Faculty Focus--September 2013

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.

September 2013


Marcilynn A. Burke has been very active since returning to the Law Center in January 2013.  Her paper on hydraulic fracturing, Reframing, Restraining, and Refocusing:  The 3Rs of Regulating Hydraulic Fracturing on Federal Public Lands, was selected for presentation at the 2013 International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Academy of Environmental Law’s Annual Colloquium in Hamilton, New Zealand in June 2013.  She presented her paper along with environmental and energy scholars from across the globe. In July Professor Burke was interviewed by Hart Energy, an on-line industry publication.  Professor Burke commented extensively on Alaska Gov. Sean Parnell’s plan for seismic exploration of a section of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge that he submitted to the U.S. Department of the Interior to determine the extent of its oil and gas resources.  Later in the month, she was the keynote speaker at the 59th Annual Rocky Mountain Mineral Law Foundation Institute, Natural Resources Law Teachers Lunch. And in August 2013 she presented her paper on hydraulic fracturing at the Colorado Law and Duke School of Law’s Fifth Annual Summer Works-in-Progress Symposium, “Natural Resources, Energy, and Environment in a Climate Changed World.”  By the end of the symposium, the consensus was that Professor Burke had two papers, not just one!  Professor Burke was named “Scholar of the Week” by the Center for Law, Environment, Adaptation and Resources at the University of North Carolina School of Law this March.  (And despite the story in one of her hometown’s newspapers, she did not graduate from college and law school in 1961 and 1965, respectively; the years were 1991 and 1995.).  She was also recognized in May in the alumni spotlight of the Global Studies Curriculum at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.  She was chosen because of her work in the Obama Administration.


David R. Dow addressed the Charter 100 Civic Association in Houston on September 11; his topic was “Reducing the Risk of Wrongful Convictions.”  He was also a featured speaker at the 32nd annual Life Over Death training conference for death penalty lawyers in Bonita Springs, Florida; he lectured on “How to Preserve Error That is Not Yet Error in a Capital Trial.”  He delivered the 2013 Supplement to his contract law treatise to Thompson-West; and his most recent book, The Autobiography of an Execution, was published in China.    


Meredith J. Duncan is one of only 26 law professors featured in the recently published book by Michael Hunter Schwartz, Gerald F. Hess, and Sophie M. Sparrow, What the Best Law Teachers Do (Harvard University Press 2013), a study of the "methods, strategies, and personal traits of law professors whose students achieve exceptional learning." She will be one of the presenters at the Law Teaching and Learning's Summer Conference, "What the Best Law Teachers Do" at Northwestern University School of Law in Chicago on June 25-27, 2014. She has also agreed to participate in the Criminal Justice Ethics program to be held at Fordham Law School in June 2014 as well. She is currently completing the manuscript for an Advanced Torts casebook, Advanced Torts: A Lawyer's Perspective, soon to be published by Carolina Academic Press.  


Barbara Evans’ article on managing liability risks associated with clinical exome sequencing will be the featured article in the December issue of Genetics in Medicine and was published online ahead of print on September 12 at   


Since August, she has been heavily involved in research studies sponsored by FDA, NIH, and the Institute of Medicine (IOM) and submitted various writings for those projects. In early October she will attend a meeting of the IOM Committee on Ethics Principles and Guidelines for Health Standards for Long Duration and Exploration Spaceflights in Woods Hole, Massachusetts. This month, she peer-reviewed articles for New England Journal of Medicine, Genetics in Medicine, Chest, and Journal of General Internal Medicine. She is serving on the academic programs committee of the Food & Drug Law Institute and recently completed service on the steering committee for the UH Faculty Senate’s 15th annual conference which is addressing urban healthcare in Houston.


Jim Hawkins' article Selling ART: An Empirical Assessment of Advertising on Fertility Clinics’ Websites was published in the Indiana Law Journal (88 Ind. L.J. 1147 (2013)).  Professor Hawkins will present a paper on title lending at the Canadian Law and Economics Association annual meeting in Toronto on September 28th.


Geoffrey Hoffman traveled to New Orleans for a clinic case in the Fifth Circuit in early September. On September 10, he attended the American Immigration Lawyers’ Association meeting for law students and legal educators on comprehensive immigration reform issues. On September 11, he met with the Houston Bar Association president and other immigration professors regarding immigration issues in Houston.


Craig Joyce published the Ninth Edition of Copyright Law, now in its 28th year.


Sapna Kumar presented her article Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Genetic Information at the Cardozo IP Colloquium in New York.


Jacqueline Lipton’s article, Cyber-Bullying and the First Amendment, was published in the Florida Coastal Law Review (14 Fla. Coastal L. Rev. 99 (2012)).


