Albertus Accolades

November 2017

Editor, Robert N. Clark, Reference/Research Librarian

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 provided a year in review of Law Center happenings at the biannual “Discussion with the Dean” on November 1. Highlights included plans for a new law school building, facility upgrades that incorporate plans for a C-Store in the space that was formerly a Subway, domestic and international networking trips, the largest graduating Pre-Law Pipeline program over the summer, the Law Center's response to Hurricane Harvey, a visit from the Supreme Court of Texas, faculty and staff promotions, and retirements. There was also a moment of silence held for members of the Law Center community who have passed away in the last year. Following Dean Baynes’ address was a presentation from Robert Browand, Director of Parking & Transportation, and Neil Hart, Executive Director of Auxiliary Services. The two discussed updates on faculty and staff parking lots and made themselves available to answer questions from students. On November 2, Dean Baynes gave a welcoming speech highlighting Law Center accomplishments at the Alumni & Friends Reception at Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan, LLP in Washington, D.C. On November 3, Dean Baynes and FCC Commissioner Mignon L. Clyburn met in Washington, D.C. to discuss broadband deployment and health care. On November 7, Dean Baynes hosted a Donor Plaque Unveiling Reception to honor donors of the Law Center’s College Professorships. Honorees included Andrews Kurth Kenyon LLP; Mike and Teresa Baker; Beirne, Maynard & Parsons, LLP; Houston Intellectual Property Law Association; Law Center Alumnae & Friends; and the Leonard B. Rosenberg Family & Friends. The plaques are located on the 1st floor in the breezeway between BLB and TUII. Immediately following the reception, Dean Baynes attended The National Women’s Conference: Taking 1977 into the 21st Century, and provided opening remarks at a roundtable discussion about women, politics, and law in the 1970s and since. Sissy Farenthold, Sarah Weddington, and Liz Abzug, daughter of Bella Abzug, were panel participants. The event was held in Krost Hall. On November 8, Dean Baynes hosted Briefcase radio broadcasts on Houston Public Media. Broadcast topics included discussions about land use planning/natural resources in Houston featuring Professor Blake Hudson and wrongful convictions featuring Professor Cassandra Jeu. You may listen to these and other Briefcase broadcasts at Briefcase. Dean Baynes attended the 2017 Spouses of Houston Barristers Ball “Continuing the Legacy” at the Royal Sonesta Houston Galleria on November 10. The Spouses of Houston Barristers recognize and honor our city’s legal professionals while providing financial support to future legal scholars. Several current and former Law Center students have won well-deserved scholarships from the Barristers. On November 15, Dean Baynes gave welcoming remarks at a celebration to toast the most recent UHLC graduates who have passed the Texas Bar Exam! On November 16, he met with members of the UH Law Alumni Board at Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld and highlighted the accomplishments of the Law Center. On November 21, he welcomed LL.M. students and gave opening remarks at a reception sponsored by Graduate Legal Studies.

Janet Beck answered citizenship questions at a Univision phone bank. ABC News was a sponsor. Professor Beck also supervised Immigration Clinic students at a citizenship workshop hosted by BakerRipley where they saw approximately 30 people. The students received training so that they could perform screenings for eligibility under the supervision of attorneys. Professor Beck also made a presentation on a variety of immigration issues  to approximately 60 transgender individuals at an event sponsored by the Organizacion Latina de Trans in Texas.

Emily Berman presented her work-in-progress entitled A Government of Men and Not of Machines at the South Texas School of Law Houston, and participated in the Loyola Constitutional Law Colloquium in Chicago, presenting her paper Minimization: It’s Not Just for Wiretaps Anymore. She also appeared on Houston Matters to discuss the Trump administration’s efforts to prevent an undocumented minor in federal custody from getting an abortion.

Richard Dole is currently in the top ten percent of authors on SSRN by total new downloads within the last 12 months.

