The Environment, Energy & Natural Resources Center Faculty

MarcilynnBurke Marcilynn A. Burke
Associate Dean, Associate Professor of Law
134 TUII

Professor Burke recently returned from her service as the Acting Assistant Secretary for Lands and Minerals Management at the U.S. Department of the Interior. Professor Burke teaches courses in Environmental Law and Property. She received her A.B. in International Studies from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill where she was elected to Phi Beta Kappa. She received her J.D. from Yale Law School where she was an editor for both the Yale Journal of Law and Feminism and the Yale Journal of International Law. She also served as a teaching assistant for both undergraduate and law school classes.

After graduating from Yale, she clerked for the Honorable Raymond A. Jackson of the Eastern District of Virginia. Following her clerkship, she joined the Washington, D.C. office of the law firm of Cleary, Gottlieb, Steen & Hamilton. During her four years at the firm, her practice focused on environmental law, antitrust, and civil and criminal litigation.

Julian Cardenas GarciaJulian Cardenas Garcia
Research Assistant Professor

Julián Cárdenas García is a Venezuelan attorney and Doctoral Fellow at the Research Center on Investment and International Trade Law (CREDIMI) at the University of Bourgogne, Dijon, France. Prior to this position, he served as career diplomat at the Venezuelan Ministry of Foreign Affairs working multilateral affairs with the Organization of the American States (OAS) and the United Nations (U.N.) and bilateral affairs on sovereign boundary issues.

Currently, he is a Visiting Professor of Law at the Environment, Energy and Natural Resources Center of the University of Houston Law Center where he teaches Transnational Petroleum Law, Diplomacy and Geopolitics of Oil and Gas and Transnational Investment Law and Arbitration. As a visiting professor, he has taught the same courses at the Rio de Janeiro State University (UERJ) in Brazil, the University of Nuevo Leon (UANL) in Monterrey, Mexico and the University Externado, in Bogota, Colombia.

Professor Cardenas has been retained as an expert on Venezuelan law in international arbitrations regarding the upstream petroleum sector in Venezuela. He has also been involved in ICC, AAA and ICSID arbitration cases concerning downstream petroleum transactions, direct foreign investments, and international construction projects. He is a frequent speaker on oil and gas investment matters, best practices in the petroleum industry, and geopolitics of the oil and gas industry invited by oil and gas service companies, operators and government agencies. He has been a guest speaker in conferences on energy law in the U.S., Canada, France, Scotland, the Netherlands, Mexico, Brazil, Cuba, Ecuador, Colombia and Venezuela. He works effectively in Spanish, French and English, and has some working proficiency on Portuguese.

He holds a law degree and a B.A. in International Relations from the Universidad Central de Venezuela, a Master of Laws in Arbitration from the Sorbonne University - Paris II Pantheon-Assas, and a LL.M. with a Certificate in Energy, Environment & Natural Resources Law from the University of Houston Law Center.

Professor Cárdenas is a violinist who has played with different symphony orchestras in Venezuela, France and the U.S. He has performed at the Berlin Philharmonie, the Carnegie Hall, and the Sorbonne Amphitheatre, among other venues.


Barbara EvansBarbara   Evans
Professor of Law
George Butler Research Professor
Co-director, Health Law & Policy Institute
Director, Center on Biotech



Professor Evans joined the University of Houston Law Center in 2007. She is a member of the health law faculty and co-director of the Health Law & Policy Institute. Her research interests include governance, privacy, and financing issues with large health information networks and tissue repositories; regulatory and judicial uses of evidence from large-scale observational studies; and legal barriers to clinical translation of pharmacogenomics. Earlier in her career, she was a partner in the international regulatory practice of a large New York law firm and subsequently advised clients on U.S. privacy, research, and medical device regulatory matters. Prior to joining the University of Houston Law Center, she was a Research Professor of Medicine and Director of the Program in Pharmacogenomics, Ethics, and Public Policy at the Indiana University School of Medicine/Center for Bioethics. She holds an electrical engineering degree from the University of Texas at Austin; M.S. and Ph.D. degrees from Stanford University; a J.D. from Yale Law School; and she completed a post-doctoral Fellowship in Clinical Ethics at the M.D. Anderson Cancer Center.


