Albertus Accolades

March 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 gave opening remarks at a reception on March 6 to recognize academic achievements of 1L students who are in the top 30 percent of their class after the first semester. Dean Baynes welcomed guests and introduced Professor Gabriel Chin, Edward L. Barrett Jr. Chair of Law, Martin Luther King, Jr. Professor of Law, and Director of Clinical Legal Education at UC Davis School of Law who served as the Yale L. Rosenberg Memorial Lecturer on March 8. The title of Professor Chin’s talk was "Still a Nation of Immigrants? Rethinking Immigration Policy in the Modern Era." Following the lecture, Dean Baynes moderated a panel discussion that included commentary by Clinical Associate Professor Geoffrey Hoffman. On March 19, Dean Baynes provided introductory remarks and welcomed Judge Adalberto Jordan of the United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit to the Law Center. Judge Jordan is the fourth and final jurist-in-residence for FY18. His talk, “Observations on Wollschlaeger v. Governor: The So-Called ‘Docs v. Glocks’ Case,” explained the U.S. appeals court decision that prohibited doctors from asking their patients about gun ownership. Dean Baynes welcomed and introduced Ambassador Chase Untermeyer to the Law Center on March 20. Ambassador Untermeyer was a federal appointee who served three U.S. presidents and held positions at all four levels of government. His talk provided insights about the political appointments process. The Ambassador’s visit was organized by the Federalist Society and the American Constitution Society. Dean Baynes joined UH executives and local, state, and federal officials at a groundbreaking ceremony on March 23 for the new College of Technology at UH Sugar Land. The new Tier One three-story facility will open in fall 2019. Later that day, Dean Baynes welcomed guests and gave opening remarks at the Scholarship Reception for admitted students held at the Marriott Marquis. On March 24, Dean Baynes provided welcoming remarks to 80 admitted students, their families, and guests at the Admitted Students Day event in the Bates Courtyard. Dean Baynes, along with Law Center faculty, staff, and alumni, celebrated the academic careers of Janet Beck, Mon Yin Lung, Merle Morris, Susan Raclin, Jordan Paust, Spencer Simons, Tobi Tabor, and Jacqueline Weaver, during a retirement celebration in their honor on March 29. Their combined years of service at the Law Center totals 171 years, 5 months, and 37 days!

Kate Brem was invited to speak in a panel discussion at the Rocky Mountain Legal Writing Conference on March 24. Together with Lauren Simpson, Brem discussed her research on incorporating real-life skills for wellness into the legal research and writing curriculum. She also was invited by the Texas Criminal Defense Lawyers Association and the Harris County Public Defenders Office to participate in an interactive panel discussion at their joint Winning Writing for Trial Lawyers seminar in April at the South Texas College of Law, along with Hilary Reed and Lisa Tilton-McCarthy.

Richard Dole’s article The Contract Exception to the Uniform Trade Secrets Act and its Implications for the Federal Defend Trade Secrets Act will be published in the Santa Clara High Technology Law Journal. Professor Dole has also been invited to join a consensus, non-partisan drafting team developing a Principles/Best Practices Commentary on “The Employee Life Cycle Relating to Trade Secrets.” He will be an academic member of the team, which also includes practitioners, in-house counsel, and judges. The drafting team is a component of Working Group 12 on Trade Secrets of The Sedona Conference, a research and educational institute dedicated to the advanced study of law and policy.

David R. Dow was the keynote speaker at the annual meeting of the Tennessee Criminal Defense Lawyers' Association in Knoxville. He spoke on "The Consequences of Particularism: Was the Embrace of the Death-is-Different Doctrine a Strategic Error?" In addition, Dow's death penalty team (comprising clinical professors Jeff Newberry and Ingrid Norbergs), along with outside counsel James Rytting and Keith Hampton, represented Thomas Whitaker, whose scheduled February 22 execution was commuted to a sentence of life in prison by Governor Abbott.

