Albertus Accolades

January 2019

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, along with 27 Law Center faculty and staff, attended the 2019 AALS annual meeting in New Orleans, Louisiana, on January 2-6. At least 14 UHLC faculty and staff appeared as presenters, moderators, or panel participants. The AALS New Orleans Alumni & Friends Reception was held January 3. Approximately 75 alumni, faculty, and friends gathered to network and hear Dean Baynes give an update about the Law Center, including the new building campaign. On January 5, Dean Baynes was an invited speaker at the AALS workshop “For the Law School Dean: Law School and the New Accountability Paradigm.” Later that day, he gave remarks at the 2019 AALS Latina/o Law Professor Dinner celebrating the retirement and grand contributions of Professor Michael A. Olivas at the Loyola New Orleans Law School Greenville Hall. On January 14, Dean Baynes greeted faculty returning from the holiday break at the annual Welcome Back Faculty Luncheon in the Hendricks Heritage Room. Dean Baynes attended a reception hosted by alumni Bruce Tough and Nelda Blair on January 15 and provided an update on the new building. The reception was held in The Woodlands at Amerigo’s restaurant. On January 18, Dean Baynes served for the fourth consecutive year as a judge in the Foley Gardere’s 23rd Annual Martin Luther King, Jr. Oratory Competition. The competition was held at the historic Antioch Missionary Baptist Church, one of the oldest churches in the City of Houston, which was started by free people of African descent in 1866 shortly after slavery ended in Texas. On January 25, Dean Baynes and Kristen Guiseppi, Director of the Pipeline Program, attended a reception at the ABA Midyear Meeting in Las Vegas. Dean Baynes gave an acceptance speech on behalf of the Law Center’s Pipeline Program after receiving the 2019 Raymond Pace and Sadie Tanner Mossell Alexander Award for Excellence in Pipeline Diversity. The prestigious award recognizes programs for their efforts on behalf of diversity in the legal profession. Dean Baynes welcomed Randall M. Ebner, Vice President and General Counsel for ExxonMobil Corporation to the Law Center on January 31. Mr. Ebner delivered a lunchtime presentation to law and energy students titled “Roadmap to Success: Advice to Students” and shared insights about his decades long career at the #2 Fortune 500 company. Dean Baynes facilitated the Q&A segment. Dean Baynes and Mr. Ebner also met with Pipeline, Pre-Law and 3+3 students during an informal afternoon session. Mr. Ebner’s visit concluded with an evening reception and Fireside Chat with Dean Baynes at the Petroleum Club of Houston where over 100 faculty, staff and alumni were in attendance. At the reception, Dean Baynes recognized Randy Ebner as an honorary member of the UHLC Alumni Association and presented him with a membership certificate.

Kate Brem was invited to present at the Association of Legal Writing Directors’ Biennial Conference at Suffolk University Law School, Boston, in May. Joining faculty from Loyola University Chicago School of Law, the John Marshall Law School, and the University of New Hampshire School of Law, Brem will discuss “Equal Education for All.”

Johnny Rex Buckles presented “Tax-Exempt Organizations: Developments and Emerging Issues” at the Oklahoma Tax Institute (conducted by the Oklahoma Society of CPAs) on November 30. On November 15, Professor Buckles presented “Curbing (or not) Foreign Influence on United States Political Processes through the Federal Taxation of Charities” as a member of a panel at the annual meeting of ARNOVA (the Association for Research on Nonprofit Organizations and Voluntary Action). On October 25, Professor Buckles served as an invited commentator at the 30th Annual Conference of New York University School of Law’s National Center on Philanthropy and the Law. On September 14, Professor Buckles presented “Unashamed of the Gospel of Jesus Christ: On Public Policy and Public Service by Evangelicals” at South Texas College of Law Houston.

Seth Chandler delivered a three-hour lecture on the American healthcare system to students at the Allard School of Law (University of British Columbia). His talk provided an overview of American healthcare finance with an emphasis on the ever-changing Affordable Care Act.

Victor Flatt was a panelist on two panels at AALS in January. He discussed the scope of Hurricane Harvey and issues surrounding environmental degradation in disasters in the Environmental Law, Minority Groups, State and Local Government Law’s joint presentation on “Disaster and Minority Communities.” He presented about the Gulf Coast area’s proposed hardening in the AALS Open Source panel on “Retreat from the Coasts.” Professor Flatt spoke at the University of Arizona James Rogers College of Law at the symposium entitled “The End of Environmental Law.” His essay from the symposium, entitled “Do the Means Justify the End of Environmental Law,” will be published in Volume 9 of the Arizona Journal of Environmental Law.

