Albertus Accolades

December 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 did a welcome and attended a "Women of the Law" CLE cocktail reception and conversation on December 2. Over 40 UHLC alumni gathered for the social event and discussion of the #MeToo movement and its implications in our society, history, and legal practice. Attendees also participated in a Q&A discussion. The reception was hosted by UHLC alumna Kalli O'Malley ('87) and included UHLC guest speaker Laura Gibson ('84) and UH GSSW alum, Rosalie Hyde ('84). On December 7, Dean Baynes greeted and welcomed faculty and staff at the 2018 Annual Staff Holiday Party. Holiday laughter, cheer, and food were plentiful and the Karaoke segment didn't disappoint. Dean Baynes kicked off Karaoke entertainment with a “Baynes” rendition of “Jingle Bells” and “Feliz Navidad.” Later that evening Dean Baynes attended UH's annual Faculty Open House, hosted by President Renu Khator at the Wortham House. The Law Center's Annual Holiday Coffee was held December 8. Dean Baynes provided holiday greetings to Law Center faculty, staff, alumni, and friends who gathered to network and celebrate the holiday season with brunch and good cheer. In follow up to her November lecture as the Sondock Jurist-in-Residence, Judge Vanessa Gilmore was interviewed by Dean Baynes during a Briefcase radio taping on implicit bias in the judicial system. The Briefcase episode was aired on December 19. Dean Baynes was summoned to appear for jury duty on December 17 and was selected for a murder trial. His service was completed when the judge declared a mistrial after a juror acknowledged that he had read about the case in the newspaper. That evening, Dean Baynes attended the Hispanic Law Student Alumni Association Banquet at Post Oak Grill. He provided an overview of the Law Center’s history highlighting Hispanic American alumni who were “firsts” to achieve a particular noteworthy position. He concluded the presentation with an update about the new law building campaign. On December 19, Dean Baynes attended the Provost’s annual Dean’s Advance, a day-long planning meeting where UH Deans gather to discuss, prioritize, strategize, and prepare for next steps. The meeting was held at the Houston Marriott Marquis Hotel.

Christina Beeler, a UHLC alumna and staff attorney, wrote a blog post for the American Constitution Society’s ACSblog entitled “Progressive Lawyers and Law Students Have a Responsibility to Challenge the Trump Administration's Anti-Immigrant Policies.”

Seth Chandler delivered a presentation for the Wolfram Technology Conference entitled “Exploring a Giant Legal Citation Network with Mathematica.” Video is available here.

Alissa Gomez and Hilary Reed delivered a presentation entitled “Reaching them Early: Teaching Gen Z Legal Analysis and Writing in Pipeline Programs” at the LWI One-Day Conference held at Chapman University Fowler School of Law in southern California on November 30. They discussed their work (methods and substance) teaching legal writing and analysis to the PLUS students who were part of the UHLC Pipeline Program this past summer. On December 13, Professor Gomez presented at the State Bar’s all-day ethics training for newly licensed lawyers. Her talk was entitled “Access to Justice: Breaking Barriers and Creating Solutions.”

Janet Heppard volunteered at a Veteran’s Outreach Clinic in Katy on December 8. The clinic was sponsored by the Houston Volunteer Lawyers. Professor Heppard was also the guest on the Law Center’s Briefcase radio program on December 12 where she spoke with Dean Leonard Baynes about common law marriage, including the elements required to prove a common law marriage exists. Professor Heppard, along with Katie Flynn and UHLC graduate Kimberly Levi, presented a CLE at the law center on “Handling Your First or Next Adoption Case: Overview, Resources, and Ethical Considerations.” Additionally, Professor Heppard was a co-editor for the AALS Clinical Section newsletter for Fall/Winter 2018, which was distributed to the members of the Clinical Section in December.

Tracy Hester participated in the inaugural EENR University of Calgary works-in-progress workshop on December 7, which was organized by Victor Flatt and Blake Hudson and joined by Gina Warren. On December 13, Hester hosted a faculty briefing session about UH’s new Center for Carbon Management in Energy, which he will co-direct with UH Chief Energy Officer Dr. Ramanan Krishnamoorti. On December 6, Hester joined an online scholars workshop hosted by Lancaster University to explore how greenhouse gas removal technologies might affect efforts to reduce emissions. He participated in the Greater Houston Partnership’s inaugural policy summit on December 4. Last, he attended the American Association of Law Schools conference in New Orleans on January 2-6, where he was elected as Secretary of the AALS Section on Environmental Law for 2019.

