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

December 2012


Editor, Katy Stein kastein@central.uh.edu

Previous editions of Faculty Focus can be accessed here.

Seth J. Chandler spoke on "Machine Learning The Supreme Court" at the Reinvent Law conference at the Dubai International Financial Center in a conference sponsored by Michigan State University. His talk was also filmed by the prominent Arab television network ARY for reasons not entirely clear to the speaker. He published three new interactive demonstrations: "Liability Insurance Desirability When ‘Diminution’ Is Unlawful" (http://demonstrations.wolfram.com/LiabilityInsuranceDesirabilityWhenDiminutionIsUnlawful/), "The Effects of Coinsurance and Deductibles on Optimal Precautions for Weibull-Distributed Loss" (http://demonstrations.wolfram.com/TheEffectsOfCoinsuranceAndDeductiblesOnOptimalPrecautionsFor/), and “Liability Insurance Desirability under Lognormal Loss Distributions” (http://demonstrations.wolfram.com/LiabilityInsuranceDesirabilityUnderLognormalLossDistribution/). He published several lengthy entries to his blog (Texas Windstorm: the law and finance of insuring catastrophic risk in Texas, available at http://catrisk.net), including "An interactive hurricane damage model for Texas" and "Catastrophe insurance and the case for compulsory coinsurance." Also, the New York Times published his letter to the editor in response to an op-ed by the Dean of Case Western Reserve Law School on the continuing benefits of legal education.

Melissa Hamilton gave a presentation at the federal courthouse in downtown Houston titled Sex Crimes Involving Children: The Intersection of Mental Disease, Future Dangerousness, and Legal Consequences, sponsored by the Federal Defender for the Southern District of Texas.

Geoffrey Hoffman’s op-ed, The Punishment Should Fit the Crime, was published on November 25 in the Houston Chronicle, concerning the shooting deaths of undocumented immigrants by the Texas Department of Public Safety. The op-ed may be viewed at: http://www.chron.com/opinion/outlook/article/Punishment-should-fit-the-crime-4062411.php.

Craig Joyce submitted to LexisNexis his manuscript for the Ninth Edition of his nationally leading Copyright Law casebook and to Houston Law Review the manuscript for the second in his series of essays on the first 50 years of HLR’s history.

Sapna Kumar has been named a finalist for the UH Teaching Excellence Award.

Jacqueline Lipton’s article, Trademarks and Freedom of Expression in ICANN’s new gTLD Process, has been published in 38 Monash University Law Review 188 (2012) (with M. Wong). In addition, Professor Lipton presented a paper, Trademarks, Free Speech and ICANN’s new gTLD Process, at Arizona State University’s Conference on International Aspects of Intellectual Property Law, Friday, November 30 (Tempe, Arizona) (with M. Wong).

Tom Oldham’s Seventh Edition of his text, Family Law, Cases, Comments and Questions (with Krause and Elrod), will be published this month.

Michael A. Olivas led a national webinar on Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) for the National Association of Diversity Officers in Higher Education, and a local workshop on the same subject for the Santa Fe (NM) Community Foundation. His article on the subject, Dreams Deferred: Deferred Action, Prosecutorial Discretion, and the Vexing Case(s) of DREAM Act Students appears in 21 William & Mary Bill of Rights Journal 1 (2012). In addition, he responded to questions from more than 20 reporters on a conference call organized to discuss developments in DACA.

Susan Sakmar published the following article on the prospect of US natural gas (LNG) exports: America’s Natural Gas: From Shale Gas to LNG Exports, 3 Harvard Business Law Review Online 22 (2012), http://www.hblr.org/?p=2572.

Jacqueline L. Weaver hosted a distinguished speaker from Ghana, Mohammed Amin Adam, who lectured in her International Petroleum Transactions class on the Dodd-Frank Act's new provisions for reporting of oil revenues paid to host governments on a project basis.  Mr. Adam is the Executive Director of the African Centre for Energy Policy in Accra, Ghana and has been involved in many initiatives in Ghana to assure that its new oil wealth is wisely used. She also guest-lectured on best practices in the international oil industry in UH History Professor Kairn Klieman's class on Avoiding the Resource Curse.