Albertus Accolades

September 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.

Richard Alderman submitted the manuscript for the 2017 edition of Consumer Protection and the Law (two volumes, Thomson Reuters); the 2017 update of Texas Consumer Law: Cases and Materials (Imprimatur Press); the 2017 Supplement for The Lawyer’s Guide to the Texas Deceptive Trade Practices Act (LexisNexis), and the manuscript for the Ninth Edition of Know Your Rights! Answers to Texans’ Everyday Legal Questions. He also presented “A DTPA and Arbitration Update” at the State Bar Annual Meeting and the Advanced Consumer and Commercial Law Seminar.

Leonard Baynes welcomed students and met with them during free breakfast, lunch, and dinner gatherings in the Commons on September 5, 6, and 7. The Law Center was fully operational and reopened on September 5. Dean Baynes welcomed and attended a post-Harvey interfaith gathering in the Albertus Room on September 13. Representatives from St. Laurence Catholic Church, the Islamic Society of Greater Houston, Congregation Beth Yeshurun, and Houston Lutheran Church were in attendance. The gathering was organized by the St. Thomas More Society, Christian Legal Society, Lex Judaica, and Muslim Student Association. Dean Baynes welcomed and attended a cocktail reception and dinner at the Sam Houston hotel on September 14 to welcome Justices of the Supreme Court of Texas to the Law Center. On September 15, he welcomed the Texas Supreme Court and attended the Court’s oral arguments that were held in Krost Hall from 9:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. Dean Baynes and UH Provost Paula Short hosted a welcome luncheon for the SCOTX, faculty, and staff in the Hendricks Heritage Room. The Court’s afternoon events included three breakout sessions for faculty, staff, and students: Session A – Prelaw with Justices Green, Lehrmann, and Devine; Session B – Advocacy with Chief Justice Hecht and Justices Johnson and Guzman; and Session C – Clerkships with Justices Boyd and Brown. On September 18, Dean Baynes hosted a reception and dinner for the Justice Ruby Kless Sondock Jurist-in-Residence Program. He introduced Judge Jenny Rivera, who is Associate Judge of the Court of Appeals, State of New York. The title of her lecture was, “New York State Court of Appeals Recent Cases: From Admissibility of DNA Evidence to Discriminatory Peremptory Challenges Based on Colorism.” On September 20, Dean Baynes provided welcoming remarks at the Global and Summer Public Interest Fellows luncheon in the Hendricks Heritage Room. The annual luncheon recognizes and honors students who receive the UHLC summer public interest fellowships or UHLC global fellowships for the past summer and is organized by the CDO office. On September 21, Dean Baynes provided an update of Law Center summer events, including faculty and staff new hires, appointments, and promotions, admissions statistics, FY18 tuition and fees, scholarships, programs to enhance student careers, facilities projects, and highlighted other FY18 accomplishments at the joint Law Foundation & Alumni Board Meeting and Audit Committee Meetings, held at Akin Gump LLP. On September 24, Dean Baynes attended a Dean’s Society “Day at the Astros” to celebrate the 32nd Annual “Here We Go Again” event at Minute Maid Park. The Day at the Astros is a fun, informal opportunity to visit with Dean Baynes, UHLC faculty and staff, and Dean's Society members, while also enjoying a Houston Astros game! On September 25, Dean Baynes welcomed ABA President Hilarie Bass to the Law Center Campus and attended an informational session sponsored by The Center for Consumer Law and UHLC Clinical Programs titled, “FEMA and Beyond: Hurricane Harvey Legal Issues.” Ms. Saundra Brown, Directing Attorney of Disaster Legal Services at Lone Star Legal Aid, presented student training about FEMA and other legal issues relating to Hurricane Harvey. On September 27, Dean Baynes gave welcoming remarks at an Upper Level Mentoring Program kickoff event hosted by UHLC’s Office of Alumni Affairs and Career Development Office. 

Janet Beck sat at a table at NRG Center in order to help individuals, stranded by Hurricane Harvey, with immigration and FEMA problems.

Richard Dole was ranked in the top ten percent of authors on SSRN by total new downloads within the last twelve months.