Janet Heppard participated on two panels at the American Association of Law Schools (AALS) Annual Meeting in New Orleans on January 3. The first panel was sponsored by the Family and Juvenile Law Section and was entitled “Alternative Approaches to Teaching Family Law.” Professor Heppard’s topic was “Teaching Family Law by Weaving Together Traditional Family Law Topics, Practical Skills, and other Legal Areas Affected by Family Law.” The second panel was sponsored by the Pro-Bono & Public Service Opportunities and Leadership sections and was entitled “Encouraging and Empowering the Next Generation of Public Interest and Pro Bono Leaders” – where Professor Heppard participated as a small group facilitator. She also had the opportunity to teach Girl Scout leaders in the Houston area about planning events, including weekend event planning. She worked with fourth-grade Cub Scouts at the Texas Skies District Webelos Woods teaching them archery skills at Camp Bovay in Navasota, Texas, and worked with second- through eighth-grade Girl Scouts on archery skills at the Stargazer Community Weekend Event at Camp Arnold in Conroe, Texas.

Tracy Hester’s article “Transnational Liability in U.S. Courts for Environmental Harms Abroad” was published in the Rocky Mountain Mineral Law Institute’s 64th Annual Proceedings. His book Mastering Environmental Law, co-authored with Professor Joel Mintz, was published by Carolina Academic Press in January. On January 21, Hester participated in the inaugural presentation of the University of Houston Carbon Management in Energy Center, and he joined the Houston Audubon Society’s Board of Directors meeting on January 16. On January 28, Professors Darren Bush, Andrew Michaels, and Hester introduced Jason Smith, UH’s Vice Chancellor/Vice President for Government Relations, to lecture the combined first year Statutory Interpretation classes on legislative process issues and strategies.

Geoffrey Hoffman provided technical advice on immigration for a new play at the Alley Theatre entitled 72 Miles to Go. He was quoted in an article available on the PBS NewsHour’s website commenting on the legalities of the Trump Administration’s new policy that some Central Americans seeking asylum at the southern border will be forced to remain in Mexico while their cases are being processed. Professor Hoffman’s article entitled “How Trump Era Immigration Enforcement Violates the Law” was posted to the Notice & Comment blog, hosted by the Yale Journal on Regulation and the ABA Section of Administrative Law & Regulatory Practice. Professor Hoffman appeared in a PBS NewsHour segment regarding the massive backlog of immigration cases waiting to be heard in court, and the effects of this delay on those seeking asylum. Video of the segment is available here.

Paul Janicke addressed the dinner meeting of IPIL’s Advisory Council on January 9, on the subject of recent trends in patent litigation. On January 16 he addressed the meeting of the Houston Intellectual Property Law Association, on the growth of litigation financing companies.

Renee Knake spoke about her book Legal Ethics for the Real World: Building Skills Through Case Study (Foundation Press) at the AALS Annual Meeting in New Orleans during the first week of January. She also was voted in as Chair-Elect for the Section on Professional Responsibility. She went back to New Orleans the following week to give a plenary keynote talk at the Legal Services Corporation’s Annual Conference on Innovations in Technology, discussing her forthcoming Illinois Law Review article about lawyer advertising, co-authored with Professor Jim Hawkins. A few days later she flew down under to begin a stint as the Fulbright Distinguished Chair in Entrepreneurship and Innovation at Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology University, where she will be researching Australian innovations in access to justice.

David Kwok, as chair of the AALS Section on Law & Social Science, moderated a panel on publishing social science research at the AALS Annual Meeting in New Orleans. He completed his term as chair by organizing four panels at the annual meeting.

Andrew Michaels’ article “Abstract Innovation, Virtual Ideas, and Artificial Legal Thought” was published in the Maryland Journal of Business & Technology Law, and is posted to SSRN. Professor Michaels also published a short article on Law360 relating to foreign lost profits damages in patent law.

Douglas Moll’s scholarship was cited recently in judicial opinions from the Southern District of Texas, the Western District of Louisiana, and the Court of Appeal of Louisiana.

Sarah Morath presented her article “Organic 2.0” as part of the Agricultural and Food Law, Environmental Law and Natural Resources and Energy Law Works-in-Progress Workshop at the Association of American Law Schools Annual Meeting in New Orleans. Her article “Regulating Food Waste” was published in the Texas Environmental Law Journal (48 Tex. Envtl. L. J. 239 (Fall 2018)). Her panel presentation “Creating Student Leaders” was selected to be part of the Association for Legal Writing Directors (ALWD) Biennial Conference at Suffolk University School of Law in May 2019.

