Albertus Accolades

November 2018

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 attended a reception hosted by President Renu Khator at the Wortham House on November 2 to celebrate the milestone progress of the Here, We Go campaign. Dean Baynes and the UH Law Center hosted a Jurist-In-Residence CLE on November 5, featuring Judge Vanessa Gilmore (’81) of the U. S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas. Later that evening, Dean Baynes attended and gave remarks at the ADL National Commission Meeting and Gala honoring Marvin D. Nathan. On November 9, Dean Baynes stopped by Brennan’s of Houston to greet members of classes 1950-1968 as they celebrated golden reunion years over lunch during kickoff activities for Reunion Weekend 2018. Later that evening, Dean Baynes provided welcoming remarks at the “Arbitration” All Class Mixer held at Calhoun’s Rooftop and the American Society of Legal History’s reception held at the MD Anderson Library. On November 12, Dean Baynes greeted and welcomed legal decision makers affiliated with government, judicial, and legal institutions in the U.S. and eight Latin American countries who gathered at the UH Hilton to discuss the impact of digital legal documents, including how block chain will disrupt or challenge the legal and notary world. Dean Baynes delivered welcoming remarks at the IPIL Fall Lecture reception on November 13. He attended the Pass the Bar Celebration hosted at El Tiempo Navigation on November 14 and welcomed the most recent UHLC graduates who passed the Texas Bar Exam into the Houston legal community and UHLC's powerful alumni network. On November 15, Dean Baynes along with Law Center faculty, staff and students participated in a video shoot, “Stand Against Hate.” The video was coordinated by Marketing and Communications. Dean Baynes attended the Black Law Student Association Alumni Banquet at Tony Mandola’s Gulf Coast Kitchen on November 27. He gave an overview about the Law Center highlighting the African American alumni who were “first” to achieve a particular noteworthy position at UHLC. He concluded the presentation with a report about the new law building campaign.

Emily Berman joined David Kwok and a local attorney on November 1 on a panel sponsored by the Houston Chapters of the ACS, discussing Special Counsel Robert Mueller's investigation.

Seth Chandler gave two talks at the George Mason University Law & Economics Center in November. The first, titled “A Big Picture View of the Affordable Care Act: Economics and Implementation,” was provided to state attorney general legal staff and surveyed the original conception of the ACA and its morphing from “Obamacare” into a Trump administration variant that stresses state flexibility and opportunities for lower risk persons to find alternatives to ACA plans. The second was part of a panel discussion directed to a diverse audience of Congressional staffers, Attorney General staffers, and others. It addressed the economic challenges posed by the original ACA and the administrative law challenges posed by the Trump administration’s efforts to convert “Obamacare” into a high risk pool for those with pre-existing conditions and a diversity of medically underwritten plans such as Short Term Limitation Duration Health Insurance for middle and upper income Americans who are fundamentally healthy.

Richard Dole, Jr. attended the Inaugural Meeting of Working Group 12 of the Sedona Conference in Hollywood, California on November 5 and 6. Working Group 12 is charged with developing best practices with respect to the protection of trade secrets. Professor Dole was on the panel that discussed the employee life cycle from onboarding, through training, and termination. The Sedona Conference is a national, nonpartisan think tank that explores cutting-edge issues involving the legal regulation of information.

Barbara Evans has been appointed to a three-year term on the National Academies’ Committee on Aerospace Medicine and the Medicine of Extreme Environments (CAMMEE), which considers medical issues related to human space travel, and she will attend the next CAMMEE meeting in Washington on December 14. She participated in a meeting of the NIH-funded LawSeq project at Vanderbilt on November 29-30 and plans to attend a meeting of the NSF-funded Building Reliable Advances and Innovations in Neurotechnology (BRAIN) consortium in Houston on December 6-7. Her new piece entitled “Defending Return of Results and Data” (with co-author Susan M. Wolf) was accepted by Science on November 30 and is scheduled for publication on December 14. Her abstract entitled “Programming our genomes/programming ourselves: the moral and regulatory limits of self-harm when consumers wield genomic technologies” has been accepted for the Petrie-Flom Center's upcoming conference on “Consuming Genetics: The Ethical and Legal Considerations of Consumer Genetic Technologies” at Harvard Law School on May 17, 2019.

Victor Flatt was quoted in the Houston Chronicle and published a blog for the Center for Progressive Reform on the Keystone XL decision. At the University of Houston’s Energy Initiative 2018 program in November, Professor Flatt presented on “The Impact of Law and Regulations on Energy Infrastructure Buildout.” On December 7, Professors Flatt, Blake Hudson, Gina Warren, and Bret Wells will be participating in the first EENR University of Calgary Works in Progress program for new scholars. Professor Flatt will make 2 presentations at this year’s AALS, one on the issues surrounding disasters, environment, and minority justice, and the other on coastal retreat in the face of climate change. He will also make a presentation in New Orleans on January 4 regarding the impact of the new Democratic House majority on energy and environmental policy. He has been asked to present on carbon pricing at the Citizen’s Climate Council on February 9.

