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

Editor, Katy Stein Badeaux, kastein@central.uh.edu

Previous editions of Faculty Focus can be accessed here.

April 2013


Janet Beck spoke on the topic “Fifth Amendment- Due Process Right to Counsel in Immigration Proceedings” at the Thurgood Marshall School of Law conference on “The Constitutionalization of Immigration Law.”  She also participated at the same conference in a Roundtable discussion on “Infusing Best Practices in Immigration Law School Clinics.” Additionally, Professor Beck appeared live on Telemundo speaking about the same sex marriage cases in the U.S. Supreme Court.  She also taped two segments on immigration reform for Telemundo.


Zachary Bray has accepted an offer from the Maryland Law Review to publish his forthcoming article, The Hidden Rise of Efficient Extinction


Barbara Evans discussed First Amendment problems with 42 C.F.R. § 493.3(b)(2) (the CLIA research exception) in the University of Washington’s Division of Medical Genetics Seminar on February 15 and has been invited to present this work before the National Institutes of Health’s Clinical Sequencing Exploratory Research consortium on May 23. Effective March 26, 2013, the U.S. Dept. of HHS has deemed the HIPAA Privacy Rule’s “reasonable, cost-based” fee that sets pricing in certain transfers of health data and biospecimens to include capital and overhead cost components that Professor Evans, in rulemaking comments over the past 30 months, has insisted are constitutionally required under pertinent utility rate-case precedents; see 78 Fed. Reg. 5566, 5607. Also on March 26, the U.S. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) Effective Healthcare Program chose Professor Evans’ December 2012 article, The Ethics of Postmarketing Observational Studies of Drug Safety Under Section 505(o)(3) of the Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act, 38 American Journal of Law & Medicine 577 - 606 to be featured in AHRQ’s Scientific Resource Center/Comparative Effectiveness Research Methodology Alert. In March, her NIH-funded project to conduct legal studies related to clinical exome sequencing in cancer was renewed for year 2, and she was invited to participate with the FDA-Duke Clinical Trials Transformation Initiative and Harvard Pilgrim Healthcare Institute in a study of how to conduct randomized studies in a large distributed health data network. On April 5, Professor Evans addressed the 60th Anniversary Symposium of the Law & Medicine Program at Case Western Reserve Law School. She is Program Co-chair for the Greenwall Foundation Annual Meeting on May 1-2 and will also present results of her three-year Greenwall-funded study of data access issues in health information systems. Her abstract on regulation of predictive and preventive medical technologies was accepted for the Annual Conference of the Petrie-Flom Center at Harvard Law School on May 3. She is an invited speaker for the opening plenary session of the Third International Summit on Health Information Privacy at Georgetown Law School on June 6 and also has been invited to address a plenary session at the ASLME Health Law Professors’ conference on June 7. Her article Institutional Competence to Balance Privacy and Competing Values: The Forgotten Third Prong of HIPAA Preemption Analysis appears in this month’s issue of 46 U.C. Davis Law Review.  Her chapter In Search of Sound Policy on Nonconsensual Uses of Identifiable Health Data just went to press in The Future of Human Subjects Research Regulation (I. Glenn Cohen, ed.) (forthcoming, M.I.T. Press). Her article The First Amendment Right to Speak About the Human Genome will appear this fall in 16 U. Penn. J. Const. L. (forthcoming 2013). Her chapter The Future of Prospective Medicine Under the Food and Drug Administration Amendments Act of 2007 is posted on the conference web page for the 2013 Petrie-Flom Annual Conference and will be published as part of a book about the future of the FDA. Her article Why the Common Rule is Hard to Amend will appear this summer in the Indiana Health Law Review Symposium: Imagining the Next Quarter Century of Health Care Law. Her article, The Three Most Stridently Denied Realities in the Health Privacy Debate, will appear in the fall 2013 symposium issue of Case Western Reserve University’s journal, Health Matrix.


