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

October, 2006

Johnny Rex Buckles presented "Not Even A Peep?  The Regulation of Political Campaign Activity by Charities through Federal Tax Law" at Southern Methodist University Dedman School of Law on September 21st as part of the law school's Faculty Forum scholarship series.  Professor Buckles' article by the same title has been accepted for publication in 2007 by the University of Cincinnati Law Review.  Professor Buckles also made two presentations to the Planned Giving Council for the University of Texas at El Paso on September 28th.  The first was entitled "What Charities Need to Know about the Law of Restricted Gifts and Grants."  The second was entitled "Key Provisions of the Pension Protection Act of 2006 Affecting Charitable Giving and Exempt Organizations."


Marcilynn A. Burke had been invited to participate in William & Mary’s 2007 Environmental Law and Policy Review symposium on February 2007.    The symposium is entitled “Mission Impossible?:The Compatibility of Military and Environmental Goals”.


Darren Bush has been intensely involved with issues related to the proposed legislation to reduce the number of gates at Love Field, create antitrust immunity for the signatories of the agreement behind the proposed legislation, and to restrict competition in the Dallas/Ft. Worth metropolitan area generally and Love Field specifically.  His letter to the judiciary, available at http://www.antitrustreview.com/files/2006/08/Letter%20to%20Judiciary.pdf, drew sharp response from lawyers at law firms that represent parties to the agreement.  Their response letter is available at http://www.antitrustreview.com/archives/693.  The letter  has been covered in the Ft. Worth Star Telegram, the Dallas Morning News, and the Dallas Business Journal.  Professor Bush crafted a reply, available at http://www.antitrustreview.com/files/2006/09/Letter%20to%20Judiciary%20Related%20to%20Love%20Field9-13.pdf.  In addition, in response to an op-ed by the Mayors of Dallas and Ft. Worth pleading for antitrust immunity for the proposed legislation, Professor Bush wrote an op-ed piece published on September 29th in the Ft. Worth Star Telegram.  Fortunately, the legislation as passed by the House and Senate contain no express antitrust immunities, although there are still implied immunity and preemption issues arising from conflicts between the proposed legislation and state and federal antitrust laws.  Professor Bush also has been quoted in the Ft. Worth Star Telegram and was interviewed on KRLD-AM in Dallas regarding the Wright Amendment. 


Anne Chandler moderated the National Immigrant Children’s Lawyer Network September discussion of the newly released report, Seeking Asylum Alone, featuring the co-author of the report, Jacqueline Bhabha, Jeremiah Smith, Jr., Lecturer in Law at Harvard Law School and Executive Director of the Harvard University Committee on Human Rights. On August 18th, she and Janet Heppard delivered a talk on “Immigrant Children in Foster Care” at the Texas State Bar’s Advanced Family Law Conference in San Antonio, Texas. Come November 18th, she is speaking on “Advocacy for Detained Immigrant Children” at the Mountain West Regional Clinical Conference in Las Vegas, Nevada.


Victor Flatt’s article, The ‘Benefits’ of Non-Delegation, has been accepted for publication in the William & Mary Bill of Rights Journal.  The article is based on a presentation he gave at the University of Washington’s conference on Benefit-Cost analysis in May. Professor Flatt, a principal investigator with the Houston Endowment’s report on air toxics, participated in the release press conference on September 27th at the Houston Endowment’s headquarters.  He was quoted in the Houston Business Journal, The Houston Chronicle, and the Associated Press with respect to the report.  He was also interviewed on KUHF, Clear Channel Communications, and Channels 11 and 13 with respect to the report, and was mentioned in the Medical News Today. Professor Flatt also provided commentary at the September18th press release of a separate report on air toxics in Houston, prepared by the Center for Progressive Reform and Tejas.  In connection with that report, Professor Flatt was interviewed on KTRH Newsradio 740, KPFT, and Univision. Professor Flatt will be presenting on air toxics in the federal context at the University of Arizona College of Law’s outside scholar series in October. He was also quoted in the September/October issue of Business Law Today on “business law” classes in law schools and in the San Antonio Express-News about TCEQ enforcement with respect to Citgo Pollution in Corpus Christi. Professor Flatt has agreed to speak on a panel concerning Homeland Security and state and local issues at the National Gay and Lesbian Leadership Conference in November.


Gidi presented a paper on comparative civil procedure at the XXVII Civil Procedure Conference held in Cartagena, Colombia.


Laura Hermer presented on the topics of tort reform and emergency department overcrowding at Baylor College of Medicine’s “Innovations in Urology” conference in Santa Fe, New Mexico, on September 30th.  She also accepted an invitation to speak on state Medicaid reform efforts at a symposium on state innovations in health law and policy at Hamline University School of Law in March, 2007.


Lonny Hoffman published In Retrospect: A First Year Review of the Class Action Fairness Act of 2005, 39 Loy. L.A. L. Rev. 1135 (2006) (solicited symposium on the Class Action Fairness Act).  He also published The Lawsuit Abuse Reduction Act: The Legislative Bid to Regulate Lawyer Conduct, 25 Rev. Litig. (2006) (also available at http://www.utexas.edu/law/journals/trol/volume_25/Issue4.pdf).

