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

December 2006

Christine Agnew was elected Secretary of the American Bar Association Section of Taxation for a second term.  In addition, she was invited to join the Houston Tax Roundtable.  She also published several columns on partnership and trust tax issues in the Journal of Passthrough Entities.

Richard Alderman published Consumer Credit and the Law, co-authored with De Pridgen and published by Thomson/West, and Client’s Page—Consumer Arbitration, 69 Texas Bar J. 921 (2006). He also organized and spoke at the first People’s Law School held in Corpus Christi, co-sponsored by the Corpus Christi Bar Association. He spoke on teaching consumer law at the National Conference for Consumer Attorneys in Miami, Florida, gave a presentation on consumer law at the Justices of the Peace retreat and spoke on consumer arbitration at the University of Texas Bankruptcy Conference. He also taught a class on fiscal responsibility to students at Episcopal High School, consumer law to the University of Houston paralegals and gave numerous talks to local civic organizations including B’nai B’rith, St. John Vianney Seniors, the Heights Rotary, and the Asian Assistance Association, He received a grant in the amount of $220,000 to assist Katrina Victims in addition to $44, 000 awarded to the Center in October. The grants were awarded by the Houston Galveston Area Council and will be used to fund various efforts designed to help resolve the continuing legal problems of Katrina victims.

Johnny R. Buckles presented “Exempt Organizations: Terror, Politics, and Dirty Dollars” at the 54th Annual Taxation Conference, sponsored by the University of Texas School of Law.  He was also solicited to submit a brief article (based upon his article forthcoming in the Cincinnati Law Review) discussing his proposal to reform the law governing the political campaign activity of tax-exempt charities to Administrative & Regulatory Law News, the magazine of the Section of Administrative Law & Regulatory Practice of the American Bar Association. 


Anne Chandler was a panelist on Native American and Immigration Clinics at the 2006 Mountain West Clinical Conference held at University of Las Vegas on November 17th. She talked on the Law Center’s Clinical Legal Programs’ efforts to enhance student skills through interviewing and representation of unaccompanied immigrant girls and boys that are detained in southeast Texas.


David R. Dow spoke on "Priests and Prophets and Constitutional Adjudication" at the University of Tulsa, on November 15th.  His op-ed, Hanging Saddam High Would be Our Low, appeared in the Houston Chronicle on Sunday, November 12th. 


Victor Flatt spoke at the Georgia State University Series on Urban Environmental Problems, on November 6th.  His op-ed on whether the EPA should approve a revision of Houston’s ozone compliance date was published in the Houston Chronicle on December 3rd.  He will also address the International Association of Energy Economists on December 7th, on the likelihood and type of regulation that can be expected on climate change.


Laura Hermer presented to physicians and medical, nursing and allied health students on the present and future of health coverage access in Texas at the Frontera Society Lecture, Galveston, Texas.


Joan Krause spoke on “Fraud in Universal Coverage:  The Usual Suspects (and Then Some)” at the Kansas Law Review 2006 Annual Symposium:  The Massachusetts Plan and the Future of Universal Coverage, on November 10th.


Douglas Moll (with Bob Ragazzo) completed the Teacher’s Manual for their casebook Closely Held Business Organizations:  Cases, Materials, and Problems (West Publishing).  The manual was published in October.  Professors Moll and Ragazzo have also submitted the manuscript for the statutory supplement to accompany their casebook.  It will be published in December 2006.  Also in response to an invitation by the faculty enrichment committee, Professor Moll spoke to the faculty at the University of Oregon on minority oppression issues in limited liability companies.


Tom Oldham was selected as a member of the board of editors of the ABA Family Law Quarterly for 2007.


Michael A. Olivas spoke on the DREAM Act and immigration developments in higher education law in two lectures, at the University of North Carolina and the UNC Law School. He served on the doctoral dissertation committee of Dr. Gloria Crisp, in the UH College of Education, and he gave a briefing to a dozen news reporters on local ordinances that (unconstitutionally) attempt to undertake immigration functions. He is also serving on a Boalt Hall working group that is planning a 25th anniversary commemoration of  1982’s Plyler v Doe, the Houston-area case concerning undocumented children in the Houston area; the Boalt Hall Warren Institute will hold a national conference on the subject in May, 2007. In addition, he was appointed to chair the Governing Board of the AAUP Legal Defense Fund (American Association of University Professors), which contributes to the legal defense of faculty members who are removed from their positions or discriminated against for their viewpoints. He also serves on the AAUP Litigation Committee, which determines which cases the AAUP will undertake as participants or as amicus.


Nancy Rapoport has been asked to contribute a chapter to Collier on Bankruptcy on the liability of officers and director of debtor corporations.  She has also become a member of the American Board of Certification, and she will be speaking three times at the AALS Annual Meeting; once as moderator for a workshop on the ratings game, once on “Legal Ethics CLE in the Law School Setting: Can It Be Practical, Academic, and Interesting at the Same Time?” and once on “What I Wish I Had Known Then: A Conversation Among Deans”.  She will also speak twice at the National Conference of Bankruptcy Judges.


Ben Sheppard published a solicited article titled The Moth, the Light and the United States’ Severability Doctrine  in the October 2006 issue of the Journal of International Arbitration.  He also spoke on the presentation of evidence of witnesses in international arbitration at the 23rd AAA/ICC/ICSID Joint Colloquium on International Arbitration conducted at the headquarters of the World Bank in Washington, D.C. on November 17th.


Don Tomlinson gave a talk on November 9th to the Northwest Houston Women’s Business Forum at Champions Golf Club titled “Intellectual Property Basics.” He will give the same talk to the Sterling Bank (Cypress) Development Board on December 12th, at Champions Golf Club.


Joseph Vail attended a Department of Justice training program in Harlingen from November 7th-9th for a one year grant to the Immigration Clinic to present legal orientation programs. On November 14th-16th he worked with an ABA funded legal aid group (PROBAR) also in Harlingen and three UHCL immigration clinic students to successfully gain asylum before the immigration court for a Somali refugee. On November 30th he trained a Catholic immigrants rights group in College Station on proposed immigration legislation and on December 1st he gave a presentation to the Houston Young Lawyers’ Association on representing minors seeking refugee protection.


Greg Vetter moderated the Patent Reform panel at the University of Texas at Austin School of Law conference Frontiers of IP, held on November 10th-11th, by the Center for Law, Business & Economics.  Professor Vetter co-chaired with Professor Craig Joyce the Thirteenth Annual Katz-Kiley Lecture on November 15th, "The Invention of Invention:  A History of Nonobviousness," presented by Professor John F. Duffy of the George Washington University Law School.


Jacqueline Weaver spoke to a class of 40 LL.M. students from St. Gallens University at the University of Texas School of Law on the subject of international joint operating agreements and the future of our petroleum-based economy.

Harriet Richman, Editor