Albertus Accolades

July 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 delivered welcoming remarks and gave a New Law Center Building Campaign Update presentation to Cornerstone Club members during a luncheon on July 9 at Brasserie 19. Building Committee Chair and Law Foundation President Bill Jackson (’92) joined Dean Baynes for the luncheon and Q&A session. On July 11, Dean Baynes and Alfonso Lopez de la Osa Escribano, Director, Center for U.S. and Mexican Law, met with members of the Mexican Foreign Ministry (SRE) in Mexico City to discuss the creation of the Stephen T. Zamora Institute. On July 12, Dean Baynes and Alfonso Lopez de la Osa Escribano met with Deputy Director, Mrs. Renee Gonzalez de la Lama, of the U.S.-Mexico Commission for Cultural and Educational Exchange to discuss Fulbright opportunities in the U.S. and Mexico. The meeting with Ms. Gonzalez was followed by an appointment with the Undersecretary of Planning and Energy Transition from SENER (Mexican Ministry of Energy), Leonardo Beltran Rodriguez. That afternoon, Dean Baynes hosted a luncheon at La Hacienda de los Morales where over 40 Mexico City-area alumni and friends of the UH Law Center gathered to network and hear an update about Law Center activities, including information about the New Building Campaign. The day concluded with a private dinner gathering of approximately 13 lawyers at El Club de Industriales to discuss a variety of shared interests. Dean Baynes’s three-day visit to Mexico City ended July 13 with a breakfast appointment with Justice Jose Ramon Cossio of the Mexico Supreme Court, a meeting with Commissioner of the Instituto Nacional de Migracion (National Migration Institute), Gerardo Elias Garcia Benavente to formally suggest an Inter-Agency Agreement with the UH Law Center, and a meeting with Mr. Rodolfo Tuiran, Undersecretary of Higher Education.

On July 16, Dean Baynes attended the UH Law Alumni Association Board Retreat at Brasserie 19 where he provided remarks and gave a comprehensive overview of the New Building Campaign. He attended The Woodlands-area alumni luncheon on July 18 at Newpark Resources, Inc. and shared an update on the Law Center’s Building Campaign with more than 40 Woodlands-area alumni. The luncheon was hosted by Mark Airola (’84), General Counsel, Chief Administrative Officer, Chief Compliance Officer and Secretary at Newpark Resources, Inc. On July 19, Dean Baynes stopped by the Hendricks Heritage Room during a Staff Appreciation Luncheon to deliver encouraging remarks and acknowledge employees for their commitment to the mission of the Law Center, its faculty, students, and alumni. The luncheon was hosted by members of the UHLC Staff Council. Dean Baynes then attended a PreLaw Pipeline session where he gave a presentation on meditation and grit to Pipeline students. He concluded the afternoon by delivering welcoming remarks at the Admitted Students Day event and attending the Admitted Students Reception at Calhoun’s Rooftop Bar and Grill. On July 22, Dean Baynes gave a pep talk to students attending the Bar Prep Workshop held on campus at the Law Center. On July 23, he gave welcoming remarks during a 2018 U.S. Supreme Court Update CLE program where Law Center faculty discussed recent rulings from the U. S. Supreme Court that will impact the future of our nation and laws. 

Kate Brem joined professors from Northwestern’s Pritzker School of Law and The John Marshall Law School in a panel discussion on behalf of the Legal Writing Institute’s Global Legal Skills Committee at LWI’s Biennial Conference in Milwaukee. Brem and the panelists discussed best practices in teaching international LLM students. These students often have extensive practice experience and already “think like lawyers” – but not necessarily like U.S. lawyers. Indeed, they frequently work primarily with codes and prefer abstract reasoning and indirect rhetorical styles. The panel was invited to discuss strategies for developing syllabi and research and writing exercises uniquely suited to this cohort.

Whitney Heard presented at the Legal Writing Institute’s Biennial Conference at Marquette University Law School as part of an Idea Bank Live session on how to introduce first-year students to legal drafting through the use of a pet custody agreement.