Barbara Evans’ article The Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act at Age 10: GINA’s Controversial Assertion that Data Transparency Protects Privacy and Civil Rights will appear in the William & Mary Law Review. On March 15, she presented that article at the California Institute of Technology during a meeting of the Committee on Science, Technology, and Law co-chaired by Judge David S. Tatel of the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals and Dr. David Baltimore, and she had the pleasure of attending Dr. Baltimore’s 80th birthday celebration. Professor Evans explores the 900-year-long history of unconsented uses of people’s data, from the English Domesday Book of 1086 to today’s genomic data commons and Facebook controversy, in a chapter for the forthcoming Routledge Handbook of the Study of the Commons (Blake Hudson, Jonathan Rosenblum & Dan Cole, eds.). Her article, co-authored with Pilar Ossorio, on The Challenge of Regulating Clinical Decision Support Software After 21st Century Cures will appear in the May symposium issue of the American Journal of Law and Medicine. On March 20-21, she attended an advisory committee meeting at Baylor College of Medicine for the NIH-funded Building the Medical Information Commons project. On March 28, she participated in a conference of the NIH-funded LawSeqTM Data Quality working group, which she co-chairs with Dr. Thomas Morgan of Vanderbilt Medical School, and she continues to work with the LawSeq Privacy working group. The Wellcome Trust's Genome Campus at Cambridge University has invited Professor Evans to speak on genomic civil rights in the opening plenary session of its 2018 Curating the Clinical Genome meeting on May 23. She has been invited back to the Oxford Union for a second debate on gene editing this summer.

Victor Flatt (along with Bret Wells) presented at the EENR, Duke University, International Fiscal Association joint conference on federal pricing of carbon. Also participating were Gina Warren, Blake Hudson, and Tracy Hester. The 4th Edition of Professor Flatt’s textbook, Legal Protection of the Environment, with Funk and Johnston was published in February 2018. Professor Flatt spoke on the Future of Solar Power at the Tulane Annual Environmental Law Conference on March 8, 2018. Professor Flatt’s article The Costs of Commodification, co-authored with Michael Pappas (University of Maryland Law School) has been accepted for publication in the University of California Irvine Law Review. Professor Flatt will speak on the “Trump Administration on the World Stage” at the ABA’s Section on Environment, Energy, and Natural Resources (SEER) annual conference in Orlando in April. Professor Flatt will welcome the Young Energy Lawyers to their annual meeting in Houston in April.

Alissa Gomez and Hilary Reed presented at the Rocky Mountain Legal Writing Conference on March 24. They presented on teaching students after a natural disaster, including a discussion of the effect of trauma on learning and classroom strategies for getting started again.

Jim Hawkins placed his article Consumers as Sellers at the Indiana Law Journal. He and Renee Knake placed their article The Behavioral Economics of Lawyer Advertising: An Empirical Assessment at the Illinois Law Review.

Whitney Heard moderated an International Women’s Day Panel for The Association of Women in Law (AWIL) at the Law Center on March 5. The panel on “Big Law” was comprised of three female partners from the law firms of Haynes and Boone, Jones Day, and Morgan Lewis.

Tracy Hester spoke on the natural resource trust doctrine in Texas and its potential role in climate change litigation at the Shapiro Environmental Law Symposium at George Washington University Law School on March 15-16. He and Bret Wells accepted an offer to publish their co-authored article, Abandoned But Not Forgotten:  Improperly Plugged and Orphaned Wells May Pose Serious Concerns for Shale Development, in the Michigan Journal of Environmental & Administrative LawGoing Negative:  The Next Horizon in Climate Engineering Law, which he co-authored with Prof. Michael Gerrard (Columbia Law), appeared in Natural Resources & Environment’s Spring 2018 issue on March 27. And on March 22, he brought his Environmental Practicum class to participate in a tabletop simulation of a major chemical disaster in Houston at the Houston Local Emergency Preparedness Committee’s meeting, where lawyers were invited to participate for the first time in the disaster drill.

