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

July 2011

Editor, Dan Baker djbaker2@central.uh.edu

Previous editions of Faculty Focus can be accessed here.


Aaron Bruhl's article on "The Senate: Out of Order?" has been published in the Connecticut Law Review. The article was prepared in connection with the Connecticut Law Review's annual symposium; this year's symposium topic was "Is Our Constitutional Order Broken? Structural and Doctrinal Questions in Constitutional Law." All of the symposium contributions are available at http://connecticutlawreview.org/index.htm.


Barbara Evans’ article, “Much Ado about Data Ownership”, will appear in the Harvard Journal of Law & Technology this Fall. She is a co-author, with Deven McGraw and Kristen Rosati, of “A Model for Advancing Public Health and Protecting Privacy”, set to appear next month in Pharmacoepidemiology & Drug Safety. Her chapter, “Legal Trends Driving the Clinical Translation of Pharmacogenomics”, in Principles of Pharmacogenetics and Pharmacogenomics (Russ B. Altman, David A. Flockhart & David B. Goldstein, eds., Cambridge University Press) recently went to press. Prof. Evans will be serving on the Expert Panel for a Canadian Institutes of Health Research-funded project to develop guidelines for ethical conduct of cluster randomized, controlled clinical trials. She is a peer reviewer for the U.S. Agency for Healthcare Research & Quality’s publication, Registries for Evaluating Patient Outcomes (3d ed.) and participated in a related conference on July 18. Prof. Evans was a member of the program committee for the First International Health Privacy Summit held June 13 at Georgetown Law Center and spoke about control of patient data in health information exchanges. She spoke about public use of patient data at the ASLME health law professors’ conference on June 11. Prof. Evans spoke about legal issues in managing incidental findings in pharmacogenomic research at the Duke Institute for Genome Sciences & Policy on June 8-9 and she spoke about data ownership at the Greenwall Foundation Annual Meeting on May 23. She continues to serve on the Institute of Medicine’s Committee on the Public Health Effectiveness of the FDA 510(k) Process, which is preparing its report for publication soon.


Patricia Gray, Director of Research for the Health Law & Policy Institute, presented “Ethics and the Practice of Medicine in the Era of Social Media” at the 60th Annual Pediatric Review and Update held in Galveston on June 18. She also presented a legislative update for members of the Houston Bar Association Health Law Section on July 13. Prof. Gray, who served in the Texas House of Representatives from 1992-2003, has recently been recognized in two retrospective reviews of former state legislators. Texas Monthly included her in their Best Legislators Hall of Fame interviews in the July issue. Capitol Insider included her in their decade all star list of Texas House members for the 1990s.  She hopes this does mean that she is past history and about to fade into the sunset.


Julie Hill presented her article, “Bank Capital Regulation by Enforcement: An Empirical Study”, at the Law and Society Association’s annual meeting in San Francisco.


Geoffrey Hoffman spoke in San Diego on June 16 at the annual conference of the American Immigration Lawyer's Association, specifically representing the UH Immigration Clinic at the meeting on hot topics and current trends sponsored by the Detention Watch Network/American Immigration Council. Prof. Hoffman attended a meeting of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officials at the USCIS Houston District Office on June 27, discussing the impact of the Secured Communities program. On June 29, Prof. Hoffman was quoted in an article in the Houston Chronicle, entitled “Cornyn presses Napolitano over immigration case dismissals,” available at http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/chronicle/7631394.html. Prof. Hoffman’s op-ed on prosecutorial discretion was published in the Sunday edition of the Houston Chronicle on July 10 and is available online at http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/editorial/outlook/7646502.html. Previously, it was the subject of a guest-post in the ImmigrationProf Blog, available at:  http://lawprofessors.typepad.com/immigration/.


Sapna Kumar was appointed to the 2012 Planning Committee for the AALS New Law School Teachers Workshop, the Pretenured People of Color Law School Teachers Workshop, and the Workshop on Clinical Education. She traveled to Washington D.C. to serve as a group leader for the 2011 New Law School Teachers Workshop and to begin planning next year's workshops.


Jessica Mantel spoke on a panel at the ASLME's Health Law Professor Conference at Loyola of Chicago Law School on June 11. The panel discussed accountable care organizations under health care reform.


Rick McElvaney spoke at the HAY Center on Consumer Law to a group of counselors who assist foster care children. Prof. McElvaney spoke at the State Bar of Texas Annual Convention to the Consumer and Commercial Section on New Laws Affecting Consumer Law (2011). Prof. McElvaney also presented the portion of the Kaplan Texas Bar Review Class dealing with Consumer Law.


Tom Oldham’s review of a book by Fay Botham about the history of US laws barring interracial marriage was published in the Journal of Law & Religion (Vol. 26, no. 2 [2010-11]).


Michael A. Olivas gave a lecture on “Academic Freedom and Internal Forces Upon the Curriculum” at an AALS curriculum workshop in Seattle, June 12. On June 13, he addressed graduates from the Graduate School of Education, UC-Riverside, and gave the commencement address. On June 16, he spoke on Hernandez v. Texas to the Appellate Section of the Houston Bar Association, and on June 26-27, he taught sophomore prelaw students in the UH Prelaw Institute. On June 28, he submitted testimony to the U.S. Senate Committee on the Judiciary’s Subcommittee on Immigration, Refugees and Border Security, in support of the DREAM Act: http://www.law.uh.edu/news/summer2011/0628Olivas.html.


Jacqueline Weaver taught a course in international petroleum to 12 lawyers from Sonangol, the national oil company of Angola, at the Law Center for 8 days in June. The lawyers are in the Advanced Legal Studies program taught by professors from UHLC, Catolica Law School in Lisbon, and Kings College.


Bret Wells’ article entitled “New Schedule UTP: Uncertain Tax Positions in the Age of Transparency” came out in print at 63 Baylor L. Rev. 392 (2011). Prof. Wells testified by invitation at a hearing of the Subcommittee on Select Revenue Measures of the House Ways & Means Committee. The hearing focused on tax reform and its impact on foreign investment in the United States. The House Ways & Means Committee’s online link for the hearing, along with Prof. Wells’ prepared written testimony, can be found at http://waysandmeans.house.gov/Calendar/EventSingle.aspx?EventID=247219. Prof. Wells taught a course in international taxation to 12 lawyers from Sonangol, the national oil company of Angola, at the Law Center for 8 days in July. The lawyers are in the Advanced Legal Studies program taught by professors from UHLC, Catolica Law School in Lisbon, and Kings College.