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


May 2014


Editor, Katy Stein Badeaux, kastein@central.uh.edu


Previous editions of Faculty Focus can be accessed here.



Janet Beck spoke on “Mental Competency in Immigration Court Proceedings” at the American Immigration Lawyer Association Texas chapter conference in Dallas. The Texas chapter includes Texas, Oklahoma and New Mexico.


After receiving rave reviews for her presentation to the Texas Lawyers Assistance Program’s Houston Wellness Group, Marcilynn Burke travelled to San Antonio to make the presentation to that city’s wellness group.  Her presentation was entitled, “The Power of Asking for Help.” Professor Burke also has been invited to speak this fall at the “Collaborative Methane Emissions Solutions for the Natural Gas Community” conference, which is being co-sponsored by the Gas Technology Institute and the Houston Advanced Research Center (HARC).


Darren Bush was quoted in a May 1, CNN Money article regarding the difficult difficulties in enforcing the antitrust laws against large companies offering bundled goods.  He was also quoted in March 16 article distributed by Reuters regarding the criminal antitrust charges against Chesapeake Energy and Encana Corp. in Michigan.  Finally, he was quoted in an April 29th feature on Marketplace, in a story regarding the bankruptcy filing by Energy Future Holdings Corp.  He is in the midst of final edits, along with Harry First at NYU, of the casebook Free Enterprise and Economic Organization: Antitrust (7th Ed.).  The statutory supplement companion to the book is also complete, and Professors Bush and First are working up to completing the teacher’s manual.  Finally, Professor Bush has started to learn a crescent knife form, having just finished a double-edged sword form.  Both are still works in progress. Finally, having rotated off of three committees (including a successful dean search committee), he looks forward to the quiet of teaching a summer class and finishing an article on the Tunney Act.


Seth Chandler’s foreword to the 18th Annual Frankel Lectures appeared in the Houston Law Review, 51 Hous. L. Rev. 1017 (2014) (addressing the Affordable Care Act). Professor Chandler also spoke before the Houston Volunteer Lawyers Network on implementation of the Affordable Care Act and opportunities for pro bono representation.


David R. Dow participated with Jessica Blank (writer and producer of The Exonerated), Pamela Colloff (Texas Monthly writer), Anthony Graves (death row exoneree), Zachary Martin (editor), and Jill Patterson (professor of creative writing) in Planting the Seed: A Roundtable on Death Penalty Narratives, which was published in the most recent issue (vol. 26, no. 2) of Gulf Coast: A Journal of Literature and Fine Arts.  He also spoke at Cardozo and New York Law School on his most recent book, Things I’ve Learned from Dying


Barbara Evans discussed data-access issues in next-generation genomic sequencing at the Petrie-Flom Annual Conference at Harvard on May 2-3. She participated in ongoing meetings of the Texas Medical Center’s Clinical Research Institute design team. On May 27-28 she will attend the annual retreat of Baylor College of Medicine’s Center for Medical Ethics and Health Policy, where she is a member. Her article, The First Amendment Right to Speak about the Human Genome, appeared in the U. Penn. Journal of Constitutional Law this month and has been selected for republication in The First Amendment Law Handbook, a compendium of notable First Amendment scholarship (Rodney A. Smolla, ed., West, forthcoming 2014). Her chapter, The Future of Prospective Medicine under the Food and Drug Administration Amendments Act of 2007, has gone to press and will appear in New and Enduring Challenges for FDA (Holly Fernandez Lynch and I. Glenn Cohen, eds., Columbia University Press, forthcoming 2015).


Jim Hawkins presented a paper at Harvard Law School as part of the Petrie-Flom Center's annual conference on Behavioral Economics, Law, and Health Policy. His talk was entitled "Towards Behaviorally Informed Policies for Consumer Credit Decisions in Self-Pay Medical Markets."


Tracy Hester helped organize and attended the first State of the Practice Symposium sponsored by the ABA’s Section on Environment, Energy and Resources in Nashville on May 2. He then attended the SEER Council meeting on May 3, and was appointed co-chair of the Section’s Special Committee on Congressional Relations. The committee coordinates and provides briefings and testimony on environmental and energy issues to Congress on behalf of SEER.


Geoffrey Hoffman spoke at Rice University regarding immigration policy and reform, accompanied by Clinical Supervising Attorney and Adjunct Professor Susham Modi, who also spoke. Professor Hoffman also co-authored a blog post for the Immigration Professor’s blog with Clinical Supervising Attorney Jill Campbell: “Employment Discrimination and DACA -- Employers Must Be Educated.”