Christopher Heard, with Lauren Simpson, Stephanie Johnson and thirteen first-year law students, spent the morning of August 19 weeding, mulching, and making beds for planting as part of a UHLC Community Service Day project at Beauty's Community Garden in Independence Heights. The organization that runs the garden is a client of the Entrepreneurship and Community Development Clinic (ECDC). On September 16, Professor Heard’s students in the ECDC gave presentations on FEMA assistance, the SBA disaster loan program, insurance issues, and other disaster recovery topics to 81 small business owners and aspiring entrepreneurs enrolled in the SURE™ Program at the C.T. Bauer College of Business.

Janet Heppard and Lauren Simpson gave a presentation entitled “Connecting the Dots” on August 25 at the Western Regional Legal Writing Conference with a theme of “Connections,” held in Seattle, Washington. Professors Simpson and Heppard described various ways Professor Simpson has collaborated with Professor Heppard and other faculty at the Law Center to help the law students transfer the skills learned in their first-year legal writing courses into clinical, upper-level writing, and seminar courses.  Professor Heppard worked with UHLC 1L students at the Houston Volunteer Lawyers Legal Clinic on Saturday, August 19, held at the Third Ward Multi-Services Center as part of the First Year Law Center Orientation. Professor Heppard and Diane McManus also participated in the UH Recovery Resource Fair held at the TDECU Stadium Club on September 13 where they talked with and provided legal resources to faculty, staff, and students who had legal questions related to damages from Hurricane Harvey. In addition, Professor Heppard taught courses in “Event Basics” and “Weekend Event Planning” for Girl Scout leaders at the San Jacinto Girl Scout Council Focus Event held on August 12.  These trainings taught leaders how to plan and execute a Girl Scout event for girls and adults.

Tracy Hester participated in Vermont Law School’s Environmental Law Colloquium on September 22-23, where he presented his draft article on God’s Work in Human Hands:  The Evolving Role of Religiously Motivated Environmentalism Under U.S. Law. While there, he cheered presentations by Gina Warren, Sarah Morath and Bret Wells. Professor Wells discussed Abandoned But Not Forgotten: Improperly Plugged and Orphaned Wells May Pose Serious Concerns for Shale Development, an article that Wells and Hester are co-authoring. On Sept. 26, Hester’s article with Professor Michael Gerrard on Going Negative: The Next Frontier in Climate Engineering Law was accepted for publication by Natural Resource & Environment. On Sept. 14 and 15, Hester joined EPA’s National Advisory Committee on NAFTA environmental issues in Washington, D.C. to discuss cross-border environmental initiatives under the current Administration. Last, he was cited in the 24th edition of “Best Lawyers in America” for his expertise in the area of environmental law. The listing marks the twelfth time Hester has been selected for recognition by his peers in the field.

Geoffrey Hoffman presented a webinar on Federal Court options for VAWA and U visa crime victims sponsored by ASISTA and with co-presenter Maria  Balderini-Potermin from Chicago, Illinois. He spoke on DACA Rescission at the University of Houston-Downtown (UHD) with Clinical Supervising Attorney Josephine Sorgwe. Hoffman and Sorgwe also presented a DACA Rescission information session at Agnes Arnold Hall on the UH Main Campus. Professor Hoffman presented to the faculty on a panel relating to Hurricane Harvey disaster relief issues. He served as a volunteer attorney, supervised student attorneys, and taught volunteers about how to fill out DACA renewal applications at Memorial Assistance Ministries as part of a DACA outreach. Professor Hoffman served as a volunteer attorney with Clinical Supervising Attorneys Sorgwe and Rosemary Vega at Catholic Charities helping with DACA renewals and answering other immigration questions. Professor Hoffman was interviewed for a documentary on immigration reform and will be appearing on a panel at the debut of the documentary in November or December. Professor Hoffman with students at the UHLC Immigration Clinic, in collaboration with the Harvard Immigration Clinic, along with other law professors co-authored an amicus brief to the Supreme Court, which was filed in September. Professor Hoffman organized a volunteer effort at NRG stadium with UHLC students, staff, and faculty to advise evacuees on immigration-related issues as part of the UHLC Immigration Clinic. Professor Hoffman was interviewed by The Daily Standard radio program. He discussed President Trump’s expected announcement regarding the future of DACA. The program is available at, and the segment featuring Professor Hoffman begins at 17:45. Professor Hoffman was interviewed about the SB-4 litigation and its effects on undocumented Texans on the radio news program BBC World Service. Professor Hoffman organized and MC'd the Joseph Vail Workshop for attorneys to learn about asylum with a focus on families and children, as well as volunteering at a DACA renewal clinic at Catholic Charities the following day.