Janet Heppard made a presentation on wills and other estate planning documents to seniors at the New Life Enrichment Center on Almeda Genoa Road. Professor Heppard also spoke on the Azar v. Garza U.S. Supreme Court case at the Law Center’s 2018 Supreme Court Update held on July 23. In June and July, Professor Heppard had the opportunity to teach Girl Scout leaders in the Houston area about Planning Events – including weekend event planning, and about leading a Junior Girl Scout troop.

Geoffrey Hoffman traveled to Karnes Detention Center with law students and a number of UH graduate school Social Work students to assist parents who have been separated from their children as well as immigrants detained awaiting their credible fear interviews, immigration judge reviews or requests for reconsiderations. Clinical Lecturer Rosemary Vega coordinated and planned the trip and helped supervise the students. Professor Hoffman attended the American Immigration Lawyers Association annual conference in San Francisco. He published a piece on the ImmigrationProf blog entitled Why Pereira v. Sessions Bodes Well for Overturning Matter of A-B-. Dean Leonard Baynes interviewed Professor Hoffman for a segment on Houston Public Media’s Briefcase regarding the U.S. Attorney General overturning an appellate decision allowing asylum to an immigrant suffering from domestic violence. Texas Standard interviewed Professor Hoffman regarding a recent federal ruling blocking the Trump administration from arbitrarily detaining asylum seekers at the border. Houston Public Media’s Houston Matters interviewed Professor Hoffman regarding asylum law. Professor Hoffman also appeared on Houston Matters to discuss the deadline to reunite young migrant children with their parents, which was recently extended. He was among a group of legal scholars who signed on to an amicus curiae brief with the Ninth Circuit in support of the petitioner in Lopez Reyes v. Sessions. He was quoted in a Mother Jones article regarding a recent federal court ruling that the government must treat two separated migrant children for post-traumatic stress disorder. He was quoted in a Bloomberg article regarding whether President Trump’s extra-judicial comments on issues such as DACA and the transgender military ban may be used in cases involving those issues. Professor Hoffman was quoted in a Bloomberg article regarding a federal judge’s ruling that the Department of Health and Human Services may be acting in defiance of a court order on family reunification. He was quoted in a Houston Chronicle article regarding the Trump administration’s decision to terminate Temporary Protected Status for citizens of Honduras, El Salvador, Haiti, Nicaragua, Nepal, and Sudan. He lectured on two topics at the Houston Immigration Legal Services Collaborative during the three-day training for Houston’s new Deportation Defense Attorneys: New Case Law and BIA Appellate Practice. Professor Hoffman and adjunct professor Anne Chandler were interviewed by Houston Public Media for a story on asylum law. They were also quoted in a Bloomberg article published in the Houston Chronicle regarding the hundreds of migrant children who have yet to be reunited with their parents.

Renee Knake was invited to participate by West Academic Publishing and Foundation Press as part of a select group of authors to attend a three-day “Inside Look” event at their St. Paul, Minnesota headquarters July 9-11. Her op-ed “Trump Should Select a Woman from his SCOTUS Shortlist” was published by the Houston Chronicle on July 9. She was asked by NYU Press to serve as an external reviewer for a book manuscript.

David Kwok’s symposium piece, “The Private Partners in Public Corruption,” was published in the Notre Dame Journal of Law, Ethics & Public Policy. He also presented a paper, “Benevolent Corporate Fraud,” at CrimFest, held at the Cardozo School of Law.