Gina  WarrenGina S. Warren
Associate Professor

Professor Gina S. Warren joined the Law Center in the fall of 2016, teaching Oil & Gas, Energy Law & Policy, and International Energy Law. Previously she taught Oil & Gas, Energy Law, Climate Change & Energy, and Natural Resources Law at the Texas A&M University School of Law (2011-2016) as well as Energy Law at Duquesne University School of Law (2010-2011). Her research explores the role of policy and regulation in the area of sustainable energy, with a focus on renewable energy, climate change, and distributed generation. Warren has published nearly a dozen scholarly articles on energy-related topics in such prominent journals as the Columbia Journal of Environmental Law, the Nebraska Law Review, and the University of Cologne (Germany) Business Law Journal. Her scholarship has been cited by the Colorado Supreme Court, the Washington Post, and was recently excerpted in a prominent energy textbook, "Energy Law and Policy" (Davies, et al West 2015). She is the incoming chair-elect of the Association of American Law Schools Section on Natural Resources and Energy Law. Prior to entering academia, Warren worked as a litigator in energy and utility law for the international law firm of Perkins Coie based in Seattle as well as a litigator in a prominent regional firm, Post & Schell based in Philadelphia. Warren received her B.S. in Psychology from the University of Arizona followed by her J.D. from Rutgers University School of Law. After graduating from Rutgers, Warren completed a clerkship for the Honorable Michael Winkelstein of the Appellate Division of the Superior Court of New Jersey. She is admitted to practice in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and Washington.

JacquelineWeaver Jacqueline Lang Weaver
A.A. White Professor of Law
122 TUII


Jacqueline L. Weaver is the A.A. White Professor of Law at the University of Houston Law Center.  Her teaching and research interests cover oil and gas law, energy law and policy, international petroleum, and environmental and natural resources law. She has lectured on topics in international petroleum transactions in Africa (Uganda, Namibia, and Luanda), Kazakhstan (as a Fulbright scholar), Lisbon, China and Bangkok.  She is a co-author of Smith and Weaver, The Texas Law of Oil and Gas; a national casebook titled Energy, Economics and the Environment; another casebook titled International Petroleum Transactions (Rocky Mtn. Min. L. Fd. Press) and the treatise International Petroleum Exploration & Exploitation Agreements (Barrows 2009).  She has written articles on offshore safety after the Macondo disaster in the Gulf of Mexico, energy markets, sustainable development in the international petroleum industry, comparative unitization laws, energy policy, and traditional oil and gas law topics. Professor Weaver holds a B.A. in Economics from Harvard University and a J.D. degree from the University of Houston. She worked as an economist in the Corporate Planning Department of Exxon Co. USA before joining the University of Houston Law Center.


JacquelineWeaverBret Wells
Associate Professor of Law
124 TUII
713 743 2502


Bret Wells is an Assistant Professor of Law at the University of Houston Law Center.  Professor Wells has been an adjunct professor with the University of Houston Law Center since 2005 and was an adjunct professor with the University of Minnesota Law School in 1999 where he taught international taxation.  Prior to joining the University of Houston Law Center as an Assistant Professor of Law, Mr. Wells served as Vice President-Treasurer and Chief Tax Officer for BJ Services Company.  BJ Services Company was a component of the S&P 500 Index prior to its acquisition by Baker Hughes on April 30, 2010.  In his capacity with the company, Mr. Wells was the executive officer responsible for all treasury and tax matters for the company and reported directly to the Chief Financial Officer.  During his tenure, the company made several large public debt offerings, engaged in significant stock repurchases, and renegotiated its major credit facilities.  Prior to joining BJ Services in 2002, Mr. Wells was an Assistant Vice President and Assistant General Tax Counsel at Cargill, Inc. where he was responsible for various international and domestic tax planning matters.  Prior to joining Cargill, Inc. in June 1993, Mr. Wells was a tax associate with the law firm of Baker & Botts, L.L.P. from April 1990 to May 1993 where he specialized in federal income tax matters.



Susan SakmarSusan L. Sakmar
Visiting Assistant Professor
132 TUII
Andrews Kurth Energy Law Scholar
University of Houston Law Center

Professor Sakmar is licensed to practice law in California and has over 20 years experience working in a variety of legal, corporate, nonprofit, and academic environments.   She started her professional career as an accountant for Chevron Corporation in San Francisco, California and after being admitted to the California Bar, was an attorney in the commercial litigation department of the San Francisco law firm of Bronson, Bronson & McKinnon where she represented clients in a variety of complex litigation cases.  After leaving practice, she taught International Trade Law under the WTO as an adjunct professor at the University of San Francisco School of Law and served on a number of non-profit environmental boards, including board chair for the Jane Goodall Institute.  