Geoffrey Hoffman spoke on a panel on March 6, "Rational Middle: Immigration" (film and panel afterward). Rational Middle documentary episodes are available here. Professor Hoffman also spoke on March 8 on the panel at the Yale L. Rosenberg Memorial Lecture, featuring Professor Gabriel “Jack” Chin from UC-Davis. Professor Hoffman authored commentary for Law360 on the Supreme Court’s decision in Jennings v. Rodriguez, entitled High Court Tackles Constitutional Avoidance Doctrine. He signed onto a letter by Human Rights First to the U.S. Attorney General regarding Matter of A-B-, 27 I&N Dec. 227 (A.G. 2018). His paper Contiguous Territories: The Expanded Use of Expedited Removal in the Trump Era was recently listed on SSRN's Top Ten download list for Political Anthropology eJournal and Political Behavior eJournals. Professor Hoffman appeared on Houston Matters to discuss a recent Fifth Circuit ruling that upheld most of SB 4, Texas’ so-called sanctuary cities law. Audio is available here.

Craig Joyce began preparations for the 11th edition of Copyright Law.

Renee Knake's forthcoming Washington Law Review article, The Legal Monopoly, was the subject of a Law360 article, and she was featured in the March ABA Journal discussing ABA Model Rule 1.9. She also was interviewed on the Texas Standard about a Texas judge using shock treatments on a criminal defendant to elicit testimony. She was invited to speak by the UH Women in Law Association at their International Women’s Day celebration on Thursday, March 7. Finally, she taught a mock class on Saturday, March 24, for Admitted Students Weekend.

Sapna Kumar was selected for a Fulbright award to the Fulbright-Schuman Program. She will spend spring of 2019 in France and Germany researching Europe’s attempt to implement a unitary patent and Unified Patent Court. Professor Kumar’s paper Innovation Nationalism was accepted for publication by the Connecticut Law Review.

David Kwok’s article Is Vagueness Choking the White Collar Statute? was accepted for publication by the Georgia Law Review.

Douglas Moll’s symposium article Judicial Dissolution of the Limited Liability Company:  A Statutory Analysis was published (finally) at 19 Tennessee Journal of Business Law 81. The symposium involved the editors of the Business Law Professors Blog (Professor Moll is a contributing editor). The second edition of Professor Moll’s concise hornbook on Business Organizations (West Publishing) (with Rich Freer) was also published this month.

James Nelson accepted an offer to publish The Trouble with Corporate Conscience in the Vanderbilt Law Review. He also accepted an offer to publish Corporate Disestablishment in the Virginia Law Review.

Thomas Oldham’s essay regarding issues that could arise under a proposed English divorce statute was published in the English journal Family Law in January 2018.

Michael A. Olivas was appointed to the Doctoral Research Fellowship Award Committee for the American Educational Research Association (AERA); the group met in Washington, D.C., to review 160 applications submitted to the committee, for approximately one dozen awards. He was asked to serve on the BYU Law School National Board of Advisers, which group met in Provo, Utah during spring break.

Teddy Rave testified before the Texas Advisory Committee to the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights at their March 13 Hearing on Voting Rights in Texas. He presented his article Aggregation on Defendants’ Terms: Bristol-Myers Squibb and the Federalization of Mass Tort Litigation, 59 B.C. L. Rev. __ (forthcoming 2018) (with Andrew Bradt) at a faculty workshop at Boston University in February and to the Section on Conflict of Laws at the AALS Annual Meeting in January. The article was selected for the 2018 SEALS Call for Papers Award. Professor Rave hosted students from Pilgrim Academy Middle School and Sharpstown High School at the Law Center in March as part of the Pathways to Law Program in partnership with the Jones Day law firm. The students visited his Constitutional Law class and Professor Kumar’s Property class and had lunch with current law students.

Robert Schuwerk announces the publication of the 2018 edition of his co-authored work, Handbook of Texas Lawyer and Judicial Ethics. His co-author, Ms. Lillian B. Hardwick, is a graduate of the Law Center as well.

