Faculty Focus -- August 2012


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

August 2012


Editor, Katy Stein kastein@central.uh.edu

Previous editions of Faculty Focus can be accessed here.


Darren Bush was quoted in an article that appeared on the E -Commerce web site on the U.S. Dept. of Justice’s lawsuit against Apple and other e-book sellers for potential violations of Section 1 of the Sherman Act.  He was also in a Reuters’ article regarding the Justice Department’s investigation of Chesapeake Energy over possible criminal antitrust violations related to the purchase and lease of oil and gas properties in Michigan.  This report was also picked up by the column Audit of the Columbia Journalism Review, Oil & Gas Financial Journal, State Impact (NPR), the Houston Business Journal, Value Walk and Futures Magazine websites. 


Seth Chandler has started a blog this summer called Texas Windstorm (http://catrisk.net/). It addresses legal and financial issues around Texas hurricane risk and has paid much attention to the Texas Windstorm Insurance Association and its operation.  


Tracy Hester spoke at the annual conference of the International Union for Conservation of Nature’s Academy of Environmental Law on “Is Environmental Law Ready for a Restatement?” on July 2 in Baltimore.  He represented the Law Center as a trustee at the Rocky Mountain Mineral Law Foundation’s annual meeting in Los Angeles and was named to RMMLF’s Long-Range Planning Committee. On August 4, he joined a meeting of the ABA Section on Environment, Energy and Resource’s governing Council in Chicago, and was renamed to another term on the Council for 2012-2013.


Julie Hill attended the Southeastern Association of Law Schools Conference where she made two presentations: (1) Shifting Mortgage Losses, the Future of Fannie & Freddie, and the 2012 Election and (2) Developing a Coherent Theory of Transaction Account Fee Regulation.


Geoffrey Hoffman authored an op-ed, analyzing how the Supreme Court’s recent decision involving Arizona’s immigration law supports President Obama’s new policy on deferred action.  This op-ed was published on the JURIST Forum website on Friday, July 27, 2012. It was reported and hyperlinked by the ImmigrationProf Blog on July 29 (http://lawprofessors.typepad.com/immigration/2012/07/arizona-v-us-and-obamas-deferred-action-policy.html). The op-ed was cited on the LexisNexis Immigration Law Community Blog, on August 2, 2012, available here, http://www.lexisnexis.com/community/immigration-law/blogs/outside/archive/2012/08/02/arizona-v-u-s-and-obama-s-deferred-action-policy-geoffrey-hoffman.aspx. In August, Professor Hoffman announced the creation of a deferred action initiative at the UH Law Center's Immigration Clinic, specifically designed to assist UH students and others in our community who may meet the strict guidelines for the new deferred action policy.


Lonny Hoffman has just completed work on his forthcoming article “Rulemaking in the Age of Twombly and Iqbal" (to be sent to law reviews in August 2012). This fall he will speak as an invited panelist on “Vulnerability to Suit Amid Changing Doctrines” as part of the 2012 Symposium, “Mass Tort Litigation in a Shrinking World,” at the University of Pennsylvania Law School, Philadelphia PA, November 2012. He will also be an invited panelist for a discussion on “Access to Justice, What Process is Due?” at the 2012 Appellate Judges Education Institute (AJEI) Summit, New Orleans, LA, November 2012. In addition to his scholarly writing and lecturing, Prof. Hoffman continues his work as the academic reporter for the Fifth Circuit’s Pattern Jury Instructions revisions project. Additionally, Prof. Hoffman remains active (with, among others, Professor Amanda Baumle (UH-sociology department)) on a federal-state pilot project to test several civil jury trial innovations. He also is an active member of the Texas Supreme Court's Rules Advisory Committee. His work as Editor of The Advocate, the quarterly journal of the Litigation Section of the State Bar of Texas, also continues (this summer he and the editorial board published the Summer 2012 issue (Volume 59) on Securities Regulation and Litigation). Finally, as the current Chair of the Section of Civil Procedure of the American Association of Law Schools, Prof. Hoffman continues planning for the January 2013 section program at the AALS annual meeting to take place in New Orleans.


Jacqueline Lipton was awarded a Ph.D. in law from Cambridge University in the U.K. She attended the degree conferral ceremony on July 21.


Jessica Mantel spoke at the annual SEALS conference on July 29.  Her presentation, “Organizational Culture and the Risk of Undertreatment,” addressed how a health care organization's norms and internal arrangements may impact health professional's clinical decisions.


Rick McElvaney spoke on the topic of Consumer Remedies at the State Bar of Texas Summer School sponsored by the College of the State Bar on July 20, 2012 in Galveston, Texas. Approximately 250 attorneys attended this 3 day CLE program. The O’Connor’s Property Code Plus 2012-2013 (Jones McClure), which Prof. McElvaney co-authored, is now out. It is in its Eighth edition.


Michael A. Olivas has completed his two chapters in the forthcoming book he is editing, “In Defense of My People”: Alonso S. Perales and the Development of Mexican-American Public Intellectuals (Houston: Arte Publico Press, forthcoming, 2012). His chapters are “Introduction: Alonso S. Perales, The Rule of Law, and the Development of Mexican-American Public Intellectuals” and alsoThe Legal Career of Alonso S. Perales.” Perales (1898-1960) was the third Mexican American law in Texas (admitted to the state Bar in 1925), and was a major author and civil rights leader. The University has recently archived his extensive collection of letters and other materials. The book will go to the printer next month. He also was asked to participate in a NYT Room for Debate: Getting on the Undocubus.


Jessica Roberts attended the 2012 SEALS Conference in Amelia Island, Florida, where she participated in a roundtable on health-care reform implementation and moderated Jessica Mantel's panel "Our Changing Health Care System: Policy and Legal Implications."


Katy Stein won an award for Best Feature Story from the State Bar of Texas’ Stars of Texas Bars Awards for her 2011 San Antonio Lawyer article, “Cost Effective Legal Research,” co-authored with Mike Martinez.


Sandra Guerra Thompson has been active on the Board of Directors of the Houston Forensic Science Center Local Government Corporation (LGC), which is tasked with supervising the transition of the HPD Crime Lab into an independent lab under the oversight of the Board of Directors.  For her part, she has been asked to help develop a “technical advisory group” consisting of university scientists and forensic scientists who will advise the board of directors on technical issues pertaining to the new forensic science center.  The board of directors last met on August 1, 2012, in Houston’s City Hall.


Bret Wells published an article entitled "Cant and the Inconvenient Truth About Corporate Inversions," 123 Tax Notes 439 (July 23, 2012).