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


January 2014


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


Previous editions of Faculty Focus can be accessed here.



David R. Dow’s newest book, Things I’ve Learned From Dying, published by Twelve, was released on January 7. 


Barbara Evans will speak on privacy issues at the Feb. 4 public meeting of the Institute of Medicine’s Committee on Responsible Sharing of Clinical Trial Data. Two UH faculty members--Professor Evans and Professor Jim Hawkins--have received invitations to present papers at the Petrie-Flom Annual Conference on Behavioral Economics, Law, and Health Policy at Harvard Law School in May. Professor Evans spent the holiday developing a customized electronic “casebook” for her health law class to emphasize essential Texas cases and statutes as well as the canonical federal and multistate materials. She received Notice of Award for an FDA-sponsored research grant on Dec. 17 and for an N.I.H.-sponsored study, Clinical Sequencing in Cancer (Year 3) on Jan. 10. On Dec. 19, one of her articles appeared on-line ahead of print in Genetics in Medicine, http://www.nature.com/gim/journal/vaop/ncurrent/pdf/gim2013186a.pdf. On Dec. 20, Columbia University Press extended an offer to publish The Future of the Food and Drug Administration (I. Glenn Cohen & Holly Lynch, eds.), in which Professor Evans has a chapter. Professor Evans co-authored a Mini-Sentinel research study that was submitted to F.D.A. on Dec. 31 and will be published soon. On Jan. 3 she participated in deliberations of an Institute of Medicine Committee on which she is serving. On Jan. 10, the American Journal of Medical Genetics accepted an article that Professor Evans co-authored with Drs. Wylie Burke and Gail P. Jarvik. On Jan. 13, she became a Member of the Health Law Section of the State Bar of Texas. On Jan. 14, she completed an invited law article, The Role of Antitrust Issues in Next-generation Genetic Exceptionalism, to be part of a special issue of The Journal of Law, Medicine, and Ethics.  She was a co-author for a book-length report on health risks of spaceflight that moved into peer review on Jan. 17.


Jim Hawkins presented a paper on behavior, law, and economics in the auto title lending industry as part of a panel with Florencia Marotta-Wurgler (NYU Law) and Oren Bar-Gill (NYU/Harvard Law) at the Commercial and Related Consumer Law and Contracts Joint Program at AALS on January 5, 2014.


Tracy Hester was invited to speak on the legal consequence of regional geoengineering approaches at the 2014 Climate Engineering Conference in Berlin on August 2014.  He was also named to the executive committee for the AALS Section on Environmental Law at the 2014 annual meeting.


Geoffrey Hoffman's Florida Bar Journal article is being used as part of a CLE for the D.C. Bar on what family-law practitioners should know about immigration law. Professor Hoffman has also been invited to speak at a panel at the Dr. Kenneth Street Law Symposium at Austin College on February 21, 2014. Professor Hoffman was acknowledged in Steve Legomsky's textbook, Immigration and Refugee Law and Policy, on page ix of the 2013 supplement, 5th edition. Additionally, Professor Hoffman was interviewed by Semana News, a Spanish-language newspaper, concerning the California Supreme Court’s Sergio Garcia case. Professor Hoffman's article In Search of an International Human Right to Receive Information, was quoted in “140 Characters or Less”: Human Rights and Law in the Age of Social Media, 8 Intercultural Hum. Rts. L. Rev. 19 (2013). KUHF interviewed Professor Hoffman for a news piece regarding Comprehensive Immigration Reform.


Craig Joyce was reappointed to the Editorial Board of the Journal of Supreme Court History, sponsored by the Supreme Court of the United States. Joyce is beginning his second quarter-century of service on the board. He also joined in the annual dinner for former clerks of Justice Sandra Day O’Connor. Joyce attended the Court’s First Monday oral arguments, and met all of the Justice’s clerks, from 1981 through 2006, when O’Connor retired.


