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


June 2014


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


Previous editions of Faculty Focus can be accessed here.


Janet Beck was interviewed for a Telemundo Houston feature story about the services the Law Center’s legal clinics and centers provide to the community. Texas Consumer Complaint Center Director David Tiede and Clinical Professor Susham Modi were also featured in the piece, and the interviews were coordinated by Rick McElvaney. The video is available at: http://www.telemundohouston.com/videos/Recursos-legales-gratuitos-en-Houston-260425431.html.       

Aaron Bruhl’s article titled Measuring Circuit Splits: A Cautionary Note has been accepted for publication in the peer-edited Journal of Legal Metrics. The article was recently mentioned on SCOTUSblog and is the subject of a series of posts on the Circuit Splits blog. In May, Professor Bruhl, along with Interim Dean Richard Alderman and Professor Geoff Hoffman, presented a program on how to become a law professor. In related news, Professor Bruhl has been named to the planning committee for a workshop for aspiring law professors to be held in conjunction with the 2015 Southeastern Association of Law Schools annual meeting.

Seth Chandler participated in two panels at the Jay Healy Teaching Session of the Health Law Teacher’s Conference sponsored by the American Society of Law, Medicine and Ethics in San Francisco. His first presentation, “Teaching the Affordable Care Act,” presented a series of hypotheticals and proposed answers designed to expose selected issues in Title I of the ACA and suggested means, including use of a “virtual client” by which students might develop information relevant to the solutions. His second presentation briefly discussed techniques and issues in reform of a health law curriculum. Professor Chandler was also named to the Steering Committee of the 12th International Mathematica Symposium to be held in January of 2015 in Prague.

Meredith J. Duncan was invited to attend Fordham University Law School’s Criminal Justice Ethics Shmooze on June 9 & 10 in New York City, and she presented her current work-in-progress Teaching Prosecutorial Ethics and Texas's Michael Morton Act. At that conference, she also moderated a panel on Regulation and Criminal Justice Ethics. Additionally, her latest casebook, Advanced Torts: A Context and Practice Casebook (co-authored with Alex B. Long at Tennessee), has recently been published by Carolina Academic Press.

Barbara Evans attended the ASLME health law conference on June 6-7 and reported findings on antitrust issues in genomic data access from her ongoing collaboration on next-generation sequencing policy issues with researchers at Baylor College of Medicine (BCM), Duke’s Genome Institute, Johns Hopkins, and the Center for Medical Technology Policy. She attended the faculty retreat and grant-writing workshop of BCM's Center for Medical Ethics and Health Policy on May 28-29 and the BCM Bioethics on Stage program on June 12. She met with the Texas Medical Center's Clinical Research Design Team on June 19. Her article, Return of Results: Ethical and Legal Distinctions Between Research and Clinical Care (with Wylie M. Burke and Gail P. Jarvik) appeared in American Journal of Medical Genetics, Special Issue: Implementation of Genomic Medicine, vol. 166C: 105-111 (2014). She was one of a veritable party of co-authors for a consensus paper, Return of Genomic Results to Research Participants: The Floor, The Ceiling, and the Choices In Between (Gail P. Jarvik et al.) in American Journal of Human Genetics, Vol. 94, Iss. 6, 818-826 (2014 June 5). Her symposium piece on 5th Amendment takings problems with HIPAA’s new cost-of-service data pricing scheme is in the current issue of Case Western’s Health Matrix law journal (http://law.case.edu/journals/HealthMatrix/Documents/24HealthMatrix.Evans.pdf). Her abstract on genomic data access has been accepted for the Second Thematic Conference on Knowledge Commons: Governing Pooled Knowledge Resources at NYU Law School in September. The UH Biotech and Law Program has placed its first life sciences student law clerk into a paid, part-time position for the 2014-15 academic year under a recent cooperative agreement between the Law Center and UTMB. Professor Evans has moved offices so if you are looking for her, she’s in BLB 214 now.

Patricia Gray is serving on the Code Red Task Force, a multi-disciplinary group created in 2005 to identify and assess challenges to health care access by the uninsured and underinsured populations in Texas and to make recommendations to policymakers. The initial report was issued in April, 2006, at a public symposium at the James A. Baker III Institute for Public Policy at Rice University, and is updated every two years. The Task Force includes representatives of the academic health institutions in Texas as well as representatives from large and small employers in Texas, hospitals, health policy experts and community/business leaders.

Geoffrey Hoffman's piece on the Hague Convention and asylum has been selected for publication: A Collision Between Asylum Law and The Hague Convention on Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction, 5:8 AILA’s Inside Immigration (July 2014).


Craig Joyce organized and led IPIL’s 2014 National Conference in Santa Fe, NM, on “ReCalibrating Copyright: Continuity, Contemporary Culture, and Change.” Participants included faculty members from Virginia, UC-Irvine, Boston University, UNLV, Case Western, Lewis & Clark, and Suffolk, as well as Alex Kozinski, Chief Judge of the Ninth Circuit.