Alfonso Lopez de la Osa Escribano participated in the annual meeting of the Ecole Doctorale 67 he belongs to, at the University of Aix-Marseille in France on July 5, to award 17 Ph.D. candidates research contracts among the 36 pre-selected candidates interviewed. Contracts were awarded for the next three years, among the most outstanding students and research projects. A relevant presence of international and comparative law topics were exposed. Dean Leonard Baynes and Alfonso Lopez de la Osa Escribano held different meetings in Mexico City (from July 10-13) with the General Counsel of the Mexican Foreign Ministry, with the COMEXUS-FULBRIGHT Director, Undersecretary for State for Energy Transition, Commissioner of the National Migration Institute, and Undersecretary of State for Higher Education. In all of them they explored different ways of academic cooperation to improve in the near future the recognition and mission of the UHLC with these Mexican institutions. Alfonso Lopez de la Osa Escribano gave a presentation on July 25 on “Physician-Victim Approach to Human Trafficking: a Necessary Combination of Health, Law, Data Protection and Public Order” to Law Enforcement officials and NGOs at the Human Trafficking Rescue Alliance (HTRA) Southern District of Texas meeting from the U.S. Department of Justice, U.S. Attorney’s Office in Houston. The role physicians can play in the bilateral healthcare relationship they have with victims of human trafficking is decisive to fight this scourge, always prioritizing victim’s protection, along with all the sectors involved (law; law enforcement; victims’ protection; economic dimension; health; health law; Academia and education).

Rick McElvaney spoke on Landlord and Tenant issues to approximately 250 Texas Justices of the Peace and court personnel at the 74th Annual Justices of the Peace and Constables Association Education Conference in College Station, Texas. He also spoke on Landlord and Tenant issues at the Dress for Success training event in Houston on July 14.

Andrew Michaels published an article on Law360 regarding the patent law doctrine of abstract ideas.

Douglas Moll spoke at the 27th Annual LLCs, LPs and Partnerships Conference in Austin, Texas. He presented an update on significant Texas cases over the past year. Professor Moll was also interviewed for Peter Mahler’s Business Divorce Roundtable podcast. The podcast focused on Professor Moll’s recent article, “Judicial Dissolution of the Limited Liability Company: A Statutory Analysis,” which was published as part of a symposium in the Tennessee Journal of Business Law. Professor Moll has been invited to attend the Business Law Professors Blog 2nd annual conference and symposium in September. He will be speaking about the “reliance on experts” provisions that are common in corporation and LLC statutes. 

Michael A. Olivas is busy this summer, spending time in his KSFR studio in Santa Fe, New Mexico, and recording a dozen new shows for his NPR show, The Law of Rock and Roll. The sixth year of the show will include classes on Releasing Old Songs, Orphan Works, New CDs in a New World, Ethics and Conflicts of Interest, and more topics that include copyright, pending legislation, and several other recent court cases. The show is now international, having an agreement by a Canadian radio station to carry the series. He has also participated in briefing reports on developments in entertainment law, higher education law, and immigration law.

Teddy Rave was invited to speak at a conference in October commemorating the 50th anniversary of the Multidistrict Litigation Statute cosponsored by the NYU School of Law Center on Civil Justice and the Liman and Solomon Centers at Yale Law School. The Texas Advisory Committee to the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights cited his testimony at its March 13 hearing on Voting Rights in Texas in its Advisory Memorandum to the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights. And on July 19, he was elected to the American Law Institute.

Lauren Simpson continues her community service in support of pollinator conservation and urban wildscaping. In a June Houston Matters segment that aired on Houston Public Media, Simpson educated listeners about how they can support pollinators in their own home gardens. The recording of Simpson’s presentation entitled “A Love Affair with Pollinators: Confessions of a Citizen Scientist,” given at the Native Plant Society of Texas–Houston Chapter’s June monthly meeting, is now available here. And finally, Simpson has accepted an invitation to speak on wildscaping with native plants at the May 2019 meeting of the Native Plant Society of Texas–Clear Lake Chapter. 

Kenneth Swift presented at the Legal Writing Institute's Biennial Conference at Marquette Law School. Swift appeared on a panel, “Catch the Wave: Teaching Skills Online,” with law professors from the University of Denver, Indiana University-McKinney, and Hofstra University. The panel presented their experiences with teaching legal skills, such as writing and drafting, in an online format and discussed the future of online courses in legal education.

Sandra Guerra Thompson has been reappointed by Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner, and confirmed by City Council, to a three-year appointment to the Board of Directors of the Houston Forensic Science Center. She serves as Vice Chair of the Board. She also attended the Board meeting on July 13.