She currently is a Visiting Assistant Professor, Andrews Kurth Energy Law Scholar, at the University of Houston Law Center where her scholarly activities are focused on global natural gas markets with a particular focus on LNG and global shale gas development.    She has published and presented a number of papers on these topics and her most recent book Energy For The 21st Century:  Opportunities And Challenges For Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) will be published in 2013 by leading international publisher Edward Elgar, Ltd. (UK). 

She holds an LL.M. from Georgetown University Law Center, Washington, DC, a J.D., cum laude, from the University of San Francisco School of Law, San Francisco, CA., and a business degree (B.Sc.) from the University of Colorado, Boulder, CO.  


Tracy  HesterTracy Hester
142 TUII

Tracy Hester is a visiting assistant professor at the University of Houston Law Center, and he directed UHLC's Environment, Energy and Natural Resources Center from 2010-2013. Professor Hester joined the faculty after serving as a partner at Bracewell & Giuliani and leading its Houston office's environmental group for over 15 years. Professor Hester focuses his research on legal issues raised by environmental compliance policies and enforcement. He has worked extensively on climate change compliance and liability as well as the innovative application of environmental laws to emerging technologies such as nanotechnology and renewable energy.

Professor Hester is currently a member of the governing Council for the American Bar Association's Section on Environment, Energy and Resources, and has served in several other ABA leadership roles (most recently as Chair of the Environmental Enforcement and Crimes Committee). He is also vice-chair of the Greater Houston Partnership's Environmental Policy Advisory Committee. He was elected as a member of the American Law Institute in 2004.

Professor Hester received his J.D. from the Columbia University School of Law in 1986 and his B.A. with high honors (Phi Beta Kappa) from The University of Texas at Austin. In addition to Bracewell, he previously worked at the law firms of Sidley & Austin and Baker Botts LLP.


Ricardo Colmenter Ricardo Colmenter

Ricardo Colmenter is an Affiliate Scholar for International Energy Programs at the Center for U.S. and Mexican Law and the Energy, Environment and Natural Resources Center (EENR) at the University of Houston Law Center. He holds a JD from the Universidad Catolica Andres Bello, a LLM International Intellectual Property, Lund University Sweden and a LLM Intellectual Property & Information Law, University of Houston Law Center.

He is Director of Entra Consulting, an international consulting firm that includes oil and gas industry professionals with valuable international, commercial and regulatory experience. Before founding Entra Consulting, Colmenter was General Counsel for the Western Hemisphere of Weatherford International, a member of Halliburton law department, partner at Johnson and Cato and Legal Director of the Venezuelan Patent and Trademark Office. 

Colmenter, a highly respected international energy law expert, has taught as an adjunct professor with the University of Houston’s Intellectual Property and Information Law Institute. Colmenter is lead chairman and program director for advance training courses for National Oil Companies’ legal departments, such as Pemex (Mexico’s state oil company, Petroecuador (Ecuador’s state oil company), Ecopetrol (Colombia) and Petrobras (Brazil ’s state oil companies)  and regulator (CNH and Secretaria de Hidrocarburos del Ecuador). In addition, he has written numerous books and articles regarding international oil transactions, technology transfers in the oil industry and oil and gas international business.

Colmenter’s practice centers on transactional law with a strong business view, which involves structuring multi-million dollar energy integral services contracts, joint operational agreements, licenses, production sharing agreements, mergers and acquisitions in the oil industry and sophisticated oil and gas projects. He has more than 15 years of oil and gas international business experience and advises national oil companies, energy regulator and service companies in Latin America. Colmenter was included in the 2015 edition of the Corporate Counsel 100 Latin America (Legal 500), which identifies an array of the most influential and innovative in-house counsel working in the region.



