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

May 2012

Editor, Dan Baker djbaker2@central.uh.edu

Previous editions of Faculty Focus can be accessed here.


Janet Beck was invited to speak on mental competency in removal proceedings at the American Immigration Lawyers Association Texas Chapter meeting in Albuquerque, New Mexico, which she did in April.


Darren Bush's article, "Jukin' the Stats: The Gaming of Law School Rankings and How to Stop It," will be published in the Connecticut Law Review (co-authored with Jessica Peterson). The Connecticut Law Review also invited Prof. Bush to join in a symposium the law review is hosting on legal education reform. Prof. Bush thanks former Dean Nancy Rapoport for recommending him for the symposium. Prof. Bush's op-ed, "Proceed with Caution on Hobby Proposal," was published in the Houston Chronicle on Apr. 29. He also appeared on KHOU-TV regarding Southwest Airlines' proposal to offer international service from Houston Hobby Airport. He was also invited to speak in October at the NAAG Antitrust Conference in Phoenix, Arizona. Finally, he was promoted to Brown Belt in Northern Shaolin/Northern Praying Mantis Kung Fu.


Seth Chandler has had his abstract accepted and will present "Machine Learning Judicial Behavior Using a Mathematica to Weka Interface" at the 11th International Mathematica Symposium at University College, London this June. Prof. Chandler is also active on the Program Committee for the Symposium and completed a review of two dozen proposed interdisciplinary submissions for the conference.


Barbara Evans received a Notice of Award on May 2 for an N.I.H.-funded study of up to four years entitled "Clinical Sequencing in Cancer: Clinical, Ethical, and Technological Studies," with the UH Law Center working in consortium with the University of Washington's Division of Medical Genetics. The Law Center study component examines First Amendment issues arising when the Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments of 1988 are applied to restrict communication of results from experimental genetic tests. Prof. Evans will deliver the Fallon Lecture at the University of Chicago Medical School/Center for Health and the Social Sciences on May 14. Her article, "In Search of Sound Policy on Nonconsensual Uses of Identifiable Health Data," was chosen for presentation at the Annual Conference of the Petrie-Flom Center at Harvard Law School on May 19 and is now available on the conference web site. She will attend the final wrap-up meeting of the Expert Panel for the N.I.H.-funded research project "Protecting Privacy in Health Research" in Washington on May 23. Prof. Evans will participate remotely in the Southern Illinois Healthcare/Southern Illinois University's 2012 Health Policy Institute entitled "EHRs, EMRs, and Healthcare Information Technology: To Meaningful Use and Beyond" on May 18 by co-authoring an article with Dr. Eric M. Meslin for the symposium issue of Journal of Legal Medicine. She spoke at an IP conference, "Anonymity and Identity in the Information Age," at the Benjamin Cardozo School of Law on May 4. She attended the Annual Meeting of the Greenwall Foundation on May 1. Prof. Evans presented on "Informational Research for Medical Product Safety" in the Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law's Symposium "Imagining the Next Quarter Century of Health Care Law" in April. She was named as a peer reviewer in the Institute of Medicine's 230-page report, Ethics and Scientific Issues in Studying the Safety of Approved Drugs, which was published on May 1.


Tracy Hester's article "Remaking the World to Save It: Applying U.S. Environmental Laws to Climate Engineering Projects" was published in the Spring 2012 issue of Ecology Law Quarterly (UC Berkeley's environmental law review). His draft article "Criminalizing Catastrophe" was selected for presentation at the Third Annual Colloquium on Environmental Scholarship at Vermont Law School. Prof. Hester also attended the Governing Council meeting for the ABA's Section of Environment, Energy & Resources in Vancouver on Apr. 27-28, and he met with the UK's Minister for Energy Efficiency and Climate Change on May 7 to tour the UH Energy Research Park and discuss UHLC's energy and environmental law programs.


Geoffrey Hoffman spoke in mid-April at the American Immigration Lawyers' Association (AILA) Texas chapter spring conference in Albuquerque, New Mexico on the latest guidance regarding prosecutorial discretion and the immigration courts. He taught Immigration Law at the People's Law School at UHLC in April and he moderated the panel of UHLC Immigration Clinic Faculty at a symposium entitled "Immigration and the Immigrant Experience: Houston and Beyond" held on Apr. 20 at UH and sponsored by the College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences. Prof. Hoffman delivered a legal briefing at the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) following U.S. Supreme Court arguments in Arizona v. United States on Apr. 25 and he was interviewed on an international news program, airing in Latin America, channel NTN24 (Colombia) on Apr. 27, debating the ramifications of SB 1070 and the Supreme Court oral arguments in the Arizona case. His contribution to an online debate regarding Arizona’s SB 1070 was posted to the PolicyMic website on Apr. 25 and is available at http://www.policymic.com/debates/7498/arizona-immigration-case-hits-supreme-court-but-racial-profiling-not-up-for-debate. On May 3, Prof. Hoffman's column appeared in the online publication The JURIST: SB 1070 and the Impending Police State, JURIST - Forum, May 3, 2012, http://jurist.org/forum/2012/05/geoffrey-hoffman-immigration.php.