Barbara Evans attended the semi-annual meeting of the NIH-funded LawSeqTM project on November 16-17 in Nashville. With Dr. Thomas M. Morgan of Vanderbilt Medical School, she co-leads the LawSeq working group on data-quality issues in genomic testing and she serves on the Legal Expert Advisory Panel for the project. She presented two works in progress, one related to FDA and CLIA regulation of genomic tests and another on civil rights of persons whose data are held in genomic databases. On December 6-7, she is traveling to Phoenix to speak at a meeting of the NSF-funded BRAIN industry/university collaborative research project. Her chapter on self-governing data commons has gone to press in Big Data, Health Law, and Bioethics (eds. Cohen, Lynch, Yayena, and Gasser, Cambridge University Press forthcoming), which is the edited collection of papers presented at the 2016 Petrie-Flom Annual Conference at Harvard Law School. On November 30, her article entitled HIPAA’s Individual Right of Access to Genomic Data: Reconciling Safety and Civil Rights was accepted by the American Journal of Human Genetics and will appear in the January issue.  

Christopher Heard and his students in the Entrepreneurship and Community Development Clinic (ECDC) gave presentations on business law topics to small business owners and aspiring entrepreneurs enrolled in the SURE™ Program at the C.T. Bauer College of Business on November 11.  On November 14, Professor Heard represented the Law Center in a presentation to President Khator and her cabinet regarding the University of Houston’s Third Ward Initiative.

Janet Heppard and Geoffrey Hoffman received the Community Partner Pro Bono Award from Lonestar Legal Aid at their 2017 Pro Bono Awards Reception on October 24. The award was given in honor of the work done by the Law Center’s Civil Practice and Immigration Clinics. In addition, Professor Heppard taught courses in “Orienteering” and “STEM for Tweens and Teen” for Girl Scout leaders at the San Jacinto Girl Scout Council Fall Volunteer Conferenceheld on November 10-13. These trainings give leaders more skills and ideas for planning activities for their troops.

Tracy Hester completed his article on Going Negative: The Next Horizon in Climate Engineering Law with Michael Gerrard (Columbia), which will be published in the upcoming issue of the Natural Resources and Environment journal. Hester attended the annual meeting of the American College of Environmental Lawyers in Charleston, South Carolina on October 27, where he asked to lead the College’s new Principles of Environmental Law project. On November 3, Hester welcomed Cynthia Conner, the Deputy Head of the British Embassy’s Energy and Environment desk, as a guest lecturer on differences between the UK and U.S. approaches to climate change. On that same day, he hosted several local governmental agencies at a workshop to draft a first responder’s handbook on common questions arising during disaster responses. On November 7, Hester moderated the American Constitution Society’s lunch panel on environmental assessment requirements for energy projects on tribal lands, where our own Victor Flatt was one of the speakers. On November 9, Professor Hester spoke on the environmental legal consequences from Hurricane Harvey at the 2017 Environmental Law Symposium hosted by Bracewell LLP in Houston. He welcomed Brant Johnson, TransCananda’s Director of Land and Environment, to the Law Center on November 10 to discuss the environmental legal challenges to pipeline infrastructure and the Keystone XL pipeline disputes. Last, on November 19, Hester moderated the UH Energy Symposium on the effects that increased oil and gas production from U.S. resources will have on global petroleum geopolitics and the future of OPEC.

Geoffrey Hoffman published an article entitled The Legal Consequences of DACA Rescission, available online at the Houston Journal of International Law Sidebar. Professor Hoffman spoke on a panel to UHLC students as part of the Hispanic Law Student Association immigration careers week. He spoke at the 2017 Detention Workshop held at the King & Spalding law firm on the topic of wrongful deportation and federal litigation strategies after USCIS denials involving special immigrant juveniles. He was interviewed for a documentary entitled The Rational Middle: Immigration, available here. His paper, The Legal Consequences of DACA Recission, was recently listed on SSRN's Top Ten download lists for PSN: Politics of Immigration (topic); Immigration, Refugee & Citizenship Law eJournal; and Political Behavior eJournals. Professor Hoffman met with FEMA attorneys to discuss community response to Hurricane Harvey-related issues. He participated in a discussion regarding USCIS DACA rejections as part of the Houston Immigration Legal Services Collaborative (HILSC). Professor Hoffman was among a group of legal scholars who filed an amicus curiae brief in support of the plaintiff’s motion for a preliminary injunction in the case of California ex rel. Becerra v. Sessions.