Stephen V. ArbogastStephen V. Arbogast

Stephen Arbogast served from 1999-2004 as the Treasurer of Exxon Mobil Chemical Company and has over thirty years of experience in finance working with Exxon Corporation and Exxon Mobil Chemical. While Treasurer of Chemicals, Mr. Arbogast held positions that included Director of Qenos (Australia's sole manufacturer of polyethylene, a joint venture with Orica PLC), Director of Dexco (a joint venture with Dow Chemical), and Director of Al Jubai Petrochemical Company in Saudi Arabia. Other former positions included Vice President of Finance for SeaRiver Maritime Inc. (the former Exxon Shipping Company), Treasurer for Exxon Capital Corporation, Finance and Planning Manager for Esso Brasileira de Petroleo in Brazil, and Treasurer of Esso Central America, Panama, and Mexico.

Currently serving as an Executive Professor of Finance at the C.T. Bauer College of Business, Professor Arbogast's teaching career has focused on International Finance, Project Financing and Business Ethics. In addition to authoring over fifty case studies based on his experiences at Exxon Mobil, he has previously taught at both Fordham University's Graduate School of Business in New York and Rice University’s Jesse Jones Graduate School of Management in Houston.

Professor Arbogast has authored articles on the energy industry focusing on the future of the U.S. Gulf Coast Refining and Petrochemical industries. He also is the author of Resisting Corporate Corruption, Lessons in Practical Ethics from the Enron Wreckage, M & M Scrivener Press, 2008. His most recent publication is Project Financing & Political Risk Mitigation: The Singular Case of the Chad-Cameroon Pipeline, Texas Journal of Oil, Gas and Energy Law, University of Texas School of Law, Volume 4, #2, 208-2009.

Professor Arbogast currently serves as Principal Investigator on a study for the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), Preferred Paths for Commercializing Pyrolysis Oil at Conventional Refineries. In 2008 he was appointed to NREL’s Biofuels Advisory Panel.


Denney L. Wright
Professor of Practice


B.B.A. Texas Tech University; J.D., South Texas College of Law Houston; LLM in Taxation, University of Houston Law Center.  Previously Senior Tax Counsel, Global Training and Development, Exxon Mobil Corporation retiring after 42.5 years service as an accountant, tax accountant and a tax lawyer.  As Global Training and Development Senior Tax Counsel oversaw worldwide U.S. tax training and development for Exxon Mobil Corporation tax personnel.  Having taught as an Adjunct Professor of Law for over twenty plus years at University of Houston Law Center, served as an Adjunct Professor of Law for the past five years at New York University Law School, Southern Methodist University Law School and the University of Texas School of Law.  Serves on the Parker Fielder Oil & Gas Tax Conference Advisory Committee and has appeared as a panelist at the Parker Fielder Tax Conference as well as numerous other conferences and symposiums addressing oil and gas tax and energy issues.  Serves on the Advisory Board of the Texas Federal Tax Institute and published "Understanding the Windfall Profits Tax Act" in the Petroleum Landman in 1980 and Co-Chaired the United States/China Oil and Gas Tax Joint Government/Industry Biennial Conference in Beijing, China in 1998. Currently writing a casebook and teacher's manual for use in law school and graduate business school oil and gas tax classes.  Class offerings include Oil and Gas Tax and International Petroleum Transactions.      




Robert BallentineRobert S. Ballentine, LL.M.
Burleson Cooke L.L.P.
711 Louisiana, Suite 1701
Houston, Texas 77002

Mr. Ballentine is a partner with the energy law firm of Burleson Cooke, L.L.P.  He has 25 years of commercial litigation experience, primarily concerning disputes over upstream and midstream energy contracts, such as exploration agreements, joint operating agreements, wellhead sales agreements, gas processing (keep whole and percent of proceeds) contracts, natural gas purchase & sales agreements, MODU maintenance, service agreements, natural gas and gas liquids transportation agreements, natural gas processing agreements, and related contracts.  In addition, he has engaged in a significant regulatory practice focused primarily on the natural gas pipeline, telecommunications and electric power industries, including administrative law and litigation, and certificate applications before the Public Utility Commission of Texas (PUCT) and the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC).  He also has represented energy clients in complex litigation, including derivative and class actions in both state and federal courts, as well as litigation over state, federal and private mineral royalty claims, natural gas measurement False Claims Act qui tam litigation, natural gas processing, gas plant and gas pipeline litigation and arbitrations, as well as electric power contract disputes.  He has litigated toxic tort and product liability matters, as well as Sherman Act antitrust claims, shareholder derivative, and securities litigation.  He has represented clients in tax litigation, real estate and pipeline condemnation matters, and mineral partnership disputes and prepared appellate briefing concerning various energy-related issues pending before state and federal courts of appeals.  He has also represented clients in admiralty litigation, as well as in a wide variety of adversary proceedings before United States bankruptcy courts.

