Albertus Accolades

May 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.

Richard Alderman held the tenth biennial Teaching Consumer Law Conference in Santa Fe, New Mexico, May 18-19. There were more than 30 speakers, including speakers from Vietnam, New Zealand, Poland, Hong Kong, England, Australia and India. This year’s theme was “Where Have We Been—Where Are We Going?” From all reports, the more than 60 attendees enjoyed the presentation, and look forward to the next conference in 2020.

Leonard Baynes, along with Law Center faculty, staff, alumni and friends, celebrated the life and career accomplishments of Dean Emeritus and Professor Raymond T. Nimmer at a reception to honor his legacy in the Hendricks Heritage Room on May 2. Dean Baynes provided welcoming remarks and also announced the newly established Raymond T. Nimmer Memorial Scholarship Fund. The scholarship will be awarded to a 1L student whose cumulative GPA ranks him/her in the top ten percent of the class after completing the fall and spring semesters. Preference may be given to a student (1) who received a superior grade in Contracts; or (2) has a background in mathematics; or (3) expressed interest in IP Law. On May 3, Dean Baynes delivered welcoming remarks and introduced keynote speaker Janet Carrig, Senior Vice President, Legal, General Counsel, and Corporate Secretary, at the 2nd Annual North American Environment, Energy, and Natural Resources (EENR) Symposium. The Dean also led a panel discussion titled: North American Energy, Trade, Environment, and Climate in Transition later that afternoon. The two-day symposium, held May 3-4 at the Greater Houston Partnership, brought together oil and gas experts from academia, business and politics to examine energy issues. Dean Baynes hosted a celebration of Faculty Scholarship and introduced UHLAA President-Elect Victor Wright (’98) during a reception on May 4 in the Albertus Room after the monthly faculty meeting. On May 5, Dean Baynes attended the Black Leadership Network (BLN) 2018 Annual Spring Reception and Dinner at the UH Hilton to celebrate UH System African American Progress: People, Promotions, and Programs. Special honorees were Dr. Ira K. Blake, President, UH Clear Lake and Dr. Antonio Tillis, Dean, College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences. Dean Baynes kicked off pre-Commencement activities by hosting a cocktail reception at Carrabba’s for 2018 Commencement speaker Star Jones (’86). On May 11, the University Commencement for the Law Center was held at NRG Arena. Dean Baynes delivered opening remarks to 237 graduates, along with their families, friends, and other distinguished platform faculty and guests. Star Jones (’86), President of Professional Diversity Network, delivered the commencement address. Afterwards, a reception to honor the graduates was held at the Crowne Plaza hotel.

On Sunday, May 13, Dean Baynes attended the 2018 Southern US China Summit at the Hilton Houston Post Oak by the Galleria. Dean Baynes was one of four panelists who participated in a discussion about higher education and entrepreneurship. Dean Baynes attended the Texas Bar induction ceremony and luncheon in Austin, TX on May 14. Later that day he hosted an Alumni & Friends Gathering with Austin-based UH Law graduates and friends at the Screen Porch Room at the W Hotel and gave an overview of events and activities at the Law Center to approximately 50 alumni and guests. Special recognition was given to acknowledge former Texas Supreme Court Justice Raul Gonzalez (’66) who was in attendance. Dean Baynes spoke at a luncheon launch for the 100% Challenge Kick-off on May 16 at Bracewell LLP. In his remarks, Dean Baynes highlighted the accomplishments of the Law Center that were made possible through alumni giving. The Challenge brings Law Center alumni at law firms, corporations, and other organizations together for the common purpose of maintaining excellence in legal education. The goal is to achieve 100 percent participation in giving by alumni at organizations that employ four or more alumni. Dean Baynes traveled to Chicago, IL, May 29-June 1 to attend the ABA Law School Development Conference and meet with prospective donors for the new Law Center facility. On May 31, he hosted an Alumni & Friends Reception with Chicago-based UH Law graduates and friends at Beacon Tavern and provided an update and overview of Law Center activities and events.

