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

February 2011

Editor, Dan Baker djbaker2@central.uh.edu

Previous editions of Faculty Focus can be accessed here.


Richard Alderman was appointed to the Provost’s Academic Budget Advisory Group. He also served as Master of Ceremonies for the Houston READ Commission’s annual Grown-up Spelling Bee, the organization’s major fundraiser. In addition, he spoke at the Advertising and Health Care: An Overview of Litigation and Hot Topics seminar, sponsored by the American Bar Association and the Center for Consumer Law; debated the role of plaintiff’s attorneys at a Federalists Society luncheon; participated in a roundtable discussion of law and the media, sponsored by Reynolds National Center for the Courts and Media; gave a full-day presentation on law for dentists attending the annual Star of the South Dental Conference; and spoke at a mini-edition of the “People’s Law School,” held at Lone Star College-Cy Fair. Most significantly, he cheered on Janie as she completed the Houston half-marathon.


Aaron Bruhl’s recent Cornell Law Review article on appellate procedure is currently being featured in a condensed form on the Legal Workshop website. The site, accessible at http://legalworkshop.org/, brings together selected content from a number of leading law reviews and presents it in a shorter and more accessible form.


Johnny Rex Buckles recently made the following presentations: “Unanswered Questions under UPMIFA and FASB”, co-presented with MariBen Ramsey of the Austin Community Foundation at the 28th Annual Nonprofit Organizations Institute (co-sponsored by the Conference of Southwest Foundations and the University of Texas School of Law) (Jan. 13, 2011); “The Federalization of the Duty of Loyalty Governing Charity Fiduciaries”, presented as part of a panel discussion of the Section on Nonprofit and Philanthropy Law of the Association of American Law Schools (AALS) at its annual meeting (Jan. 8, 2011); “Exempt Organizations Update”, presented at the 58th Annual Taxation Conference (sponsored by the University of Texas School of Law) (Dec. 8, 2010); “Public Disclosure Requirements”, presented at the Governance of Nonprofit Organizations Course (sponsored by the State Bar of Texas) (Aug. 20, 2010). Prof. Buckles’ paper presented at the AALS meeting was submitted in response to a call for papers, all of which are scheduled to be published in the Kentucky Law Journal this spring. Prof. Buckles also recently submitted his semi-annual updates to Chapters 1, 4, 11, and 12 of Estate Planning Law and Taxation, by David Westfall and George P. Mair (4th ed. 2001).


David R. Dow was the Wolfe Scholar in Residence at Congregation Beth El in San Antonio in January. On Jan. 28, his Wolfe Lecture addressed “The Irony of Relying on Jewish Scripture as Authority for Capital Punishment.” On Jan. 29, he spoke on “Reflections on Two Decades of Representing the Condemned.” On Feb. 2, in connection with the Houston Grand Opera's production of “Dead Man Walking”, Prof. Dow spoke prior to the performance on “Extirpating Evil.” On Feb. 10 and 11, he was the Writer in Residence at Texas Tech University in Lubbock. His recent book, The Autobiography of an Execution, has been named a finalist in the non-fiction category for the 2010 Barnes & Noble Discover Great New Writers Awards, and a finalist in the autobiography category for the National Book Critic Circles Award. Prof. Dow also reviewed David Oshinsky's book, Capital Punishment on Trial, for the Journal of Southern History; and his review of Brandon Garrett's Convicting the Innocent appeared in the Yale Magazine.


Emeritus Professor James E. Herget’s monograph, Contemporary German Legal Philosophy, originally published by the University of Pennsylvania Press in 1996, has been translated and published in Korea by the Sechang Publishing Company. Prof. and Mrs. Herget, who now reside in Kerrville, send their best regards to the Law Center community.


Tracy Hester posted his working paper on “Remaking the World to Save It:  Applying U.S. Environmental Laws to Climate Engineering Projects” to SSRN, and has already received a request to include it as a chapter in Cambridge University’s upcoming book on The Law of Geoengineering. He also co-chaired the Practicing Law Institute’s first annual Energy & Environmental Law Institute in Houston (which the Law Center co-sponsored) on Feb. 3 and 4. He was named as one of the top environmental attorneys in Texas by PLC rankings, and he was invited to join the Board of Advisors for the Houston Audubon Society.


