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.

August 2013


Richard Alderman submitted the manuscripts for the 2013-14 edition of his casebook, Texas Consumer Law: Cases and Materials, as well as the 2013 update for the two volume Consumer Protection and the Law. He also presented papers at the State Bar Convention on "Warranty Law and Arbitration," at the State Bar College Conference on the "Texas Deceptive Trade Practices Act," and at the State Bar Advanced Commercial and Consumer Law Conference on an "Update to the DTPA."


Janet Beck was asked to review a book written by a now-retired immigration judge.  Her review appeared on July 29 in the online publication Immigration Law Week under the heading: Three Titans in the Field Review “Bench Pressed, A Judge Recounts the Many Blessings and Heaving Lessons of Hearing Immigration Asylum Casesby Susan Yarbrough.



Aaron Bruhl organized and moderated a panel on Legislation/Regulation courses at the annual meeting of the Southeastern Association of Law Schools. He also wrote a short paper on judicial activism that has been accepted for publication in The Green Bag.


Meredith J. Duncan attended the SEALS conference on August 4th in West Palm Beach, Florida and presented at the wildly popular discussion group “Professional Responsibility Pecha Kucha: The Sequel.”  Professor Duncan is one of 26 law professors featured in the new book What the Best Law Teachers Do published by Harvard University Press.  What the Best Law Teachers Do is a study of the teaching and professional techniques of twenty-six of the best law professors in the United States.  Professor Duncan is one of the model educators whose instructional methods this book holds up as an example of the best practices in legal education.


Tracy Hester began the summer with a presentation at the European Society of International Law on "A Matter of Scale:  International Law and Regional Climate Engineering" at its Fifth Research Forum in Amsterdam on April 24.  He then chaired a panel discussion in Montreal on June 13 about future research projects that the North American Conference of Legal Educators could undertake in coordination with the NAFTA Council on Environmental Cooperation, and he joined a symposium the next day hosted by Vermont Law School on cross-border sustainability legal issues.  In July 2013, Hester participated in the George Mason University Law Center's Economics Institute for Law Professors at Beaver Creek, Colorado.  On August 6, he sat in a panel discussion at SEALS organized by our own Professor Aaron Bruhl on teaching statutory interpretation and regulatory interpretation classes.  He then lectured at the Fourth Annual Geoengineering Institute held jointly by Harvard University and MIT on August 8 in Boston.  Last, Hester sat in the annual meeting of the ABA's Section on Environment, Energy and Resources in San Francisco on August 10 as a member of its governing Council.  His chapter on applying domestic U.S. law to climate engineering projects was published by Cambridge University Press in July 2013 as part of Climate Change Geoengineering:  Philosophical Perspectives, Legal Issues, and Governance Frameworks.


Geoffrey Hoffman travelled to Port Isabel Service Detention Center, in Los Fresnos, Texas in July. He represented a Rwandan young man in removal proceedings with student Veronica Bernal at the merits hearing. The immigrant was granted political asylum in a ruling by the Immigration Judge in August.


Sapna Kumar presented her paper Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Genetic Information at the 2014 Intellectual Property Scholars Conference at Cardozo Law School.


Jessica Mantel spoke at the SEALS annual conference in Palm Beach, where she was a discussant in the workshop “Health Care Reform Reprised: What Progress Has Been Made Since Last Year?”.  She also served as the moderator for a panel entitled “Our Patchwork Health Care System: Benefits and Challenges.”


Douglas Moll completed work on the 2013 edition of Corporations & Other Business Associations:  Statutes, Rules, and Forms.  He has also begun work on his Business Torts casebook for West Publishing.


Raymond Nimmer was voted as Best Lawyers' 2014 Houston Copyright Law "Lawyer of the Year", an award based on votes by the Houston legal community. He is also listed for inclusion in the 20th Edition of The Best Lawyers in America in the practice areas of: Copyright Law, Information Technology Law, Litigation - Intellectual Property, also the result of votes by lawyer, in this case nationally. Additionally, he is one of 700 lawyers listed in the International Who’s Who of Business Lawyers in the category of Information Technology Law.


Tom Oldham has been appointed to the ABA Family Law Quarterly’s Board of Editors for 2013-2014. At a conference in London in July he discussed his paper regarding how inequality of the U.S. is affecting American families.


Several legal issues in college law arose this summer, including three SCOTUS cases involving higher education on the same day as the Fisher v. University of Texas remand, and Michael A. Olivas was on duty as a commentator, speaking to reporters in the trade press and the general media. An article about his newest book (Suing Alma Mater, Johns Hopkins University Press, 2013) appeared in Inside Higher Ed and other venues, as did reviews of In Defense of My People, his edited Arte Publico Press book about early Tejano lawyer Alonso Perales, whose papers were donated to UH. He will also appear in part of the PBS series, The Making of America: Untold Stories from American Latino History, on Post-WWII civil rights issues in Texas and the Southwest, under the auspices of the PBS Project, Latino Americans, a three-part, six-hour documentary series set to air nationally in the fall.


D. Theodore Rave presented his article, The BP Oil Spill Settlement and the Paradox of Public Litigation, with Samuel Issacharoff at the NYU School of Law Summer Faculty Workshop on July 25.  The paper is available at: http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=2278378


Susan Sakmar presented “From Shale Gas to LNG Exports: The Prospects for North American LNG Exports and the Impact on Global Gas Markets” to the U.S. and International Association of Energy Economics at their 32nd USAEE/IAEE North American Conference, July 28-31, 2013 in Anchorage, Alaska, available at http://www.usaee.org/usaee2013/program_concurrent.aspx


Sandra Guerra Thompson signed a contract with Carolina Academic Press to publish a book she is writing on police crime labs and criminal trials. In addition, her article, Judicial Gatekeeping of Police-Generated Witness Testimony, published in 2012 in the Journal of Criminal Law and Criminology, has been selected by the National Association of Criminal Defense Attorneys as a “must read” that will be featured in a column in The Champion magazine and on a separate link of the NACDL webpage.


Tasha Willis, director of the University of Houston Law Center’s Alternative Dispute Resolution program and supervisor of the Mediation Clinic, wrote Arbitration Comes to Texas, the lead article in the Spring edition of the Journal of the Texas Supreme Court Historical Society. Professor Willis also recently completed a multi-year program to earn an LL.M. degree with high honors in Transnational Commercial Practice with an emphasis in alternative dispute resolution. The program, offered through Lazarski University in Warsaw, Poland, was taught in Salzburg, Budapest, and Warsaw by faculty from Lazarski University, Boston University, Salzburg University, and the Center for International Studies.