Lauren Simpson and Katherine Brem spoke at the March 2018 Rocky Mountain Legal Writing Conference at the University of Denver Sturm College of Law. Their presentation, entitled “‘If a Lawyer Isn’t Happy, What is the Point?’: Incorporating Real-Life Skills for Wellness into the Legal Research and Writing Curriculum,” discussed how the professors have incorporated practitioners’ experiences into their curriculum so that students receive real-life lessons not only in research and writing skills, but also in overcoming setbacks, achieving work-life balance, and pursuing fulfilling career paths. The talk arose from Professor Brem’s related presentation at the Legal Writing Institute One-Day Workshop sponsored by the UH Law Center in December 2017. Additionally, Simpson was voted the Student Bar Association Professor of the Year for the part-time program for 2017-2018, her second year in a row to receive this recognition. And on April 27, Simpson will present a talk entitled “Catching the Court’s Eye: Persuading Effectively in Motions and Briefs” at the April 2018 Winning Writing for Trial Lawyers seminar, sponsored by the Texas Criminal Defense Lawyer’s Association and the Harris County Public Defender’s Office. Professor Simpson also continues her community service in support of pollinator conservation. On February 7, The Lazy Gardener & Friends newsletter published Simpson’s article entitled “Supporting Pollinators after a Freeze: Embracing Imperfection in the Garden,” explaining garden practices that support wildlife after a freeze. The next week, the same publication also mentioned Simpson’s 2017 video series for the Houston Audubon Society’s Bird-Friendly Houston series, the recordings for which may be accessed here. On February 10, Simpson gave a wildscaping presentation at the invitation of Beauty’s Community Garden, an educational garden in the Independence Heights community. The presentation, entitled “Easy Tips for Gardening for Wildlife in your Own Backyard,” explained the importance of wildscaping and offered helpful tips for transforming a home landscape into a pollinator-friendly habitat. On April 14, Simpson will teach a class on pollinators for the 2018 Texas Envirothon, part of the National Conservation Foundation―Envirothon high school environmental education competition. Additionally, on April 25, Simpson will host an educational visit for the West University Garden Club at her home’s gardens, which are a Certified Wildlife Habitat, and Certified Butterfly Garden, and a Monarch Waystation.  Likewise, on May 1, Simpson’s wildlife-habitat gardens will be part of the Garden Club of Houston’s field trip visiting native-plant and pollinator gardens. Simpson will also present two talks in June. First, on June 11, she will speak at the Clear Lake City-County Freeman Branch Library to tweens about how they can save pollinators by gardening with native plants at home. Second, she will give a talk entitled “A Love Affair with Pollinators: Confessions of a Citizen Scientist” at the Native Plant Society of Texas―Houston Chapter’s June 21 monthly meeting. And finally, Simpson has also accepted an invitation to speak on wildscaping to the Jersey Village Gardening Club on September 11.

Kenneth Swift was a conference organizer for the 2018 Rocky Mountain Legal Writing conference, hosted by Denver University’s Sturm College of Law on March 23-24. The conference included presentations by over 70 law school faculty from throughout the country, including several Law Center LSS faculty members. Professor Swift was also named to the program committee of the Legal Research and Writing section of the American Association of Law Schools, charged with designing and organizing the section’s presentation at the next national meeting. He continues to serve on the AALS Legal Research and Writing section taskforce on status.

Greg Vetter represented the Law Center and IPIL at the Thursday, March 1 dinner of The Honorable Nancy F. Atlas Intellectual Property American Inn of Court in Houston, Texas. In his capacity as Associate Dean he represented the Law Center in a tour of the ExxonMobil campus on March 6 as a part of the Law Center’s new building effort. Also, on March 6, he attended the Law Center’s Top 30% Student Achievement Reception. Finally, on March 6, he gave the opening remarks for the Law Center’s event discussing immigration from the perspective of the Rational Middle. He was an invited presenter for the South Texas College of Law - Houston faculty colloquia on Friday, March 9, presenting the topic "Regulating the Software License in Health Information Technology." He represented the Law Center and IPIL at the Thursday, March 22 spring lecture held by IPIL and sponsored by Andrews Kurth Kenyon. In his capacity as Associate Dean, he represented the Law Center at the admitted student reception on Friday, March 23, and at the admitted student lunch on Saturday, March 24.