Geoffrey Hoffman created a working group of attorneys nationwide who are currently litigating cases with issues relating to Pereira v. Sessions. The attorneys are litigating in almost every circuit and planning for a possible Supreme Court petition for writ of certiorari. Professor Hoffman organized a meeting of the Executive Committee of the Houston Immigration Legal Services Collaborative at the UH Law Center attended by the clinic supervising attorneys Rosemary Vega and Josephine Sorgwe. Professor Hoffman was named one of Houston’s Best Lawyers of 2018 by H Texas magazine. He hosted the annual Joseph A. Vail asylum workshop and spoke on federal court petitions for review and setting the stage for appellate advocacy in the era of Matter of A-B-. Video of the event can be found here. He also moderated a roundtable discussion of immigration judges and a former member of the Board of Immigration Appeals. Professor Hoffman was interviewed for a piece broadcast on KPBS News (San Diego's NPR affiliate), regarding the transport of undocumented immigrants via ICE Air, deporting over 100,000 individuals each year. Video of the segment is available here (Professor Hoffman’s appearance begins at 5:46). Professor Hoffman is also in the top ten percent of authors on SSRN by total new downloads within the last twelve months.

Renee Knake presented two papers at the International Legal Ethics Conference in Melbourne, Australia, December 6-7. The first was a work-in-progress, tentatively titled “Law Democratized: A Blueprint for Access to Justice.” The second was a chapter from her forthcoming book Shortlisted: Women, Diversity & the Supreme Court (NYU Press).

David Kwok presented his paper, “The Deceptive Harm of Commercial Fraud,” at the “Regulating Behavior in and by Corporations” workshop at the University of Iowa, College of Law on December 5-6.

Sarah Morath was selected to co-chair the Legal Writing Institute/Association of Legal Writing Directors (LWI/ALWD) Scholarship Grants Committee. Professor Morath also appeared on the Briefcase radio program with Dean Leonard Baynes to discuss single-use plastic pollution. In December, she co-presented “The Road Less Traveled: The Policy Memo Exercise” with Lauren Simpson and Jessica Mantel at the Legal Writing Institute One-Day Workshop hosted by the University of Illinois College of Law.

Thomas Oldham’s article entitled “Calculating the Community Property Claim in Texas When Time, Toil and Talent Are Contributed to a Separate Property Business” was published in the Winter 2018 issue of the Texas Family Law Section Report, beginning at page 15.

Michael A. Olivas submitted the final manuscript for Perchance to DREAM: A Legal and Political History of The DREAM Act and DACA to NYU Press. Due to the eerie resemblance, Jimmy Smits has agreed to play Michael in the movie version. While the project was designed originally as a birth announcement, it turned out to be an autopsy.

Laura Oren published “No-Fault Divorce Reform in the 1950s: The Lost History of the ‘Greatest Project’ of the National Association of Women Lawyers,” 36 LAW & HIST. REV. 847-890 (2018). The online version of the article is available here.

Lauren Simpson, Sarah Morath, and Jessica Mantel presented at the Legal Writing Institute One-Day Workshop at the University of Illinois College of Law on December 1. Their presentation, entitled “The Road Less Traveled: The Policy Memo Exercise,” explained how faculty at the University of Houston Law Center collaborated to create and teach the writing of an effective policy memo to a policy-making official. Professor Simpson also continues her community service in support of pollinator conservation and urban wildscaping. As a member of the Native Plant Society of Texas subcommittee developing the Level 4 class of the Native Landscaping Certification Program (NLCP), Professor Simpson has been charged with creating an NLCP companion course on advocacy. Relatedly, she continues her series on the what, why, and how of wildscaping on her Facebook educational community, St. Julian’s Crossing-wildlife habitat, the first three installments of which are available here, here, and here. And continuing her community talks on pollinators and the wildscapes supporting them, Simpson spoke at IHS Markit in November and has accepted three further invitations to speak: the Galveston Bay Oasis (January), the Shepherd Park Plaza Garden Club (January), and the Garden Club of Houston (February).

Ken Swift presented at a Legal Writing Institute One Day Conference at Ave Maria Law School in Naples, Florida. His presentation, “Linking and Leading,” demonstrated in-class active learning exercises designed to help law students better understand principles of legal analysis and research.

Irene Ten Cate discussed her work-in-progress "The Performance Enhancement Paradox" at the Scholars Forum, held at the University of Oregon School of Law in connection with the Legal Writing Institute's workshop titled "Teaching Scholars." Irene also participated in the Legal Writing Institute's writers' retreat in Phoenix, Arizona, where she worked on the same work-in-progress.

Jacqueline Weaver participated in a half-hour interview broadcast by Knowledge@Wharton on December 5, discussing the future of OPEC in light of Qatar’s decision to leave OPEC and global petroleum supply and demand generally. The program is broadcast on SiriusXM channel 132. Professor Weaver spoke at the Natural Resources & Energy Law Section meeting (at AALS in New Orleans) on Developments in Offshore Oil & Gas: Regulatory Pullbacks and Drilling Expansions. Her topic was “The post-Macondo SEMS rule and industry culture.”