Thomas Oldham has worked with the editors of the Houston Journal of International Law to receive submissions from commentators from Japan, Canada, Scotland, France and Germany regarding the rules in those countries pertaining to post-divorce spousal support or maintenance. He has also written a summary of US approaches toward spousal support. This issue of the journal will be published in the spring of 2019.

Theodore Rave was invited to participate in the Berkeley Judicial Institute and California Law Review’s symposium “Re-examining the Federal Courts ‘Crisis’” in April at the University of California Berkeley School of Law. He was also elected to the Executive Committee of the AALS Election Law Section.

Ken Swift attended the 2019 AALS Conference in New Orleans as a member of the program committee for the AALS section on Legal Writing, Reasoning, and Research. He helped design and facilitate the section’s joint program with the section on Technology, Law and Legal Education titled: “Learning Here, There, and Everywhere: Distance Learning Technology and New Tech Tools.” Also, he was named co-chair of the Awards Committee for the AALS Section on Legal Writing, Reasoning and Research. This committee recommends to the Executive Committee who is to receive the LWRR Section Award for “service, scholarship, and legal writing program design or other activity valuable to the advancement of the field of legal writing.”

Sandra Guerra Thompson testified before the Harris County Commissioners Court on January 29 regarding best practices for pretrial supervision and monitoring of individuals released from the Harris County Jail under new guidelines imposed by the newly elected criminal court judges. She appeared on KHOU-TV on January 15 to discuss the charges brought against a man for his alleged role in a deadly car crash involving teens who threw eggs at his car. On January 11, she attended the meeting of the Board of Directors of the Houston Forensic Science Center, on which she serves as Vice Chair.

Greg Vetter was an invited presenter for the topic of Software Protection on November 1, 2018, as a part of the University of Texas at Austin’s hosting of the University of St. Gallen Postgraduate Program Executive M.B.L.-HSG. The Executive Masters in European and International Business Law (M.B.L.-HSG) is a postgraduate law course of study by the University of St. Gallen in Switzerland, one of the top European Universities for the study of European and International Business Law. On the afternoon of November 8, he presented on the topic of Open Source Software as part of a panel presentation by the Houston office of the Jones Day law firm. During the evening of November 9, he represented the Law Center at the American Society of Legal History reception held at UH as a part of that professional society’s annual meeting, held in Houston in 2018 under the leadership of Professor Craig Joyce. On November 12, he represented the Law Center at the HBA Harvest Ball. He moderated/hosted the 25th Annual IPIL Fall Lecture, sponsored by HIPLA, on November 13, featuring Professor Tim Holbrook of Emory Law School as the lecturer. He represented the Law Center and IPIL at the November 27 dinner of The Honorable Nancy F. Atlas Intellectual Property American Inn of Court in Houston. He also represented the Law Center at the Susman Godfrey annual holiday party on November 29, and at the December 6 holiday event by the Eversheds law firm. He attended the AALS Annual Meeting in New Orleans, including the Law Center’s alumni reception on January 3, 2019. In his role as Associate Dean, on January 8, he spoke at the AD Office’s adjunct orientation held at the start of each semester. He moderated the IPIL Advisory Council dinner on January 9, where the speaker was Professor Paul Janicke. Along with Professor Ken Swift, he presented to the Law Center on January 16 during a lunch discussion concerning online learning. He represented the Law Center and IPIL at the January 22 dinner of The Honorable Nancy F. Atlas Intellectual Property American Inn of Court in Houston. He represented the Law Center at the Blakely Advocacy Institute’s Moot Court National Championship dinner celebration on Saturday, January 26, giving welcoming remarks for the event. Finally, having processed an application during 2018 to waive in, he was sworn in as a member of the Texas Bar on Monday, January 28, by Judge and Law Center Adjunct Professor Andrew Edison.

Bret Wells’ article entitled “Reform of Section 355” was published at 68 AM. U. L. REV. 447 (2018). Professor Wells moderated a panel discussion on “Fixed v. Floating Non-Participating Oil and Gas Royalty” for the Oil and Gas Section of the State Bar of Texas 2019 Conference on Oil and Gas Disputes on January 10. On January 16, Professor Wells provided an International Tax Update to the Houston Bar Association Tax Section.