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

December 2009

Editor, Dan Baker djbaker2@central.uh.edu

Previous editions of Faculty Focus can be accessed here.


Gavin Clarkson’s paper entitled “The Social Efficiency of Fairness,” co-authored with MIT economist Marshall Van Alstyne, was recently listed on SSRN's Top Ten download list for Property, Citizenship, & Social Entrepreneurism. The paper is available at http://papers.ssrn.com/abstract=1514137. Along with University of Michigan professor Lada Adamic and others, Dr. Clarkson submitted a manuscript to Science magazine on “Individual Focus and Knowledge Creation.” That article includes information derived from the Patent Cartography research currently underway at UH. Dr. Clarkson recently advised the US Department of the Treasury on a pro bono basis regarding tribal corporate structures and the operation of tribal business off reservation. Finally, as part of Native American Heritage Month, Dr. Clarkson gave a guest lecture in Professor Turner’s “Race and the Law” course on “Race, Law, and Indian Stuff.”


Geoffrey Hoffman gave a talk to approximately 100 counselors about the immigration options for children at the Post-Secondary Guidance & Counseling Program meeting at the Spring Branch Independent School District. In addition, the U.S. Supreme Court just granted cert in an important immigration case regarding subsequent drug possessions, Carachuri -Rosendo  v. Holder. The  UHLC’s Immigration Clinic is the co-counsel and will be assisting a D.C. law firm with briefing before the Supreme Court.


Craig Joyce was reappointed as Chair of the American Society for Legal History’s Committee on Conferences and the Annual Meeting at the Society’s 2009 meeting in Dallas.


Rick McElvaney spoke on Landlord and Tenant law at two CLE programs: Consumer Law Training sponsored by the Center for Consumer Law and The New Lawyer Course sponsored by TexasBarCLE and the Texas Young Lawyers Association. He has also joined the faculty of the Kaplan PMBR bar review course.


Michael A. Olivas published a book review, “Catherin Dauvergne, Making People Illegal: What Globalization Means for Migration and Law”, in the Journal of American Ethnic History (2009). He delivered a talk on Plyler v. Doe at Washington University in St. Louis, participated in a panel on scholarly publishing at the Association for the Study of Higher Education annual conference in Vancouver, and served as an outside promotion and tenure reviewer for six faculty in various institutions in Fall, 2009.


Ron Scott gave a continuing medical education presentation on December 1, 2009 to physicians at Northwest Medical Center addressing the legal implications involved in choosing and implementing an electronic health record system.


Diana Velardo was a Guest Speaker at the Children at Risk Trafficking CLE Luncheon Series, which is sponsored by the Texas Bar Foundation. She presented on “The Effects of Human Trafficking on International Victims and the Network of Services Available to Serve Them”. Over 80 attorneys attended the luncheon aimed at recruiting attorneys to take human trafficking victims’ cases on a pro bono basis. Diana served as the Guest Speaker at the “Broken Cords” Concert at Jones Hall, a benefit concert to raise awareness of human trafficking in Houston, an even that drew over 200 people. Diana was also a presenter at the Domestic Violence and Human Trafficking Law Enforcement Response Training spearheaded by the US Attorney’s office of the Southern District of Texas and Family Time Foundation, where she taught an audience of over 100 law enforcement personnel the intricacies of immigration law in relation to victims of domestic violence, crimes, human trafficking, abused children and persecuted individuals. The University of Nebraska extended an invitation to Diana’s proposed “Presentation on Human Trafficking”. Diana co-presented with Charlotte Morris, Chair of Houston Coalition Against Human Trafficking, at the First Annual Interdisciplinary Conference on Human Trafficking in Nebraska. The Presentation was titled “Lessons Learned from the Biggest Human Trafficking Bust on U.S. Soil”, and it was attended by over 60 professors, researchers, and several directors of non-profit organizations working tirelessly to end modern day slavery.


Greg Vetter presented an Internet Law lecture on November 18, 2009 to a delegation of lawyers and judges visiting Houston from China on an educational tour for exposure to the U.S. intellectual property system. Also, on November 11, 2009, he attended the Law Center Class of 2004 reunion event.


Jacqueline Weaver, from November 13-16, gave two presentations to the legal department of Ecopetrol, the Colombian national oil company, as part of a four-weekend legal seminar series held at the University of La Sabada in Bogota, Colombia. She spoke on “Are Legislative Reforms Necessary to Attract Foreign Investment?” and “The Future of the Petroleum Industry under Global Warming”, with an update on the current U.S. proposals to curb greenhouse gases. She then explored Bogota with former LLM students who have successful practices in petroleum law in Colombia. (Bogota is wonderful and very safe to visit.) She also hosted a visit to the UHLC by Mr. Bertrand Deprez, a senior consultant and policy analyst for a Brussels think tank who is touring the U.S. under the auspices of our US State Department to learn more about the US approach to global warming, and especially to discuss the petroleum industry’s reaction to recent  bills controlling greenhouse gases. She also filed an amicus brief in the Miesch case, urging the Texas Supreme Court to rehear the case because the Court’s initial opinion seriously misreads the oil and gas lease at issue and severely limits the ability of state agencies to prevent waste in Texas oil and gas reservoirs. A few days later, the Court granted the motion for rehearing, which had been pending for months.