Albertus Accolades

July 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 attended a July 5 town hall meeting hosted by presidential candidate and Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren in the Houston Room at UH Student Center South and presented her with UHLC swag. Senator Warren was a Law Center associate professor (1981-83), dean for academic affairs (1980-81), and assistant professor (1978-1980). Dean Baynes traveled to Mexico City July 7-11 along with Law Center staff members Alfonso Lopez de la Osa Escribano, Director of the Center for U.S. and Mexican Law, and Karen Jones, Executive Director, Graduate and Global Programs, to meet with members of Mexico’s government agencies, deans of Mexican law centers, and various law firms to discuss mutual interests, continued cooperation and new collaborations. On July 9, he hosted a networking luncheon where approximately 50 alumni and friends gathered to connect and hear an update about Law Center happenings, including the new building campaign.

On July 11, Dean Baynes attended a Law Foundation board meeting and gave a presentation on the status of the new building. He also joined Law Foundation board members and staff at a farewell dinner to thank outgoing president Bill Jackson for his leadership and accomplishments and to wish him well. On July 18, Dean Baynes gave welcoming remarks to the entering class of 2019 during Admitted Students Day, including a presentation highlighting Law Center happenings and accomplishments and an update about the new building campaign. He met with Miami-area alumni during a lunch meeting at Yardbird Southern Table in Miami on July 23. He attended the 2019 SEALS Annual Conference July 29 – August 2 at the Boca Resort in Miami, where he moderated a panel titled “Building Bridges: Socioeconomics, the LSAT, and the U.S. News and World Report Rankings.” On August 1, Dean Baynes moderated a discussion group with Professor Darren Bush on disasters and utility infrastructure.

Johnny Rex Buckles presented “Curbing (or Not) Foreign Influence on United States Politics and Policies through the Federal Taxation of Charities” at the Fifth Annual Texas Tax Faculty Workshop. This article has been accepted by the Maryland Law Review for publication in 2020.  Professor Buckles also served as an invited discussant in “Liberty and the Rule of Law,”acolloquium co-sponsored by the Liberty Fund and the Faculty Division of the Federalist Society (Spring 2019). The first 2019 cumulative supplement to Estate Planning Law and Taxation, co-authored by Professor Buckles, George P. Mair, and the late Professor David Westfall, has also been published.

The Wolfram Function Repository has reviewed and published several functions developed by Seth Chandler for general use and to serve as an adjunct to his forthcoming book on data analysis: these include MappedTransformedDistribution, MapLevel, ConstantAssociation, KeyMapIf, QueryTreeForm, ShowQuotes, ValueMapIndexed, ValueMap, and EntityClassDimensions.

Megan Davis had a short essay, "Adopted," published in the Summer AALS Section on Legal Writing, Reasoning, and Research Newsletter. She also presented "Under, Here, Therefore" alongside Irene Ten Cate at the Empire State Legal Writing Conference in May. 

Victor Flatt’s article (written with Richard Zerbe), “Climate Change Nuisance Lawsuits: an Economic Efficiency Analysis,” will be published in Volume 49 of Environmental Law. On June 18, Professor Flatt presented his article on climate change and ethics laws at the University of New South Wales in Sydney, Australia. While there, he also met with environmental and climate impact litigation organizations to discuss the thesis of this article. Professor Flatt’s work in progress (with Professor Michael Pappas), “Environmental Markets and Managed Retreat,” was presented at Columbia Law School’s program on managed retreat in June. Professor Flatt and Professor Blake Hudson have been selected as two of the first five distinguished Haub Scholars at Pace University Law School Elisabeth Haub School of Law. Professor Flatt will work there for one week in September. He will present his work on climate change and attorney ethics, and help lead a workshop for applicants interested in Environmental Law teaching positions. On July 15 Professor Flatt presented his article “Disclosing the Danger: Climate Change Meets Attorney Ethics Law” at the Vermont Law School’s Hot Topics lecture. The Environmental Law Institute will feature a national webinar on this article on January 23, 2020, from UHLC. Professor Flatt has been asked to join the Harris County Working Group on environmental accidents and upsets.  The group will make recommendations to the county to strengthen environmental enforcement and reduce environmental upsets. Professor Flatt has been quoted in two Houston Chronicle articles about industrial accidents in Harris County in the last couple of months and he has also appeared on Houston Matters to discuss similar issues. Professor Flatt and Professor Hudson have been planning the program for the 4th Annual North American Conference on Environment, Energy, and Natural Resources, to be held on April 16, 2020.

Leah Fowler and Jessica Mantel joined Humana’s Adrienne McFadden for a presentation about medical-legal partnerships and the Medicare population at a lunch & learn sponsored by Humana Integrated Health System Sciences Institute on July 17. Leah is also pleased to announce the acceptance of a peer-reviewed qualitative piece, “A Matter of Life and Longer Life” (with Kristin Kostick and Christopher Scott), available now in the Journal of Aging Studies. Her peer-reviewed publication about web- and app-based access to birth control (with Julie Dorland and Stephanie Morain) is available online now at Health Promotion Practice.