Emily Berman presented her forthcoming article, “A Government of Laws and Not of Machines,” at the George Mason Law School Program on Economics and Privacy’s 3rd Annual Digital Information Policy Scholars Conference and attended the Cyber Bootcamp, an event designed to teach law professors about the technical concepts relevant to cyber security, at the University of Texas Law School.  

Seth Chandler spoke in April on challenges to catastrophe insurance regulation created by Hurricane Harvey before the ABA Round Table Discussion on Disaster Legal Relief and Recovery.

David R. Dow argued before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit on May 4 on behalf of death row inmate Patrick Murphy. And on May 22, Scribner reissued Albert Sample's award-winning memoir, Racehoss: Big Emma's Boy, with an introduction written by Professor Dow.

Victor Flatt’s article “Costs of Commodification,” co-authored with Michael Pappas of the University of Maryland, has been accepted for presentation at the Celebrating Commons Workshop at Georgetown University in October. Professor Flatt presented “Climate Change and the Ethical Responsibility of Attorneys” at the Texas NGO Legal conference on May 11. Professor Flatt attended the 95th annual American Law Institute conference in Washington, D.C.

Christopher Heard and his students in the Entrepreneurship and Community Development Clinic 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 April 7. Dean Baynes interviewed Professor Heard for the April 18 segment of Houston Public Media’s Briefcase discussing why entrepreneurs should get legal advice at the start of their business ventures. On May 7, Professor Heard presented at a seminar on Navigating Nonprofit Legalities: Regulation and Compliance hosted by the Cameron School of Business at the University of St. Thomas. Professor Heard partnered with the Emancipation Economic Development Council to organize a Third Ward Community Legal Fair held on May 12. Rick McElvaney, Diane McManus, and Erik Locascio presented at the event along with Law Center alumni MacKenzie Dunham and Doug Evans. Alissa Gomez recruited several legal aid organizations to participate in the event.

Whitney Heard was appointed to serve on two of the Legal Writing Institute’s Committees for 2018-2020: the LWI Lives Committee and the New Member Outreach Committee.

Janet Heppard participated in a Houston Volunteer Lawyers (HVL) Legal Advice Clinic held at the Holy Covenant Methodist Church on May 19 where she interviewed members of the community regarding a variety of legal problems. From April 29-May 2, Professor Heppard participated in the AALS Clinical Conference in Chicago where she was co-leader of a working group of clinicians who teach or direct family law clinics; the working group met several times over the course of the conference to network and discuss their clinic work and teaching methods. Professor Heppard also participated in a roundtable on Disaster Relief and Recovery at the STCL on April 26 where various members of the City of Houston Administration, FEMA, and others discussed disaster preparation, what was learned from the response and needs of Hurricane Harvey, and what changes were needed to prepare for future disasters. On April 28, Professor Heppard had the opportunity to work with a Girl Scout troop to improve their archery and canoeing skills during their camping weekend at Pryor Girl Scout Camp in Nada, Texas.                                                                                                        

Geoffrey Hoffman was recognized by American Immigration Lawyers Association as a 2018 AILA National Volunteer for community service. He collaborated with the Harvard Immigration and Refugee and Texas A&M clinics in filing the merits brief in the Fifth Circuit appealing the following precedential BIA decision: Matter of W-Y-C- & H-O-B-, 27 I&N Dec. 189 (BIA 2018). Professor Hoffman was interviewed along with Rosemary Vega for a podcast by Save the Children Sweden regarding unaccompanied alien children crossing the border between Mexico and the United States. Professor Hoffman presented a webinar on Federal Court Litigation for ABA-CILA with Susan Watson as co-presenter, with Texas RioGrande Legal Aid on May 25.

Renee Knake was invited by the National Conference of Bar Examiners to participate in a workshop on the Multi-State Professional Responsibility Exam held in Madison, Wisconsin, May 16-17. She also attended the American Law Institute Annual Meeting as a newly elected member from May 19-22. 

