Family Injustice


Administrative Judge Olen Underwood had a great chance in recent days to put a stop to the FAMILY INJUSTICE sweeping through the halls of the Harris County Civil Courthouse.

Instead he protected a fellow judge.

There are growing complaints in the 308 th District Court that Judge James Lombardino treats divorce lawyer Bobby King Newman differently than the other lawyers that practice in Lombardino’s court.

Campaign records already show Newman, his family and his firm contribute more money to Lombardino than they do to any other judge. Records also show Newman helps arrange fundraisers for
Lombardino’s campaigns.

When Dolcefino Consulting revealed Newman was representing Lombardino’s son, David Lombardino, in his divorce, attorneys facing Newman in the 308 th began filing motions to recuse Judge Lombardino.

Newman has more than a dozen active cases in Lombardino’s court. There is no evidence Lombardino disclosed Newman was working for his son.

Neither the Judge or Newman has agreed to release the legal bills and payments from the Lombardino family.

Underwood has now denied a recusal motion filed by Houston Attorney Don Robinowitz. Underwood’s ruling argues that if a Judge can be “taken out of a case because of his relationship with the lawyer, then the lawyer would gain control of the courtroom.”

Exactly Judge Underwood.

“We are getting more complaints that Bobby Newman gets special treatment in Lombardino’s court,” says Wayne Dolcefino, President of Dolcefino Consulting, “The campaign practices of electing judges is troubling enough. Judge Lombardino should have known that the right thing to do was to disclose his relationship with Bobby Newman.”

Dolcefino Consulting has called on Newman and Lombardino to release the invoices and payments for the son’s divorce cases. Both have been silent.

“Let’s see how much Lombardino’s kid has paid for a normal 600 dollars per hour lawyer,” says Dolcefino, “If he is getting a discount, maybe it’s because he’s a great guy – not because he’s the son of a Judge who rules on dozens of cases involving Bobby Newman.”

Canon 2(A) of the Texas Code of Judicial Ethics requires that “A judge shall comply with the law and should act at all times in a manner that promotes public confidence in the integrity and impartiality of the judiciary.”

Lombardino’s failure to disclose his relationship with Bobby Newman does not promote public confidence in the judiciary.

Canon 3(D)(1) of the Texas Code of Judicial Ethics states that “A judge who receives information clearly establishing that another judge has committed a violation of this Code should take appropriate action.”

Underwood has not taken action. He should.

Judge Lombardino should disclose. Judge Underwood should want to investigate allegations of FAMILY INJUSTICE.

Judge Underwood remains the administrative Judge even though his term expired in April of 2016.

Divorce cases shouldn’t last for years. There are more fireworks in the Sherry and Marek Menger divorce, already in the courts for two years.

A motion filed by Sherry Menger details the chain of events that have recently stalled the case. Menger wants the court to just grant the divorce already.

Who can blame her?

The court date to grant the divorce has already been postponed three times. The last time, Mr. Menger’s attorney, Mary Van Orman, didn’t even show up. She is the eleventh lawyer in the case on just one side. Van Orman couldn’t be present for the arbitration ordered by the judge on February 5, 2018 or any of the eight other dates provided by the arbitrator.

The final entry date is set for February 14, 2018, and Mary Van Orman says she can’t attend that court hearing either because of a protective order signed by another Judge.

Mary Van Orman was scheduled to be in trial on Valentine’s Day, helping attorney Bobby Newman represent David Frank Lombardino, the son of another family Judge James Lombardino.

The Lombardino divorce case is drawing scrutiny too. Newman has a lot of cases in Judge Lombardino’s court, and the Judge is facing ethical questions for not disclosing the divorce.

That is not the issue tomorrow. We checked the 257th District Court and they told us there is no Lombardino trial this week. If that’s true, then Mary Van Orman could make it. Judge Millard should make her.

Look Judges, these two, three, four or five-year divorce cases only make the lawyers rich. The same lawyers who fund judicial campaigns. It creates Family Injustice.

Hasn’t Sherry Menger waited long enough?

There are growing calls tonight for Harris County Family Court Judge James Lombardino to step aside from some of the biggest divorce cases pending in his court.

An investigation by Dolcefino Consulting, that is being released on social media, reveals that the veteran Judge of the 308 th District Court has failed to disclose a serious conflict of interest
with powerful Houston divorce lawyer, Bobby King Newman.

Newman has more than a dozen active divorce cases pending in front of Lombardino, some involving the custody of children. Court documents obtained by the Houston based investigative communications firm also that show the high-price divorce attorney is representing Judge Lombardino’s son David, in his contentious divorce and custody battle.

On the eve of our our broadcasts, at least two Houston attorneys have formally asked Lombardino to recuse himself from divorce cases pending in his court.

In his request for Lombardino’s recusal, Houston attorney Don Robinowitz wrote “Is it worth the risk to the judiciary to have its legitimacy questioned and suffer a loss of public confidence?”

Robinowitz also cited a Texas law which requires that a judge rescue himself in any proceeding in which his impartiality may be reasonably questioned.

“Judge Lombardino had a duty to tell the mothers and fathers battling in his courtroom that Newman represents his son. Period,” says Wayne Dolcefino, President of Dolcefino Consulting.
“People are fighting for their lives, fighting over their children. This is not a close call. Dozens of family cases in the Judge’s court are now tainted by bad judgement.”

Karen Avery’s attorney has also asked Lombardino to rescue himself from her case.

Lombardino declined.

Avery believes rulings in her divorce case have been different since Bobby Newman began representing her soon-to- be-ex- husband in Lombardino’s court. She now wants an investigation by the Judicial Conduct Commission.

“It was just like we were stonewalled. My attorney and I were stonewalled, and we couldn’t get anything in Judge Lombardino’s court after Bobby Newman was hired,” says Avery.

Dolcefino Consulting has been hired by other victims of Family Injustice in recent months to investigate and expose conflicts of interest and possible abuses of power in the Harris County
Family Court system – a system long plagued by questions of proper ethics. The Houston based investigative communications firm has also been examining possible misconduct in the billing practices of some of Houston’s biggest divorce lawyers.

As part of our investigation, Dolcefino Consulting has also been reviewing campaign records. It is no secret that family lawyers provide most of the money for family court judges. Attorney
Newman, his family and his firm, have donated more than $100,00 to various judges.

However, Judge Lombardino is the biggest recipient of the Newman campaign cash. Newman has also hosted campaign events for the Judge.

Neither Bobby Newman, Judge Lombardino nor his son David Lombardino have responded to our requests for comment. Dolcefino Consulting has asked for invoices and evidence of payment to see if Newman has discounted his fees or provided free legal service to the Lombardino family.

“Judge Lombardino now has an ethical obligation to release these records,” says Dolcefino. “Bobby Newman charges $600.00 per hour. The public deserves to know if the Judge’s son is getting a special deal, and what that means for justice in Lombardino’s court.”

Dolcefino Consulting has been hired by a growing number of victims of family injustice who are filing complaints with the State Bar of Texas and the Judicial Conduct Commission.