Professor Hoffman presented “Jurisdictional Battles: A Look at Some of the Supreme Court’s Most Recent and Important Decision” to the Texas Association of Civil Trial and Appellate Specialists. As Editor of The Advocate, the quarterly journal of the Litigation Section of the State Bar of Texas, he completed work on Volume 36 (Fall 2006).  The symposium theme for this issue is “The Client Issue: What Your Client Wants you to Know About Litigation.”   In this issue, he also published his Editor’s Comments.  They appear at 36 Advoc. 2 (Fall 2006).   Professor Hoffman was quoted in an article regarding the civil suits over the BP plant blast in Texas City. The article was published in Business Week (online version) on September 17th and widely reprinted by other news sources across the nation. He also met with the Texas Supreme Court Jury Task Force on Assembly and Administration, of which he is a member and the Task Force’s Reporter, on the mandate given by the Court.  The Task Force expects to issue its report by year’s end.  On September 20th, he mediated a civil case pro bono through the Harris County Dispute Resolution Center mediation program.  He was also invited to join the Houston Bar Association Administration of Justice Committee and met with the committee on September 12th.  Professor Hoffman also participated in the following school activities: organized the first Scholarship Workshop luncheon program of the 2006-07 academic year (Darren Bush presenting); attended a reception with the Law Foundation Board and Law Alumni Board of the UHLC; attended a reception honoring minority law students at the UHLC; acted as faculty liaison for the 1L student mentoring program and worked with Lillian Flurry and Keith Myers in lining up lawyer/judge mentors to the program; worked with Spencer Simons and Peter Egler on issues relating to posting papers on SSRN (Social Science Research Network); worked with Ruth McCleskey and Alex Kopatic in creating the online events calendar on the UHLC website, which now lists in one place all outside and internal speaker programs at the school; and met with the Honor Court Committee to discuss proposed revisions to the school’s honor code. 


Craig Joyce and Douglas Moll completed the 2006 ABA Reaccreditation Self-Study Report, which was approved unanimously by the faculty.  Professor Joyce spoke at Shell Oil regarding influences on the federal judiciary, published the 2006 Cumulative Supplement to his Copyright casebook from LexisNexis and “A Good Judge” in the Journal of Supreme Court History.


Joan Krause’s article, Distorted ‘Reflections’ of Battered Women Who Kill:  A Response to Professor Dressler, was accepted for publication in the Ohio State Journal of Criminal Law.


Chenglin Liu, the Foreign and International Law Librarian, O’Quinn Law Library, presented his paper “Bulldozing Homes to Build Shopping Malls: The Chinese Takings Law Revisited from a Comparative Perspective” in Boulder, Colorado at the International Society of New Institutional Economics (ISNIE) Annual conference. The paper was accepted for publication in the Washington University Journal of Law and Policy in 2007.


Michael A. Olivas spoke at Texas Tech University in their campus wide series of Distinguished Lecturers on his recent book about Hernandez v. Texas. (He also visited the Buddy Holly Museum while he was in Lubbock, continuing his quest to visit every rock and roll museum or shrine in the U.S. Next on his quest: the Jimi Hendrix Are-You-Experienced Museum in Seattle.) He also gave the Keynote address to the Houston Community College Scholarship Dinner, an annual fundraiser for HCC scholarship programs. He held a meeting with area reporters on immigration and local ordinances, following the shooting of a Houston-area police officer, and spoke on the same subject to the Clear Lake Chamber of Commerce.


Jordan Paust’s book International Criminal Law: Cases and Materials (3 ed. 2006) (with Bassiouni, Scharf, Gurule, Sadat, Zagaris) has been sent to the publishers together with the new Documents Supplement to the third edition.  He has also accepted a speaking engagement on “Humanitarian Aid” at Texas A&M University with the prestigious MSC Wiley Lecture Series, a yearly event that has included 2 former U.S. Presidents, 3 other former heads of state, 3 former Secretaries of State, 4 U.S. Senators, 4 U.S. National Security Advisers, and others as speakers.


Nancy Rapoport has been nominated to the American Board of Certification, the board that administers the examination for bankruptcy and creditors’ rights board certification as well as programs for improving the quality of its bar.  She continues to speak all over the country about Enron with a talk at A & M-Corpus on September 21st and more appearances later this year. Her name is in the Roster of Quoted Networkers in a new ABA book entitled, A Lawyers’ Guide to Networking by Susan R. Sneider where she shares her advice on the subject.


Joe Vail spoke to the Houston Bar Association, International Law Section at their September 28th meeting on current immigration proposals and their impact. On October 12th, he gave a presentation to the American Leadership Forum on current immigration law.

Jacqueline Weaver was the luncheon speaker on September 13th at the Women’s Energy Network at the Petroleum Club on the topic of “The Future of the Traditional Petroleum-Based Economy.”  She has been invited to give a speech on this same topic to the Mineral Owners Association of America on October 5th.


Steve Zamora has been notified by the Foreign Minister of Mexico that he has been selected to be inducted into the Orden del Águila Azteca (Order of the Aztec Eagle), the highest honor bestowed by the Mexican government on non-Mexican citizens.  The honor recognizes Professor Zamora’s efforts to promote greater understanding of Mexican law and institutions in the United States, and undertaking programs designed to improve U.S. – Mexican relations.  The induction will take place at a private ceremony to be held in Mexico City at the end of October, 2006.

Harriet Richman, Editor