Julie Hill presented her draft article, “Bank Capital Regulation by Enforcement: An Empirical Study,” at the University of Houston colloquium and at a South Texas College of Law faculty workshop. She also presented “Dodd-Frank’s Top Ten Changes for Community Banks” to the Houston Bar Association’s Commercial and Consumer Law Section.


Geoffrey Hoffman attended the Community Based Organizations (CBO) meeting at the Houston District office of the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services. Prof. Hoffman discussed ways the clinic could further assist other CBOs in Houston regarding the representation of immigrants. Prof. Hoffman and the clinic staff hosted a visit from Notre Dame Law students, primarily of first years, to discuss public interest law and the needs of the poor in Houston. On Feb. 8, Prof. Hoffman and the staff of the UH Immigration Clinic met with an international research firm to discuss the clinic's and community-based organizations' efforts to assist lawful permanent residents achieve naturalization. On Feb. 9, the UH Immigration Clinic co-sponsored a showing of "Which Way Home," a documentary film nominated for an Academy Award for best foreign film documentary 2010. After the film, Prof. Hoffman and Sasha Weiss, one of the film's producers, fielded questions from UH students regarding the film and immigration law. On Feb. 10, Prof. Hoffman lectured on the “Fundamentals of Immigration Law” at a 5-credit hour CLE relating to immigration and crime victims.


Craig Joyce completed a three-year term on the LexisNexis Publishing Advisory Board. Prof. Joyce was reappointed to the American Bar Association’s Copyright Reform Task Force, which advises the ABA regarding proposed copyright legislation.


Tom Oldham’s article “Everything Is Bigger in Texas, Except the Community Property Estate: Must Texas Remain a Divorce Haven for the Rich?” was published in the Family Law Quarterly this month.


Michael A. Olivas, for the University of Indiana Law School Jerome Hall Distinguished Lecture on Feb. 7, delivered “Governing Badly: Theory and Practice of Bad Ideas in College Decisionmaking”, which will appear in the Indiana Law Journal. On Feb. 14, he delivered the Bodenheimer Lecture at UC-Davis Law School, “The Implementation of Plyler v. Doe and the Danger in the Nativist Discourses”; it will also appear in the UC-Davis Law Review. He delivered a version of the Plyler talk as the Dr. Martin Luther King Distinguished Lecture at the University of Utah, where he also conducted a faculty workshop and appeared on the local Fox affiliate. This marked his Fox News debut. He also conducted a prelaw workshop for UH-Downtown students.


Jordan Paust was a panelist during a symposium at the University of Texas School of Law on Feb. 11. His paper entitled “A Critical Appraisal of the Air and Missile Defense Warfare Manual” will be published later by the Texas Journal of International Law. His on-line essay “Tunisia, Egypt, and Revolution in a ‘Democracy’” is available at http://jurist.org/forum/2011/02/tunisia-egypt-and-revolution-in-a-democracy.php. He also participated in a chat group at the UCLA Law Forum regarding criminal responsibility of a sitting head of state in the Sudan who is subject to an international arrest warrant with respect to the International Criminal Court. On Feb. 13th, Prof. Paust and Dean Nimmer were judges during the final regional round of the Jessup International Moot Court Competition at UH. Prof. Paust’s article “Non-State Actor Participation in International Law and the Pretense of Exclusion” has been accepted for publication in volume 51 of Virginia Journal of International Law later this spring. In addition, Prof. Paust was identified in an advertisement that appeared on the back page of the Feb. 24 issue of the New York Review of Books as a contributor to The United States and Torture: Interrogation, Incarceration, and Abuse, edited by Marjorie Cohn (NYU Press, 2011).


Greg Vetter presented as part of a trademark law panel on Jan. 27 at the symposium “Copyright and the Law of Marks in the Age of Grokster Inducement and Trademark Dilution” held in connection with the Blakely Advocacy Institute’s (BAI) 2011 Andrews Kurth Moot Court Championship. The symposium and championship hosted sixteen moot court teams from across the United States, bringing them to Houston to compete for a moot court national champion title against a problem posed from intellectual property law and collaboratively developed by the Institute for Intellectual Property and Information Law (IPIL) and BAI.


Jacqueline Weaver was approved by the Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board, the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs of the US State Department, and the Council for International Exchange of Scholars for candidacy on the Fulbright Specialists Roster.


Bret Wells presented a paper entitled “Outbound Property Transfers Under Section 367(a) and Section 367(d)” at a conference sponsored by the Council for International Tax Education in Houston on Jan. 26.