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

November 2009

Editor, Dan Baker djbaker2@central.uh.edu

Previous editions of Faculty Focus can be accessed here.


Richard Alderman had Thomson/West publish the 2010 editions of Alderman and Pridgen’s Consumer Credit and the Law and Consumer Protection and the Law. This combined four-volume set is the leading consumer treatise in the country. He also submitted his manuscript for the 7th edition of Know Your Rights!, his law for the lay-person book. Dean Alderman also spoke on Landlord Tenant Law at the State Bar New Lawyer Course; The Texas Deceptive Trade Practices Act for the Center for Consumer  Law Basics Course; Consumer Arbitration to the Houston Bar Association Consumer Law Section; and gave talks to United Methodist Church; Kingwood College Business Law classes; and the Houston Association of Legal Professionals.


Aaron Bruhl had his article on the “continuing body” theory of the Senate accepted for publication in the Iowa Law Review. He also presented a paper on appellate procedure at the Federal Courts Junior Faculty Conference hosted by Michigan State University. Finally, he was a discussant on a panel on Statutory Interpretation and the New Legal Realism at the University of Wisconsin Law School.


Seth J. Chandler presented "Modeling Long Term Care Insurance" to the International Mathematica User Conference in Champaign, Illinois on October 22, 2009. He provided opening remarks at the Health Law & Policy Institute's  Swine Flu II Conference in Houston, Texas on October 30, 2009. He attended a meeting of the Health Care Policy Council in Austin, Texas on October 14, 2009.


Meredith J. Duncan’s article “Personal Torts” was recently published by the SMU Law Review (62 SMU L. Rev. 1365). She has also accepted SMU Law Review’s invitation to author an additional piece for their 2010 Survey of Texas Law. On October 7, 2009, Professor Duncan participated in the Defense Initiated Victim Outreach program put on by the Institute for Restorative Justice & Restorative Dialogue. She has also agreed to moderate a panel on “Innovative Teaching Techniques Used in Second and Third Year Law School Courses” at the 2010 Southeastern Association of Law Schools Conference.


Geoffrey Hoffman’s article on immigration law concerning affidavits of support and support obligations of divorced spouses was published by the Florida Bar Journal in October 2009. The article is entitled, "Immigration Form I-864 (Affidavit of Support) and Efforts to Collect Damages as Support Obligations Against Divorced Spouses — What Practitioners Need to Know". In addition, on November 20, 2009, he will be speaking at the T.H. Rodgers School for special needs and gifted children of the Houston Independent School District. He will be speaking on disabilities and immigration.



Michael A. Olivas was named by the AALS Nominating Committee to assume the position of President-elect, and if the nomination is accepted by the House of Delegates at the 2010 Annual Meeting, he will become President-elect in January, 2010, and will serve a one-year term as President of the Association in January, 2011.


Laura Oren had two articles published by the Houston Law Review: Feminist Jurisprudence and Child-Centered Jurisprudence: Historical Origins and Current Developments, (with Ellen Marrus) (Introduction to Symposium on Child-Centered Jurisprudence and Feminist Jurisprudence: Exploring the Connections and Tensions), 46 Hous. L. Rev. 671 (2009); and “True Mentoring: Lessons Learned from Professor Irene Merker Rosenberg,” 46 Hous. L. Rev. 664 (2009) (Tribute to Irene Rosenberg).


Jordan Paust was a member of a panel on Accountability for Torture at a meeting of the National Lawyers Guild in Seattle, Washington, October 17th.


Ira B. Shepard presented or will present “Recent Developments in Federal Income Taxation” to the Southern Federal Tax Institute (Atlanta) and the Tulane Tax Institute (New Orleans) in October; and to the Maryland Tax Institute (Baltimore), the William & Mary Institute (Williamsburg) and the Tennessee Tax Institute (Nashville) in November. He spoke on Current Developments in Taxation to the Wednesday Tax Forum (Houston), as he has done every month for the past 27 years, and made a presentation on tax ethics at the Houston Bar Association’s “Ethics Day” in November. He plans to speak about tax ethics to the Tax Executives Institute (Houston) and to speak on “Recent Developments in Federal Income Taxation” to the University of Texas Tax Conference (Austin) and the Austin Tax Study Group in December.


