The Environment, Energy & Natural Resources Center Faculty

MarcilynnBurke Marcilynn A. Burke
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.

Zachary BrayZachary Bray
Assistant Professor of Law
126 BLB


Professor Bray received his J.D. from the Yale Law School, and his bachelor’s degree, summa cum laude, from the University of Notre Dame. While at Yale, he served as Essays Editor of the Yale Law Journal and also worked on the Yale Journal on Regulation. Professor Bray teaches and writes in the areas of property, land use, and natural resources.

Prior to joining the faculty of the Law Center, Professor Bray worked as a litigation associate in the Los Angeles office of Munger, Tolles & Olson, LLP. His work at the firm covered a wide variety of litigation, including state and federal trials and appeals on behalf of low-income tenants in association with various public interest organizations. Immediately after law school, Professor Bray clerked for Chief Judge Carolyn Dineen King of the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit and Judge Jennifer B. Coffman of the United States District Court for the Eastern and Western Districts of Kentucky.


DarrenBush Darren Bush
Associate Professor of Law
126 TUII

Professor Bush writes and lectures on antitrust law & economics and regulated and deregulating industries with particular focus on electricity markets.

Professor Bush received his Ph.D. from the University of Utah, where he received a Teaching Fellowship, the Graduate Research Fellowship, and an award for outstanding teaching. While completing his J.D. at Utah, he consulted on issues regarding state deregulation of electric utilities, interned at the U.S. Department of Justice's Antitrust Division, taught various economics courses, and received a Marriner S. Eccles Fellowship in Political Economy.

After receiving his J.D., Professor Bush served as an Attorney General's Honor Program Trial Attorney at the Antitrust Division's Transportation, Energy, & Agriculture Section, where his primary focus was the investigation of mergers and anticompetitive conduct in wholesale and retail energy markets. In 2001 Professor Bush returned to Utah as a Visiting Associate Professor, where he taught antitrust, law & economics, business organizations, and professional responsibility and consulted on numerous antitrust matters.


Julian Cardenas GarciaJulian Cardenas Garcia
Adjunct Professor of Law, University of Houston Law Center


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.


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
Assistant 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

Visiting Assistant Professor
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.


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.


Kathy LakeKathleen C. Lake

Kathleen C. Lake is a partner with the law firm of Vinson & Elkins LLP.  For over 30 years, Kathy’s practice has focused on state and federal utility law and energy regulation, energy transactions, and administrative law and litigation.  Kathy has broad experience with all segments of the domestic energy industry, having represented  producers, interstate and intrastate gas pipelines, electric cooperatives, electric utilities, marketers, end-users, and financial institutions active in the industry.

Before practicing law in Houston, she earned her A.B. magna cum laude, from Middlebury College, and her J.D. with high honors from the University of Texas School of Law, where she served as associate editor of the Texas Law Review, and was selected for membership in the Order of the Coif and Phi Kappa Phi. Kathy is a member of the Texas Bar Foundation (Life Member); Houston Bar Foundation; Texas Law Review Association (Life Member); American, Energy, and Houston Bar Associations;  and College of the State Bar of Texas, 2005 – present. She is admitted to practice in Texas (1980); U.S. Courts of Appeal for the Third, Fifth, and District of Columbia Circuits.

Kathy has been recognized in Best Lawyers in America in energy law, in 2010 and 2011; Legal Media Group’s (Euromoney’s) Expert Guide to the US Best of the Best in energy and natural resources law, 2010; Legal Media Group’s (Euromoney’s) Expert Guide to the World’s Leading Women in business law in 2011;and Legal Media Group’s (Euromoney’s)  Guide to the World’s Leading Energy and Natural Resource Lawyers in 2003, 2007, 2009 and 2011. 



Henry MayHenry  May
Vinson & Elkins

Henry has extensive experience in the regulatory, policy and transactional aspects of the natural gas and electric industries. He has represented clients before federal and state agencies and courts, has assisted in the development of energy policy initiatives and has participated in the structuring and negotiation of domestic and international energy transactions.

