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The Environment, Energy & Natural Resources Center Faculty

 

Tracy  HesterTracy Hester, co-Director
Instructional Associate Professor of Law
tdheste2@central.uh.edu
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Professor Hester teaches environmental law at the University of Houston Law Center. His research focuses on the innovative application of environmental laws to emerging technologies and unanticipated risks, including climate engineering, deep decarbonization (particularly in energy production), nanotechnologies, artificial intelligence, genetic modification, and advanced wind, solar, and other renewable power systems. Prior to joining the University of Houston Law Center, Prof. Hester served as a partner in Bracewell LLP for sixteen years and led that firm's Houston office's environmental group.

In Fall 2019, Prof. Hester taught the first U.S. law school course on Climate Intervention Law, which focused on emerging climate engineering technologies and legal challenges. He also teaches classes on Environmental Law, Natural Resource Damages Liability, Environmental Law in Oil & Gas, Climate Change Liability and Litigation, Environmental Enforcement, Emerging Technologies and Environmental Law, and Advanced Hazardous Waste Law. He originated and teaches an innovative Environmental Practicum that matches students with multiple leading environmental attorneys to work on practical projects and to develop innovative environmental initiatives. He also teaches the first year course on Statutory Interpretation and Regulatory Practice.

Prof. Hester is currently the co-director and a co-founder of the Center for Carbon Management in Energy at the University of Houston. During the summer of 2014, Prof. Hester served as the interim Director of the North America Commission on Environmental Cooperation's Submission on Environmental Matters Unit in Montreal, Canada. The Environmental Law Institute also named him as its Environmental Scholar in Residence for 2015.

Prof. Hester was inducted into the American College of Environmental Lawyers in 2015 (and named a Regent in 2018), elected as a member of the American Law Institute in 2004, and named the Top Environmental Lawyer in Houston in 2011 by Best Lawyers of America. He was also elected to the Council of the American Bar Association’s Section on Environment, Energy and Resources (SEER) in 2011 through 2014, and he currently chairs SEER's Climate Change, Sustainable Development and Ecological Services Committee. Prof. Hester is the past chair of SEER’s Special Committee on Congressional Relations as well as its Environmental Enforcement and Crimes Committee.

Gina  WarrenGina S. Warren, co-Director
Professor of Law
A.L. O'Quinn Chair in Environmental Studies
Co-director of EENR
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Gina S. Warren is the A.L. O’Quinn Chair in Environmental Studies and co-director of the Environment, Energy, and Natural Resources Center. Prior to joining the Law Center in 2016, she taught at Texas A&M University School of Law (2011-2016) and Duquesne University School of Law (2010-2011). Warren also taught internationally at the University of Cologne in Cologne, Germany (2011) and in coordination with the University of Guanajuato in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico (2015). At the Law Center she serves a faculty mentor to 1L students and is involved in the Law Center’s Pipeline program. Warren was voted the Student Bar Association Professor of the Year in 2018 and nominated as faculty graduation speaker by the class of 2020.

Her teaching and scholarship focuses on the nexus between the environment, property, social justice, and energy. Her scholarship has appeared in top 20 law review journals, books, and peer-reviewed journals. She is an internationally-recognized scholar with publications in prominent journals such as the Boston University Law Review, the Maryland Law Review, the Missouri Law Review, the Nebraska Law Review, the Idaho Law Review (peer reviewed), theUniversity of Cologne (Germany) Business Law Journal, and the Columbia Journal of Environmental Law. Warren’s research has also been cited by the Colorado Supreme Court and showcased by the Washington Post, among others. Warren authored a book chapter on U.S.-Mexico relations in energy and the environment, and her scholarship has been excerpted in prominent energy and renewable energy textbooks.

She is the past chair of the Association of American Law Schools Section on Natural Resources and Energy Law, is a member of the Environmental Law, Property Law, and Women’s Law sections, and has served for the last several years on the sections’ sub-committees. Professor Warren has also served on many other committees and boards in her career, including being the law school representative for the Rocky Mountain Mineral Law Foundation, and an advisory board member for the Association of International Petroleum Negotiators. She is currently the chair of academic outreach for the Institute for Energy Law.