Lonny Hoffman's article "Twombly and Iqbal's Meausure: An Assessment of the Federal Judicial Center's Study of Motions to Dismiss" was published by the peer- and judge-reviewed journal Federal Courts Law Review (full text available at http://www.fclr.org/fclr/articles/). He is currently working on a follow up paper, "The Wolf and the Shepherd: Rulemaking in the Age of Twombly and Iqbal," which should be completed by summer's end. He has also begun work on another project relating to admissibility of expert testimony under Daubert with Jonah Gelbach (Senior Research Fellow, Program in Applied Economics in Policy, Yale University Department of Economics). In addition to his scholarly writing, Prof. Hoffman was named by the Fifth Circuit to be the Academic Reporter for a project to update the circuit's Pattern Jury Instructions. Additionally, Prof. Hoffman continued his work (with, among others, Professor Amanda Baumle (UH-sociology department)) on a federal-state pilot project to test several civil jury trial innovations. Separately, over spring break, Prof. Hoffman lectured to students at the University of Paris Ouest Nanterre on American discovery practices in federal and state court. Closer to home, he remained active on the Texas Supreme Court's Rules Advisory Committee, as well as engaged in his continuing work as Editor of The Advocate, the quarterly journal of the Litigation Section of the State Bar of Texas (publishing, in January 2012, Volume 57, Energy Law Litigation Symposium, and, in April 2012, Volume 58, The "Best of" Litigation Update 2012 issue). Finally, as Chair of the Section of Civil Procedure of the American Association of Law Schools, Prof. Hoffman has been planning the January 2013 section program at the AALS annual meeting to take place in New Orleans. In this connection, he has organized most of the panel for the program, which will commemorate the 75th Anniversary of the adoption of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. The panel, to be moderated by Professor Arthur Miller, will include Justice Antonin Scalia, Jack Balagia (General Counsel, ExxonMobil), Judge Patrick Higginbotham (Fifth Circuit), Judge Lee Rosenthal (S.D. Texas), and a host of other legal luminaries. The program is scheduled for Saturday, Jan. 5, 2013, at 1:30 p.m.


Paul Janicke spoke at three conferences in April: (1) at the State Bar of Texas IP Section meeting in Houston, on the new patent statute; (2) at the Austin Intellectual Property Law Association monthly meeting, on jurisdictional developments in patent malpractice cases; and (3) at the John Marshall Law School symposium in Chicago, on U.S.-China comparative patent law. All three are subjects of forthcoming articles that will be published in law journals by year-end.


Craig Joyce began work on the 2013 Cumulative Supplement to the 8th Edition of his Copyright Law casebook, conducted site inspection visits in Denver for the American Society for Legal History's 2014 Annual Meeting, and briefed members of the Houston Law Review Advisory Board on his forthcoming history of the HLR.


Jim Lawrence participated as part of the Teaching Faculty for Emory University Law School's Kessler-Eidson Trial Techniques Training Program, May 4-11. Prof. Lawrence has been appointed to the Rules Working Group for the International Chamber of Commerce International Commercial Mediation Competition.


Tom Oldham's article "With All My Worldly Goods I Thee Endow, or Maybe Not" has been published in the Duke Journal of Gender Law and Policy. Prof. Oldham has been invited to give some lectures in August at the University of Sydney Law Faculty.


Michael A. Olivas delivered the Marla Dickerson Distinguished Lecture on Public Interest on Apr. 16 at the Northern Illinois University College of Law on "Lessons Learned about the Legalization Debate, or Why Comprehensive Immigration Reform is in the Public Interest." On Apr. 20, he delivered the Keynote Address at the daylong symposium "Immigration and the Immigrant Experience: Houston and Beyond," hosted by the UH College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences (CLASS). On May 3, Prof. Olivas conducted a luncheon presentation for legal staff at Wells Fargo banks on the 1954 Hernandez v. Texas case. He also conducted a number of briefings with education print and radio reporters on the SCOTUS grant of cert in Fisher v. University of Texas.


Jordan Paust spoke on Human Rights and U.S. Incorporation at the Law Center of the University of Arkansas, Fayetteville, Apr. 26. His essay "Kiobel, Corporate Liability, and the Extraterritorial Reach of the ATS" will be published this summer at 53 Virginia Journal of International Law Digest (2012). His article "A Critical Appraisal of the Air and Missile Warfare Manual" has been published in 47 Texas International Law Journal 278-291 (2012).


Jessica L. Roberts presented her paper "Health Law as Disability Rights Law" at South Texas College of Law on Apr. 27 as part of the College's Faculty Enrichment Series.


Sandra Guerra Thompson completed final work on an article that will be published in volume 102 of the Journal of Criminal Law and Criminology of Northwestern Law School. It is entitled "Judicial Gatekeeping of Police-Generated Witness Testimony," which addresses the role of the police in generating eyewitness identification testimony, jailhouse informant testimony, and confessions. She also had a second article accepted for publication in volume 65 of the SMU Law Review entitled "Daubert Gatekeeping for Eyewitness Identifications." This piece explores the rules of evidence as applied to eyewitness identification testimony and proposes specific revisions to the rules. Prof. Thompson attended the American Law Institute meeting of Advisors to the Model Penal Code: Sentencing project, held in Philadelphia. She also took part in the planning of a policy reform agenda to be addressed with legislators in the next session of the Texas Legislature regarding the quality of pretrial detention law and practice. This is following up on a successful conference held on Mar. 30 in the State Capitol that she organized and which was co-sponsored by the Criminal Justice Section of the ABA and the Criminal Justice Institute of the UH Law Center. Students from Prof. Thompson's seminar attended the conference and provided research reports as part of the conference materials. On Apr. 17, Prof. Thompson was interviewed regarding the Roger Clemens retrial by KIAH (CW39-Houston) for both the 5 p.m. and 9 p.m. editions of "Newsfix". She also appeared on Channel 13 with Melanie Lawson on a talk show called "Crossroads" discussing the Trayvon Martin case on Apr. 22.


Bret Wells gave a presentation on the Codification of the Economic Substance Doctrine to the Exxon Tax Department as part of their Lunch & Learn program on Apr. 12.


On Apr. 28, the O'Quinn 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. The program was much appreciated by the twenty-eight attendees.