Albertus Accolades

July 2015

Editor, Katy Stein Badeaux • Access previous editions of Albertus Accolades here.

Albertus Accolades is a monthly publication documenting the activities, accomplishments, and honors of the University of Houston Law Center faculty and staff.

Leonard Baynes spoke at a special luncheon at Porter Hedges LLP on June 8, and at the Gardere Wynne Sewell LLP monthly luncheon on June 10, highlighting the accomplishments of the Law Center. Dean Baynes attended the State Bar of Texas Annual Meeting on June 18, hosted an Alumni & Friends Reception in San Antonio that same day, and met with several friends and alumni of the Law Center while in San Antonio on June 19. He also attended the Texas Bar Foundation Annual Dinner that same evening. Dean Baynes presented The Pipeline to Law School: Uplifting Students of Color from the Negativity Surrounding Racial Identity, Racial Diversity, and LSAT Scores at the 2015 Institute for Inclusion in the Legal Profession Houston Symposium held at Baker Botts LLP on June 24, and at the 2015 Institute for Inclusion in the Legal Profession Dallas Symposium at the AT&T Headquarters on June 25. The presentation is also published in the 2014 Institute for Inclusion in the Legal Profession Review.

Janet Beck supervised 7 law students at a naturalization/citizenship workshop organized by Neighborhood Centers. The students helped over 60 people with their applications for naturalization. At the invitation of Stephen Zamora, Director of the Center for U.S. and Mexican Law, and Alonso Gonzalez, Director of the American Bar Association Rule of Law Initiative (ABA-ROLI) for Mexico, Clinical Professor Janet Beck gave a 1.5 hour presentation in Spanish at the Mexican National Clinical Education Conference held in Mexico City at the Instituto Tecnologico Autonomo de Mexico (ITAM) on June 30. Professor Beck gave a detailed overview of the operations of the Law Center’s Clinical Programs to a group of 60 Mexican law professors and law students involved in developing legal clinics in Mexican law schools. This national conference, organized by ABA-ROLI, was the first of its kind, and drew participants from nine law schools from throughout the Mexican Republic. Professor Beck also supervised 5 UHLC Immigration Clinic students* who saw 69 women at the South Texas Family Residential (Detention) Center in Dilley, Texas the weekend of July 10-12. The students prepared these women for their interviews with USCIS Asylum officers as well as for hearings before the Immigration Judge that included bond as well as Immigration Judge reviews of negative decisions by USCIS Asylum officers. The students were amazing! The effort was coordinated by a coalition of non-profit agencies called CARA. These women have been detained with their young children at Dilley for several months. They fled Honduras, Guatemala, and El Salvador due to threats of death by gangs or physical abuse by their partners who have gang/cartel connections. Most of those with USCIS Asylum Officer positive decisions will be released pursuant to a recent announcement by the Government; others will have to wait for their trials while detained. *Beatrice Adeoye, Anjali Baxi, Norma Johnson, Roger Tavira and Camille Yoder.

Darren Bush has been busy the past few months. In April, he commented on a draft article by Max Huffman, The Devil and the Deep Blue Policy Sea: A Comment on Devils, Scripture and Antitrust, at the Loyola University Chicago Antitrust Colloquium. A week before that, he tested for and received his 2nd Degree Black Sash (Erh Tuan) in Kung Fu. In March, he competed in the World Star Chinese Martial Arts Competition. Over the course of the past two months, he has been quoted in the Houston Chronicle and on Marketplace regarding Sysco’s proposed merger with U.S. Foods. Last month, he presented via teleconference at the AAI’s 16th Annual Conference: Antitrust and the 2016 Presidential Transition on airline competition issues. He is currently putting the finishing touches on a book chapter (co-authored with Diana Moss) that will come out of the work for that conference.  

Seth Chandler testified before the Oversight Subcommittee of the House Ways and Means Committee regarding the likely causes of significant premium increases for health care policies sold on the Exchanges established by the Affordable Care Act.  He delivered a talk at the Amsterdam School of Economics titled "R and the 3Rs" discussing how the R computer language could be used to study the "3Rs," which are mechanisms established by the Affordable Care Act to induce insurers to sell policies on the Exchanges.

Carrie Criado attended the inaugural Legal Communicators Media Conference in Washington, D.C. held at George Washington University June 18-19.

Janet Heppard gave a presentation as a panel member at the AALS Conference on Clinical Legal Education: Maintaining the Gold Standard: Preserving Live-Client Clinics in the New Normal, held in Palm Springs, California on May 7. The panel members discussed how their law schools, including their clinics, were changing to meet the needs of their students. She and Tasha Willis also served on a concurrent session panel on June 24 at the AALS- Midyear Meeting: Workshop on Family Law, Shifting Foundations: Family Law’s Response to Changing Families in Orlando, Florida, where they were part of a discussion about new ways to teach family law in the law school curriculum.  