Professor Warren was in private practice for several years prior to entering academia. She worked as a litigator in land use, environment, and utility law for the international law firm of Perkins Coie based in Seattle, Washington as well as a litigator in a prominent regional firm Post & Schell based in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Professor Warren also 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.

Darren  Bush Darren Bush
Leonard B. Rosenberg College, Professor of Law
DBush@central.uh.edu
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B.A. (Economics), 1991, California State University, San Bernardino; Ph.D. (Economics), 1995, University of Utah; J.D., 1998, University of Utah.

Professor Bush’s scholarship focuses on the intersection of regulation and antitrust, with emphasis on deregulated markets, immunities and exemptions, and merger review. Along with Harry First and the late John J. Flynn, he is coauthor on the antitrust casebook “Free Enterprise and Economic Organization: Antitrust” (7th Ed.) with Foundation Press.

Professor Bush received his Ph.D. in economics and J.D., both from the University of Utah. While completing his J.D., 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., he 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 and airlines. He has testified numerous times on antitrust matters before congressional committees and federal commissions.

He is also a third-degree black sash in Northern Shaolin/Northern Praying Mantis Kung Fu.

Julian Cardenas GarciaJulian Cardenas Garcia
Research Assistant Professor and Director, Center for U.S. & Mexican Law
jcardena@central.uh.edu
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Professor Cardenas joined the University of Houston Law Center in 2012 as an Energy Scholar and a Visiting Professor affiliated to the Environment, Energy and Natural Resources Center (EENR Center), focusing on transnational petroleum law and arbitration. As a visiting professor, he has also taught the investment law of major industrial projects (energy, mining, and construction), arbitration, and oil and gas industry practices at the Universidade do Estado do Rio de Janeiro (UERJ) in Brazil; the Universidad Autónoma de Nuevo León (UANL) in Monterrey, and the Instituto Tecnológico Autónomo de México – ITAM, in Mexico City, Mexico; the University Externado, in Bogota, Colombia; and the University Paris Sud, France.

He frequently works with companies, public authorities, and governments in various areas of oil and gas law and policy. At the EENR Center, he is the coordinator of the "Inter-American Hydrocarbons Regulators Dialogue," an initiative conceived to create a nexus between national hydrocarbons agencies, the private sector, and the academia. Since June 2019, he sits on the Ad Hoc Administrative Board of Directors of Petróleos de Venezuela (PDVSA), the Venezuelan National Oil Company.

He is a conference speaker on transnational oil and gas law, investment law, international arbitration, best oil and gas industry practices, and oil and gas geopolitics. He has been a guest speaker in conferences related to these issues in the U.S., Canada, France, Germany, Scotland, the Netherlands, Mexico, Brazil, Cuba, Costa Rica, Trinidad & Tobago, Ecuador, Colombia, Venezuela, Gabon, and Kuwait. Also, Professor Cardenas is frequently interviewed by media outlets on Latin American affairs and oil and gas industry matters.

Professor Cardenas has been retained as an independent expert in international arbitrations regarding the upstream petroleum sector in Venezuela and has also been involved in ICC, AAA, and ICSID arbitration cases concerning downstream petroleum transactions, direct foreign investments, and international construction projects.

Before joining the EENR Center, he worked as a foreign legal clerk at the Arbitration Department of Dewey & Leboeuf in Paris, and also served for nearly six years as a career diplomat for the Venezuelan Ministry of Foreign Affairs, working on multilateral affairs with the Organization of the American States (OAS) and the United Nations (U.N.), and bilateral affairs related to sovereign boundary issues. He works effectively in Spanish, French, and English, and has some working proficiency in 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 and a Diplôme Superieur d'Université in Business Law from the Sorbonne University Paris II Pantheon-Assas; and an LL.M. with a Certificate in Energy, Environment & Natural Resources Law from the University of Houston Law Center. He was a Doctoral Fellow at the Research Center for Investment and International Trade Law (CREDIMI-CNRS) at the University of Bourgogne, Dijon, France.

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.

Susan SakmarSusan L. Sakmar
Visiting Assistant Professor
slsakmar@Central.UH.EDU
Andrews Kurth Energy Law Scholar
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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.  