Gerry Moohr attended the SEALS conference in August, and presented two papers. The first, White Collar Crime Goes to the Movies was part of a workshop on teaching criminal law and procedure, focusing on white collar crime courses.  This essay will be published by the Ohio State Law Journal.  The second presentation was part of a workshop on “The Constantly Evolving Law of Insider Trading.”  Her paper, The Common Law Crime of Insider Trading is part of a larger project that examines the scope of fiduciary duties in crimes of fraud.


Tom Oldham has written an essay about the impact of economic inequality on American families that will be published in the Family Law Quarterly this month.


Although he has not earned his SAG card, Michael A. Olivas appeared in the PBS series Latino Americans, discussing his research on the post-WWII discrimination encountered by Mexican American veterans; on September 12, he appeared on a panel (including the Series producer/director) discussing the film series at the Houston Public Library. He briefed a group of reporters and opinion writers on immigration reform issues, and a separate group on proposals surfacing to revise or eliminate 3L enrollment requirements; drawing from his forthcoming article in the McGeorge Law Review on the subject, he was asked to publish an editorial on the subject in the print and online National Law Journal editions.


Jordan Paust’s article on Armed Attacks and Imputation: Would a Nuclear Weaponized Iran Trigger Permissible Israeli and U.S. Measures of Self-Defense? has been accepted for publication in 45(2) of the Georgetown Journal of International Law. At the request of the Duke Forum for Law and Social Change, he also wrote an article on Human Rights Through the ATS After Kiobel: Partial Extraterritoriality, Misconceptions, and Elusive and Problematic Judicially-Created Criteria.  It will be published in 2014.  His on-line essay on Lawful Use of Force in Syria and the U.N. Charter is available at http://jurist.org/forum/2013/09/jordan-paust-force-syria.php.


Susan Sakmar’s recently released book, Energy for the 21st Century: Opportunities and Challenges for LNG, explores the dynamic world of the fastest growing segment of the energy sector - liquefied natural gas – or LNG.  Some might recall that just a few years ago, the U.S. was destined to be the world’s largest importer of LNG. Thanks to the shale gas “revolution,” the U.S. may well become the world’s largest LNG exporter!  This is a development that the entire energy world is watching and some predict that it could have wide ranging geopolitical implications as well.  The book is now available on Amazon at http://www.amazon.com/dp/1849804214 or direct from the publisher, Edward Elgar, at http://www.e-elgar.co.uk/bookentry_main.lasso?id=14131. Professor Sakmar’s article, Globalization and Trade Initiatives in the Arab World: Historical Context, Progress to Date, and Prospects for the Future, was re-published in the Air and Space Power Journal, Africa and Francophonie (article published in English and French), 3rd Quarter 2013.  The Air and Space Power Journal is the professional journal of the U.S. Air Force.  The article was originally published in 2007 (42 U.S.F. L. Rev. 919), but in the context of the Arab Spring and other recent events in the Middle East, there appears to be renewed relevance. In brief, the article discusses the Middle East Free Trade Area Initiative (MEFTA), which was proposed by President Bush in 2003 in an effort to promote trade, development and economic growth in the Arab region. In my opinion, this was one of President Bush’s better ideas but it never seemed to get any traction. Indeed, few will remember that the MEFTA was supposed to be concluded in 2013!


Sandra Guerra Thompson attended the meeting of the Houston Forensic Science LGC of which she is a member of the board on September 13, 2013.  Professor Thompson’s September 2011 article in the New York Times regarding faulty eyewitness testimony was mentioned in an article on the Baltimore Sun website.  She has also been invited to present a paper at a Criminal Justice Colloquium at SMU Dedman School of Law.


Ronald Turner's forthcoming publications include On Substantive Due Process and Discretionary Traditionalism, SMU Law Review, and Title VII, the Third-Party Retaliation Issue, and the "Plain Language" Mirage, Alabama Civil Rights & Civil Liberties Law Review.  He recently completed the 2013 cumulative supplement to the seventh edition of Smith, Craver & Turner, Employment Discrimination Law: Cases and Materials (LexisNexis), and is completing work on a co-authored casebook Employment Law: Issues, Theories, and Realities (West).


Greg Vetter submitted a response essay for publication, entitled A Public Domain Approach to Free and Open Source Software?, which will be published by the Ohio State Law Journal in its Furthermore supplement.


Jacqueline Weaver directed and taught in a week-long Advanced Legal Studies course on selected topics in international petroleum law for 12 attorneys from Petrobras, the national oil company of Brazil during the first week of August.


Bret Wells presented "Status of Fundamental Business Tax Reform" to the 31st Annual Advanced Tax Law Course of the State Bar of Texas on August 15.