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

February 2009

Previous editions of Faculty Focus can be accessed here



Marcilynn A. Burke will be a panelist on February 20, 2009 at the first annual symposium of the Washington and Lee University School of Law’s Journal of Energy, Climate, and Environment (JECE) and the Environmental Law Society (ELS) entitled Climate Policy for the Obama Administration. She will present her current work-in-progress, The Public Nature of Private Solar Energy Development on Federal Public Lands. Her article “Green Peace? Protecting our National Treasures While Providing for Our National Security,” was recently listed on SSRN’s Top Ten Downloaded list for the topic, CS: Effects of Conflict.


Darren Bush recently sent out reprints of the works he completed last year: 1. Economic Reality Versus Consumer Perceptions of Monopoly, 27 J, of Pub. Pol’y. & Marketing 178 (2008) (with Jill Sundie and Betsy Gelb); 2. Predatory Conduct, Predatory Legislation, and Other Exclusionary Tactics in Airline Markets, 45 Houston L. Rev. 293 (2008) (with Shubha Ghosh); 3. How to Block Cartel Formation and Price Fixing: Using Extraterritorial Application of the Antitrust Laws as a Deterrence Mechanism, 112 Penn. St. L. Rev. 813 (2008) (with John Connor); and 4. Electricity Merger Analysis: Market Screens, Market Definition and Other Lemmings, 32 Rev. Ind. Org. 263 (2008).  With the help of Cynthia Mabry he will submit the revisions of, John J. Flynn, Harry First, and Darren Bush, Antitrust: Statutes, Treaties, Regulations, Guidelines, and Policies, 2009-2010 (forthcoming 2009) on March 2 to Foundation Press. With the help of Aselda Thompson, he has finished revisions of two more chapters for John J. Flynn, Harry First, and Darren Bush, Free Enterprise and Economic Organization: Antitrust. Along with David Spence at the University of Texas, he completed Revisions to a chapter for the forthcoming book, Why ERCOT Only has One Regulator in The Prospect of Electricity Restructuring: The Texas Model (Andrew Kleit and Lynne Kiesling, eds.) forthcoming 2009. In the past few months, he has appeared numerous times on local TV stations concerning the airline industry. He was quoted in a Houston Chronicle article concerning the antitrust settlement between Memorial Hermann and the Texas state AG. On March 3, he will participate in a telephone brown bag lunch discussion hosted by the ABA Antitrust Section entitled, Implied Repeals of the Antitrust Laws: How Far are the Courts Willing to Go?  Prof. Bush has been invited to speak at the Gulf Coast Power Association Spring Conference on April 2, concerning market power issues in the Electric Reliability Council of Texas.


David R. Dow has returned page proofs of his book “America’s Prophets: How Judicial Activism Makes America Great” to Praeger, which expects to publish the book in April. Carolina Academic Press has published “The Future of America’s Death Penalty,” which includes a Chapter by Prof. Dow (co-written with Eric M. Freedman) entitled,” The effects of AEDPA on Justice.” Prof. Dow has been named by the State Bar as the third annual winner of the Individual Rights and Responsibilities section award, which will be presented at the Bill of Rights CLE program in May. Finally, he was named by the Houston Chronicle as one of thirteen Houston community leaders who make up the so-called Joshua Generation:



Victor Flatt was interviewed on KUHF about the new carbon trading class being taught jointly between the UH law school and the Bauer business school. Prof. Flatt spoke at the Texas Capitol on the need for Texas to address climate change at a state level and his remarks were quoted in the Houston Chronicle.


Leslie Griffin spoke on ” The State of Religious Liberty in the United States” at the Pepperdine School of Law’s January conference “Religious Liberty and Religious Property Disputes: Who Owns the Lord’s House?”


Craig Joyce was reappointed to the Board of Editors of the Copyright Society of the U.S.A. and to the ABA Copyright Reform Task Force. He was also reappointed as chair of the Committee on Conferences and the Annual Meeting of the American Society for Legal History.


Rick McElvaney participated as speaker in a Garland Walker Inns of Court program “The Internet: The Good, The Bad, and The Really Ugly,” that was recently awarded a national American Inns of Court program award.  He is co-author (with Adler, Drolla, Gray, Kennedy, and Tompkins) of the O’Connor Texas Property Code Plus, which is now available in the new 2008-2009 edition. It was published in October 2008.