Elizabeth  Trujillo

Elizabeth Trujillo

Mary Ann & Lawrence E. Faust Professor of Law
Founding Director, Initiative on Global Law and Policy for the Americas
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Elizabeth Trujillo is the Mary Ann & Lawrence E. Faust Professor of Law and the Founding Director, Initiative on Global Law and Policy for the Americas, who specializes in international trade and investment law, sustainable development and energy, contracts, and international law. Immediately prior to UH, Professor Trujillo was a Professor of Law at Texas A&M University School of Law where she was also the co-convener for their new Global and Comparative Law Program and an Affiliated Faculty member with the Texas A&M University Energy Institute. She also was a Professor of Law at Suffolk University School of Law in Boston where she also served as co-director of their International Law Concentration, a Visiting Professor at Florida State University School of Law, and a Visiting Scholar at Harvard University Law School. Prior to entering academia, she worked for the Houston office of the New York law firm LeBoeuf, Lamb, Greene and MacRae (later known as Dewey and LeBoeuf) in the areas of corporate law, project finance and international business transactions, with an emphasis on energy and Latin America.

Her publications, which have appeared in top 50 law reviews, books, and peer-reviewed journals, examine the relationship between international trade and investment with domestic regulatory structures, specifically in the areas of energy and the environment, sustainable development, and international consumer protection law. Her recent research focuses more specifically on the trade implications of local decarbonization strategies in national efforts to mitigate for environmental challenges. Due to her expertise on NAFTA and international trade, she has been interviewed by media outlets including the Dallas Morning News and Bloomberg BNA News, and most recently, invited to be part of the NSF Engineering Research Center funded grant Team on Resiliency Enhancement and Disaster-Impact Interception (READII) in the Manufacturing Sector. This research project, sponsored by Texas A&M University Energy Institute and Texas A&M University Engineering Experiment Station and partnered by other academic institutions such as the University of Texas, Louisiana State University, Florida Atlantic University, Mississippi State University, and Tuskegee University, will focus on Gulf Coast disaster control strategies for the manufacturing sector.

Professor Trujillo was awarded an Alexander von Humboldt Foundation Research Fellowship to write her book, Reimagining Trade through a Sustainable Development Framework, which will be published with Cambridge University Press in 2020. In furtherance of this book project, she has been a Visiting Scholar at the Max Planck Institute for Comparative Public Law and International Law (MPIL) in Heidelberg, Germany.

In 2017, Professor Trujillo was elected to the American Law Institute and in 2018, to the Executive Council of the American Society of International Law where she also serves on the Strategic Initiatives and Book Awards Committees. The Massachusetts Association of Hispanic Attorneys named Professor Trujillo “Latina Trailblazer in the Law” in 2012. She currently serves on the Action Committee of the Texas Bar International Law Section.

WellsBret Wells
Law Foundation Professor of Law
bwells@central.uh.edu
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Professor Douglas Bret Wells is a Professor of Law and Law Foundation Professor of Law at the University of Houston Law Center. Professor Wells teaches in the area of federal income taxation, corporate taxation, and international taxation. Professor Wells also teaches and writes on Texas Oil and Gas Law.

Professor Wells is the lead co-author on one of the premier treatises on U.S. international taxation. See Joseph Isenbergh & Bret Wells, International Taxation: U.S. Taxation of Foreign Persons and Foreign Income (Wolters Kluwer 6th Ed. 2021). He has testified on international taxation issues to the Senate Finance Committee, the Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations, and to the House Ways and Means Subcommittee on Select Revenue Measures.

Professor Wells places significant emphasis on teaching materials used in his courses. He is a co-author on four of the leading casebooks on federal taxation, including the following: (i) Daniel L. Simmons, Martin J. McMahon, Bradley T. Borden, and Bret Wells, Federal Income Taxation (Foundation Press 8th ed. 2020); (ii) Martin J. McMahon, Daniel L. Simmons, Charlene D. Luke, and Bret Wells, Federal Income Taxation of Corporations (Foundation Press 5th ed. 2019); (iii) Martin J. McMahon, Daniel L. Simmons, Charlene D. Luke, and Bret Wells, Federal Taxation of Partnerships and S Corporations (Foundation Press 6th ed. 2020); (iv) Martin J. McMahon, Daniel L. Simmons, Charlene D. Luke, and Bret Wells, Federal Income Taxation of Business Organizations (Foundation Press 5th ed. 2020);. Professor Wells is a co-author on a leading law student resource on international tax law. See Joseph Isenbergh & Bret Wells, International Taxation (Foundation Press Insights & Concepts Series, 4th ed. 2019).