Gina Warren was voted Full-Time Professor of the Year by the UHLC student body. Awards will officially be presented at the Dean’s Awards Ceremony in April. Warren accepted publication of her articles: 1-Click Energy: Managing Corporate Demand for Clean Power, 78 Maryland Law Review ___ (2018) and Small Hydropower Toolkit: Considerations for Improving Global Development and an Accompanying Case Study for Pakistan, 80 Pittsburgh Law Review ____ (2018) (co-authors Thomas Mosier, Climate Context; Kendra Sharp, OSU; David Hill; OSU). Two of Warren’s hydropower articles, Small Hydropower, Big Potential: Considerations for Responsible Global Development, 53 Idaho Law Review 149 (2017) and Hydropower: It’s a Small World After All, 91 Nebraska Law Review 925 (2013), were excerpted into a book chapter in Troy Rule’s new textbook: Renewable Energy: Law, Policy & Practice (West American Casebook Series 2018). Warren was also invited to present her forthcoming article, Big Sports Events Have Big Environmental and Social Consequences, at the International Conference on Sustainable Cities, hosted by Columbia-Fordham-NYU on May 1-2, 2018. She was also invited to present her research on the “Sustainable Power: Law & Policy Initiatives” panel at the Fourth Annual Sustainability Conference of American Legal Educators at Arizona State University on May 11.

Bret Wells published an article entitled Get with the BEAT, 158 Tax Notes 1023 (Feb. 19, 2018) where he advocated that the cross-border tax base protection measures contained in the recently enacted tax law are consistent with existing U.S. bilateral treaty obligations and is a positive effort to protect the U.S. tax base from profit shifting and earning stripping strategies. Nevertheless, even though the new base erosion minimum tax is a positive development, the article sets forth several areas where technical corrections are needed. Professor Wells and Professor Charlene Luke (Florida) have agreed to take over the authorship of the following three casebooks from Professor Martin McMahon and Professor Daniel Simmons: Taxation of Partnerships and Corporations (5th Edition), Federal Income Taxation of Business Organizations (5th Edition), and Federal Income Taxation of Corporations (5th Edition). Professor Wells and Professor Luke are substantially rewriting these three casebooks in light of the major tax reform legislation that was enacted last year.

Denney Wright led the opening panel discussion at the International Fiscal Association USA Branch 46th Annual Conference held in Houston, February 22-23, at the Houstonian Hotel. The panel topic for the opening panel discussion of this two day Conference was entitled Income Taxation and Tax Reform in the Energy Industry. Professor Wright led a panel of six energy tax experts and government officials including representatives of the Ministry of Finance offices from Mexico and Norway, the Treasury Office of the United Kingdom, law firm experts from Brazil and the United Kingdom and a distinguished professor from Monash University from Melbourne Australia. Professor Wright was asked to organize and lead this discussion in recognition of his recognized expertise in energy tax matters here in the U.S. and internationally. The Houston Business and Tax Law Journal held its 18th annual symposium at the Houstonian Hotel on February 23. The Symposium focus was on Energy Investment Tax Issues Around the World and included discussion of Mexico Energy Tax Issues by Salvador Ugalde of the Ministry of Finance of Mexico along with Mr. Mario Barrera, a partner with Mexico City’s office of Thompson and Knight. A discussion of Australia Energy Tax Issues was led by Dr. Diane Kraal of Melbourne Australia’s Monash University and a discussion of U.S. Energy Tax Issues With Focus on Tax Reform was led by Professor Wright. There was also a segment addressing energy tax litigation led by Norton Rose Fulbright’s U.S. Tax Managing Partner, Robert Morris. The keynote speaker was Congressman Kevin Brady, 8th District of Texas, and Chairman of the powerful House Ways and Means Committee that oversaw U.S. Tax Reform. Dean Leonard Baynes opened the conference and introduced Congressman Brady while Professor Wright acted as the Conference Moderator throughout the four-hour conference. The HB&TLJ Student Leadership, including Colby Binford, Robert Goodwill, Michael Wright and Khuong Nguyen, thanks the sponsors of this year’s symposium that included ExxonMobil Tax and the law firms of Haynes and Boone, Baker Hostetler and Norton Rose Fulbright. On March 27, Professor Wright taught a CLE on the practical implications of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act with attorney Todd Schroeder.

Kellen Zale’s article Compensating City Councils has been published by the Stanford Law Review. On March 9, Professor Zale participated in the Rocky Mountain Land Use Institute’s Scholarly Workshop at the University of Denver, where she spoke about the resiliency implications of local government formation and boundary change laws.