Jim Hawkins's paper “Are Employer Loans a Solution to the Payday Loan Epidemic?” was one of 15 abstracts selected out of more than 75 submitted for presentation at the inaugural Consumer Law Scholars Conference at the UC Berkeley School of Law in February.

Janet Heppard participated in a will clinic on November 17 with Houston Volunteer Lawyers. This clinic was sponsored by the City of Houston (part of the Mayor’s Complete Communities Initiative). Members of the community had an opportunity to be interviewed in order that estate planning documents could be drafted and executed at a later date. During November, Professor Heppard, an archery instructor, also had the opportunity to work with a local Boy Scout troop on their archery skills.

Tracy Hester submitted the final proof of his chapter on “Negative Emissions Technologies and Direct Air Capture Law” on November 14 for the upcoming book Legal Pathways to Deep Decarbonization in the United States, to be published in January 2019 by the Environmental Law Institute. He hosted the Consul General of France, Alexis Andres, at his Climate Change Law class on November 7 to discuss France’s policies on climate change. On November 13, he helped organize and introduce the UH Energy Symposium on the potential role of negative emissions technologies for the U.S. energy sector. Former UH Law adjunct professor Steven Cook, now the head of EPA’s Superfund and emergency response programs, and adjunct Professor Scott Sherman joined Hester and members of the UH Energy and Environmental Law Society for a discussion dinner on November 14. Hester also organized and participated in the State Bar of Texas’ environmental law careers panel at BP’s U.S. headquarters on November 15, and he took students from his Environmental Law and Climate Change Law classes on a behind-the-fenceline tour of Valero’s refinery in southeast Houston on November 16. And on November 28, he attended the Greater Houston Partnership’s Environmental Advisory Committee meeting as vice-chair to welcome Texas Representative Ed Thompson to discuss Houston air quality policy and the upcoming legislative session.

Geoffrey Hoffman attended and participated in the meeting at the federal building downtown introducing the new Assistant Chief Immigration Judge at the Executive Office for Immigration Review here in Houston. Professor Hoffman was quoted in a Reuters article regarding U.S. authorities’ use of tear gas at the U.S.-Mexican border. A recent law review article by Professor Hoffman was discussed in a Reuters article regarding a "contiguous territory" provision in U.S. immigration law and whether the Trump administration can require migrants to wait in Mexico while seeking asylum.

Renee Knake traveled to the Richard M. Nixon Presidential Archives to conduct research for her forthcoming book, Shortlisted: Women, Diversity and the Supreme Court, supported by a UH Small Research Grants award. She also learned that her testimony on behalf of the Honorable Carl Ginsberg before the Texas Supreme Court of Special Review earlier this year supported the successful reversal of discipline by the State Commission on Judicial Conduct, In re Ginsberg, CJC No. 17-0739-DI (2018).

Sapna Kumar spoke on a panel regarding the Federal Circuit’s recent cases at the Berkeley Center for Law and Technology and Georgetown University Law Center’s conference on “The Role of Courts in Patent Law and Policy.”

Diane McManus moderated a panel presentation on “The Victim and Society” during a roundtable on “Human Trafficking 2018 and Beyond: A Multi-Factorial Practical Approach,” presented by the UHLC Center for US and Mexican Law and the UH Hobby School of Public Affairs. Professor McManus and Alissa Gomez presented a CLE for alumni on November 9 during Reunion weekend regarding the need for pro bono legal services.

Douglas Moll has agreed to write an article with Daniel Kleinberger (Reporter for the Uniform Law Commission’s Revised Uniform LLC Act) tentatively entitled “The Closely Held Business in the Age of LLCs.” He hopes to complete the article by the end of summer 2019. Professor Moll also attended a dinner with Judge Vanessa Gilmore (with Dean Leonard Baynes and Professor David Kwok) before her talk at the Law Center in November.

James Nelson won the Association of American Law Schools’ annual Scholarly Papers Competition. His article, “Corporate Disestablishment,” is scheduled for publication in the May 2019 issue of the Virginia Law Review.

Teddy Rave presented a draft of his paper “It’s Good to Have the ‘Haves’ on Your Side: A Defense of Repeat Players in Multidistrict Litigation” (with Andrew Bradt) at Stanford Law School on November 9 as part of the Fourth Annual Civil Procedure Workshop.

Amanda Watson presented at “Encuentro de Trabajo de Decisores Juridicos Hispanoamericanos sobre el Impacto del Documento Legal Digital en sus Organizaciones” on the “Lessons Learned in Online US Government Documents” on November 12.

Bret Wells, on November 5, made a presentation entitled “International Implications of the 2017 Tax Act” to the 66th Annual Taxation Conference hosted by the University of Texas. On November 17, Professor Wells was a discussant on a panel that addressed the topic “On Tax Havens” at the 111th Annual Conference of the National Tax Association.