Harless BenthulHarless  Benthul


Representation of corporations, other business entities and individuals in matters regarding environmental law with emphasis on compliance and auditing, enforcement representation (both civil and criminal), litigation, legislative and regulatory issues.

Benthul & Woodruff, LLP   2000 – 2005
Founding partner of law firm representing companies and individuals in matters regarding environmental law (compliance and auditing, enforcement representation (both civil and criminal), litigation, legislative and regulatory issues) and in admiralty/maritime matters.

Gilpin, Paxson & Bersch 1994 to 1999   
Represented industrial and commercial clients in civil matters, civil and criminal enforcement issues,  permitting and real estate acquisitions.

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Region 6   1972 to 1994

Deputy Regional Counsel; Acting Assistant Regional Administrator for Management; Deputy Director, Management Division; Chief, State Programs and General Law Branch; Office of Regional Counsel: Chief, Legal Branch, Enforcement Division and Staff Attorney

Visiting Professor, University of Houston Law Center, Teaching Environmental Law, Liability Management and Criminal Environmental Law (1992-1994, as an EPA assignment)


Theodore BorregoTheodore  Borrego

Theodore R. (Ted) Borrego attended law school at University of Oklahoma's College of Law, where he graduated in 1974, having been appointed to the Law Review. He began his career with Vinson & Elkin in 1974, where he spent five years concentrating principally in the area of oil and gas law. After leaving Vinson & Elkins, Mr. Borrego practiced in Wichita Falls with the firm of Sherrill & Pace, and later, with Johnson & Swanson in Dallas. While at Johnson & Swanson, the firm grew from 125 lawyers in a single city to over 350 lawyers in multiple locations (and, in the process, changing its name to Johnson & Gibbs). Mr. Borrego was in charge of the oil and gas practice of the firm, and expanded it with the firm's growth He also served on the Management Committee and the Technology Committee, where, along with other lawyers, he oversaw the implementation of a large scale network. In 1993, Mr. Borrego decided that the administrative burdens of overseeing a department and management were inter­fering with his desire to practice law, so he left Johnson & Swanson (Johnson & Gibbs). Since 1993, other than a short period of time spent as in house counsel with a major independent, he has essentially been a solo practitioner.

Mr. Borrego's practice has been concentrated in the area of oil and gas exploration and development, both in the domestic area (offshore and on shore) and in foreign areas. He has advised clients in all states where production exists as well as having advised clients in over sixty different countries. His website is at


William CasonWilliam   Cason

After graduation from Texas Tech University with a degree in Chemical Engineering, Bill Cason worked his way through the technical ranks of Conoco with wide ranging assignments all over the world, including serving as team leader for numerous upstream and downstream engineering projects, and as the budget coordinator for all Conoco’s refineries.  He was assigned as Conoco’s representative on the Auto – Oil task force, a multi-disciplinary team assisting the EPA with research into clean motor fuels.  This task force was manned by representatives of all US automakers and Major producers of motor fuels.  As a member of the Task Force he interacted extensively with representatives of the Government and the auto industry.

Bill shifted his career path in 1993, pursuing a long held ambition of being a lawyer who understood oil and gas from the bare drill floor to the gas pump.  He graduated magna cum laude from the University of Houston Law Center in 1996. While at U of H Bill served as a Notes and Comments Editor of the U of H Law review, and was inducted into the Order of the Coif and the Order of the Barons.

After passing the bar exam Bill joined the firm of Mayor, Day, Caldwell and Keeton, focusing his practice on all legal aspects of oil and gas exploration, both in the United States and internationally.  In 1998 Bill joined Ocean Energy, where he served as inside counsel on a wide range of projects worldwide including domestic and international acquisitions and dispositions, multiple service agreements in multiple jurisdictions and languages, litigation (including both ICC and LCIA) and compliance related issues, such as the FCPA, internal controls, SEC and FERC issues. In 2005 Bill joined Anadarko as the head of their legal function in London, England with responsibility for supervising and executing the legal support to all of Anadarko’s interests in Africa and the Middle East, as well as special projects in Indonesia and Malaysia. In particular, Bill has spent extensive time counseling clients on the ground in Nigeria, the Ivory Coast, Angola, Mozambique and Indonesia.