Blake Hudson continues work editing his book, along with co-authors Jonathan Rosenbloom and Dan Cole, titled Routledge Handbook of the Study of the Commons. He also wrote a short article for the ABA’s Natural Resources & Environment journal titled Curbing Dense Sprawl. He completed an article forthcoming in the Florida State University Law Review, titled Harnessing Energy Markets to Conserve Natural Resources? The Case of Southern U.S. Forests, and continues editing an article titled The Natural Capital Crisis in Southern U.S. Cities, forthcoming in the Chicago-Kent Law Journal. Professor Hudson presented on wood pellet market development’s impacts on southern private forests, as both the keynote speaker at the Gulf of Mexico Graduate Student Symposium in Cocodrie, LA in March and as part of the Environmental Capstone Colloquium Lecture at the University of Florida Levin College of Law in April. He presented his current scholarly project, Moral Takings, at the Association for Law, Property, and Society conference at the University of Michigan in May and at the Rocky Mountain Mineral Law Foundation’s Natural Resources Law Teachers Workshop in Santa Fe, NM in July. He presented “Water, Water Everywhere, and Not a Drop to Drink: The Need for a Louisiana Water Code” at the 2017 SEC Academic Conference at Mississippi State University in March and at the Water Resources Law Symposium at the University of Alabama in August. He also gave a radio interview with NPR’s Houston Matters regarding the 5th Amendment takings claim suit for release of water from the Addicks and Barker reservoirs during Hurricane Harvey in September.

Craig Joyce published the Cumulative Supplement (featuring new developments in case law, legislative and agency developments, and digital and international matters) to the Tenth Edition of his Copyright Law casebook.  He also hosted, with Dean Leonard Baynes, the 32nd edition of the Annual “Here We Go Again” Party at Minute Maid Park for faculty, staff, and their families.

Renee Knake delivered a talk on her forthcoming book, Shortlisted, as part of the University of Kansas School of Law Faculty Lecture Series on September 13. She spoke about the ethics of alternative billing practices as part of a plenary panel at the American Bar Association Business Law Section Annual Meeting in Chicago on September 14.

Sapna Kumar presented her paper Innovation Nationalism at the Akron Law IP Scholars Forum. She also spoke about careers in patent law as part of a lecture series on IP careers at the MD Anderson Cancer Center UTHealth Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences.

Rick McElvaney was named to the State Bar of Texas Consumer & Commercial Law Council for the 2017–18 term as an emeritus member. He assisted Channel 2 with consumer related stories during Hurricane Harvey, appeared on Houston Newsmakers with Khambrel Marshall, and appeared on a segment of Channel 2 Extra Edition. He appeared on two segments for Telemundo Channel 47 regarding Hurricane related legal issues. He appeared on NPR’s Houston Matters regarding the issue of price gouging during Hurricane Harvey and on Dean Baynes’ Briefcase NPR segment regarding consumer law issues and the Hurricane Harvey Edition of People’s Law School. He participated on a panel at the UHLC on hurricane issues with Professors Seth Chandler and Geoff Hoffman. He arranged a presentation for UHLC students regarding legal issues involving Hurricane Harvey, preceded by a reception with ABA President Hilarie Bass and Dean Baynes. He has been invited to speak at the upcoming CLE event sponsored by the Houston Lawyer Pro Bono Committee on disaster related consumer and landlord-tenant issues.  The 2017 – 2018 edition O’Connor’s Property Code Plus has been released. This is the 14th year of publication.

Douglas Moll presented his paper, Judicial Dissolution of the Limited Liability Company: A Statutory Analysis, at the University of Tennessee School of Law on September 15-16. Professor Moll was invited as part of a symposium on “Business Law: Connecting the Threads.” He is currently finishing up the second edition of his concise hornbook entitled Principles of Business Organizations (with Rich Freer).

Nathan Neely was invited to present at the SAPLA/SWAPLA Conference in Memphis, TN.  The presentation, “Law School Fairs: How To and Do We Need To? What’s Next?” explored current student recruitment models employed by pre-law advisors, analyzed their worth, and presented alternative recruitment methods.    

