Albertus Accolades

January 2018

Editor, Robert N. Clark, Reference/Research Librarian

Access previous editions of Albertus Accolades here.

Albertus Accolades is a monthly publication documenting the activities, accomplishments, and honors of the University of Houston Law Center faculty and staff.

Leonard Baynes gave a welcoming speech and hosted the UHLC Alumni and Friends Reception at the AALS Annual Conference in San Diego on January 3. The reception was held at the Manchester Grand Hyatt. Dean Baynes, along with eight other law school deans, co-sponsored the AALS Minority Reception at Season 52 on January 5. On January 6, Dean Baynes, along with Associate Dean Greg Vetter and Professor Craig Joyce, toured the Thomas Jefferson School of Law and met with Dean Joan Bullock and former Dean Rudy Hasl to discuss new law school buildings. On January 8, Dean Baynes, along with Associate Dean Greg Vetter, Professor Craig Joyce, Professor Bret Wells, and other officials and consultants visited Arizona State University and toured the Sandra Day O’Connor School of Law with Assistant Dean of Academic Affairs, Tom Williams. Following the tour, Dean Baynes met with Douglas Sylvester, Dean and Professor of Law at Sandra Day O’Connor School of Law to discuss new law school buildings and hosted a networking luncheon with UHLC alumni at Sheraton Grand Phoenix. On January 10, Dean Baynes gave a Law Center update to members of the UH Law Foundation. On January 12, he served as a judge at the 22nd Annual Martin Luther King, Jr. Oratory Competition and Celebration at Antioch Missionary Baptist Church of Christ. The event was sponsored by Gardere Wynne Sewell LLP. On January 26, Dean Baynes welcomed Associate Justice Sonia Sotomayor of the Supreme Court of the United States to the University of Houston Law Center. The Justice answered questions from current law students as well as those in pre-law programs in a session moderated by the Dean. Justice Sotomayor also participated in a discussion with UHLC Professor Michael A. Olivas in Krost Hall and attended a Provost-sponsored lunch reception with UH President Renu Khator, law student leaders, faculty, and staff. On January 27, Dean Baynes attended and gave opening remarks at the Andrews Kurth Kenyon Moot Court Banquet. On January 29, he welcomed JIR Judge Gregg Costa to the Law Center. Judge Costa is the third of four Sondock jurists-in-residence visiting the Law Center for the 2018 academic year.

Emily Berman spoke on two panels at AALS in San Diego. In the first, “Technology as a Sword and a Shield: The Intersection of Technology and Civil Rights,” she presented her current project, A Government of Law and Not of Machines, which examines the role of machine learning in national security and law enforcement decision-making. The second panel was a works-in-progress panel for national security law scholars, where she provided commentary on two papers written by other scholars. She was also named Secretary of the AALS National Security Law Section for the upcoming year. 

Robert Clark reviewed Laura Kalman’s book The Long Reach of the Sixties: LBJ, Nixon, and the Making of the Contemporary Supreme Court. The review will appear in the Spring 2018 issue of the Law Library Journal.

Richard Dole is currently in the top ten percent of authors on SSRN by total new downloads within the last twelve months.

David R. Dow has been invited to give the keynote address at the annual meeting of the Tennessee Criminal Defense Lawyers Association in March. He will speak about the relationship between death sentences and life without parole. In addition, he was invited by Scribner to write the Introduction to the reissue of Albert Sample's award-winning memoir, Racehoss: Big Emma’s Boy. (The book will be released in May.)

Barbara Evans attended the American Journal of Law and Medicine’s Symposium at Boston University on January 26 and presented a paper questioning whether the 21st Century Cures Act supplies a workable standard for determining FDA’s jurisdiction to regulate machine-learning algorithms used in clinical decision support software. Her article on civil rights aspects of HIPAA’s individual right of data access appeared in the January issue of the American Journal of Human Genetics, and the journal Cell has scheduled a podcast on the topic in early February. FDA published a White Paper Professor Evans and attorney Kristen Rosati wrote on HIPAA and Common Rule compliance in FDA's large-scale Sentinel data network. Professor Evans is scheduled to moderate a panel on biotechnology regulation at the AAAS convention in Austin next week. She has been invited to address the Spring 2018 meeting of the National Academies' Committee on Science, Technology, and Law (CSTL) to discuss informed consent for biomedical research in an era of big data.

