Faculty Focus--July 2012


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

July 2012


Editor, Katy Stein kastein@central.uh.edu

Previous editions of Faculty Focus can be accessed here


Erma Bonadero has been chosen to serve as a member of the Harris County Drug Court Foundation’s Board of Directors. Established in 2003 and granted 501(c)(3) status in 2006, the organization’s mission is to: (1) provide financial support to the Harris County’s STAR (Success Through Addiction Recovery) felony drug court program; and (2) raise awareness in the community about the life-saving, fiscally responsible activities of the STAR program. The Foundation’s board and staff are all volunteers and proceeds go directly to STAR for recovery support services and treatment. Each semester during the regular school year, Professor Bonadero organizes a field trip for her students to observe a STAR Drug Court docket. Students leave the courtroom that day with a better understanding of alternative courts, and are also inspired by the clients’ successes they are able to witness. The Board of Directors is currently seeking a few additional members. If this is a cause that you’d like to get behind, please contact Erma for more information (713-822-2717; ecbonade@central.uh.edu).


Zachary Bray presented an article called “The New Progressive Property and the Low-Income Housing Conflict” at the Law & Society Conference, on a panel discussion called “Ownership: With, For, and Against Others.” The article will be published by the BYU Law Review in the fall.  Professor Bray also moderated a panel called “Exceptionalism in Administrative Law” at the same conference. Also in June, Professor Bray spoke on a panel called “Notes from the First Years” at the AALS New Professors Conference in Washington, D.C., and he also co-chaired the Property Small Group panel discussions at that same conference. 


Aaron Bruhl’s recent Cornell Law Review article on statutory interpretation in the lower courts (“Hierarchy and Heterogeneity: How to Read a Statute in a Lower Court”) has been reprinted in condensed form at The Legal Workshop, http://legalworkshop.org/.


Darren Bush was quoted in a Reuter’s article discussing potential antitrust liability for Encana and Chesapeake Energy relating to allegations of price fixing in Michigan. The full story is available at http://graphics.thomsonreuters.com/12/06/ChesapeakeLand.pdf.  The article appeared in hundreds of media outlets.  Additionally, Professor Bush was quoted in a story for Bloomberg related to the same matter. http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-06-25/michigan-agency-evaluates-chesapeake-encana-report.html. He was also interviewed by KHOU 11 News on July 10 and quoted in a report available on the station’s website regarding United Airlines using George Bush Intercontinental Airport for Boeing 787 Dreamliners.


Seth Chandler delivered two talks at University College London as part of the 11th International Mathematica Symposium.  His main talk was "Machine Learning Judicial Behavior Using a Mathematica to Weka Interface," in which he develops a process whereby the result of past, current and future Supreme Court case can be predicted (imperfectly) using any panel of justices since 1946.  His second talk, "A Look At Power in the American Electoral College: Applied Intermediate Mathematica," showed users with an intermediate level of facility in the Mathematica language how the program might be used and interfaces developed to understand our constitutional system of electing a president.


Geoffrey Hoffman attended the Immigration and Customs Enforcement roundtable meeting here in Houston on June 21, 2012. Director Morton spoke, as well as the ICE Public Advocate, and U.S. Representative Sheila Jackson Lee, about implementation of the new deferred action policy for certain young people who fit the strict criteria. Professor Hoffman’s law review article, co-authored with Susham Modi, appeared in Vol. 15, No. 3 (Spring 2012) of The Journal of Gender, Race and Justice at the University of Iowa. The article is part of a symposium on the War on Terror and is entitled “The War on Terror as a Metaphor for Immigration Regulation: A Critical View of a Distorted Debate.” On June 25, Professor Hoffman was interviewed for a piece on KUHF discussing the Arizona v. United States ruling by the Supreme Court.  Professor Hoffman was interviewed by Susan Carroll of the Houston Chronicle on the same date. On June 15, Professor Hoffman gave an interview on air during the 92.1 newscast concerning President Obama’s new policy of deferred action for certain young people. Professor Hoffman’s interview on the recent Supreme Court decision, Arizona v. U.S., is available on the KUHF website at: http://app1.kuhf.org/articles/1340665787-Houston-Reacts-To-Supreme-Court-Ruling-On-Immigration.html.


Sapna Kumar passed the United States Patent and Trademark Office Registration Examination, more commonly known as the Patent Bar. She is now eligible to apply to become a registered patent attorney. Professor Kumar also traveled to Washington D.C. to help run the AALS Workshop for New Law Teachers and the Workshop for Pretenured People of Color, as part of her responsibilities for the organizing committee. At the New Law Teachers Workshop, she led small group discussions for new administrative law and constitutional law professors.


