Faculty Focus

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

May, 2006

Marcilynn A. Burke’s article Much Ado About Nothing: Kelo v. City of New London, Sweet Home v. Babbitt, and other Tales from the Supreme Court will be published in the University of Cincinnati Law Review’s Volume 75, Issue 2. She presented a version of that article at the 2006 Austin Bar Association/Austin Young Lawyers’ Association Bench Bar Conference on April 21, 2006. Her panel was entitled “This Land is My Land: The Kelo Decision and its Repercussions in Texas.” Professor Burke has also been invited to participate in a symposium entitled, “Bridging the Divide: Public and Private Interests in Coastal Marshes and Marsh Islands”, at the University of South Carolina School of Law in September 2006. 

Anne Chandler moderated a national ethics teleconference “Who Speaks for the Child” with an audience of over 160 attorneys on April 13th. The teleconference was sponsored by the American Immigration Lawyers Association and the National Center for Refugee and Immigrant Children. She spoke on issues of detaining unaccompanied immigrant children at the Binational Conference on Procedures, Protections & Due Process for Unaccompanied Children on April 22nd in El Paso, Texas.

Sandy Gaines’ symposium article, Sustainable Development and National Security, will appear any day (he’s told) in the William & Mary Environmental Law and Policy Journal Volume 30, Issue 2. He has just submitted a solicited “International Decisions” note on the NAFTA investment case Methanex Corp. v. United States, which will appear in the July issue of the American Journal of International Law. For two days in June, Professor Gaines will be working in Denmark with Julian Juergensmeyer (Georgia) and several Danish colleagues on teaching materials for Danish LLM students in energy and environmental law. These writings will offer a comparison of U.S. and Danish legal and administrative issues in siting a wind farm in a sensitive coastal region. Professors Gaines and Juergensmeyer will then participate in a weekend seminar on this topic in Denmark in September, 2007.

Gidi presented a paper on international litigation at the National University of Mexico (UNAM) and on comparative class actions at an International Conference in Culiacán, Sinaloa, Mexico.

Laura Hermer presented on the Emergency Medical Treatment and Active Labor Act and myths and realities concerning the causes of emergency department overcrowding at the 2006 Memorial Hermann Health Law Lecture, “Reforming the Law of Emergency Medical Care” on April 6th.

Craig Joyce and fellow IPIL Co-Director Greg Vetter chaired this year’s Baker Botts Lecture, headlined by Federal Circuit Court of Appeals Judge Arthur J. Gajarsa.  Professor Joyce was also selected to chair a panel on Copyright Law and the First Amendment at the triennial AALS Intellectual Property Workshop this summer.

Douglas Moll’s article, Minority Oppression and the Limited Liability Company: Learning (or Not) from Close Corporation History, 40 Wake Forest Law Review 883 (2005), was solicited for republication and was ultimately republished at 47 Corporate Practice Commentator 1031 (2006). The Corporate Practice Commentator is “a periodical, now in its forty-fifth year, designed to bring to corporate lawyers and business executives’ reliable information on recent developments and new thinking in the field of corporation law and practice.” Most of the subscribers to the Corporate Practice Commentator are large law firms and corporate law departments.

Gerry Moohr spoke on March 27th at a meeting of the Accounting Subcommittee of the American Petroleum Institute. The talk, entitled “What the Current Cases Tell Us about White Collar Crime,” presented a preliminary analysis of the effects of ongoing enforcement efforts.

Tom Oldham wrote an article about our NACLE comparative family law course with his colleagues who participated in the course. It will appear in the next issue of the Journal of Legal Education.

Michael A. Olivas presented a talk on Hernandez v. Texas at the University of Chicago in April, and also at the Southwest People of Color conference in Santa Fe in April. He also conducted a legal workshop for the public college trustees in New Jersey for the New Jersey State College and University Association, in Trenton. While in New Jersey, he also chaired the ABA/AALS site inspection team that was reviewing Rutgers-Newark Law School.

Jordan Paust was a panel member during the annual Jefferson B. Fordham Debate (this year on human dignity, prisoner abuse and presidential power) at the College of Law, University of Utah, on April 11th. He was also a member of a panel addressing Executive Power and Necessity during the Conference on Jurisprudence and the War on Terror at Columbia University School of Law, on April 22nd. His conference paper At War against the Constitution and International Law: Executive Claims to Powers Ex Necessitate and Powers Beyond the Laws will be published as a chapter in a book.

