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

January 2012

Editor, Dan Baker djbaker2@central.uh.edu

Previous editions of Faculty Focus can be accessed here.


Aaron Bruhl spoke at the AALS annual meeting on a panel sponsored by the AALS Section on Legislation and the Law of the Political Process. The topic was "Statutory Interpretation and Separation of Powers."


Leslie Griffin spoke on Jan. 7 at the AALS conference on a hot topics panel about a case currently pending before the Supreme Court, Hosanna-Tabor Evangelical Lutheran Church & School v. EEOC. Prof. Griffin published the December 2011 Supplement for her casebook, Law and Religion.


Jim Hawkins was elected to serve on the Executive Committee for the AALS Section on Commercial and Related Consumer Law.


Tracy Hester finished the Fall 2011 semester by teaching environmental law during a week-long UHLC program for Petrobras’ in-house legal department. While attending the AALS conference in Washington, DC, he participated in a meeting of environmental law program directors at member schools. On Jan. 12, Prof. Hester was the keynote speaker for the Air & Waste Management Association’s annual conference on clean air law in Houston, where he discussed the U.S. Supreme Court’s upcoming environmental docket, and on Jan. 17, he hosted the first meeting of the American Law Institute’s workgroup for an environmental and energy law project.


Geoffrey Hoffman's law review article, with co-author Susham Modi, “The War on Terror as a Metaphor for Immigration Regulation: A Critical View of a Distorted Debate,” has been accepted for publication by the Iowa Journal of Gender, Race, and Justice. A working copy of the article is available at http://ssrn.com/abstract=1974520, and the article made SSRN's Top 10 download lists for CSN: Language (Topic); CSN: Law (Topic); Cognitive Linguistics: Cognition, Language, Gesture eJournal; Immigration, Refugee & Citizenship Law eJournal; and Law & Rhetoric eJournal. On Dec. 16, 2011, Prof. Hoffman attended the American Immigration Lawyers' Association (AILA) meeting with Executive Office for Immigration Review (EOIR) judges at Catholic Charities-Cabrini Center, where several Houston immigration judges discussed issues involving the immigration courts.


Lonny Hoffman completed work on his article, “Twombly and Iqbal's Measure.” The paper was subsequently accepted for publication by the Federal Courts Law Review (peer- and judge-reviewed). He presented the paper, by invitation, at Northwestern Univ. Law School's Conference on Empirical Legal Studies and, thereafter, to the U.S. Judicial Conference's Civil Rules Advisory Committee in Washington DC. Separately, Prof. Hoffman's prior work (and recommendations he made to the House Judiciary Committee) were manifested in the passage of one provision of the Federal Courts Jurisdiction and Venue Act (section relating to transfers of venue under 28 USC 1404), that became law on Dec. 7, 2011. Closer to home, Prof. Hoffman served on a subcommittee of the Supreme Court of Texas's Advisory Rules Committee tasked with drafting a  new rule to implement provisions of H.B. 274. As Editor of The Advocate, the quarterly journal of the Litigation Section of the State Bar of Texas, Prof. Hoffman oversaw the publication of the journal's latest symposium issue: Energy Law Litigation (Winter 2011, vol. 57). Prof. Hoffman and the rest of the editorial board are currently working on volumes 58 (Spring 2012) and 59 (Summer 2012).


Craig Joyce announced the completion of an oral history of famed Southwestern legal Historian Joseph W. McKnight of Southern Methodist University Dedman School of Law, the first in a planned series of such histories for the American Society for Legal History’s “ASLH History” website.


Douglas Moll will become the chair of the AALS Section on Agency, Partnerships, LLC’s and Unincorporated Business Associations in January 2012. Prof. Moll was invited to speak at the Texas Center for the Judiciary’s program for state court judges in Texas in January and February 2012. He will be speaking on minority shareholder rights under Texas law. Prof. Moll’s symposium article, “Of Donahue and Fiduciary Duty: Much Ado About . . . ?,” was recently published in the Western New England Law Review.


Tom Oldham‘s collection of uniform laws pertaining to various family law topics with some commentary, Oldham’s Family Law: Uniform Laws Affecting the Family, was recently published by West. Prof. Oldham has once again been invited to serve on the Executive Committee of the AALS Family Law Section.


Michael A. Olivas was interviewed by a number of trade press and legal newspapers about the AALS Annual Meeting events and developments, where his remarks were quoted. He presided over the Association’s Annual Meeting, with over 3500 participants, staff, and vendors; his term as AALS President ended on Jan. 9, 2012, and he will serve as an officer for another year, as Immediate Past President. On Jan. 13, Prof. Olivas coordinated a UH conference celebrating the new UH archives on Texas lawyer Alonso S. Perales (1898-1960), and he will edit the conference papers in a book entitled In Defense of My People: Alonso S. Perales and the Development of Mexican-American Public Intellectuals (Arte Publico Press). Prof. Olivas reviewed a book proposal manuscript on higher education legal issues for Johns Hopkins University Press.


Jordan Paust’s article on “Constitutionality of U.S. Participation in the U.N. Authorized War in Libya” has been accepted for publication in the Emory International Law Review (2012). His paper on “Propriety of Self-Defense Targetings of Members of al Qaeda and Applicable Principles of Distinction and Proportionality” will be published in 18 ILSA Journal of International and Comparative Law (2012); it was a paper delivered at the annual meeting of the American Branch of the International Law Association in New York last October.


Jessica L. Roberts commented on the potential applicability of the Americans with Disabilities Act to recent bans on hiring smokers on Houston Public Radio's All Things Considered on Jan. 17.


Bret Wells participated in an academic roundtable discussion on fundamental tax reform hosted by the majority and minority staffs of the U.S. Senate Finance Committee on Jan. 5-6. The Committee staff extended an invitation to 46 professors representing 37 law schools from around the country.