Albertus Accolades

May 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 delivered opening remarks to law graduates, along with their families, friends, and other distinguished platform faculty and guests at the 2019 Spring University Commencement Ceremony for the Law Center on May 12. The ceremony was held at the Fertitta Center, formerly known as Hofheinz Pavilion. Janet Langford Carrig, former Senior Vice President Legal, General Counsel, and Corporate Secretary of ConocoPhillips, delivered the commencement address. Afterwards, a reception to celebrate the graduates was held in the TDECU Stadium Club Room. Dean Baynes co-hosted a reception and fundraising dinner on May 13 honoring Professor Michael A. Olivas and Tina Reyes at Caracol Restaurant. The fundraiser was in support of the proposed naming of the Olivas-Reyes Reading Room in the new Law Center building. Dean Baynes attended the UHLAA Board and Annual Meeting on May 15 at the Coronado Club. He provided an update about Law Center activities and accomplishments for 2018-2019, including the new building campaign, and also offered congratulatory remarks to Cynthia Mabry for her leadership during her two-year tenure as UHLAA President. On May 17, Dean Baynes hosted the fourth faculty engagement luncheon that included Professors Emily Berman, David Kwok, Peter Linzer, and Sarah Morath. Faculty engagement lunches are designed to connect faculty from different areas of interest over non-work related topics. Dean Baynes joined Amanda Watson and alumni Judges Phyllis Frye, Steven Kirkland, and Jim Kovach, students Emma Brockway and Austin Turman, and their guests on May 17 at Red Dinner 4. Red Dinner is an annual fundraising gala for the University of Houston LGBTQ community that helps reduce the economic impact to UH students who struggle with homelessness because of their sexual orientation or gender identity. On May 21, Dean Baynes helped launch the 100% Challenge Kickoff Luncheon that rallies support for the Houston Law Fund. The event was hosted at Bracewell LLP. On May 22, Dean Baynes attended and gave welcoming remarks at a VIP reception to celebrate the 20th Anniversary of the Arrival Awards. He attended a lunch get-together hosted by the UH Library’s Dean Lisa German for all UH Deans on May 28. That afternoon, Dean Baynes hosted a commencement volunteer reception at the Law Center where he expressed gratitude and appreciation to the volunteers who worked tirelessly to reschedule the Law Center’s commencement from Saturday, May 11, to Sunday, May 12, due to inclement weather.

Kate Brem presented on “Equal Education for All” at the 2019 Biennial Conference of the Association of Legal Writing Directors in Boston, Massachusetts. Her presentation was twofold. She first discussed the search for balance between a school’s limited resources and its obligation to provide equalized education to foreign law students. Next she discussed her integration of foreign law students in the 1L LSS curriculum to introduce concepts of international law such as civil law, international arbitration, and cross-national transactions. Brem posited that the integration of foreign and local students maximizes her foreign students’ experience at UHLC, while simultaneously addressing her local students’ need to understand the ever-increasing globalization of U.S. legal practice.

Barbara Evans moderated the panel on genomic data quality and spoke in the privacy panel at the National Conference/Webcast on Law, Policy, and Genomic Medicine at the University of Minnesota on April 25. She spoke on FDA regulation of machine-learning software at a Duke University workshop on AI in Healthcare in Washington, D.C. on May 14. She spoke on regulation of do-it-yourself biotechnology at the Petrie-Flom Annual Conference at Harvard Law School on May 17 and participated in a UH/Baylor College of Medicine workshop on health data on May 23. She will participate in a panel on results from the NIH-funded LawSeq project at the ASLME health law professors’ conference in Chicago on June 6 and will participate in a multidisciplinary workshop on the Future of Health Data co-sponsored by Yale’s Law School, Medical School, and School of Public Health on June 13-14. Her article on “The Law of Genetic Privacy: Applications, Implications, and Limitations” (with co-authors Ellen Wright Clayton, James Hazel, and Mark Rothstein) appeared on May 14 in the Journal of Law and the Biosciences. Her article “The Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act at Age 10: GINA’s Controversial Assertion that Data Transparency Protects Privacy and Civil Rights,” 60 William & Mary Law Review 2017-2109 (2019) was published this week. Her invited commentary on “Parsing the Line Between Citizen and Professional Science” will appear shortly in the American Journal of Bioethics. Her chapter on “Programming Our Genomics, Programming Ourselves: The Moral and Regulatory Limits of Self-Harm in Do-It-Yourself Gene Editing” will appear in Consuming Genomics, the edited volume of works from this year’s Petrie-Flom conference. Her edited volume entitled Transparency in Health and Healthcare in the United States (with co-editors Holly Fernandez Lynch, Carmel Shachar, and I. Glenn Cohen) has been released by Cambridge University Press, and she has a sole-authored and a co-authored chapter in that volume. Her co-authored article, as part of a team led by Dr. Wylie Burke, on Clinical Practice Advisory Documents in clinical genetics has been accepted by Genetics in Medicine and will appear shortly. She participated with biologists at Yale and U.C. San Diego in submitting an NSF grant proposal relating to the creation of synthetic chiral cells and is working with colleagues at the UH engineering school this summer on a follow-up BRAIN consortium project.