Michael A. Olivas delivered “Within You Without You: Undocumented Lawyers, DACA, and Occupational Licensing” to the University of Colorado Law School in their Citizenship Colloquium. When the President ended DACA, it added an additional chapter to Professor Olivas’s forthcoming NYU Press book, PERCHANCE TO DREAM: A Legal and Political History of the DREAM Act and DACA. Olivas briefed more than two dozen reporters on developments in immigration law, entertainment law, and higher education law. He and two other immigration law professors drafted an open letter to the Administration, signed by more than 100 law professors, arguing that DACA was legal and should continue. Although they failed to carry the day, they know they are on the right side of history.

Theodore Rave’s article, Aggregation on Defendants’ Terms: Bristol-Myers Squibb and the Federalization of Mass Tort Litigation (with Andrew Bradt, UC Berkeley) was accepted by the Boston College Law Review and will be published in the spring. The article was also selected through blind review by the AALS Conflict of Laws Section for presentation at the AALS Annual Meeting in San Diego in January. Professor Rave filed an amicus brief in the Supreme Court’s upcoming partisan gerrymandering case, Gill v. Whitford, which will be argued on October 3.  The brief is available at  

Lauren Simpson and Janet Heppard spoke at the Western Regional Legal Writing Conference at the Seattle University School of Law in August. Their presentation topic, “Connecting the Dots,” was created together with Sarah Morath, whom the hurricane prevented from attending the conference. The presentation described how UHLC Lawyering Skills and Strategies faculty have collaborated with both clinical and doctrinal faculty to help students transfer skills from their first-year legal writing courses into clinical, upper-level writing, and seminar courses.  More specifically, they addressed how the collaborations developed, what the collaborations entailed, and what could be learned from them. Professor Simpson joined Christopher Heard, Stephanie Johnson, and thirteen first-year law students on August 19 in weeding, mulching, and making beds for planting as part of a UHLC Community Service Day project at Beauty's Community Garden in Independence Heights. The organization that runs the garden is a client of the Entrepreneurship and Community Development Clinic (ECDC), of which Professor Heard is Director. Professor Simpson continues her naturalist community service. She has accepted an invitation from Keep Friendswood Beautiful to speak to the public on October 21 at the Friendswood Library. Her presentation, entitled “Easy Tips for Gardening for Wildlife in your Own Backyard,” will explain the importance of wildscaping and will provide helpful tips for transforming a home landscape into a pollinator-friendly wildscape. Additionally, Professor Simpson recently began a months-long series entitled “The Butterflies of St. Julian’s Crossing,” introducing each of the 43 butterfly species identified in her home’s gardens, which are a Certified Wildlife Habitat (National Wildlife Federation), a Monarch Waystation (Monarch Watch, Waystation No. 10925), and a Certified Butterfly Garden (North American Butterfly Association). The butterfly series is posted on Professor Simpson’s Facebook education community, “St. Julian’s Crossing-wildlife habitat,” which educates about pollinators, their conservation, and the wildscapes supporting them:

Gina Warren presented her work-in-progress, Establishing an International Framework for a Social License to Operate a Mega Sporting Event, at the 8th Annual Colloquium on Environmental Scholarship, Vermont Law School on September 23, 2017. Warren was also named co-chair of the “Career Paths for Young Attorneys in the Energy Sector,” which will be held at the University of Houston Law Center on April 13 & 14, 2018.

Jacqueline Weaver taught a two-week course at Vermont Law School in late July, titled “Oil and Gas: Production, Pipelines and the Environment.” Vermont is rated the number one Energy and Environment program in the U.S.  She contributed a chapter to the book Landmarks of a Century in Oil and Gas Law: Twenty Cases that Shaped Texas Oil and Gas Jurisprudence, which was published by the State Bar of Texas’s Oil, Gas and Energy Resources Law Section last month.

Bret Wells participated in a panel discussion on September 14 regarding US-Mexico cross border tax issues at the ABA Tax Section Fall meeting in Austin, Texas. Professor Wells presented a working draft of an article entitled Abandoned But Not Forgotten: Improperly Plugged and Orphaned Wells May Pose Serious Concerns for Shale Development at Vermont Law School’s Colloquium on Environmental Scholarship on September 23. The article’s co-author is Tracy Hester.  Professor Wells’ article entitled Reform of Corporate Distributions in Subchapter C was accepted for publication in the Virginia Tax Review this month.