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

October 2007


Meredith Duncan’s article, “In-House Counsel’s Ethical Obligations When Supervising Nonlawyer Assistants” was published in volume 87 of the Bureau of National Affairs, Inc’s Corporate Practice Series in September 2007. In addition, Professor Duncan was filmed in connection with FX’s new series “Damages” starring Glenn Close. She is scheduled to provide legal commentary as part of a featurette to be included in the DVD release of the first season of “Damages.”



Victor Flatt will be the keynote speaker at the Washington Bar Association’s Environmental and Land Use Law Section mid-year meeting. His topic will be U.S. climate change legislation and its effect on Washington State initiatives. Professor Flatt will also address the American College of Architects national meeting in Houston on the subject of climate change regulation, and will be a speaker in the School of Future Studies series on Energy and Environment of the Future. Professor Flatt’s article on U.S. Climate Change legislation has also been accepted for publication in the Northwestern University Law Review Colloquy. Professor Rose at Yale and Professor Osofsky at Oregon will comment on the article.


Lonny Hoffman was informed in August that his article, “Burdens of Jurisdictional Proof,” was accepted for publication by the University of Alabama Law Review. Professor Hoffman spoke on a panel at the annual SEAALS conference on “Teaching and Scholarship: The Partnership,” in Amelia Island, Florida; conducted several moot appellate arguments in Vasilas v. State, where he represents the Appellee in the matter pending before the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals; attended a monthly meeting of the Texas Supreme Court Advisory Committee; and, as editor of The Advocate, the quarterly journal of the Litigation Section for the State Bar of Texas, published volume 40(Fall 2007), a symposium issue devoted to Settlement and Litigation. In September,  Professor Hoffman was an invited guest and participant at a conference at the Vanderbilt University School of Law on “Managing Litigation in a World Without Trials: Empirical Research From the Federal Judicial Center”; participated in an editorial board conference call meeting with First Chair Press, a publication editorial board of the Litigation Section of the ABA; attended the quarterly fall meeting of the Litigation Council for the Litigation Section of the State Bar of Texas; and argued before the court of criminal appeals in Vasilas v. State. The case is profiled in the September 17 edition of the Texas Lawyer.


Paul Janicke was the September featured speaker at the monthly Vinson & Elkins lunch forum on intellectual property law. He also addressed a Baker & McKenzie CLE luncheon on the effects of the Supreme Court’s recent patent law decision in KSR v. Teleflex. Prof. Janicke’s commentary on the current Congressional Patent law reform effort will be published this month in the Max Planck Institute journal, Gewerblicher Rechtsschutz und Uheberrecht Internationaler Teil (in German).


Craig Joyce was appointed to the LexisNexis Law School Publishing Advisory Board.


Rick McElvaney 2007-2008 Chairman of the Consumer and Commercial Law Section of the State Bar of Texas, served as the Course Co-Director for the Comprehensive Consumer and Commercial Law CLE Course sponsored by the State Bar of Texas in Houston on September 20-21, 2007. At this conference, he spoke on the subject of Landlord and Tenant Law. He was also Co-Director and Moderator for the Bankruptcy Fundamental Course held on September 24, 2007, at Lone Star Legal Aid in Houston.


Gerry Moohr submitted the manuscript for her casebook, Criminal Law of Intellectual Property and Information, to West. She has been invited to speak at the March 2008 ABA White Collar Crime Conference. Her topic is “Beyond Enforcement: Problematic Issues Raised by Intellectual Property and Information Crimes.”


Michael A. Olivas spoke on his Hernandez v. Texas book at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas and the University of Delaware. He also talked about the case at the Houston Latino Book Fair. Professor Olivas met with UNLV trustees and the Chancellor’s staff to discuss DREAM Act legislation and residency and immigration issues and at Yale Law School, he delivered the Dean’s Distinguished Lecture.  At SMU, he delivered a lecture, “Lawmakers Gone Wild? A Response to Professor Kobach,” which will be published in the SMU Law Review. He briefed a variety of newspaper and radio reporters on developments in immigration law and local ordinances, including the litigation in Hazleton, Pennsylvania, where a federal judge struck down the town’s statute. He was also appointed to the Special Committee on Security of Position of the ABA Council of the Section on Legal Education and Admission to the Bar; the charge of the 9-member Special Committee is to follow up on the initial work in Part IX of the 2006 Accreditation Policy Task Force and to make recommendations on accreditation standards concerning status, tenure, and academic freedom in law teaching.


Jordon Paust gave the Distinguished Lecture on Human Rights and National Security at the School of Law, College of William and Mary, September 27, 2007. His book, Beyond the Law: The Bush Administration’s Unlawful Responses in the “War” on Terror (2007) has been published by Cambridge University Press. He was also interviewed on National Public Radio on October 5 concerning possible criminal prosecution of Blackwater “civilian contractors” for unlawful conduct in Iraq. An expanded version of his comments also appears in an on-line essay in JURIST, “Prosecuting Blackwater Personnel,” available at



Ben Sheppard has been named to the Academic Council of the Institute for Transnational Arbitration of the Center for American and International Law. His article(translated into Spanish) on the amendment to the International Arbitration Rules of the American Arbitration Association establishing a pre-arbitral emergency arbitrator procedure  was published in the “Boletin Informativo” a publication of CANACO, the center of Mediation and Arbitration in Mexico City. He has also been selected for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America in the specialties of International Arbitration and International Trade and Finance Law.


Sandra Guerra Thompson attended the American Law institutes September 7-8 meeting in Minneapolis for the Advisory Committee on the Revision of the Model Penal Code – Sentencing.


Diana Velardo was a guest speaker at the Coalition Against Human Trafficking and Rescue and Restore’s Health Care Conference at the Dominical Sisters. She also presented at a CAHT Rescue and Restore training held at Catholic Charities. The presentation was titled, “Immigration Relief for Victims of Human Trafficking.” Diana was also interviewed by Univision, as part of Human Trafficking Awareness Week, on possible immigration relief for human trafficking victims. The story ran on September 17, 2007. Furthermore, Diana, as chair of the CAHT coalition co-sponsored a free screening for the movie Trade, which is a very powerful portrayal of the plight of victims of human trafficking.





Editor, Helen Boyce