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

May 2011

Editor, Dan Baker djbaker2@central.uh.edu

Previous editions of Faculty Focus can be accessed here.


Aaron Bruhl moderated a panel discussion at the Fifth Circuit Judicial Conference in early May. The topic was "Federal Civil Rules and Appellate Rules: What's New and What's on the Horizon." The panelists were Judge Carl Stewart of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, Judge Lee Rosenthal of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas, and Professor Steven Gensler of the University of Oklahoma College of Law. During the month of May, Prof. Bruhl will be guest blogging at PrawfsBlawg, www.prawfs.com.


David R. Dow delivered the Harold E. and Margaret H. Rorschach Lecture in Legal History at Rice University on 6 April 2011. The title of his talk was “Can Law Eradicate Evil? Lessons from Four Decades of Capital Punishment.”


Geoffrey Hoffman's piece concerning the “birther” issue was published as a letter to the editor in the Houston Chronicle on Apr. 30, 2011. On May 4, 2011, Prof. Hoffman was interviewed by the Houston Chronicle concerning the UH Immigration Clinic’s appeal which resulted in a precedent decision on mental disabilities and immigration procedures by the Board of Immigration Appeals, handled by supervising attorney Janet Beck and 2L student Andrea Penedo. His comments were then published in a news article which appeared in the Houston Chronicle on May 5, 2011. Previously, Prof. Hoffman’s comments appeared as a guest blog on the ImmigrationProf Blog concerning the case and its importance. On May 11, 2011, Prof. Hoffman participated in a strategy teleconference hosted by the American Immigration Council (AIC) on  Matter of M-A-M-, ID 3711, 25 I&N Dec. 474 (BIA 2011), the decision resulting from the clinic’s appeal.


Craig Joyce in Apr. 2011 chaired IPIL’s Annual Spring Lecture, sponsored by Baker Botts LLP, this year featuring Prof. Paul Goldstein of Stanford Law School speaking on “Copyright on a Clean Slate.” An expanded version of the lecture will appear this fall in the Houston Law Review. Prof. Joyce also participated in a successful search for new book review editors for H-LAW, the Humanities Social Sciences On-Line discussion network of the American Society for Legal History, and was reappointed to the editorial board of the Journal of the Copyright Society of the U.S.A. for his 24th consecutive year of service.


Sapna Kumar's article The Other Patent Agency was cited by the Federal Trade Commission in their March report "The Evolving IP Marketplace: Aligning Patent Notice and Remedies with Competition."


Jim Lawrence was a faculty member in Emory Law School’s Kessler-Eidson Trial Techniques Program. Prof. Lawrence will be a presenter during a workshop on “Winning the Battle of the Experts” at the AICPA Family Law Conference, on May 18, 2011, in Las Vegas, NV. He is the Program Co-Director and Communications Expert for the ABA/NITA Family Law Trial Training Program, to be held later this month in Boulder, CO. Prof. Lawrence has also been named a 2011 UH F.D.I.P. Grant recipient. The grant proposal is spearheaded by Law Center alumnus Dr. Teri Elkins Longacre (Faculty, Bauer Business School). The grant is the initial step in a planned national grant proposal to study juror reactions in sexual harassment cases.


Michael A. Olivas participated in the Annual Meeting of the International Association of Law Schools (IALS) in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Prof. Olivas gave a keynote Presidential Address on the CLS v. Martinez case at the Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association (AERA), where he was also honored with designation as an AERA Distinguished Fellow; at AERA, he also conducted a workshop for PhD students on dissertation completion. Prof. Olivas also published Build It and They Will Publish Finding Aids: The Maturing of Higher Education Law, 37 J.C. & U.L. 435 (2011).


Jordan Paust was a panelist addressing “Conducting Historical Research in International Law” during a conference on Teaching International Law Beyond the Classroom at Pace University School of Law on May 6th.


Sandra Guerra Thompson gave a talk on the Texas death penalty at a conference hosted by the Houston Lawyers Association on Apr. 30 in Houston.


Jacqueline Weaver presented a talk on pooling and unitization in Texas at the UT CLE “bootcamp” for oil and gas lawyers on Apr. 7, 2011. Over 400 lawyers attended. The industry is coming back on the strength of the new gas and oil shale plays.


Bret Wells presented his paper entitled “Economic Substance: How Codification Changes Decided Cases” to the Wednesday Tax Forum on Apr. 19, 2011.