Jim Lawrence will be serving as the Communications Expert for the ABA/NITA Family Law Trial Training Institute held July 14-21 in Boulder, CO. Also, Professor Lawrence will be presenting at the 2012 American Institute of CPA’s Expert Witness Skills Workshop held July 26-28 at the Swisshotel in Chicago, IL


Jessica Mantel spoke at the American Society of Law, Medicine and Ethic's Annual Health Law Professors Conference on June 8.  Professor Mantel’s presentation discussed the extent to which health care providers are forming accountable care organizations in response to market pressures and changes in Medicare reimbursement policies.


Michael A. Olivas, in response to President Obama’s new prosecutorial discretion policy, published Obama's New Immigration Policy: Disappointment Is in the Details, Chronicle of Higher Education, June 18, 2012, http://chronicle.com/article/Obamas-New-Immigration/132377 ; and Michael A. Olivas, Dreams Deferred: Deferred Action, Prosecutorial Discretion, and the Vexing Case(s) of DREAM Act Students (UHLC/IHELG Monograph No.12-01) http://www.law.uh.edu/ihelg/monograph/12-01.pdf, which will appear in the William and Mary Bill of Rights Law Journal. His book review of Maria Chavez, Everyday Injustice: Latino Professionals and Racism, will appear in The Review of Higher Education (2012).


Jordan Paust’s essay in Jurist, “The States are Unavoidably Bound by International Law,” was replied to in Jurist by Professor David Moore, and Professor Paust has responded to the reply: http://jurist.org/forum/2012/07/jordan-paust-moore-reply.php. The fourth edition of Paust, Bassiouni, et al., International Criminal Law as well as the new Documents Supplement has been sent to the publisher.


Ben Sheppard’s article titled “Fortress U.S.A.: Two Troublesome Defenses against the Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Arbitral Awards in the United States,” based upon his presentation at the Fordham Law School Conference on International Arbitration and Mediation, appeared in Contemporary Issues in International Arbitration and Mediation (Martinus Nijoff). Professor Sheppard moderated a program on cross-examination in international arbitration at the spring meeting of the ABA Section on International Law in New York on April 19, 2012. Also, Professor Sheppard presented an overview of developments in international commercial arbitration at the annual Houston Bar Association ADR section spring meeting on May 4, 2012. Finally, Professor Sheppard participated as a speaker at the roundtable discussion at the 24th annual arbitration workshop of the Institute for Transnational Arbitration on June 22, 2012.


Spencer Simons attended and chaired a meeting of a subcommittee of the AALS Committee on Libraries and Technology in Washington, D.C. on June 14. The subcommittee, of which Professor Simons is Chair, is advising the AALS on revisions to bylaws and executive committee regulations regarding the law library.


Barbara Stadler was appointed to the State Bar Committee on Legal Services to the Poor in Civil Matters. 


Jacqueline Weaver lectured in and directed an Advanced Legal Training course offered to 14 attorneys from Petrobras, the national oil company of Brazil.  The course addressed selected topics, such as LNG contracts, gas and power contracts, international petroleum contracts, maritime cargo and collision, and a full day of tax from Bret WellsTracy Hester also presented an update on US environmental law. The group toured the Houston Ship Channel on a boat in the record heat wave and ozone levels. 


Bret Wells published his article “Territorial Tax Reform: Homeless Income is the Achilles Heel,” in the Houston Business and Tax Law Journal (12 Hous. Bus. & Tax. L. J. 1 (2012)).  Professor Wells also taught a one-day tax course as part of the Advanced Legal Training Program hosted by the Law Center for fifteen Petrobras attorneys. 


Stephen Zamora hosted a series of events related to the launch of the Center for U.S. and Mexican Law, the Law Center’s newest research institute which he directs on June 1. The events included a lecture by Mexican Supreme Court Justice José Ramón Cossío Díaz, who has been named Distinguished Jurist in Residence;  and a lecture by Mexico’s Ambassador to the United States, Arturo Sarukhan, on “Mexico-U.S. Relations in 2012: Challenges and Opportunities.”  The Advisory Board of the Center also held its inaugural meetings.  The Center for U.S. and Mexican Law is the first research center in the United States devoted to the study of Mexican law, and of legal aspects of U.S. – Mexico Relations. Information on the new Center and on the events are at http://www.law.uh.edu/mexican-law