Henry came to Vinson & Elkins in 1973, became a partner in 1979, and became chair of the Energy Regulation Practice in 1990.


Bill MooreBill Moore

Bill Moore is a 1978 graduate of Harvard College and a 1981 graduate of the University of Texas School of Law.  He has performed domestic offshore commercial negotiations for Exxon, Conoco, BP, Unocal, NorskHydro, and Statoil, where he is now employed.  He has also worked Nigeria, Gabon, Cameroon, Equatorial Guinea, Brazil and Trinidad. He was the principle drafter of the 2000 AAPL Model Form Deepwater JOA, the 2003 AAPL Model Shelf Operating Agreement and the 2007 Model Deepwater JOA.  He is a frequent speaker on offshore JOAs and their exhibits.  He has made presentations at OCS workshops, CLE seminars, COPAS meetings and International Oil Scouts Association conferences.

In his course on deepwater Gulf of Mexico, he will be focusing on practical applications of the regulations and instruments that affect the exploration, appraisal and development of hydrocarbons in that region.



Norman J. Nadorff
BP Angola

Norman Nadorff is Senior Counsel for BP Angola and has resided in Luanda since 2006. Norman has served as an oil and gas attorney in various regions, primarily Latin America, Southeast Asia and West Africa for Conoco, ARCO and BP. He works effectively in Spanish, Portuguese and French, and is conversant in Indonesian. Norman’s Exploration and & Production experience includes two expatriate assignments in Indonesia. He was also a legal advisor to ARCO's Treasury Department (Los Angeles) in the mid-90's and at one stage provided legal services to BP's solar energy division. At ARCO, Norman wrote the Company’s policies on Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, U.S. Anti-boycott laws and U.S. Export Regulations.

Soon after arriving in Angola, Norman conceptualized and helped obtain BP funding for the creation of a post-graduate Oil and Gas Law and Business Management program at the national law school which has graduated approximately 100 professionals in four sessions. Norman assisted with the recruitment of international instructors for the Program and with the design of its curriculum. He has also taught contract drafting and anti-corruption law in the Program and spearheaded several well-attended symposia and an international mock arbitration. In 2010, Norman was instrumental in the creation of a similar recurring course at Thailand’s Chulalongkorn University College of Law for which he teaches drafting and negotiating international oil and gas agreements. Norman lectures frequently on a wide range of topics around the world and in Angola.

Norman received his Juris Doctor degree from The Ohio State University College of Law (1980). He also holds an M.A. in Spanish and Portuguese and a B.A. in Political Science (summa cum laude), both from Saint Louis University (1975, 1976). He is a member of Phi Beta Kappa (1974) and was a Fulbright Fellow in Law in Brazil (1980-1981) during which time he published an article entitled “Habeas Corpus and the Protection of Political and Civil Rights in Brazil, 1964-1978.” He is admitted to practice law in Ohio (1980) and Texas (2002). Norman is a former Director-at-large of the Association of International Petroleum Negotiators (AIPN) and former Co-Chair, Scholarships. He is also a member of the Board of Advisors of the AIPN’sJournal of World Energy, Law and Business.

Norman received his Juris Doctor degree from The Ohio State University College of Law (1980). He also holds an M.A. in Spanish and Portuguese and a B.A. in Political Science (summa cum laude), both from Saint Louis University (1975, 1976). He is a member of Phi Beta Kappa (1974) and was a Fulbright Fellow in Law in Brazil (1980-1981) during which time he published an article entitled “Habeas Corpus and the Protection of Political and Civil Rights in Brazil, 1964-1978.” He is admitted to practice law in Ohio (1980) and Texas (2002). Norman is a former Director-at-large of the Association of International Petroleum Negotiators (AIPN) and former Co-Chair, Scholarships. Norman was recently appointed to the Board of Advisors of the AIPN’s Journal of World Energy, Law and Business.


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.