Douglas Moll spoke at the UH “Advising Businesses in a Troubled Economy” CLE conference in Dallas on January 22. His topic was “Shareholder Oppression in Texas Close Corporations: Majority Rule (Still) Isn’t What It Used to Be.”


Tom Oldham brought his class a speaker from Ottawa via video conference on February 3. Prof. Oldham’s article about changes in the economic consequences of divorce during the past fifty years was published in 42 Family L.Q. 419 (2008).


Michael A. Olivas’ book, Colored Men and Hombres Aqui: Hernandez v. Texas and the Emergence of Mexican American Lawyering, has been made into a film by PBS. It will be showed nationally on local PBS stations the evening of February 23, 2009:



The film, A Class Apart, features several of the book authors who speak in the film about the 1954 case, Hernandez v. Texas. In addition, the Albuquerque, NM PBS affiliate KNME has taped an hour-long show with Prof. Olivas about the filming and the trial, which will be showed before the national airing. There will be several February 23 shows in cities around the country, including Houston, to accompany the PBS show.


Bruce Patsner will be one of six participants in the Introduction to Ethics and Professionalism Course for the academic year 2009, at the University of Texas Medical School at Houston.  Prof. Patsner was a panelist and speaker at the Food and Drug Law Institute Conference on “Better Understanding CMS and Its Relationship to FDA” in Washington, D.C. He will speak at the Annual American College of Legal Medicine meeting in Las Vegas, February 27, 2009, on “Government, Law and Medicine.” His article “The Problem of Direct-t0-Consumer Advertising (DTCA) of Restricted Implantable Medical Devices: The Current Regulatory Approach Must Be Changed” will be published in 64(1) The Food and Drug Law J., in February 2009. His article “Riegel v. Medtronic: Revisiting Preemption for Medical Devices” will be published in the winter 2009 symposium edition of the J. of Law, Medicine and Ethics.


Jordan Paust attended a symposium on human rights and was a panelist addressing possible criminal sanctions against former members of the Bush administration for war crimes and crimes against humanity on February 6 at the University of Kansas School of Law. On February 15, he was a judge on the final rounds of the 50th Jessup International Law Moot Court competition hosted by the University of Houston. His Op Ed “Banning Torture is Not Enough” appeared on JURIST:



His other Op Ed on Jurist is “Defend Yoo or End Impunity?”:



Robert Schuwerk reports that the Balance in Legal Education section program at the 2009 AALS convention was attended by nearly 200 people and was very well received. Prof. Schuwerk serves on the governing board of that section and was co-chair of the program committee, which planned the AALS program.


Ira B. Shepard spoke to the Houston Bar Association Tax Section on “Dealing With and Being an Expert Witness” on December 17; he spoke to the Wednesday Tax Forum on the same topic on January 27; and he spoke to the Houston Bar Association Corporate Counsel Committee on “Throwing Jonah Overboard to Avoid Prosecution of the Entity” on February 12.  He will speak at the Houston Bar Association CLE series at the Junior League Building on “Tax Return Preparer’s Penalties: What a General Practitioner Needs to Know and Why” on February 26. He will also speak to the Houston IRS CPA Society on “Recent Developments in Federal Income Taxation” on March 5. He gave his regular monthly presentations on “Current Federal Income Taxation” to the (Houston) Wednesday Tax Forum, as he has each month since 1982. This month he delivered a manuscript to the Florida Tax Review for his “Recent Developments in Federal Income Taxation: The Year 2008” co-authored with Martin J. McMahon, Jr. of the University of Florida and Daniel L. Simmons of the University of California, Davis, and published annually by that journal since 2001.


Sandra Guerra Thompson has been selected as one of the Hispanic Business Magazine’s 25 Elite Women for 2009. She will be honored at an awards gala in June.


Greg Vetter presented “Cryptography Patenting and Strategic Implications for Information Technology” for the Information Security Best Practices Program held on January 29-30 at the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania for the Department of Legal Studies and Business Ethics and the Wharton Interactive Media Initiative. On February 4, Prof. Vetter moderated a panel at the UH Law Center on judicial clerkship career opportunities.


Jacqueline Weaver spoke at the UHLC Advanced Oil and Gas Course in Houston and Dallas on the future of the petroleum industry under global warming. She has been invited to visit Uganda in March (which has recently discovered oil) to consult with the oil ministry, legislators, NGOs and others. In January, she participated in a Houston Conference Board meeting of general counsels from major companies on hot topics in energy and the environment.



Helen Ehmann Boyce