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

September 2010

Editor, Dan Baker djbaker2@central.uh.edu

Previous editions of Faculty Focus can be accessed here.


Darren Bush testified twice before the Senate and House Judiciary Committees over the past few months. Before the U.S. House Judiciary Committee in June, he testified, at the invitation of Congresswoman Sheila Jackson-Lee, concerning “Competition in the Airline Industry.” Before the Senate Judiciary Committee’s Subcommittee on Antirust, Competition Policy, and Consumer Rights, he testified in the hearing concerning the United Airlines/Continental Airlines Merger. He has been listed in numerous press accounts of these hearings, including Reuters, Aviation Week, and the Houston Chronicle, as well as making several appearances on TV and the radio. He also attended and spoke at the convocation of his friend, mentor, teacher, and colleague, Professor John J. Flynn, who passed away in April. He finalized his article entitled “Too Big to Bail,” which will appear in the Antitrust L aw Journal.  Another article is under revise and resubmit in a peer-reviewed journal to be named later.


Barbara Evans presented her working paper, “Waiving Your Privacy Goodbye: Privacy Waivers and the HITECH Act’s Regulated Price for Sale of Health Data to Researchers,” at the NIH-funded Critical Issues Workshop on Protecting Privacy in Health Research on August 10. In recent proceedings to amend the HIPAA privacy rule (docket HHS-OCR-2010-0016), the working paper was cited in comments subscribed by 39 healthcare systems, professional and consumer advocacy groups, research institutions, and individuals. Prof. Evans filed extensive comments in that same proceeding. Her invited piece, “Establishing Clinical Utility of Pharmacogenetic Tests in the Post-FDAAA Era,” will appear in Clinical Pharmacology & Therapeutics in December. Over the summer, she attended multiple sessions of the Institute of Medicine’s Committee on the Public Health Effectiveness of the FDA 510(k) Clearance Process; served on three panels at the NIH Critical Issues Workshop; addressed the Duke Clinical Research Institute’s Think Tank on Pharmacogenomics in Cardiovascular Disease; gave a briefing on personalized medicine at the AARP Board of Directors Management Retreat; and spoke on health information privacy at the ASLME Health Law Professors’ Conference.


Adam Gershowitz‘s article, "Password Protected? Can a Password Save Your Cell Phone From the Search Incident to Arrest Doctrine?," has been accepted for publication in the Iowa Law Review.


Jim Hawkins will present his paper “Regulating on the Fringe: Reexamining the Link Between Fringe Banking and Financial Distress” at a faculty lunch workshop at South Texas College of Law on September 23.


Geoffrey Hoffman‘s op-ed was published in the Houston Chronicle’s Sunday edition, Section B10-B11, Outlook, on September 5, 2010. The piece was entitled, “DHS’s decision to prioritize removal cases makes sense in era of overburdened courts.”


Craig Joyce published the eighth edition of his widely adopted casebook, Copyright Law: The Statute of Anne Edition, celebrating the 300th anniversary of the world’s first copyright legislation. Prof. Joyce also conducted “A Conversation with Justice Sandra Day O’Connor” at the Chautauqua Institution in New York. Since its founding as a center for adult out-of-school learning in 1874, Chautauqua’s historic 5,000-seat amphitheater has hosted speeches, presentations, and performances by presidents and preachers, leading thinkers and writers in arts and letters, and popular entertainers of the day. The conversation with Justice O’Connor capped the Institution’s final week, devoted to study of the U.S. Supreme Court.


Tom Oldham has been invited to be one of four participants in an annual symposium put on by the Louisiana Law Review. Every year, the LSU Law Center hosts a symposium on a chosen topic where they invite scholars from around the country to make presentations relating to the topic. The presentations are then published in the law review. The topic for 2011 is “The Future of Community Property.”


In Madison, Wisconsin, Michael A. Olivas conducted a national on-line seminar, Enrolling Undocumented Students: Legal and Policy Implications, for over 100 site-licensed colleges and organizational offices on college immigration issues for Magna Publications, the country’s largest provider of higher education seminars and CLE training. He also presented two lectures at Wuhan University, PRC: one on developments in US legal education at their Law School, and one on Section 529 and US college tuition finance plans at their Center for Social Security Studies.


Jordan Paust conducted two classes on Race-Based Affirmative Action July 13 and 15 during the Rene Cassin International Institute of Human Rights July session in Strasbourg, France. There were some 120 students from around the world. He was also a participant during a closed-session “retreat” at the William Mitchell College of Law on “The Wisdom and the Legality of America’s Armed Drone Program,” on Sept. 11th. His articles “Civil Liability of Bush, Cheney, et al. for Torture, Cruel, Inhuman, and Degrading Treatment and Forced Disappearance,” 42 Case W. Res. J. Int’l L. 359-88 (2009), and “Terrorism’s Proscription and Core Elements of an Objective Definition,” 8 Santa Clara J. Int’l L. 51-67 (2010) were recently published.


