Faculty Focus is a monthly publication documenting the activities, accomplishments, and honors of  the University of Houston Law Center Faculty.


April 2001

Richard Alderman was quoted in the April 11, 2001 issue of the Houston Chronicle on the value of arbitration to the consumer.

Sidney Buchanan will receive the University of Houston Enron Teaching Excellence Award for the 2000-2001 academic year on April 27.

Ellen Marrus testified before the Texas House Committee on Criminal Jurisprudence on House Bill 2048. This is a bill to increase the age a person could be eligible for the death penalty in Texas from seventeen to eighteen. Texas is one of the few remaining places still executing children. Also she and Tobi Tabor received the Outstanding Faculty Support Award from the UH Law Center Public Interest Law Organization at their annual banquet.

Douglas Moll's article, "Reasonable Expectations v. Implied-in-Fact Contracts: Is the Shareholder Oppression Doctrine Needed?" has been accepted as the lead article in the November 2001 issue of the Boston College Law Review. In late March, he also spoke at the Advanced Civil Litigation Seminar (sponsored by the UH Law Foundation) on "Shareholder Oppression in Texas Close Corporations: Majority Rule Isn't What it Used to Be."

Tom Oldham has been invited to organize an issue of the ABA's Family Law Quarterly on difficult valuation problems at divorce. He has also been asked to comment on the gender effects of the soon-to-be-promulgated ALI's Principles of Family Dissolution for the Duke Journal of Law and Gender.

Michael A. Olivas has won this year's Esther Farfel Award, which is the University of Houston's most prestigious faculty award. Prior winners include Dr. Paul Chu, the world's expert on superconductivity and Professor Mark Rothstein, formerly of our Health Law & Policy Institute. The Farfel Award recognizes nationally and internationally known scholars who also share their expertise with the community. A special thanks to Irene Rosenberg who did a wonderful job on her nomination!

The Hispanic Bar Association of Houston (HisBA-H), an affiliate of the Hispanic National Bar Association, will give its 2001 Lifetime Achievement Award to Michael A. Olivas of the University of Houston Law Center. The Award is for long service and meritorious achievement in legal and civic affairs. Past award winners have included, Hon. James deAnda, former chief judge of the Houston federal district; Hon. Manuel D. Leal, Chief U.S. Bankruptcy Judge; Hon. Irma Rangel, Chair of the Committee on Higher  Education for the Texas House of Representatives; and the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund (MALDEF). Olivas, 50, is the first professor to receive the Award, which will be given at the May 3 HisBA-H Annual Presidents Day dinner, to be held at the Houstonian. HisBA_H was founded in 1984, to promote the professional development of Hispanic lawyers, judges, and law students.

Michael A. Olivas testified before the Texas House Committee on Higher Education, speaking against legacy admissions at the state's public colleges. A story in The Daily Texan the next day reported on the accident, where he ran headlong into two Aggies on the Committee: "Representatives were quick to find fault with (Rep. Lon) Burnam's (--the bill sponsor--) and Olivas' argument." The same week, he attended a meeting in Cambridge at the Harvard Civil Rights Project, where the participants discussed admissions litigation and research needs.  He also attended a meeting of the National Association of State Treasurers in Miami, where NAST held a workshop on prepaid tuition and college savings plans. He was interviewed by nearly 20 reporters on prepaid plans, legacy admissions plans, and the University of Michigan Law School admissions case. He was nominated for membership in the National Academy of Education, the international body of scholars engaged in the study of education. He will be the first member elected to both the NAE and to the American Law Institute. He was also quoted in the April 8th issue of the New York Times "Education Life" magazine on the perils of undocumented immigrants attending American universities.

Jordan Paust was a speaker at a U.S. Department of State sponsored conference of the Iraqi National Congress ( some 300 attendees) in London addressing war crime and other international criminal law responsibility of Saddam Hussein and members of his regime. He was also on two panels during the annual meeting of the American Society of International Law in Washington, D.C., in early April addressing the contributions of Francis Lieber and the 1863 Lieber Code as well as universal jurisdiction and responsibility over international crimes. Later in April, he will be on a panel addressing corporate responsibility for human rights violations in Africa during a meeting of the American Bar Association Section of International Law and Practice in Washington, D.C. He also prepared written "testimony" in letterform for a Texas House hearing on draft legislation to raise the death penalty age to eighteen at time of commission of an offense. As primary  editor, he also submitted materials to Carolina Academic Press for publication of a Human Rights Module for supplementation of teaching materials for human rights seminars and courses. He was also a judge during the final world championship round of the Jessup International Law Moot Court Competition on April 7th at the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia Courthouse. The overall competition had involved teams from some 110 U.S. and over 250 foreign law schools.

Sandra Guerra Thompson attended a luncheon of the Texas Bar Examiners in Austin on April 2nd. She also was interviewed in Spanish by Channel 45 on the Supreme Court case, United States v. Oakland Cannabis dealing with "the marijuana as a medical necessity" defense to criminal charges.

Ronald Turner's article, "Abolish the Title VII Hostile-Environment Sexual Harassment Cause of Action?: A Comment on Professor Rosen's Eliminationist Proposal," will be published in a forthcoming issue of the University of Pennsylvania Journal of Labor and Employment Law.

Jacqueline Weaver will be visiting at Pace University School of Law in New York in the Fall as a Visiting Scholar in Residence. She will also present the Second Annual Kerlin Distinguished Lecture in Environmental Law at Pace as the kickoff for their 25th anniversary celebrations. Pace has a nationally ranked environmental/energy program which focuses on sustainable development. The law school works closely with the United Nations Development Program to train nationals on issues of energy and the environment. The energy staff and faculty at Pace work on legislation, train foreign nationals on issues of energy and the environment. The energy staff and faculty at Pace work on legislation, litigation, and funded research on numerous energy issues, often involving J.D., LL.M., and SJS students in the process.