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


July 2014


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

Previous editions of Faculty Focus can be accessed here.  

Janet Beck was the Discussion Leader on a panel regarding Asylum law at the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) annual national conference in Boston. She also was the Morning Coordinator for four panels on immigration litigation in federal court. Based on instructions from AILA, she announced the name of the University of Houston Law Center Immigration Clinic 5 times to the audience, i.e. before each panel. The conference was attended by, approximately, 3,500 immigration lawyers who attended panels on a variety of different topics in immigration law over the course of 3 ½ days.


Meredith J. Duncan attended the American Association of Law Schools Workshop for New Law School Teachers in Washington, D.C. from June 18th through 21st and spoke on the topic of “Designing 1L Courses and Classes to Maximize Student Engagement and Learning.” She also served as a small group moderator throughout the conference. From June 25th through 27th, Professor Duncan attended Northwestern University Law School’s conference What the Best Law Teachers Do where she presented “Teaching Deliberately — From Course Design to the Classroom and Beyond.”  


Barbara Evans’ July publications include a chapter on unconsented use of personal data in The Future of Human Subjects Research Regulation (I. Glenn Cohen & Holly Fernandez Lynch, eds.), released by MIT Press on July 16; an article in the July print issue of the Nature journal, Genetics in Medicine, http://www.nature.com/gim/journal/v16/n7/index.html; and a just-released book about ethics guidelines for trips to Mars and asteroids, written by an IOM Committee on which she serves, http://www.nap.edu/catalog.php?record_id=18576. Along with three medical geneticists, she submitted an article assessing challenges genomic laboratories will face after the October 6 compliance date for recent HIPAA and CLIA amendments. Her abstract on First Amendment problems with FDA regulation of genomic interpretation services has been chosen for the October symposium of the Petrie-Flom Center at Harvard Law School and the Food & Drug Law Institute. She collaborated this month with researchers at four leading medical schools to submit three federal grant proposals. She participated in teleconferences to plan a law-themed program for a national meeting of geneticists, to explore applicability of FDA's investigational device regulations to basic genomic research, and to discuss appropriate standard-setting for bioinformatics algorithms used in gene sequencing. Her work with the Texas Medical Center’s Clinical Research Design Team wrapped up recently but the team will meet with the Greater Houston Partnership’s Health Care Biomedical Research Committee in coming weeks. She was invited to join a multi-institutional group on IRB-related issues hosted at the UT Center for Clinical Research and Evidence-Based Medicine. She has been invited to act as the facilitator for an Autumn meeting of a special task force that is designing large data and informatics infrastructure to support next-generation health and life sciences research at a sister public university. Professor Evans’ work is featured this month on the Suffocated Science blog http://suffocatedscience.com/, curated by Dr. Simon N. Whitney at Baylor College of Medicine.  


Geoffrey Hoffman was interviewed by news outlets concerning various immigration-related matters. Interviews included News 92 FM, KRLD Radio & Texas State Radio Network, CBS Radio/Dallas Ft. Worth, and Houston Newsmakers, KPRC-TV Local 2 - Houston. Professor Hoffman's post was published on the Immigration Professors' blog under the title, "Dear David Brat: What do you think Jesus would have done about Immigration Reform?" An article about Professor Hoffman appeared in the Daily Cougar concerning an award received from AILA. Professor Hoffman was also interviewed by KTRH radio 740 AM about the humanitarian border crisis. Professor Hoffman’s op-ed piece U.S. Needs Compassion for Immigrant Children was published in the Houston Chronicle


Steve Huber (Emeritus) is the 2014 co-recipient of the Frank Evans Award for lifetime achievement, awarded by the Alternative Dispute Resolution Section of the State Bar of Texas. The co-recipient is Wendy Huber, a former Chair of the ADR Section, and a sometime adjunct professor at the Law Center (as well as at Rice University and Pepperdine Law School). The award was presented at the State Bar Convention in Austin. Steve is about to wind up 5+ years as Editor of (and frequent contributor to) Alternative Resolutions, the quarterly journal of the ADR Section. He continues to serve the co-editor of the American Arbitration Association’s annual Yearbook on Arbitration & the Law, together with Ben Sheppard. The AAA provides funding for three Law Center students each year. These Arbitration Scholars (a fancy title costs nothing) have done excellent work, and the experience has enhanced their marketability. Since retiring, Steve has also found activities outside the law to keep him busy. He is a member of the Vestry at St. Mary’s Episcopal Church (and the Secretary thereof), as well as the Chair of the Board of Trustees of the Bellville Housing Authority. A particular pleasure is having time to read books and articles that are unrelated to work.