Michael A. Olivas hosted the Law and Film Series classic movie evening at the recent AALS Annual Meeting, speaking about The Wrong Man (1956) and Inherit the Wind (1960). He chaired the AALS Committee that chose the films, including the documentaries (The Central Park 5 and The Art of the Steal) that were shown on another night. His article 58,000 Minutes: An Essay on Law Majors and Emerging Proposals for the Third Year of Law Study, appeared in 45 McGeorge Law Review 115-132 (2013), and reprinted his Keynote Address for the legal education symposium issue. On behalf of 20 former AALS presidents, he organized testimony on the ABA Council recommendations, one of which, if adopted, would allow ABA-accredited law schools to offer an alternative to tenure; the presidents opposed the proposal, on behalf the side of the angels. Suing Alma Mater: Higher Education and the Court (Johns Hopkins University Press 2013) was nominated for recognition in the 2014 Green Bag Almanac & Reader as a piece of “exemplary legal writing,” (book category). In the spirit of the various arts awards being given in this season, while it did not win, it was an honor to have been nominated. 


Jordan Paust’s article The U.S. and the ICC: No More Excuses, was recently published in 12 Washington University Global Studies Law Review 563 (2013).


Jessica Roberts' article Healthism and the Law of Employment Discrimination was published in Iowa Law Review.


Ben Sheppard delivered the keynote address at the European Users’ Council Symposium sponsored by the London Court of International Arbitration at Tylney Hall near London. Professor Sheppard also participated as part of a group of “Professors and Practitioners of Arbitration Law” in the submission of amicus briefs to the United States Supreme Court  in BG Group PLC v. Republic of Argentina, No. 12-138 (2013) in support of the application for writ of certiorari and on the merits. The case presents the question whether a court or instead the arbitral tribunal determines whether a precondition to arbitration has been satisfied. The professors and practitioners contend that the arbitral tribunal is vested with jurisdiction to decide its own jurisdiction and urge the Supreme Court to reverse the decision of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit that had refused to defer to the arbitral panel on the jurisdictional issue and had vacated an international arbitral award. Additionally, Professor Sheppard served with Professor Emeritus Stephen K. Huber as co-editor of the 25th Edition of the AAA Yearbook on Arbitration & the Law, (JURIS 2013). The Yearbook is the flagship publication of the American Arbitration Association, the largest arbitration administrator in the United States. The 25th Edition is the third edition promulgated through the auspices of the AAA and the UH Law Center. The book is comprised of digests of important court decisions covering the entire arbitral process, from the formation of the arbitration agreement to the challenge or enforcement of the arbitral award, as well as digests of judicial decisions that discuss AAA arbitration rules. Three third-year JD students serve each year as Arbitration Research Scholars to identify the cases and draft the case digests in return for stipends funded jointly by the AAA and JURIS. Professor Sheppard also contributed to the Winter 2013 issue of The Advocate, a publication of the State Bar Litigation Section (Lonny Hoffman, Editor in Chief) with a piece titled Who Decides Arbitrability (Scope): The Court or Arbitrators?


Greg Vetter attended the AALS Annual Meeting in New York in early January 2014, during which he, first, achieved a new personal record for cancelled flights in a single trip (four), and, second, was elected to the Board of the Intellectual Property Law section.


Jacqueline Weaver was in Rio de Janeiro for two days from December 9-10, 2013, presenting a series of lectures, as follows:  “The Role of the Regulator in Offshore Safety: Best Practices;” presented as part of the “New Challenges of the Petroleum Industry in 2013” seminar program of the Center for Excellence in Development of Oil, Energy and Mining (CEDPEM), in collaboration with the State University of Rio de Janeiro (UERJ). This seminar attracted the participation of practitioners, regulators and other state officials, and academicians. She also presented “Confronting the Resource Curse: Recent Developments” at a seminar organized by the Center for Advanced Studies and Research in Petroleum Law (CEDPETRO), in collaboration with UERJ. She then visited the National Petroleum Agency (ANP) of Brazil to meet with former LLM students and their colleagues to discuss unitization of oil and gas fields under the new Pre-Salt regulations and to discuss ANP’s settlement agreement with Chevron for the oil spill in the Frade field.  In between events, she enjoyed walking along Ipanema beach and a lovely stroll with Professor Marilda Rosado from UERJ through Rio's botanical garden.  


Bret Wells published Income Tax Treaty Policy in the 21st Century: Residence vs. Source in 5 Colum. J. Tax. L. 1 (2013) with co-author Cym Lowell.