Bill joined Gaither Petroleum as General Counsel for Gaither and its affiliates and subsidiaries in October, 2008 bringing his hands-on, pragmatic problem solving approach to their operations.  He currently serves on the Board of Directors of the University of Houston Law Review and as Chairman of the Board of Directors for Lighthouse Energy Services, Inc, a generator sales, service and rental company with offices in Houston, San Antonio and Springfield, Missouri. Bill is fluent in French, and enjoys flying and fishing (including the building of custom fishing rods) as his hobbies.  He is happily married to his one and only wife of 23 years, Martha.  He and Martha have three children aged 19, 17 and 16.


Sashe D. DimitroffSashe D. Dimitroff
Haynes & Boone

Sashe Dimitroff is a partner in the Litigation Practice Group in the Houston office. His practice focuses on complex commercial litigation and intellectual property. He has significant experience in technology disputes, breach of contract & commercial fraud matters, international dispute resolution, oil & gas litigation, environmental disputes, and mass toxic tort. He has also developed “preventative law” strategies for various corporations to avoid future claims and in preparing them to defend various claims should they arise.

Sashe is a member of Texas Bar, the American and the International Bar Associations, and the American Society of International Law. He clerked for the Hon. Howell Cobb of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas in 1992-93. While at the University of Houston Law School, Sashe served as Executive Editor for the University of
Houston Law Review. He is also an appointed member of the State Bar of Texas Standing Committee on Court Rules that is responsible for revisions of the Rules of Practice in civil actions and the related statutes of Texas.


Charles IrvineCharles  Irvine

Charles graduated from the University of Houston Law Center. He has a Masters in Conservation from University College London. 

Before entering the legal field, he worked for five years in Greece as a program leader on environmental projects that protected sea turtles and marine mammals in coastal areas. During this time, he participated in extensive efforts to design and establish protected areas, eventually resulting in a new National Park. As an independent consultant, he researched and wrote comprehensive management plans for seven Mediterranean protected coastal areas under contracts with the World Wildlife Fund and European Union funded initiatives.   

Charles is a member of the Texas Bar and is admitted to practice before U.S. District Court, Southern, Western, and Eastern Districts of Texas. He is an Adjunct Professor at the University of Houston law Center, where he teaches a classes in Texas Coastal and Ocean Law, Environmental Law, and Practice of Environmental Law. 

Charles represents clients in state and federal court, and in matters before the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, and the State Office of Administrative Hearings. Previous cases include challenges to air permits, Clean Air Act citizens suits, Endangered Species Act litigation, and NEPA litigation.


Norman J. Nadorff

Norman Nadorff is Senior Counsel for the Brazilian law firm, Tauil & Chequer (associated with Mayer Brown). His practice centers on international energy law and ethics law compliance.

For 30 years, Norman served as in-house counsel for major oil companies in a variety of locations and positions. He was Senior Counsel for BP in Angola from 2006 to 2015 as well as Legal Manager for BP Brazil and ARCO Indonesia, where he held two expatriate assignments in the 1990's. Due to his extensive expatriate experience, Norman is adept at finding practical solutions to thorny legal issues facing foreign subsidiaries and in developing national legal departments.

Norman has drafted and negotiated a wide range legal instruments, including host government, farmout, joint operating, EPC, drilling, gas sales, shareholder and project finance agreements.   At ARCO, Norman wrote the Company's policies on Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, U.S. Anti-boycott laws and U.S. Export Regulations. He has participated in corruption, fraud, conflict of interest and hostage-taking investigations.

Norman has been Adjunct Professor of Law at the University of Houston Law Center since 2012 and has taught Drafting and Negotiating International Petroleum Agreements in several U.S. and foreign law schools.  In 2006, he played key roles in the creation of a pioneering international oil and gas master's program at Angola's national law school, which is now in its tenth year.  Norman lectures frequently on anti-corruption law, effective contract drafting and development of local talent.

Norman holds a Juris Doctor degree from The Ohio State University College of Law and a master's degree in Spanish and Portuguese from Saint Louis University. He is a member of Phi Beta Kappa and was a Fulbright Fellow in Law in Brazil (1980-1981).


Scott ShermanScott  A. Sherman

Scott Sherman focuses his environmental law and government agency experience on the management of environmental liabilities and the revitalization of contaminated properties.  Scott is Managing Director at Hemisphere Development LLC, a real estate development company focusing on distressed properties, and provides expert Superfund and Brownfields consulting to private and public sector clients.