Prior to joining the faculty, Professor Wells was an executive officer of a leading oil and gas service company where he had significant exposure to oil and gas issues in the upstream context. Since joining the faculty, Professor Wells has written repeatedly on Texas oil and gas issues with a particular focus on the legal challenges raised by today’s development in unconventional shale formations. Professor Wells also is a co-author on a leading casebook on Texas oil and gas law. See Jacqueline L. Weaver and Bret Wells, Texas Oil and Gas Law: Cases and Materials (LawCarta 2d Ed. 2021). Professor Wells is a frequent speaker at conferences on oil and gas law matters.

In 2020, Professor Wells became an elected member of the American Law Institute.

Kellen  Zale
Kellen Zale

Associate Professor
George Butler Research Professorship

Professor Zale researches and teaches property law, land use, real estate, and local government law. Her scholarship has appeared or is forthcoming in the Stanford Law ReviewUniversity of Pennsylvania Law Review, and the Harvard Environmental Law Review, among other publications.

Professor Zale graduated from Princeton University with an A.B. from the School of Public and International Affairs and received her J.D., magna cum laude, from Duke University. At Duke, she served as a staff editor on the Duke Law Journal and was elected to Order of the Coif.

After law school, Professor Zale was an associate in the Los Angeles office of Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher, where her practice focused on commercial real estate transactions and land use. Prior to joining the University of Houston faculty, she taught at Loyola University New Orleans College of Law as a Westerfield Fellow.

Emeritus Faculty

JacquelineWeaver Jacqueline Lang Weaver
A.A. White Professor of Law
jweaver@central.uh.edu
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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.

SPECIAL FACULTY

Denney L. Wright
Professor of Practice

Denney Wright was appointed a Professor of Practice at the University of Houston Law Center in 2017, having retired from Exxon Mobil Corporation in November 2016 with over forty-two years of service. In his role as a Professor of Practice, Mr. Wright is teaching Oil and Gas Tax and International Petroleum Transactions. He is also organizing and implementing continuing education in the tax and energy areas supporting various degree-granting programs and CLE programs at the Law Center. A new permanent program rolled out in 2019 is the University of Houston Law Center Denney L. Wright International Energy Tax Conference, an annual international energy tax symposium that will focus on international energy tax issues of note. The third annual conference was held virtually and attracted over 300 participants with speakers from six countries including Australia, Brazil, Canada, Mexico, the UK and the US. Mr. Wright also serves as a faculty advisor to the Houston Business and Tax Law Journal and to the UHLC Student Chapter of the Association of International Petroleum Negotiators.

Mr. Wright comes to the Law Center with significant experience in an energy tax practice. He started initially at Exxon Mobil Corporation in the Controller’s Department but served most of his career in the Tax Department as a tax accountant and a tax lawyer. Mr. Wright served in many positions over the years, primarily in the United States but also in the United Kingdom. In his final assignment with ExxonMobil, Mr. Wright was Senior Tax Counsel - Global Training and Development, where he oversaw worldwide U.S. tax training and development for Exxon Mobil Corporation tax personnel.

Mr. Wright has taught Oil and Gas Taxation for over twenty years as an Adjunct Professor of Law at the University of Houston Law Center and internally at Exxon Mobil Corporation. Over the past ten years he has also taught Oil and Gas Taxation as an Adjunct Professor of Law at New York University School of Law, the University of Texas School of Law and Southern

Methodist University School of Law. Mr. Wright also serves as a lecturer on international tax issues in the University of Calgary Law School International Energy Law Study Abroad Program held at the London School of Economics, planned as an annual program in August of each year in London.