Jessica Mantel is one of four scholars selected to present at the Health Law Scholar's workshop at St. Louis University. She will be presenting her article Holding Hospitals Accountable for a Culture of Overutilization. On June 7th Professor Mantel presented "Legal and Ethical Barriers to Physicians' Gatekeeping Role" at the American Society of Law, Medicine and Ethic's Health Law Professors Conference in San Francisco.  Professor Mantel also has been invited to speak at the Association of American Law Schools as part of a crosscutting program titled “The Fifty Years’ War: Can Legislation Ameliorate Poverty?”. She will speak about the ways in which health care reform incentivizes health care providers to better meet the health care needs of low income individuals.


Douglas Moll has been asked to moderate two panels – one in October on fiduciary duties in LLCs for the LLC Institute, and one in September on business divorce at Cardozo Law School for all of the Commercial Division judges in the state of New York.


Michael A. Olivas published A Personal Reflection on Law Teaching, or How I Became an Establishment Insider on the Outside, 99 Radical Teacher 34 (Spring 2014), DOI 10.5195/rt.2014.57: http://radicalteacher.library.pitt.edu. He also served as a promotion and tenure reviewer for faculty at five universities in 2014.


Jordan Paust's article Can You Hear Me Now?: Private Communication, National Security, and the Human Rights Disconnect has been accepted at the Chicago Journal of International Law. Professor Paust has also been asked to create a lead article for the Albany Government Law Review for a symposium issue and he has prepared a working draft on Operationalizing Use of Drones Against Non-State Terrorists Under the International Law of Self-Defense.

D. Theodore Rave spoke about consumer arbitration at the Center for Consumer Law's Teaching Consumer Law Conference in Santa Fe, New Mexico on May 31. He also attended the Fiduciary Law Workshop at McGill University in Montreal, Canada on May 6. Professor Rave’s article, Settlement, ADR, and Class Action Superiority, was published in the Journal of Tort Law (5 J. Tort L. 91 (2014)). The article is available for download at http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=2384106

Jessica Roberts presented her paper The Employer as (Accidental) Health-Care Policymaker at the American Society of Law, Medicine & Ethics Annual Health Law Professors conference in San Francisco.

Sandra Guerra Thompson was quoted in an AP news article on the U.S. News & World Report website May 6th regarding a shooting simulator used by the Harris County district attorney's office to help grand jurors better understand what someone sees when confronted by a threat. The article also appeared on multiple news websites such as NPR and KHOU. The Houston Chronicle also quoted Professor Thompson on May 9th on whether backdating of court orders by a judge would be in violation of statute.


Greg Vetter accepted an offer for publication of his paper Are Prior User Rights Good for Software? (available at http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=2410689) with the University of Texas School of Law’s intellectual property law journal, the Texas Intellectual Property Law Journal (TIPLJ). TIPLJ is the official journal of the Intellectual Property Law section of the Texas State Bar. Professor Vetter also attended the National Conference put on by the Law Center’s Institute for Intellectual Property and Information Law (IPIL), held on May 30 and 31, 2014: www.ipilsymposium.org.


Jacqueline Weaver was invited to be the keynote speaker at a closed seminar sponsored by the Société de Législation Comparée in partnership with l’École des Mines Paris Tech in Paris on May 12.Her topic was "U.S. Shale Gas Regulation and Observations." The seminar was attended by academics, government officials, geologists, judges and practitioners. Her address covered both the property law dimensions of shale development in a private ownership context and lessons learned from the U.S. experience to date. Before she left for Paris, she gave three lectures at the International Law Institute's two-week seminar on International Oil and Gas Development: Upstream. The attendees were from African oil-producing countries, including Kenya, Uganda, Mozambique, Madagascar, and Nigeria. The ILI seminar is affiliated with Georgetown University's School of Law. After Paris, she flew to Accra, Ghana and taught a one-week course at the Fordham-Ghana Summer Law Program in Accra, with students from both US and Ghanaian law schools. She met some of UHLC's graduates of the EENR LLM program and was invited to attend a showing of Big Men, the new documentary on Kosmos Energy's discovery of the Jubilee field in Ghana juxtaposed against the development of oil in the Niger Delta. The closed screening was followed by a two-hour discussion of Ghana's contracts with Kosmos, with several former ministers of energy participating. Big Men opens in Houston June 6.  She also posted op-eds on The Conversation (an on-line independent news and opinion service sourced from the academic and research community) on Offshore Safety Four Years After the Deepwater Horizon Disaster; and on ABLawg, the University of Calgary Law School's monitored blog for key developments in energy law. 


Bret Wells' article, Pass-Through Entity Taxation: A Tempest in the Tax Reform Teapot, was published at 14 Hous. Bus. & Tax L.J. 1 (2013).