Renee Knake spoke about her forthcoming book, Shortlisted: Diversity, Women and the Supreme Court, on a panel addressing reproductive justice issues at the National Women’s Conference hosted by the University of Houston, November 6-7. She also spoke at Loyola Chicago Law School’s Annual Symposium on Health Law and Policy together with Jessica Mantel about their co-authored article addressing the legal and ethical implications of data-sharing among medical legal partnerships on November 10. She accepted a contract with West Publishing to author a series of assessment questions covering professional responsibility topics as part of West’s CasebookPlus series. Professor Knake was quoted in a CNN Money article about the recent increase in reporting of sexual harassment cases, and in a Christian Science Monitor article about the different treatment for politicians facing sexual misconduct charges compared with the private sector. Her work on entrepreneurship and innovation in legal education was mentioned in a feature on Above the Law. Finally, she received notice that she is currently in the top ten percent of authors on SSRN by total new downloads within the last 12 months and also in the top ten percent for all-time downloads.

Jim Lawrence was a panelist at the Fordham International Arbitration Conference, held at Fordham University on November 17. The panel topic was “A Mock Arbitration for Your Case: Optimizing Your Strategies and Maximizing Success.” The panel was moderated by Edna Sussman (independent arbitrator), and the additional panel members included Doak Bishop (King & Spaulding), Phillip Anthony (DecisionQuest), Claudia Salomon (Latham & Watkins), and Dr. Mohammed Abdel Wahab (Cairo University and Zufficar & Partners Law Firm).

Rick McElvaney appeared on a panel sponsored by the Hispanic Law Students Association to advise students on public interest careers. He also was a speaker on landlord and tenant issues at the Harris County Justice of the Peace CLE training on November 13.

Douglas Moll submitted the manuscript for the second edition of his concise hornbook on Business Organizations (West Academic) (with Rich Freer). Professor Moll also submitted the manuscript for his article Judicial Dissolution of the Limited Liability Company:  A Statutory Analysis to the Tennessee Journal of Business Law.  He was an invited contributor to the symposium organized by the Journal. He will also be joining as a co-author of the three-volume treatise on Texas Business Organizations (West Publishing) (with Professors Bob Ragazzo and Beth Miller). Professor Moll will work on the chapters covering Texas partnerships and limited liability companies. 

Nathan Neely facilitated and presented as part of the Law School Admission Council’s Houston Forum session entitled “Your Questions Answered: Workshop for Applicants to LLM Programs.” In addition, he completed his 17th marathon on October 22, the Marine Corps Marathon. 

Michael A. Olivas received the Distinguished Career Award from the Association for the Study of Higher Education (ASHE) Annual Meeting, in November. Professor Olivas was one of four professors who submitted a brief as amici curiae to the Fourth Circuit of the U.S. Court of Appeals in the immigration and housing case of Reyes v. Waples Mobile Home Park.

Jordan Paust, Professor Emeritus, gave the Myres S. McDougal Distinguished Lecture in International Law at the University of Denver Sturm College of Law on November 8.

Teddy Rave presented his book chapter Fiduciary Principles and the State at Harvard Law School on November 11 at their conference on “Fiduciary Law: Charting the Field.”  The chapter is forthcoming in the Oxford Handbook of Fiduciary Law (Evan Criddle, Paul Miller & Robert Sitkoff eds.).  Professor Rave also hosted approximately 40 students from Pilgrim Academy Middle School and Sharpstown High School at the Law Center as part of the Pathways to Law Program, a supplemental learning program run by lawyers from Jones Day that aims to expand low-income students’ horizons and to inspire them to consider careers in law and other professions. The students met with several 1Ls and 2Ls as well as undergraduates from the Pipeline Program (thanks to Kristen Guiseppi) and took a tour of the Law Center (thanks to Pilar Mensah). The Pathways to Law students will return during the spring semester to sit in on some law school classes.

