of the court documents and campaign contribution report: Franklin accepted a contribution from a party to a case she was amicus on. This PDF article contains images of the court order, motion and contribution report. As a lawyer, Alicia Franklin mostly worked on cases in which she was appointed an attorney ad litem or amicus attorney by a judge. Some of those cases involved the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services (CPS) and some were private child custody cases. In CPS cases, the county pays the appointed attorneys. In private child custody cases, the parents or other people seeking custody or visitation of the child are ordered to pay the amicus attorney. An amicus attorney is supposed to be a neutral attorney who represents the child’s best interests. Ms. Franklin was appointed an amicus attorney for a young boy in a hotly contested custody case by ... Read More >