Ben Sheppard appeared with three arbitrators from France, Mexico, and Switzerland in a showcase program at the 2009 Fall Meeting of the ABA Section of International Law in Miami, Florida on October 30, 2009 titled “A View from the Inside—A Conversation with Some of Today’s Leading Arbitrators”. In a moderated roundtable format, the discussion focused on best practices currently in use in the management of arbitral proceedings, including the evolving state of international arbitration, tribunal dynamics, costs and delays in proceedings, the relative merits of party-appointment vs. institutional appointment of arbitrators, conflicts of interest and disclosures of interests and relationships, tribunal deliberations, and ethical dilemmas facing arbitrators and arbitral institutions. In addition, Prof. Sheppard has been appointed to a second three-year term on the Academic Council of The Institute for Transnational Arbitration.


Sandra Guerra Thompson completed work on an article entitled, “Eyewitness Identifications and State Courts as Guardians Against Wrongful Convictions,” which will appear in the Ohio State Journal of Criminal Law. She attended the first meeting of the Timothy Cole Advisory Panel on Wrongful Convictions for the Texas Legislature held in Austin on October 13th. She serves on this panel as representative for the Texas public law schools. Prof. Thompson also appeared on a TV Show entitled, “When Science and Justice Intersect” on Channel 8 PBS on October 16th. The show addressed the operation of the Texas Forensic Commission.


Ronald Turner has signed a contract with West for a new casebook Employment Law: Issues, Theories, and Realities, and will co-author the seventh edition of LexisNexis’ Employment Discrimination Law: Cases and Materials; both books will be published in 2011. The completed manuscript of another book, The NLRB and Managerial Discretion, has been submitted and will be published in the coming weeks. His article “Employment Law” was recently published in the SMU Law Review (62 SMU L. Rev. 1097), and his forthcoming publications include “On the Authority of the Two-Member NLRB: Statutory Interpretation Approaches and Judicial Choices”, Hofstra Labor and Employment Law Journal; “Charles Hamilton Houston and the Supreme Court’s Creation of the Union’s Duty of Fair Representation”, in Charles Hamilton Houston: An Interdisciplinary Study of Civil Rights, to be published by a division of Rowman & Littlefield Publishers; “Plessy 2.0”, Lewis & Clark Law Review; “On Parents Involved and the Problematic Praise of Justice Clarence Thomas”, Hastings Constitutional Law Quarterly; “Pliable Precedents, Plausible Policies, and Lilly Ledbetter’s Loss”, Berkeley Journal of Employment and Labor Law; and, by invitation, a labor and employment law article to be published in a 2010 issue of the SMU Law Review.  He also served as the moderator at the November 6 Fourteenth Annual Frankel Lecture featuring Professor Akhil Reed Amar of the Yale Law School. He will also participate at next year’s SEALS conference as a speaker on a panel discussing Labor and Employment Legislation During the First 500 Days of the Obama Administration.


Greg Vetter presented Patent Law’s Unpredictability Doctrine & the Software Arts at the Depaul University College of Law’s Center for Intellectual Property Law and Information Technology (CIPLIT®) 9th Annual CIPLIT Symposium:  Cyberlaw 2.0: Legal Challenges of an Evolving Internet, on October 16, 2009. On October 29th, he presented Intellectual Property and Free Software to a group at Rice University in affiliation with its Baker Institute for Public Policy and its Department of Computer Science. He presented the topic of Software Intellectual Property Protection (including Patentability of Business Methods) on November 2nd as a part of the University of Texas at Austin’s hosting of the University of St. Gallen Postgraduate Program Executive M.B.L.-HSG. The Executive Masters in European and International Business Law (M.B.L.-HSG) is a postgraduate law course of study by the University of St. Gallen in Switzerland, one of the top European Universities for the study of European and International Business Law. Finally, on November 4, 2009, he moderated a panel as part of a symposium entitled The Future of the Patent System held by the Institute for Intellectual Property & Information Law (IPIL) in association with the visit of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit to Houston that week. Panelists included: Hon. Paul Michel (Fed. Cir.); Nicholas Barzoukas (Weil Gotshal); Hon. Arthur Gajarsa (Fed. Cir.); Hon. Nancy Atlas (S.D. Tex.); Hon. Raymond Clevenger (Fed. Cir.); and Prof. Glynn Lunney (Tulane). Six judges of the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit heard cases at the Law Center in two panels on Tuesday morning, November 3, 2009.


Jacqueline Weaver spoke on a panel on transmission siting in the United States in Mexico City at the NACLE meeting on October 2-3 with counterparts from Mexican, U.S., and Canadian schools. She was the luncheon speaker at the State Bar of Texas Advanced Oil, Gas and Energy Institute on October 8, speaking on the Future of the Petroleum Industry under Global Warming. She also led a discussion on this topic in an Energy Seminar class at the University of Texas School of Law on October 20.