Tom Oldham is in the process of trying to have a Fulbright visit to the University of Sydney approved by the Fulbright office as a senior specialist. Funding from the University of Sydney has been obtained, and he is now dealing with the Fulbright office. If anyone is curious about this process Professor Oldham should know more about it in a few months.


Michael A. Olivas attended the AALS New Law Teachers Workshop, participating in teaching and scholarship programs for the Faculty of Color. He also served on a panel at the National Association of College and University Attorneys, reviewing the SCOTUS cases this term that affected higher education. He also briefed a number of reporters on a N.Y. State bill that would expand benefits for immigrants in that state, and was featured in a Texas Lawyer story about his NPR station radio show, The Law of Rock and Roll. The show’s second year Classes will expand to a number of stations nationally, beginning in September.


D. Theodore Rave was invited to Yale Law School to present his recently published article, Settlement, ADR, and Class Action Superiority, on September 19 as part of the Quinnipiac-Yale Dispute Resolution Workshop. Also, on June 19, he presented a draft of his paper, Fiduciary Voters?, at the American Constitution Society's Schmooze on Election Law in Washington, D.C.  


The Florida Tax Review just published Recent Developments in Federal Income Taxation: The Year 2013 by Professor Emeritus Ira B. Shepard (with University of Florida Professor Martin J. McMahon, Jr. and U.C. Davis Professor Emeritus Daniel L. Simmons). In light of the addition of South Texas College of Law Professor Bruce A. McGovern and the retirement of Simmons (who is eight years younger than Shepard), in future years Shepard’s co-authors will be Professors McMahon and McGovern. Shepard would also like to retire but his congenital inability to refuse speaking invitations precludes his doing so. For example, on September 4th he will be a panelist on a joint program of the International Tax Forum of Houston and the Houston Region of the International Fiscal Association on “Tax Ethics and Inversions”; for the record, this topic has no relationship to the presentations he made last year on same sex marriage.


Sandra Guerra Thompson attended a meeting of the Board of Directors of the Houston Forensic Science Center, of which she is a member, on July 11th. Professor Thompson was also quoted in a Houston Chronicle article regarding a criminal case in which a government employee who falsified her résumé was charged with government record-tampering.


Ronald Turner has been appointed to the American Bar Association/United Nations Development Programme’s Project On An Anti-Discrimination Legislation Proposal for Jamaica. The project will review an anti-discrimination legislation proposal to benefit the rights of populations vulnerable to HIV/AIDS as well as discrimination against other key groups including women, children, and the poor. He has also agreed to participate in the City of Houston’s municipal grievance process. On July 15 he discussed the Declaration of Independence with participants in the Great Book discussion held at the Evelyn Rubenstein Jewish Community Center. His recent publications include On Substantive Due Process and Discretionary Traditionalism, 66 SMU Law Review 841 (2013); On Neutral and Preferred Principles of Constitutional Law, 74 University of Pittsburgh Law Review 433 (2013); Disparate Treatment: Justice Clarence Thomas’s Conspicuously Nonoriginalist Affirmative Action Jurisprudence, 19 Texas Journal on Civil Rights & Civil Liberties 251 (2014); Title VII, the Third-Party Retaliation Issue, and the “Plain Language” Mirage, 5 Alabama Civil Rights & Civil Liberties Law Review 77 (2013). He has submitted his invited article When the Court Makes Title VII Law and Policy: Disparate Impact and the Journey from Griggs to Ricci, to be published in the St. John’s Law Review’s forthcoming Title VII At 50 symposium issue, and his article On Free, Harmful, and Hateful Speech will be published by the Tennessee Law Review in 2015. His article The Way To Stop Discrimination On The Basis Of Race . . . will be published in Volume 11 of the Stanford Journal of Civil Rights and Civil Liberties. He has also commenced work on a new West Publication book entitled Employment Discrimination, as well as the 8th edition of Employment Discrimination Law: Cases and Materials (with Arthur B. Smith, Jr. and Charles B. Craver, LexisNexis forthcoming 2015).   


Bret Wells published a comment in Tax Notes entitled Corporate Inversions ad Whack-a-Mole Tax Policy, 143 Tax Notes 1429 (June 23, 2014).