Dave Fagundes published “Law & Neighborhood Names” (co-authored with Nestor Davidson) in the Vanderbilt Law Review. Dave presented “Abandoning Copyrights” at the 10th annual meeting of the Association of Law, Property & Society (ALPS) at the Syracuse University College of Law. He also moderated a panel on comparative patent law at ALPS.

Victor Flatt’s article (with Michael Pappas) “The Costs of Environmental Markets: A Commodification Primer” has just been published in Volume 9 of the UC Irvine Law Review. A new work in progress (also with Michael Pappas) entitled “Decommodification and Managed Retreat” was accepted for presentation at Columbia Law School Sabin Center’s "At What Point Managed Retreat? Resilience Building in the Coastal Zone.” On May 17, Professor Flatt was interviewed on NPR’s All Things Considered about the lawsuit against the federal government for takings resulting from the construction and management of the Addicks and Barker Cypress Dams during Hurricane Harvey. He was asked and agreed to serve on a Harris County advisory committee concerning environmental enforcement and industrial accidents. He was a Senior Scholar Reviewer at the Columbia Law School Sabin Center’s Innovative Environmental Scholarship program May 15-17. He was asked and attended a day long workshop on long term strategies concerning truth in science in government, convened by the Union of Concerned Scientists on May 22. He will present his article “Disclosing the Danger,” about climate change and attorney ethics, at the New South Wales Law School in Sydney on June 18. The article, which was accepted for publication as the lead article in the 2020 Utah Law Review will also be excerpted and published in the Environmental Law Institute’s Environmental Forum, with commentary from other attorneys. Professor Flatt will also present this article at Vermont Law School’s Summer Hot Topics series on July 16. With the assistance of US Mexican Law Center Director Dr. Alfonso Lopez de la Escribano, Professor Flatt and the EENR Center along with the University of Lyon 3 (France) have been awarded a Marie Sklodowska Curie Action (MSCA) Global Fellowship from the European Union, for a project called “Energy Transition Governance and Law (TGL),” which will be carried out by Mr. Aubin Nzaou, of Lyon 3. The award provides funding for Mr. Aubin to study with Professor Flatt and the EENR Center for two years and for international meetings at the University of Houston and University of Lyon 3.

Leah Fowler published an open peer commentary with Jessica Roberts in the American Journal of Bioethics. The paper, “A Nudge Toward Meaningful Choice,” is available online. She also coauthored a paper called “Engineering Eden: Does Earthly Pursuit of Eternal Life Threaten the Future of Religions?” with colleagues at Baylor College of Medicine (Kristin Kostick and Christopher Scott). This piece is available now in Theology and Science.

Christopher Heard was a guest speaker for the Emancipation Economic Development Council’s Third Ward Small Business Training Program on May 14. On May 17, Professor Heard presented at the Biennial Empire State Legal Writing Conference at New York Law School on the topic “Cultivating Professional Judgment in Law Students.”

Whitney Werich Heard and Hilary Reed presented “Legal Citation: Striking the Right Balance” at the Biennial Empire State Legal Writing Conference at New York Law School on May 17. Professor Heard was also invited to present “How to Put the Writing Back into Legal Writing” at the Central States Area Legal Writing Conference in Chicago at UIC John Marshall School of Law this September.

Geoffrey Hoffman was quoted in a Bloomberg news article regarding Motel 6’s settlement with former guests whose “Latino-sounding names” were disclosed to federal agents targeting undocumented residents for deportation. He spoke on non- profits and H1B visas at a panel with Rosemary Vega and Michael Olivas who organized the event for UHLC students. Professor Hoffman spoke on ethics and immigration at the Federal Bar conference held in Austin, Texas. He also attended the kickoff for the 20th anniversary of the immigration clinic.

Lonny Hoffman and Bret Wells published an article entitled “The Exceptions Prove the Rule: Recalibrating the Discovery Rule and Equitable Fraud Exceptions to the Legal Injury Rule,” 71 Baylor L. Rev. 72 (2019).

Renee Knake was invited by the justices of the High Court of Australia (equivalent of the US Supreme Court) to present her research while she visits Australia National University in Canberra for a week in late June. She delivered a talk, “With Great Legal Tech Comes Great Ethical Responsibility,” to the Australian Law and Technology Association in May, and also spoke on a panel for the Australian National Data Health Initiative.

Sapna Kumar delivered a keynote speech in the Netherlands as part of the Tillburg Institute for Law, Technology, and Society's 25th Anniversary. In her talk, “Innovation Nationalism,” she spoke about how intellectual property rights can be used to promote different forms of nationalism.

Andrew Michaels published a post on "Questioning Artificial Intelligence in Law," on the Machine Lawyering blog at the Chinese University of Hong Kong, discussing aspects of his recent article in the Journal of Business and Technology Law.

