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


February  2015


Editor, Katy Stein


Previous editions of Faculty Focus can be accessed here.



Janet Beck served as a judge at the ABA Law Student Division Negotiation Competition National Finals. She also spoke on general immigration matters at the church House on the Word at the invitation of former Immigration Clinic student, Temitope Siyanbade.


Johnny Rex Buckles participated in a discussion with Professor Richard Schmalbeck for the Duke University School of Law student chapter of the Federalist Society on Separation of Church and Speech on January 26, 2015. Professor Buckles presented “Ethical Considerations in Representing Nonprofit Organizations” at the 32nd Annual Nonprofit Organizations Institute, co-hosted by the University of Texas School of Law and Philanthropy Southwest, on January 16, 2015. Professor Buckles presented “How Deep Are the Springs of Obedience Norms that Bind the Overseers of Charities?” to the faculty of the South Texas College of Law on November 21, 2014. Over the general time period of these presentations, Professor Buckles completed his re-drafting of Chapter 4 in Estate Planning Law and Taxation, and submitted semi-annual updates to three other chapters in the same treatise.


Barbara Evans participated in a February 18 workshop on privacy and data sharing sponsored by the Robert Wood Johnson (RWJ) Foundation in collaboration with UCSF, Harvard, and University of Zurich. On February 20 she will participate in FDA’s workshop at the NIH on optimal regulation of next-generation sequencing technology.  On February 24-25, she is participating in a workshop at the Johnson Space Center and will speak about FDA regulation of predictive genomic testing related to risks of long-duration spaceflight. The Health Data Exploration Project, funded by the RWJ Foundation, has commissioned Professor Evans to conduct a study of who owns health and fitness data while it is being beamed from wearable fitness sensors and smartphone apps. She recently addressed the University of Washington’s Division of Medical Genetics Seminar and Baylor College of Medicine’s Genetics Colloquium. Professor Evans was invited to give the keynote address at a biotechnology conference in Tokyo in May and has been contacted about serving on a committee for an IOM study of federal regulations of hearing aids. She met last week with Texas Medical Center legal personnel to discuss clinical trial oversight issues. She is among 30 industry and academic leaders invited to discuss complexity in molecular diagnostics in Scottsdale on April 17. She is leading a multi-institutional team doing an NIH-funded study of impacts of recent HIPAA-CLIA amendments that expand individual access to genomic information. She is shepherding various scholarly writings through diverse phases of the production process this month. Professor Evans filed comments, endorsed by 19 leading genomics researchers, on the FDA proposal in Dockets FDA-2011-D-0360 and FDA-2011–D-0357 to regulate clinical claims about the meaning of human gene variants. She assisted the American Society of Human Genetics in developing comments in those same proceedings.  


Jim Hawkins will present a paper on payday loan advertisements at the 10th International Conference on Contracts at the William S. Boyd School of Law, UNLV on February 27, 2015.


Geoffrey Hoffman represented the UHLC immigration clinic at the AILA –USCIS asylum meeting at the Houston Asylum office on January 28. Professor Hoffman also spoke on a panel at the Neighborhood Centers Inc. Leadership Council meeting on February 10 about the latest Presidential executive actions relating to the DACA and DAPA programs. Professor Geoffrey Hoffman appeared on the news program Houston Newsmakers on Channel 2 with Khambrel Marshall discussing the legal implications of a preliminary injunction by Judge Hanen issued in Brownsville, Texas. The show has an air date of Sunday, February 22.


Craig Joyce was reappointed to the Editorial Board of H-LAW. H-LAW is a vehicle of the American Society for Legal History, advancing the discussion network of Humanities Social Sciences On-Line.


David Kwok and D. Theodore Rave had a paper accepted for presentation at the SEALS Junior Scholars Works-in-Progress workshop, entitled Secrecy and Disclosure in Qui Tam and Class Action Litigation.


