Some dictionaries and grammar books in my language give funny restrictions for "There is ~" structure.
A newer grammar book changed a little and now says it's ok to use "There is(are) ~" for proper nouns as long as it's a new theme. Before they said that only when put up several names in a row it's ok to use the structure for proper nouns or nouns led by 'the'.
Those books and dictionaries say "There is" is to bring up a new theme and so use of 'the' is limited to where grammatically needed case such as with a superlative adjective or followed by a modifier like a relative pronoun or an of-clause.
But I've learned here (and there) that it's not actually right.
I wonder why those books and dictionaries in my language are like that.
I wonder if it's ok to say "Is there Mr. Smith here today?"
[edit to add] An example I found on Google is clearly not a new theme:
e.g. There's the girl I was talking about.（The New Cambridge English Course 3 Teacher's Book, 1992）
[edit to add]
It's been a while, but now I think I can summarize it. When a thing or two you know come to your mind as relevant items to an idea, you can say "There's the ... and the ...", but when you ask a question, "Is there ...?" is an expression to ask if something ever exist or not, so it's not grammatical and sounds strange if it's used to ask if one of the staff is present today. (Nov. 27, 2016)