Patricia Gray spoke to the Asian American Hotel Owners Association Annual Conference and Trade Show held in Houston March 22-29 at the George R. Brown Convention Center.   The trade group has more than 11,000 members who own more than 20,000 hotels.  Gray was part of a panel addressing employer issues with implementing the Affordable Care Act.


Melissa Hamilton gave a presentation, “Mental Disorder and Assessments of Risk in Sex Offender Litigation,” to the Texas State Council for Offenders in Conroe, Texas. Professor Hamilton also presented “The Second Amendment and Gun Control Legislation” to the League of Women Voters of Montgomery County. Additionally, her prior work was cited in a Report to Congress by the United States Sentencing Commission.


Jim Hawkins' latest article, co-authored with economists Paige Skiba and Kathryn Frtizdixon, Dude, Where's My Car Title: The Law, Behavior, and Economics of Title Lending Markets, has been accepted for publication by the University of Illinois Law Review. 


Tracy Hester's article, A Matter of Scale:  Regional Climate Engineering and Shortfalls in International Governance was accepted for publication in The Carbon and Climate Law Review, a European peer-reviewed law journal.  On March 21, he spoke on "Shaping Houston's Future: Energy & Environment Law and its Effect on Houston" as the March speaker in UHLC's Legal Excellence Speaker Series with the Greater Houston Partnership.  Professor Hester was the featured lunch speaker on April 11 at Thurgood Marshall School of Law's Energy Law Symposium, where he addressed the potential effect of environmental regulations on the development of cross-border energy resources between Canada, the United States and Mexico.  He also debated Becky Norton Dunlop on March 26 on "Free Market Environmentalism" at an event sponsored at UHLC by the Federalist Society.  Last, Professor Hester was named one of the top environmental lawyers in Houston for 2013 by The Best Lawyers in America.


Geoffrey Hoffman was interviewed by Telemundo concerning the Supreme Court oral arguments in the same-sex marriage cases. In late March, Professor Hoffman and Professor Bruhl were interviewed on Channel 2’s Houston Newsmakers. Professor Hoffman spoke about the potential impact the rulings may have on immigration and specifically family-based cases. The link to the Newsmakers interview is: http://www.click2houston.com/news/March-30-Houston-Astros-hope-for-stellar-season/-/1735978/19509968/-/8eo6ln/-/index.html. Also, Professor Hoffman lectured on the Plenary Power Doctrine and then the Fourth Amendment and Immigration Court during a two-day symposium held at TSU, entitled “The Constitutionalization of Immigration Law.” On April 6, 2013, Professor Hoffman taught the immigration law course as part of the People’s Law School. Professor Hoffman introduced immigration law expert Ira Kurzban to UH students in a session on April 15 and afterward attended a lunch in his honor with the board of the Immigration and Human Rights Law Society.  In the evening Hoffman attended a reception at the home of Gordon Quan for Mr. Kurzban.  Attorneys, immigration clinic faculty, and UH alums who are now working at immigration firms in and around Houston attended.


Craig Joyce organized and hosted a two-day series of events culminating in the Tenth Annual Baker Botts Lecture, featuring principal remarks by David McGowan, Lyle L. Jones Professor of Competition and Innovation Law and Director, Center for Intellectual Property Law & Markets at the University of San Diego School of Law, on The Unfallen Sky: Assessing the Relative Effectiveness of Legal and Market Adaptations to Technological Change,” with commentary by Professor Jacqui Lipton.  In addition, Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor (Ret.) dedicated her latest book, Out of Order: Stories from the History of the Supreme Court, to Professor Joyce and her clerks.


Sapna Kumar was named Faculty of the Year by the Student Bar Association. This award is based on a vote of the Law Center students. Also, her article Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Genetic Information has been accepted for publication by the Alabama Law Review.


Jessica Mantel’s article, The Myth of the Independent Physician:  Implications for Health Law, Policy, and Ethics, has been accepted for publication by the Case Western Reserve Law Review.