Jessica Mantel spoke on the AALS panel “The Fifty Years’ War: Can Legislation Ameliorate Poverty?” on January 5. She discussed how the Affordable Care Act and changes in Medicare and Medicaid payment policy are encouraging providers to pay greater attention to social determinants of health. On February 16, Professor Mantel presented her article Spending Medicare’s Dollars Wisely: Taking Aim at Hospitals’ Cultures of Overtreatment at Georgia State College of Law. On February 17, she discussed her article Incentivizing Health Care Providers to Address Social Determinants of Health at a workshop at Emory University School of Law.


Gerry Moohr’s article, How White Collar Movies Matter, was accepted for publication by the University of Texas Review of Entertainment & Sports Law. This article is based in part on a SEALS presentation and a previously published essay, White Collar Crime Goes to the Movies, published by the Ohio State Journal of Criminal Law.


Michael A. Olivas published U.S. Immigration Policy in the Twenty-First Century, with Special Reference to Education: Examining Crosscurrents of Nativist and Accommodationist Policymaking, in Tony Payan and Erika de la Garza, eds., Undecided Nation: Political Gridlock and the Immigration Crisis, 139-159 (Switzerland: Springer, 2014). He wrote five promotion and tenure letters for law schools and other units. At the ABA Midyear Meeting held in Houston, he conducted a seminar on music law for the UHLC Alum reception, and participated in two different panels on immigration law and policy, one of which was for the American Bar Foundation, which also met at the ABA event.


Jordan Paust's article Human Rights on the Battlefield will be published in 47 George Washington International Law Review no. 4 (2015), draft available at


D. Theodore Rave attended a Workshop on the Economics of Litigation and Civil Procedure put on by the Law and Economics Center at George Mason University School of Law from January 29 – February 1. Professor Rave also participated in the ABA Standing Committee on Election Law’s Town Hall Meeting on Money and Politics at the 2015 ABA Midyear Meeting in Houston on February 6.


Jessica L. Roberts published her article Reflections on the Americans with Disabilities Act: A Tribute to My Father in the Houston Law Review’s online companion HLRE: Off the Record. It is available at


Ronald Turner's article On Brown v. Board of Education and Discretionary Originalism will be published by the Utah Law Review. His recent publications include Same-Sex Marriage and Loving v. Virginia: Analogy or Disanalogy?, Washington & Lee Law Review Online 264 (2015).


Greg Vetter attended the Works in Progress in Intellectual Property (WIPIP) (see: on February 6-7, 2015, in Washington D.C., in his capacity as a member of the Organizing Board for WIPIP. On February 11, 2015, he presented a webinar to the Patent Law Committee of the Intellectual Property Law Section of the State Bar of Texas, the presentation covering: Teva v. Sandoz: Patent Law’s Mixed-Mode Claim Construction Regime.


Jacqueline Weaver was invited to lead a seminar class at the University of Calgary's School of Law new "Eminent Speakers in Energy Law" Course on February 2, 2015. The course, funded with a grant from a prominent law firm, invites energy law scholars to the UC campus to meet with faculty and students and also enjoy a weekend in Calgary. She led a discussion of safety management systems used in the oil industry, particularly in offshore operations.


Bret Wells participated in a panel discussion on U.S. International Tax Treaties as part of the ABA Tax Section Mid-Year Meeting held on January 31, 2015.  


On February 23 Allison Winnike will speak on Public Health Law during the Local Health Authority (LHA) Workshop Training at the Texas Public Health Association’s 91st Annual Education Conference (co-hosted by the Texas Department of State Health Services). She will also participate in a panel discussion regarding recent public health emergencies in Texas. Earlier this month she received a scholarship from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation to attend the National Summit on Health Care Price, Cost & Quality Transparency in Washington, D.C. in March. She recently accepted an invitation from the Texas Medical Association Board of Councilors to participate as a panelist at the upcoming Ethics in Medicine Forum at TexMed 2015 in May. This year’s forum will focus on ethical issues related to immunizations, such as private rights of patients or parents and related public health considerations.