Victor Flatt presented on pipelines and Native Americans for the University of Houston’s Environmental and Energy Law fall program. Professor Flatt was a featured speaker on Hurricane recovery and economic justice issues for the ABA’s national webinar. He was a commenter at the Case Western Reserve Environment and Property Rights seminar. He presented his paper on attorney ethical responsibilities and climate change at the University of Oregon’s Works in Progress. He presented welcoming remarks for the Mexican Energy Regulatory Commission’s presentation to the Houston Business community in December. He was a commenter at AALS on New Voices in Administrative Law. He was quoted in a story on New York City’s lawsuit against major oil and gas companies for climate change damage on KUHF on January 10.

Janet Heppard participated in a Houston Volunteer Lawyers (HVL) Legal Advice Clinic held at the Holy Covenant Methodist Church on January 6 where she interviewed members of the community regarding a variety of legal problems. On January 12, Professor Heppard was the guest on the Law Center’s Briefcase radio program where she spoke with Dean Leonard Baynes about Probate: Post Harvey issues dealing with home repairs and probate. Professor Heppard has been elected as an at-large member of the Executive Committee of the AALS Pro Bono and Public Service Committee. On January 20, Professor Heppard also helped manage the archery range at Texas Skies District Cub Scout Webelos Woods held at Bovay Scout Ranch in Navasota, Texas, and on January 27, she helped train Girl Scout leaders in the Beaumont area; training them about leading Girl Scout 4th and 5th graders including how to teach leadership skills to these girls.

Tracy Hester was elected as the Secretary of the AALS Environmental Law Section in San Diego at the 2018 Annual Meeting. On January 23, he and Professor Victor Flatt met with Catherine McKenna, Canada’s Minister for Environment and Climate Change, at the UH Engineering College along with other UH faculty members. On January 22, Professor Hester convened the first meeting of the Environmental Principles Project of the American College of Environmental Lawyers, which will compile an authoritative statement of core environmental law principles and recommendations for future environmental legal reforms. He will chair the ACOEL project.

Geoffrey Hoffman was among a group of legal scholars who submitted an amici curiae brief in support of the plaintiff-appellee in the case of City of Chicago v. Sessions. Houston Public Media’s Houston Matters program interviewed Professor Hoffman regarding the recent federal court DACA ruling. Audio is available here. The New York Times quoted Professor Hoffman discussing recent inquiries for DACA application assistance. LexisNexis Legal Newsroom quoted him discussing Peralta v. Garay and the UHLC Immigration Clinic’s role in obtaining a dismissal of the case. Professor Janet Heppard and Clinical Supervising Attorneys Diane McManus, Josephine Sorgwe and Rosemary Vega were all mentioned in the article. Professor Hoffman is currently in the top ten percent of authors on SSRN by total new downloads within the last twelve months. His new article, Contiguous Territories: The Expanded Use of Expedited Removal in the Trump Era, was featured as the Immigration Article of the Day on ImmigrationProf Blog.  

Craig Joyce attended the AALS Annual Meeting in San Diego; in his capacity as Chair of the Facilities Policy and Planning Committee, helped lead a site inspection of the new Arizona State University Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law in Phoenix, and met with Justice O’Connor; and was reappointed to the Editorial Board of Journal of Supreme Court History, sponsored by the Supreme Court of the United States, beginning his 30th consecutive year of service.

Renee Knake spoke at the AALS Annual Meeting as a senior commentator for the Professional Responsibility Section Works-in-Progress Session. She was also elected as the Professional Responsibility Section Secretary, placing her in line to become the Section Chair in 2020-21. She submitted the manuscript for her forthcoming book with Foundation Press, Legal Ethics for the Real World: Building Skills Through Case Study. Finally, Professor Knake was awarded a University of Houston Small Grants Award in the amount of $4,500 to support archival research related to her forthcoming NYU Press book, Shortlisted: Women, Diversity & the Supreme Court.

Sapna Kumar spoke about nationalism in patent law at the AALS Section on Intellectual Property panel, "International IP Law in a Post-TPP/TTIP, Post-Brexit World."