Susan Maples, Visiting Assistant Professor and Andrews Kurth Energy Scholar, moderated the panel “Climate and Development Cooperation Beyond the Kyoto Protocol” at the Harvard International Development Conference on April 13 in Cambridge, Massachusetts and was a panelist on the topic of “Petroleum Contract Transparency—the new normal?” at the World Bank LNG 17 Side Event here in Houston on April 15.


Douglas Moll spoke at the Third Annual Junior Faculty Business and Financial Law workshop at the George Washington University Law School. He was invited to comment on a paper involving family businesses.  Professor Moll has also started work on his Business Torts casebook.


Tom Oldham was named as a Fulbright Senior Specialist.


Michael A. Olivas spoke on immigration reform proposals and education issues at special conferences at Boston College and Rice University, and delivered a paper on proposals emerging for the third year of legal education, at McGeorge School of Law (58,000 Hours, scheduled for Summer publication in their law review). He also participated in a TSU-sponsored immigration conference, and was interviewed for KPFT Radio on the subject of Deferred Action.


Deana Pollard Sacks co-wrote an article with Brad Bushman which will appear in American Psychologist in the next few months. The article concerns the effects of video games on children's brains, the history of First Amendment jurisprudence, and the Supreme Court's decision in Brown v. Entertainment Merchants Association.


Jessica Roberts published a review of the book Perfecting Pregnancy: Law, Disability, and the Future of Reproduction (2012) in the American Journal of Bioethics.


Ira Shepard’s most recent article, Recent Developments in Federal Income Taxation: The Year 2012, co-authored with Martin J. McMahon, Jr. and David L. Simmons, was published at 13 Fla. Tax Rev. 503. He was also named 2013 Texas Outstanding Tax Lawyer by the Tax Section of the State Bar of Texas. He spoke on “Recent Developments in Federal Income Taxation” to the Houston IRS - CPA Society in April. In the same month he also spoke on the two same-sex marriage cases pending in the U.S. Supreme Court to the Gulf Coast Family Law Specialists and to the Wednesday Tax Forum.


Sandra Guerra Thompson, along with Professor Melissa Hamilton and editors of the Houston Law Review, completed the plans for a major Houston Law Review symposium that will be entitled “Federal Sentencing in the Post-Booker Era,” which will be co-sponsored with the Criminal Justice Institute of the UH Law Center.  The symposium conference will be held at the UH Law Center on November 14th and 15th.  Confirmed speakers who will present their papers include: Susan Klein, University of Texas School of Law; Frank Bowman, University of Missouri School of Law; Carrisa Byrne Hessick, Arizona State University, Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law; and Melissa Hamilton, University of Houston Law Center. Doug Berman, Ohio State University, Moritz College of Law will co-author the symposium introduction along with Professor Thompson. Professor Thompson also submitted testimony to the Texas House of Representatives Committee on Jurisprudence regarding HB 166 which would create an Innocence Commission.  On April 9th, she attended a meeting of the Houston Forensic Science LGC of which she is a member of the Board of Directors.


Greg Vetter presented Are Prior User Rights Good for Software? at the Drake University Law School 2013 Intellectual Property Scholars Roundtable on April 12, 2013.


Jacqueline Weaver spoke on pooling and unitization in Texas at the University of Texas CLE, Oil, Gas and Energy Law Conference in Houston on March 21. 


Bret Wells presented his paper entitled "Cant and the Inconvenient Truth About Corporate Inversions" as part of a panel discussion at the University of Virginia Law School on March 22nd.  Professor Wells also co-authored a piece entitled Tax Base Defense: Time to Update the Model Treaties?, 39 Int'l Tax J. 5 (Jan-Feb 2013).  The article was republished at Tax Base Defense: Time to Update the Model Treaties? Global Tax Weekly, Feb. 7, 2013, at 43. Professor Wells was also named “Professor the Year” by the Order of the Barons (students in the top 15% of the class).