David Kwok’s article, Taxation Without Compensation as a Challenge for Tribal Sovereignty, was accepted for publication by the Mississippi Law Journal.


Rick McElvaney spoke at the Houston Bar Association’s Commercial & Consumer Law Section CLE program on May 14, 2014. His topic was “An Overview of Landlord and Tenant Law.” He also participated as a planning committee member regarding the State Bar of Texas’ upcoming Advanced Consumer & Commercial Law CLE program. 


Douglas Moll’s treatise, The Law of Closely Held Corporations (with Bob Ragazzo), will be published by Lexis (and will be available online as well) starting in the summer of 2014. Professor Moll also submitted the manuscript (to West Publishing) for the 2014 edition of Corporations and Other Business Associations:  Statutes, Rules, and Forms.


Tom Oldham has been invited to speak to the graduate family law seminar at Cambridge in December 2014.


Michael A. Olivas moderated a panel on the DREAM Act and Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) at the Immigration Professors Biennial Workshop, held at UC-Irvine. When he chaired the AALS Section on Immigration Law more than 20 years ago, he conceived of and organized the first of the conferences, which present immigration law teachers opportunities to focus on scholarship, teaching, and clinical skills training. In addition, he organized and hosted his 15th annual Houston Roundtable on Higher Education, focusing on higher education finance, with junior faculty across disciplines who specialize in the subject. The Roundtable alternates each May with higher education law scholars.


Jordan Paust was a member of a panel on Legal Bases for Use of Force Against Terrorism Absent an Armed Conflict during a Conference on Law and Military Operations at the U.S. Army JAG Legal Center and School in Charlottesville, Virginia on May 14th.


Jessica Roberts published her paper, Patient Autonomy, Physician Obligation, and State Licensing Authority inThe Constitutional Right Not to Kill,’ A Response to Professor Mark Rienzi, in the Emory Law Journal Online. It is available at http://www.law.emory.edu/fileadmin/journals/elj/63/ELJOnline/Roberts.pdf.


Barbara Stalder and Janet Heppard presented “Virtual Visitation: Communication Outside the Box” at the State Bar of Texas Poverty Law Conference.


Sandra Guerra Thompson was interviewed in a radio report on KTRH on April 30th regarding a new study on the number of people wrongly sentenced to death and likely wrongfully executed.  She also attended a meeting of the Texas Criminal Justice Integrity Unit in Austin on the criminal justice system’s response to the discovery of irregularities in crime laboratories.


Jacqueline Weaver appeared on CBS Morning News discussing forced pooling in Pennsylvania in May. She and Tracy Hester hosted the final speaker in the EENR Speaker Series, Professor Nigel Bankes from our sister school in Calgary. Nigel spoke on Carbon Management in Canada and also met with students interested in the joint JD program between UHLC and UC. Her mini-essays on Offshore Safety after Macondo, marking the 4th anniversary of the disaster in the Gulf of Mexico, appeared in The Conversation (a professional blog of largely European experts in energy) and in the University of Calgary's blog, which has proved to be an extremely successful way of linking the Calgary law school to the downtown community. Her two articles on Offshore Safety After Macondo are now both in print and have been (fleetingly) on various Top Ten SSRN lists. The two-part series totals 200 pages, so it is not clear that anyone will ever actually read the articles. The articles are the first analysis of the new third-party certification system used offshore today and how the various new institutions (such as BSEE, COS, and OESI) interact with several existing institutions (the Chemical Safety Board, Coast Guard, OGP, IADC) to regulate the offshore. Basically, the new regime relies entirely on industry Recommended Practices and an industry-created auditing system for safety management. The articles conclude with six recommendations to assure that the new offshore safety regime is effective and is publicly accountable.


Bret Wells' article entitled Tax Base Erosion: Reformation of Section 482’s Arm’s Length Standard was published by the Florida Tax Review. On May 1, Professor Wells presented his paper to the Houston International Tax Forum.


Kellen Zale presented her article, The Government's Right to Destroy, at the annual meeting of the Association for Law, Property and Society at the University of British Columbia on May 3. The article has been accepted for publication in the Arizona State Law Journal.   


On April 26, the Law Library presented the CLE program "Essential Legal Information & Technology for Texas Lawyers" at the Law Center. Spencer Simons talked about Texas bill tracking, legislative history, and administrative agency research. Mon Yin Lung discussed free online resources for lawyers. Chris Dykes and Emily Lawson's presentation introduced attendees to special mobile device applications for lawyers. The free program, approved for three hours of CLE credit, was targeted at recent graduates and solo and small firm practitioners.