Jessica Mantel's article Refusing to Treat Noncompliant Patients is Bad Medicine has been published by the Cardozo Law Review. The article explains how payment reforms incentivize physicians to fire their noncompliant patients, and argues that the law and standards of professional conduct should not afford physicians this discretion. Her article Legal and Ethical Impediments to Data Sharing and Integration Among Medical Legal Partnership Participants, co-authored with Renee Knake, will be published by Annals of Health Law later this spring. This article highlights legal, ethical, and cultural barriers that hinder the sharing of patient-client information among lawyers, healthcare providers, social workers, and other professionals participating in medical legal partnerships. The University has awarded Professor Mantel a grant to conduct further research on this issue. On January 4, Professor Mantel moderated and spoke on a panel at AALS entitled “Are Patients Ready for Consumer-Driven Healthcare?.” Her talk examined whether consumer-directed health care could undermine the policy goals of payment reforms such as value-based purchasing. Finally, Professor Mantel was recently selected for the HEALTH Research Institute's mentoring program. The HEALTH Research Institute brings together UH researchers seeking to advance the science of meeting the health needs of the Houston community and beyond. 

Sarah Morath presented her paper Animal Welfare and Private Governance at the Vermont Environmental Law Colloquium in October and at the 2018 Association of American Law Schools (AALS) in January. She was elected to the Executive Committee of the AALS Animal Law Section in January. Professor Morath recently co-authored a book review for Legal Persuasion: A Rhetorical Approach to the Science by Kathryn M. Stanchi and Linda L. Berger. The review will be published in Legal Writing: The Journal of the Legal Writing Institute. In December, Professor Morath, along with her LSS colleagues, organized a One-Day Workshop in conjunction with the Legal Writing Institute. The workshop attracted speakers from law schools at Brooklyn, Pepperdine, William and Mary, Texas A&M, and the University of Texas. She recently was elected to the Board of Citizens’ Environmental Coalition, an alliance of diverse nonprofit, governmental, and educational organizations whose activities impact the environment and quality of life in the Houston-Galveston area. She continues to serve as a Brownie Troop Leader and a room parent at the Branch School. And in January, she ran and finished the Houston Marathon, her first marathon in sixteen years.

Michael A. Olivas spoke at the AALS Annual Meeting: “Implementation Challenges in the Public University: Campus Carry and Sanctuary Campus Laws,” and was re-appointed to chair the AALS Committee on Academic Freedom and Tenure; he was also appointed a charter member of the AALS Fellows. He recorded a dozen new radio shows for his NPR “Law of Rock and Roll,” now also available at 7:00 pm Saturdays, on KUHF, the University’s Houston Public Media: The topics for his Fifth Season include the following: Law and Business Of Bowie; The Law and RockDocs; Hate Music and Tiki Torches; ™, Musical Trademarks; All in the Family; Canceling Concerts; Taylor Swift, In and Out of Court; Law and Musical Auctions; Immigration and the Travel Ban; Terrorism and Concerts; Better Late Than Never, Releasing Old Songs; and Album Cover Art and the Law.

Lauren Simpson and Katherine Brem will speak at the March 2018 Rocky Mountain Legal Writing Conference at the University of Denver Sturm College of Law. Their presentation, entitled “‘If a Lawyer Isn’t Happy, What is the Point?’: Incorporating Real-Life Skills for Wellness into the Legal Research and Writing Curriculum,” will discuss how the professors incorporate practitioners’ experiences into their curriculum so that students receive real-life lessons not only in research and writing skills, but also in overcoming setbacks, achieving work-life balance, and pursuing fulfilling career paths. The talk springs from Professor Brem’s related presentation at the Legal Writing Institute One-Day Workshop sponsored by the UH Law Center in December 2017. Additionally, Simpson recorded a Briefcase Radio segment with Dean Leonard Baynes concerning pollinators and ordinances affecting wildscaping, which was broadcast on January 4. Simpson has also accepted an invitation to speak on persuasive writing at the April 2018 Winning Writing for Trial Lawyers seminar, sponsored by the Texas Criminal Defense Lawyer’s Association and the Harris County Public Defender’s Office.