James Nelson published “Corporate Disestablishment” in the Virginia Law Review.

Michael A. Olivas was given the Hispanic Bar Association of Houston (HisBA-H) Founder Appreciation Award at the organization’s 31st Annual Gala on May 9. He and UHLC alum and Trial Ad Adjunct J. Michael Solar founded the group 35 years ago. He also served as a judge of the Law Rocks fundraiser (on the Rock Panel of Judges), with lawyer bands competing for charity, at White Oaks Music Hall on May 16. Along with UHLC immigration professors Rosemary Vega and Geoff Hoffman, as well as Stefan Johnsson (Coordinator and Senior SEVIS Compliance officer at UH’s Office of International Student and Scholar Services), he moderated a noon panel on recent immigration developments for international graduate students, including employment options.

Teddy Rave attended the American Law Institute’s Annual Meeting in Washington, D.C. on May 19-23.

Hilary Reed participated in the Association of Legal Writing Directors Scholars Forum at New York Law School, discussing curriculum and teaching of legal writing to undergraduate students in UHLC’s Pipeline Program. She and Whitney Werich Heard presented at the Biennial Empire State Legal Writing Conference at New York Law School on “Legal Citation: Striking the Right Balance.” Additionally, Professor Reed is developing online Appellate Brief Writing Modules as a resource for UHLC’s Moot Court Team.

Lauren Simpson’s promotion to the rank of Clinical Associate Professor has been approved by the Provost’s Office, effective September 1, 2019. Also effective September 1, Professor Simpson will assume the position of Chair of the University of Houston Faculty Engagement and Development Advisory Board, on which she currently serves as a member. Professor Simpson has also received an Outstanding Service Award of the Association of Legal Writing Directors (ALWD) for her work as Chair of the ALWD Bylaws Committee. The award recognizes members of the legal writing community who have gone above and beyond in their service endeavors for ALWD in the prior year. Professor Simpson continues her community service in support of pollinator conservation and urban wildscaping. In May, she discussed pollinators, the challenges they face, and how our urban gardens can sustain them in two talks: for the Native Plant Society of Texas Clear Lake Chapter (“Transforming Landscapes for Pollinators”) and for the Garden Oaks Civic Club (“Supporting Pollinators in Your Home Garden”). Professor Simpson also gave a talk entitled “Hold the Phone!: Tips for Photographing Native Plants and Wildlife with Your Smartphone” to the Native Plant Society of Texas Houston Chapter. She rounded out May’s events by hosting an educational visit at her home wildlife-habitat gardens for the Texas Master Gardeners Fort Bend Chapter. Professor Simpson has accepted two further invitations to speak in 2019: at Buchanan’s Native Plants in September 2019 (“How and Why to Garden for Wildlife in Your Own Backyard”), and to Texas Campaign for the Environment’s Houston office in June, on wildscaping and community outreach for pollinators. And finally, Professor Simpson has accepted two invitations to speak in 2020 on wildscaping in urban neighborhoods: in January, to the Wharton Garden Club, and in April, at the inaugural Wild Gardening Festival, to be held at the National Butterfly Center in Mission, Texas.

Ken Swift had his article, “Give It a Try, It’s Not So Bad: Utilizing Distance Learning in First Year Legal Research and Writing Courses,” selected for publication in the Fall 2019 issue of Second Draft.

Sandra Guerra Thompson was elected by the Harris County Commissioners Court to serve on the Harris County Criminal Justice Coordinating Council. She attended the May meeting of the Coordinating Council on May 16. She was also interviewed on Click 2 Houston for the television news program regarding the legality of poker club establishments after a federal raid and arrests. On May 17, she was interviewed for a podcast done at McGeorge School of Law’s Capital Center for Law and Policy. The podcast, called “CAP Impact,” addresses her work on bail reform and with the Houston Forensic Science Center. On May 24, Professor Thompson spoke at the Evidence Summer Workshop at Vanderbilt Law School.

Ronald Turner has accepted the Indiana Law Journal's offer to publish his article “Title VII and the Unenvisaged Case: Is Anti-LGBTQ Discrimination Unlawful Sex Discrimination?,” the Wisconsin Law Review's offer to publish his article “On Locs, ‘Race,’ and Title VII,” and the Texas Law Review Online's offer to publish his essay “The FAA, the NLRA, and Epic Systems' Epic Fail.”

Rosemary Vega, Clinical Lecturer, presented to the Federal Bar Association Immigration Conference on May 17 on Crime Victims in Austin, Texas. She also presented to Kids In Need Of Defense (KIND) on May 31 on Crim-Immigration Issues.

Kellen Zale was invited to a faculty colloquium at Cardozo School of Law on April 17, where she presented her article “Part-Time Government,” which is forthcoming in the Ohio State Law Journal. On May 17, she gave a presentation on "Who Serves on Local Land Use Boards and Commissions" at the 10th annual meeting of the Association of Law, Property, and Society (ALPS) at Syracuse University College of Law.