Tracy Hester was invited to join the American College of Environmental Lawyers on June 16, and will be inducted at its annual meeting in October. Georgetown International Environmental Law Review asked him to submit his draft article, Designed for Distrust:  Revitalizing NAFTA’s Environmental Submissions Process, for publication. He recently completed a month-long stay at the Environmental Law Institute’s headquarters in Washington, D.C. as its visiting scholar for 2015-2016.  Professor Hester also presided over the Texas Environmental Research Consortium’s board meeting on July 2 to review its work on new technologies to detect and monitor emissions of air pollutants, and Best Lawyers in America named him again for environmental law in 2015-2016.

Geoffrey Hoffman’s paper, A Collision between Asylum Law and the Hague Convention, was recently listed on SSRN's Top Ten download list for: LSN: Children's Rights (Topic), LSN: Family Law (Private) (Topic), LSN: Parent's Rights & Obligations (Topic) and PSN: International Law/Compliance (Topic). Professor Hoffman’s piece on the immigration consequences of Obergefell v. Hodges was published on the Immigration Professor’s blog in late June.

Peter Linzer published Contract as Evil, 66 Hastings Law Journal 971 (2015), in a Festschrift in honor of Charles L. Knapp’s fifty years of teaching contracts at NYU and Hastings. He gave his fourth or fifth annual Fourth of July talk and led a discussion of the Supreme Court’s recent big decisions before the Houston Chapter of the Great Books League, discussing among others, Obergefell v. Hodges (the same sex marriage case), King v. Burford (the Obamacare subsidy case), the Texas refusal to issue license plates showing the Confederate Flag, and the TX Attorney General’s press release and Opinion on county clerks issuing marriage licenses. The following day, on KUFT, Channel 13, he discussed Obergefell, the AG Opinion and the Supreme Court’s grant of certiorari in Fisher v. UT-Austin, an affirmative action case. The Great Books League discussion took two hours and Channel 13 took three minutes.

Rick McElvaney was interviewed by Telemundo47 television for three separate stories in July. The stories related to a drainage issue with the county, a landlord and tenant issue, and a car repair and mechanic’s lien issue.

Michael A. Olivas briefed a number of journalists and commentators on SCOTUS cases Fisher v. UT, Elonis v. U.S., and Obergefell v. Hodges, for their immigration, entertainment, and college law implications. He posted summaries about two of these cases for his publisher’s blog: Enough is Enough: Fisher v. University of Texas and SCOTUS, Same-Sex Marriage, and Christian Colleges. He also appeared on a number of radio broadcasts about the cases and their implications. Carolina Academic Press has announced that it will publish The Accidental Historian: A Michael A. Olivas Reader, in which more than a dozen legal and social science scholars will comment on his various books and articles. It will be available in fine bookstores everywhere in 2016, and will be a major motion picture, starring Jimmy Smits as MAO. In Albuquerque, NM, he has gone into Studio X to record the Year Three Law of Rock and Roll shows for NPR station KANW. He has also agreed to teach an Inter-term course on Entertainment Law at Cornell Law School, in January, 2016.

D. Theodore Rave’s paper, Fiduciary Voters?, was selected for presentation at the 8th Annual Junior Faculty Federal Courts Workshop at UC Irvine School of Law in September.

Jessica L. Roberts was invited to present her research at Petrie-Flom/Harvard Law Health Law, Bioethics, and Biotechnology Workshop this September. 

Spencer Simons edited and contributed to the article AALS Committee on Libraries and Technology 2015 Workshop for Newer Law Library Directors, 'Nowhere to Run, Nowhere to Hide,' The Reality of Being a Law Library Director in Times of Great Opportunity and Significant Challenge. The article comprises the edited remarks of participants in the all-day workshop organized, moderated, and participated in by Professor Simons at the 2015 AALS Annual Meeting in Washington, D.C.  The article is scheduled for publication in the Winter/Spring issue of volume 107 of Law Library Journal.

Sandra Guerra Thompson was quoted in a Houston Chronicle article, as well as an editorial, regarding the pretrial detention practices in Harris County, and she appeared in a Channel 2 News story on the same subject. She was also elected as Vice President of the Board of Directors Houston Forensic Science Center at the Board’s July meeting.

Greg Vetter moderated a panel in Washington D.C. on June 12, for the Patent Pledges Symposium presented by the American University Washington College of Law and the University of Utah – S.J. Quinney College of Law. He also presented on June 9 for the University of Houston Law Center Pre-Law Pipeline Program covering the topic of intellectual property and information law.