Professor Simpson also continues her naturalist community service. On February 10, she will give a wildscaping presentation in Houston at the invitation of Beauty’s Community Garden, an educational garden in the Independence Heights community. The presentation, entitled “Easy Tips for Gardening for Wildlife in your Own Backyard,” will explain the importance of wildscaping and will provide helpful tips for transforming a home landscape into a pollinator-friendly habitat. Simpson has also accepted an invitation to teach a class on wildlife for the 2018 Texas Envirothon, part of the National Conservation Foundation―Envirothon high school environmental education competition. Additionally, on June 11, Simpson will speak at the Clear Lake City-County Freeman Branch Library to tweens about how they can save pollinators by gardening with native plants at home. And finally, Simpson has accepted the Native Plant Society of Texas―Houston Chapter’s invitation to present a talk entitled “A Love Affair with Pollinators: Confessions of a Citizen Scientist” at the organization’s June 21 monthly meeting.

Sandra Guerra Thompson spoke on a panel organized by the Evidence Section of the Association of American Law Schools at its annual meeting in San Diego on January 6th. She gave a talk entitled, “How Houston’s Crime Lab is Transforming Criminal Justice,” based on her work with the Houston Forensic Science Center. She also attended the lab’s Board of Directors meeting (on which she serves as Vice Chair) on January 12. On January 25, she attended the Houston meeting of the State Jail Advisory Group on which she serves, and she also attended the Harris County Criminal Justice Coordinating Council meeting. In January, she was also selected by the parties to serve as the Monitor in a federal civil rights lawsuit settlement in the case of Lomas v. Harris County.

Greg Vetter in his capacity as Associate Dean represented the Law Center at the Susman Godfrey firm holiday party on November 30, 2017, and the Houston Intellectual Property Law Association (HIPLA) holiday event on December 7. He also attended the Law Center’s Holiday Coffee on December 2. He provided introductory remarks to the Legal Writing Institute One-Day Workshop held at the Law Center on December 8, with scholars of legal writing participating from numerous external law schools. On that same day, he provided welcoming remarks for the Law Center event held by the Criminal Justice Institute of the University of Houston Law Center in hosting the U.S.-Kazakhstan Roundtable Discussion on Texas Innovations in Forensic Science. He also represented the Law Center at its AALS alumni reception in San Diego on January 3, 2018. Augmenting the trip to San Diego for AALS, he represented the Law Center at a donor lunch in downtown Phoenix on January 8. With the efforts of the AD office staff, he held the Spring 2018 semester adjunct orientation at the Law Center on Tuesday evening, January 9. This orientation, held each semester, brings approximately three to four dozen UHLC adjunct professors to the school to discuss information for course operation in the upcoming semester. He also presided over the IPIL Advisory Council dinner event of January 23, where Professor Sharon Sandeen presented on the topic of trade secret law. Finally, he represented the Law Center in various elements of Justice Sotomayor’s visit on Friday, January 26.

Gina Warren’s op-ed, Big Sports Events Have Big Environmental Footprints. Could Social Licenses To Operate Help?, was published with Forbes on December 11, 2017. She was Chair of the Natural Resources & Energy Law Section for the 2018 AALS Annual Meeting, “Opportunities and Constraints on International, Federal, State, and Local Governments with Regard to Clean Energy Policies,” San Diego, California, January 3, 2018. She was a discussant for the UHLC Climate Change and Public Health Symposium at Andrews Kurth Kenyon, Houston, Texas, December 5, 2017, and recently named Vice Chair of Academic Outreach for the Institute of Energy Law.

Jacqueline Weaver’s article on The Role of the Regulator: Reflections on Forty Years of Research and Learning about Energy, Economics & the Environment, was published in Center for American and Int’l Law, 68th Ann. Inst. On Oil and Gas Law, Chapter 15 (2016).

Kellen Zale has been invited to present a talk on “Progressive Cities and Reactionary States: Local Innovation, State Control, and the Politics of Sustainability” at the Arizona State University’s Fourth Annual Sustainability Conference of American Legal Educators in May 2018. At the 2018 AALS Annual Meeting in San Diego, she was re-elected to the Executive Committee of the State and Local Government Law Section of AALS. She also appeared on Houston Matters to discuss municipal management district litigation.