This is a reprint from the September 9, 2014 Mongoose newsletter. A future postulator writing a positio about Alicia Franklin will surely include as one of the two required miracles the amazing events of March 20, 2013, when Alicia Franklin billed Harris County, as well as the parents in a private amicus case, for the following all on one blessed day:
28.5 out-of-court hours in CPS cases
3.75 hours on a private amicus case
1 CPS trial appearance
4 non-trial CPS court appearances
The hours billed for this one day total 32.25 hours plus Franklin claims to have been in court on CPS cases for one trial appearance and four other non-trial appearances on that same day. There may well be other private cases that Franklin also billed for on that day.
In CPS cases, ad litems bill per hour for “out of court work,” but they are paid a flat rate per court appearance for trial or non-trial hearings. Ad litems are paid a higher flat rate for trials than they are for non-trial court work.
Click here to see documentation of this truly amazing feat that should at least qualify Franklin for beatification. One friend of Franklin’s suggested that perhaps her over billing was a “rookie mistake.” Forgetting to verify a motion for continuance is a “rookie mistake.” Billing like this is a “mistake” just like a wedding that results in divorce is a mistake – the “mistake” was originally done intentionally and joyfully but only regretted much later. A lot of folks in prison will now admit that their fraud and stealing was, in retrospect, a mistake. I have yet to hear from Judge Franklin, so I do not know if she considers her false billing on CPS cases to be a mistake or just something she wishes Greg Enos had not discovered and shared with the world.
Billing like this on March 20, 2013 could explain how Franklin has been able to visit Europe so many times in the past year.
My last newsletter said that the hours I found Franklin had billed per day in CPS cases did not include any hours she had billed in her private cases. At the time, I thought I could never know what she had billed in her amicus cases. I assumed it would take a grand jury subpoena to get those records. However, since my last newsletter went out, I have heard from several parents who were honored to receive bills from Alicia Franklin when she served as the amicus attorney in their custody cases.
In one amicus case, I am told that Franklin billed a total of $118,000 to the two parents for a case that never actually went to trial. I have represented millionaires in contested jury trials and never had my bill total $118,000 and I charge more per hour than Franklin does.
Here is what the current spouse of one of the parents in this custody case wrote me about Franklin’s work as an amicus:
Alicia was appointed as the amicus by Judge Pratt. Both families were billed over $118,000 total by Alicia. As an investigator for the court and the two children involved, Alicia Franklin never contacted a single family member or friend of my husband’s to confirm his relationship with his children. The only thing that was consistent were the outrageous bills that appeared each month with nothing more than “communication” listed as the explanation. When my husband and I were sitting at a child visitation with one of Alicia’s assistants, my husband asked how families were able to afford these types of cases, Alicia’s assistant replied, “most of our cases are paid by the state”, paused then stated, “but that’s good because we can bill them millions of hours”. My husband and I couldn’t believe what we were hearing. We felt like from the very beginning it was about the money. Alicia never seemed to know what we were referencing when we would ask her about faxes we sent and told us on more than one occasion “I’m sorry, I have another case that’s very similar to yours and I have a hard time keeping them straight”.
The husband’s attorney in this custody case challenged Franklin’s billing before Judge Denise Pratt, who had appointed Franklin. Click here to read this rather extraordinary motion assailing Franklin’s billing practices. Pratt conducted an evidentiary hearing on Franklin’s fees and sided with Franklin in October 2013. I am trying to get a copy of the transcript of that hearing.
I have received Alicia Franklin’s detailed billing on three of her private amicus cases, but I need more! If you have any of her bills or know clients who have them, please send them to me.