Greg Vetter opened the Law Center’s event with the Licensing Executive Society (LES) on October 13, where the Law Center’s Institute for Intellectual Property and Information Law (IPIL) partnered with LES for a one-day course. He represented the Law Center and IPIL at the November 14 dinner of The Honorable Nancy F. Atlas Intellectual Property American Inn of Court in Houston. He attended the Law Center’s alumni reception in Washington, D.C. on November 2, held in conjunction with its participation at the AALS faculty recruiting conference. He moderated/hosted the 24th Annual Ronald A. Katz Family Foundation Fall Lecture, put on by IPIL on November 9, featuring Professor John Thomas of Georgetown Law as the lecturer. He attended the Law Center’s alumni event on November 14 to thank donors for the professorships established in the early 2000s. He also attended the Law Center’s reception welcoming LL.M students on November 21. Vetter was an invited presenter for the topic of Software Protection on October 26, as a part of the University of Texas at Austin’s hosting of the University of St. Gallen Postgraduate Program Executive M.B.L.-HSG. The Executive Masters in European and International Business Law (M.B.L.-HSG) is a postgraduate law course of study by the University of St. Gallen in Switzerland, one of the top European Universities for the study of European and International Business Law.

Jacqueline Weaver directed the Rocky Mountain Mineral Law Foundation Short Course on Oil and Gas Leasing in Denver from October 23-27, and gave two lectures on the nature of a U.S. lease and its duration. On October 27, she gave a talk at the UHLC Reunion weekend on “The Role of the Regulator” and enjoyed reconnecting with fellow alums. On October 30, she was the featured speaker at a King & Spalding event for clients, talking about Upstream Petroleum Government Contracts, the title of a new book published by King & Spalding on the nonfiscal provisions of international petroleum contracts.

Bret Wells’ policy recommendation to amend the Texas Railroad Commission’s existing statewide rule on flaring of natural gas was endorsed and promoted in a recent study that was publicly released by the Environmental Defense Fund this month. Professor Wells’ policy position was set forth in Bret Wells, Please Give Us One More Oil Boom – I Promise Not to Screw It Up This Time: The Broken Promise of Casinghead Gas Flaring in the Eagle Ford Shale, 9 TEX. J. OIL, GAS & ENERGY LAW 319 (2014). Professor Wells had previously set forth international tax reform proposals in a 2012 law review article that argued for reforms that would protect the U.S. tax base from inbound earning stripping transactions by multinational enterprises, and these reform proposals served as the basis for reform measures that were included in both the House bill (Section 4303) and in the Senate Finance mark-up (page 242), both of which were released this month. Professor Wells’ reform proposal dealing with migration of U.S. developed IP to low-tax jurisdictions was set forth in a 2014 law review article, and that reform proposal was adopted in the Senate Finance mark-up (page 236). Professor Wells has been quoted extensively in the press this month about the nuances of these aspects and other aspects of the proposed tax reform legislation that was announced this month. Finally, Professor Wells made a presentation on Permanent Establishment Issues at the 20th Annual International Tax Symposium for the Tax Section of the State Bar of Texas in Dallas on November 2 and in Houston on November 3.

Denney Wright presented "Oil and Gas Tax Issues Overview with Critical Analysis of HR1 (U.S. Tax Reform House Bill) On Oil and Gas Investment" to the Austin Society of CPAs Annual Tax Conference on November 13 in Austin, Texas. Professor Wright is chairing a panel discussion entitled "Oil and Gas Investments Revisited" (in light of current state of the industry and in light of U.S. tax reform proposals) at the November 16-17 14th Biennial Parker Fielder Oil and Gas Tax Conference in Houston. The panel members include representatives from a major law firm (Willkie Farr and Gallagher, LLP), a major accounting firm (PWC) and the IRS. Professor Wright once again served on the Planning Committee for the Parker Fielder Conference, a biennial oil and gas tax conference hosted by UT Law and the US Treasury attended by IRS, Treasury, industry, legal and accounting personnel working on oil and gas tax matters.