Seth Chandler's work, “The Architecture of Contemporary Healthcare Reform and Effective Marginal Tax Rates,” has been published at 29 Miss. C.L. Rev. 335. He gave the opening keynote address "Insurance and Its Regulation" at the 10th International Mathematica Symposium in Beijing. Prof. Chandler has published seven new Demonstrations relating to law: (1) The Banzhaf Power Index of States for Presidential Candidates; (2) Insurance and Precautions; (3) The Equivalent Mileage of an Electric Vehicle with a Backup Gasoline Motor; (4) Neighborhood Graphs with HITS and SALSA; (5) Current v. Cohort Life Tables and the Regulation of Life Insurance; (6) Legal Incoherence; and (7) Healthcare Reform and Effective Marginal Tax Rates. He has also published a Demonstration called Baseball Without Swings, a work inspired by watching too many Little League games. All the Demonstrations are available at demonstrations.wolfram.com. Prof. Chandler spoke in September in Washington, D.C. on "The possibilities for improving the disgraceful state of legal data" to the government data session of the Wolfram Data Summit. He will be attending the American Bar Association's Site Chair's Workshop in Chicago later in September in preparation for his visit to the University of Nebraska this coming February.


Sandra Guerra Thompson attended the meeting of the Timothy Cole Advisory Panel (TCAP) on Wrongful Convictions, on which she serves, in Austin on August 12th. The advisory panel adopted a final report to be considered by the Texas legislature in drafting comprehensive innocence reform legislation. She also attended the meeting of the Texas Indigent Defense Task Force in Austin on August 25th at which the report of the TCAP was formally transmitted to the Governor, Lt. Governor, and members of the Texas Legislature. She spoke at a press conference after the meeting along with Senator Rodney Ellis and Judge Barbara Hervey of the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals. An op-ed piece she wrote appeared in the Houston Chronicle on August 5th entitled, “Is it a New Era of Justice in Harris County?”.

Prof. Thompson’s two recent symposium articles appeared in print: “Judicial Blindness to Eyewitness Misidentification” (Marquette Law Review) and “Eyewitness Identifications and State Courts as Guardians Against Wrongful Convictions” (Ohio State Journal of Criminal Law).


Ronald Turner’s article “Employment Law” has been published at 63 SMU Law Review 537 (2010). His casebook Torts: A Contemporary Approach, co-authored with Meredith Duncan, was recently published by Thomson/West, and he is working on a new Thomson/West casebook, Employment Law: Issues, Theories, and Realities, and on the 7th Edition of a LexisNexis casebook, Employment Discrimination Law: Cases and Materials with co-authors Charles Craver (George Washington University National Law Center) and Arthur B. Smith, Jr. He was also a speaker at the 2010 SEALS annual meeting on a panel addressing Labor and Employment Legislation During the First 500 Days of the Obama Administration, and has accepted an invitation to speak at the 2011 SEALS meeting on labor and employment arbitration issues and concerns.


Jacqueline Weaver taught a two-week course in the University of Vermont's Environment & Energy summer program. The course topic was "OIl and Gas Production and Environment: Domestic and International Legal Frameworks." In the second week of August, she presented a week of classroom lectures on "Commercial Frameworks: Concessions, PSAs, Risk Service and Hybrid Contracts" in the International Oil and Gas Course at Chulalongkorn University's LLM program in Bangkok, Thailand. In addition to LLM students, class participants included government and industry professionals. While in Bangkok, she gave a talk to PTIT, the Petroleum Institute of Thailand at PTT (Thailand's national oil company) headquarters. Believe it or not, Bangkok is more humid than Houston, but then it has more golden palaces and Buddhist temples than can even be imagined. She also completed the Teacher's Manual for Energy, Economics, and the Environment (3d ed.2010), which is now in print.


Bret Wells published an article entitled "What Corporate Inversions Teach Us About International Tax Reform" in the June edition of Tax Notes. He also published an article in August in Virginia Tax Review entitled "This Return Might Be Right, But Probably Isn't." He had another article accepted for publication in the fall edition of the Florida Tax Review entitled "Economic Substance: How Codification Changes Decided Cases." Also in the month of September, he will give a presentation to the Tax Section of the Houston Bar Association entitled "Ethical Issues With Taking Uncertain Tax Position on a Tax Return."