Mr. Wright is a member of the Texas Bar, a member of the American Bar Association and has been a participant in many oil and gas industry groups throughout us long career. Mr. Wright 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 issues during his ExxonMobil career and now as a Professor of Practice at UHLC. Mr. Wright is a member of the Advisory Board of the Texas Federal Tax Institute and serves on the Education Board of the Association of International Petroleum Negotiators. Mr. Wright 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. Mr. Wright published an oil and gas tax casebook for use in law school and graduate business school classes – Oil and Gas Taxation: A Comprehensive Study -- published by CCH Wolters Kluwer(November, 2019). Mr. Wright is now also a co-author of the Bloomberg BNA Tax Management Portfolio (No. 512-2d) on energy titled Tax Incentives for Production and Conservation of Energy and Natural Resources which is updated annually. Mr. Wright received the Parker Fielder Lifetime Achievement Award in 2017 in recognition of his long-standing energy tax practice and teaching.

Mr. Wright is married, has three children, three grandchildren and is active in his church as well as in scouting and community service activities.

Publications

Denney L. Wright, Oil and Gas Taxation: A Comprehensive Study, CCH Wolters Kluwer, 1st Ed. November, 2019
Denney L. Wright, 512-2d T.M., Tax Incentives for Production and Conservation of Energy and Natural Resources, Bloomberg BNA, 2020
Denney L. Wright, Understanding the Windfall Profits Tax Act, PETROLEUM LANDMAN (1980)

Degrees

LLM in Tax, University of Houston (May, 1993)
JD, South Texas College of Law (May, 1978)
BBA in Accounting, Texas Tech University (May, 1974)


 

VISITING FACULTY

Visiting Scholar

Aubin Nzaou Aubin Nzaou

Aubin Nzaou is Marie Sklodowska-Curie Research Fellow in Law and Energy Policy, Fellow of the Environment, Energy, and Natural Resources (EENR) Center, and Associate Fellow of the Center of U.S. and Mexican Law at the University of Houston Law Center (U.S.). In his current position, he conducts research on Energy Transition from the legal perspective in the framework of the project “TGL“, which aims at analyzing the important role of non-state actors, as Oil and Gas companies, and relies on the question, “What prospects for an active role of non-state actors in the energy transition governance?”. He is also Lecturer and Research Fellow at the Center for European Studies (CEE), and at the Research Group of Comparative, European and International Law at Jean Moulin University Lyon 3 (France), where he works on Energy Law from both International and Municipal perspective.

Prior to joining the University of Houston Law Center, Dr. Nzaou was a Lecturer at the Faculty of Law, Economics and Management of the University of Nîmes (France), Fellow of the CHROME Research Group (Detection, Evaluation, Management of CHRONIC AND EMERGING Risks) as well as Faculty Member at the Department of Law, Economics and Management. He also was an Invited Lecturer at Senghor University, Alexandria (Egypt) from 2016 to 2018, at General Lansana Conté University of Sonfonia, Conacry (Guinea) in 2018, and an Associate Lecturer at the Faculty of Law at the University Lumière of Lyon 2, Lyon (France) in 2014, as well a Visiting Scholar at the Research Center for Environmental and Urban Planning Law (SERES), and fellow at the Interdisciplinary Research Institute for Legal Science of the Catholic University of Louvain (Belgium) in 2013.

Aubin Nzaou holds a Ph.D. in the fields of Public International Law and Public Law from Jean-Moulin University Lyon 3, whose dissertation examined the challenging interaction of Oil and Gas Production and Environmental Stewardship in Congo (Brazzaville), and has completed a Postgraduate Program in Business Sustainability Management focused on the implementation of sustainability goals and strategies in Oil and Gas corporate activities, and a Continuing Professional Development (CPD) Program at the Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership at University of Cambridge.

Dr. Nzaou is currently a member of the World Commission on Environmental Law (WCEL) and a fellow of the Platform on International Energy Governance, established within the framework of University of Cambridge, University of Oxford and University College of London. He also has joined the Association of International Petroleum Negotiators (AIPN).

He speaks 5 languages: French, English, Lingala, Kikongo and Vili.

 

ADJUNCT FACULTY

Theodore BorregoTheodore  Borrego
trb@explorationlaw.com
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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 www.explorationlaw.com.

Sashe D. DimitroffSashe D. Dimitroff

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@blackburncarter.com

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).