Andrew Michaels wrote a response to SAS Institute Inc. v. Iancu that was published on the George Washington Law Review’s On the Docket blog. The article was also mentioned on SCOTUSblog

Douglas Moll will be speaking at the University of Texas School of Law 27th Annual LLCs, LPs, and Partnerships conference on July 12 in Austin. Professor Moll has also agreed to tape a podcast on LLC dissolution for Peter Mahler’s Business Divorce Roundtable podcast.

Nathan Neely completed his 20th marathon/marathon plus distance race on Sunday, May 6, in the inaugural Silo District Marathon. The race, the brainchild of HGTV’s Chip Gaines (of Fixer Upper fame), was held in Waco, Texas. While it was not his best race, Nathan beat Mr. Gaines’ time and in that regard, helped UH prevail over Baylor (Chip is a Baylor alumnus).                                                                                                                          

Thomas Oldham is working with the editor of the Houston Journal of International Law to obtain commitments from commentators to describe principles governing the award of alimony after divorce in numerous jurisdictions. To date, he has obtained commitments from scholars in Japan, Canada, Sweden, Italy, Germany, France and the Netherlands.

Michael A. Olivas published “Within You Without You: Undocumented Lawyers, DACA, and Occupational Licensing,” 52 Valparaiso Law Review, 65-164 (2017). When the US Supreme Court decided a case about the state regulation of gambling, he briefed a number of higher education trade press reporters about the implications of the case for intercollegiate athletics and the NCAA.

Teddy Rave’s article “Aggregation on Defendants’ Terms: Bristol-Myers Squibb and the Federalization of Mass Tort Litigation” (with Andrew Bradt) was published in the Boston College Law Review. His essay “Institutional Competence in Fiduciary Government” was published in the Research Handbook on Fiduciary Law (D. Gordon Smith & Andrew S. Gold, eds.). Professor Rave was asked to join the Harris County Civic Engagement Initiative Policymakers Taskforce and attended the first meeting on May 16. And he was invited to contribute a paper on civil justice to the 25th Annual Clifford Symposium on Tort Law and Social Justice at DePaul University College of Law next April.

Lauren Simpson continues her community service in support of pollinator conservation and urban wildscaping. On May 17, Professor Simpson was interviewed by KPRC Channel 2 on tips for successful gardening. Additionally, at the June 2 Planting for Pollinators workshop, co-sponsored by the Katy Prairie Conservancy and the Houston Audubon Society, Glenn Olsen and Simpson discussed why native plants matter for pollinators and how to create beneficial and beautiful home gardens using natives. A recording of Simpson’s presentation may be accessed on the Katy Prairie Conservancy’s Facebook community. On June 9, Simpson will speak briefly to volunteers at the Heights Hike and Bike Trail Cleanup about pollinator conservation. Two days later, Simpson will teach tweens about saving pollinators by gardening with native plants during a presentation at the Clear Lake City-County Freeman Branch Library. And finally, Simpson will give a presentation 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.

Sandra Guerra Thompson was the recipient of a grant from the UH Alternative Textbook Incentive Program for her efforts to adopt open-source materials and an alternative textbook in her Evidence class.

Jacqueline Weaver gave a three-hour presentation to the new course on “Nuts and Bolts of Oil and Gas Leasing,” sponsored by the Rocky Mountain Mineral Law Institute in Denver, Colorado on May 2. She also moderated a panel at the Inter-American Regulators’ Dialogue jointly sponsored by the UHLC EENR Center and the Subsea Engineering Institute at UH on April 26. 

Bret Wells led a panel discussion on “Cross-Border Commerce and Differing Climate Policies Among Nations” at the 2nd Annual North American Environment, Energy, and Natural Resources Conference hosted by the University of Houston Law Center’s EENR Center on May 3. On May 9, Professor Wells gave a presentation on “Permanent Establishment Issues” to the Houston Tax Roundtable. On May 22, Professor Wells presented his work-in-process on “Reforming Section 355 of Subchapter C” to the Association of Mid-Career Tax law Professors hosted by the Georgetown Law Center. On May 24, Professor Wells made a presentation on “US Tax Reform and its Impact on International Investment” as part of the University of Houston Law Center’s ongoing CLE Series.