Over the past two decades, Scott has built federal and state environmental cleanup programs, advised Fortune 100 executives on asset management, and driven to resolution complex issues at contaminated sites.  He previously served at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in Washington, DC as the Associate Assistant Administrator for the Office of Solid Waste and Emergency Response (OSWER).  As the Agency’s deputy program official for OSWER, Scott provided strategic direction and leadership on the Agency’s Brownfields Program, Superfund, RCRA Corrective Action and Redevelopment, and Land Revitalization.  Scott also worked with counterparts at the Department of Defense, the Department of Energy and the General Services Administration to facilitate the cleanup and reuse of federal facilities and real property assets.  During his tenure at EPA, he also served as the Agency’s top Superfund and RCRA lawyer (Associate General Counsel for Solid Waste and Emergency Response), where he crafted legal strategies and approaches for liability resolution.  These efforts provided the foundation for U.S. EPA Superfund and Brownfield policy reforms and cleared the way for successful redevelopment projects.  

At the state level, Scott crafted brownfield initiatives and built out the state’s voluntary cleanup program at the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality.  He also developed risk-based, voluntary cleanup approaches for oil and gas properties at the Railroad Commission of Texas. 

Scott’s work with Fortune 100 energy companies has centered on the identification and management of corporate environmental liabilities and risk, with particular experience in asset acquisition and real property transactions.  As environmental counsel and environmental affairs director, he also developed and implemented corporate environmental management and sustainability initiatives and designed protocols for engagement with shareholder groups and NGOs.   

Scott serves on the Board of Directors of the Harvard Law School Alumni Association (Houston).  He has held leadership positions within the American Bar Association, including Vice Chair, Environmental Committee, Section of Real Property, Probate and Trust Law and Vice Chair, Committee on Smart Growth and Urban Policy, Section of Environment, Energy and Resources.  

From 2003 – 2008, he was a member of the adjunct faculty at Johns Hopkins University, Carey Business School, where he taught a course on environmental issues in real estate.  Scott is the co-editor and chapter author of Brownfields: A Comprehensive Guide to Redeveloping Contaminated Property (3rd Ed. American Bar Association 2010).     

Scott received his B.A. with Highest Honors from the University of Texas and his J.D. cum laude from Harvard Law School.  He also holds an M.S. in Real Estate from Johns Hopkins University, where his research focused on the cleanup and redevelopment of brownfield properties.


James SkeltonJames Skelton

James W. Skelton, Jr. is an international oil and gas lawyer who is licensed to practice law by the Supreme Court of the State of Texas (1976), and the District of Columbia Court of Appeals (1978).  Mr. Skelton devoted the bulk of his career to working for ConocoPhillips Company, formerly named Conoco Inc., as a specialist in international petroleum transactions from 1980 until he retired in 2008.  Since then, he has served as Of Counsel to The Stinemetz Law Firm, where his practice is focused on both international and domestic oil and gas transactions, including joint ventures, acquisitions and divestitures.  His international practice has taken him to more than 35 countries in the Former Soviet Union, the Middle East, Africa, Southeast Asia, Europe and South America. 
Mr. Skelton holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Economics from Arizona State University (1968), a Doctor of Jurisprudence degree from South Texas College of Law (1975) and a Master of Laws degree in International Legal Studies from New York University (1978).  He has published over a dozen articles and book reviews for legal periodicals, and has made many presentations at international legal conferences in Houston, Dallas, London and Moscow.  Mr. Skelton has an AV Peer Review Rating from Martindale-Hubbell.

In the Fall Semester of 2008, Mr. Skelton resumed his association with the University of Houston Law Center as an Adjunct Professor and began teaching a new course called Energy Law: Emerging Markets.  His previous teaching experiences at the Law Center included teaming with Professor Jacqueline Weaver in 2003 to teach International Energy Transactions, as well as teaching Legal Communications II in the Spring Semesters of 1980 and 1981.  In addition, Mr. Skelton has been a member of the Advisory Board of the Houston Journal of International Law since 1980, and served as the Chairman of the Advisory Board from 1999 to 2010.  He also served as a Director of the E&P Licensing Group for the University of Houston's Russian Petroleum Legislation Project in the early 1990's.