Richard Saver, invited to present a grand rounds lecture at the Baylor College of Medicine on April 5th, discussed “A New Era in Medical Research Regulation?” with medical school faculty, students, and fellows. Professor Saver also served as a judge for the final round of the Texas Medical Center Health Care Team Competition, held at the University of Texas Medical School, Houston campus, on April 11th. The interdisciplinary competition draws students from area schools of medicine, law, public health, nursing, health information sciences, pharmacy, and social work.

Gus Schill, Jr. will be awarded the 2006 Professionalism Award by the Garland R. Walker American Inns of Court on May 8th.

Jon Schultz presented an institute on emergency response to the Southeastern Association of Law Libraries in Raleigh, N.C. on April 6th. 

Ira B. Shepard gave a “Real Estate Tax Update” at the UH Law Foundation course on Real Estate Documents, Workouts and Closings on April 21st in Dallas and on April 28th in Houston. He spoke on “Recent Developments in Federal Income Taxation” to the University of North Carolina Tax Institute on April 27th and to the American Petroleum Institute Federal Tax Forum on May 1st. He will speak on the same topic at the Tax Executives’ Institute Tax School on May 4th. He also made his regular monthly presentations on current developments in federal taxation to the Wednesday Tax Forum.

Spencer Simons was a co-presenter of “Health Law Research Online: Good for You or Hazardous to Your Health?” at the 48th Annual Meeting of the Southwest Association of Law Libraries held in Austin on April 7th. Electronic Services Librarian Heather Phillips moderated the program.

Sandra Guerra Thompson spoke on "Police Discretion in Custodial Interrogations" at the NACLE meeting at Monterrey Tech in Monterrey, Mexico on April 7th. On April 13th, she spoke at a debate on the war on terror and civil rights held at the University of Houston Downtown. The Houston Chronicle featured an article about the event that quoted her. She also spoke on April 21st on a panel entitled “Innovations in Criminal Law” at the Latino Law and Public Policy Conference of the Harvard Kennedy School of Government and Harvard Law School. She also attended a Criminal Procedure Stories Conference at Harvard Law School.

Joe Vail was interviewed by Houston Chronicle on April 21st about the immigration raids in Houston and across the country and again on April 25th by Texas Lawyer on recent Fifth Circuit precedent asylum case in Mwembie v. Gonzales. On May 4th and 5th, he will conduct training in immigration law for pro bono attorneys in Houston, in conjunction with University of Texas Law School and St. Mary’s Law School. Professor Vail also will conduct pro bono training in Dallas in immigration law with University of Texas and St. Mary’s law schools on May 11th and May 12th.

Greg Vetter submitted his book chapter discussing Open Source Software and Information Wealth to be published in a four-volume set by Praeger on Intellectual Property and Information Wealth. Professor Vetter also accepted an offer of publication from the Oregon Law Review for his paper Exit and Voice in Free and Open Source Software Licensing: Moderating the Rein over Software Users

Jacqueline Lang Weaver spoke at the Alabama Environmental Education Consortium’s spring conference on Sustainability and Nuclear Power on April 29th. Her topic was the article presented to the law faculty at a Monday lunch called: “The Future of our Traditional Petroleum-based Economy: Of Peak Oil, Big Oil, Chinese Oil, Flags and Open Doors.” The conference included speakers who are industry leaders in sustainability from GEMI, Global Environmental Management Initiatives and speakers from the utility, environmental and scientific communities on nuclear energy. She also participated as a commenter at a symposium organized by Florida State University on April 8th, commenting on second-generation energy technologies in an eco-system services paradigm. The symposium was attended by about 20 academics in resources law. Professor Weaver was awarded the University of Houston’s Teaching Excellence Award at a ceremony and reception on May 2, 2006. 

Stephen Zamora’s article, Mexican Constitutionalism After Presidencialismo, has just been published in Vol. 4 (2) of the International Journal of Constitutional Law, as part of a symposium issue on North American constitutionalism. The article is co-authored with José Ramón Cossío, a Justice of the Mexican Supreme Court. Professors Sandra Guerra Thompson, Sandy Gaines and Steven Zamora attended the annual workshop of the North American Consortium on Legal Education (NACLE), held in Monterrey, Mexico, from April 6th to 9th. The workshop brings together faculty and students of the law schools in Canada, Mexico and the United States that are members of NACLE, which serves to promote study of North American comparative law. The University of Houston Law Center serves as secretariat of the consortium. The workshop was highlighted by substantive panels dealing with comparative criminal law, international trade law, and rights of indigenous peoples. The meeting was highlighted by presentations of outstanding research papers by the students selected by NACLE members as the outstanding authors of papers from each law school. The UH Law Center was represented by April Tabangay, an LL.M. candidate, who compared the experiences of Canada, Mexico and the United States in implementing the Hague Convention on Child Abduction.