Janet Heppard and Josephine Sorgwe had the opportunity to teach a mock class for potential law students at the admitted students day held in July at the Law Center. Professor Heppard helped organize and was a speaker at a Girl Scout Law Day event held at the Law Center for seventh grade through high school Girl Scouts to learn about the law and about the path to various law careers. In addition, she co-taught a class on Extended Troop Travel and Finance to Girl Scout leaders who plan to travel with their troops.  

The U.S. National Academy of Sciences invited Tracy Hester to address its workshop on climate engineering technologies on Sept. 10-11 at Stanford University. During the summer, Hester met with EPA’s National Advisory Committee under the North American Agreement on Environmental Cooperation on May 15 and 16 in Washington, D.C. He attended the American Law Institute’s annual conference on May 20-22 in Washington, D.C., where he hosted its ad hoc environmental workgroup, and he then participated in the National Resource Law Teacher’s Institute in Missoula, Montana on May 29-31, where he spoke on behalf of the ABA’s environmental section. On June 5, Hester reviewed recent developments in environmental criminal prosecutions to the American Fuel and Petrochemicals Manufacturers environmental legal summit, and he then addressed the Center for Houston’s Future Sustainable Houston conference on June 6 in Houston about recent legal developments in carbon capture. Last, Hester will participate in the upcoming Texas Environmental Superconference in Austin on August 1-2. 

Geoffrey Hoffman lectured on Pereira v. Sessions at the monthly AILA Meeting of the Houston Chapter held at Catholic Charities in Houston. On the panel was UHLC alumna Magali Candler. Professor Hoffman was quoted in a CNN article regarding a lawsuit in which the plaintiff claimed that Wells Fargo discriminated against him by denying him an auto loan because his status under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program was set to expire during the loan period. Professor Hoffman’s article “Litigation Post-Pereira: Where are We Now?” was chosen by the Selection Committee of the Editorial Board to be included in the Fall 2019 issue of the AILA Law Journal. Professors Hoffman and Michael Olivas were among a group of former BIA members, former immigration judges, and law professors who submitted an amicus brief supporting plaintiff’s motion for a temporary restraining order in East Bay Sanctuary Covenant v. Barr. Professor Hoffman was among a group of lawyers and legal scholars who signed a letter to the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights requesting an in loco visit to the Unites States and Mexico to examine the human rights situation relating to migrants.

Zachary D. Kaufman's new article, “Lessons from Rwanda: Post-Genocide Law and Policy,” was published by the Stanford Law & Policy Review. The article drew from 14 lectures Professor Kaufman delivered over the past several months at commemoration events in Rwanda, the United States, and Canada. Professor Kaufman spoke on July 15 at the annual CrimFest conference (this year hosted at Brooklyn Law School) about his new article, “Protectors of Predators or Prey: Bystanders and Upstanders amid Sexual Crimes” (forthcoming in the Southern California Law Review). He also spoke about this article on August 2 at the annual Southeastern Association of Law Schools (SEALS) conference (this year in Boca Raton, Florida).

Renee Knake published her essay “Flos Greig, Australia’s First Woman Lawyer and Early Innovator” as part of the academic magazine The Conversation’s series on Hidden Women of History. This piece is the first of several publications that will be produced from the research she conducted during her Fulbright Distinguished Chair fellowship in Australia. She also spoke at a number of events during her final month in Australia, including: (1) keynote on “The Duty to Innovate” at the University of Melbourne Law School Digital Citizens Conference, July 25; (2) presentation hosted by the Women’s Law Association of New South Wales on her paper “What the Cult of Ruth Bader Ginsburg Means for the Future of Feminism, Judicial Decision-Making and the Legitimacy of the Courts”at the Newcastle Club (which previously excluded women!); (3) presentation on her forthcoming book Shortlisted at the Women Lawyers Association of Queensland in Brisbane, July 18; and (4) presentation on “Global Innovations in the Delivery of Legal Services” at the College of Law Queensland in Brisbane, July 19.

David Kwok presented his paper “The Organizational Victim of Fraud” at the National Business Law Scholars Conference held at the University of California, Berkeley, and at the annual CrimFest meeting held at Brooklyn Law School in July.

Alfonso Lopez de la Osa Escribano went to Mexico City from July 4-11 with Olivia Thompson Chief Principal Gifts Officer, University Advancement at UH, Karen Jones, UHLC Global Programs, and Dean Baynes to meet with Alumni, donors and potential donors. An Alumni Luncheon was organized by Hope Young, with UHLC Mexican Alumni and friends. They met with Undersecretary for North America Jesus Seade to follow up with their cooperation agreement since 1989, and with PEMEX to follow up with their cooperation agreement since 1993. They met with the National Human Rights Commission, the Environment, Energy and Safety Agency, and the Mexican Institute of Industrial Property to develop collaboration agreements together in terms of research, organizing professional training programs and seminars, and students’ externship programs. They met with Mexican universities (ITAM; Anahuac University and La Salle University) to work collaboratively together in different programs, and they met with Mexican lawyers interested in cross-border legal services and in UHLC LLM programs.

Ellen Marrus was the keynote speaker at Children at Risk’s annual conference in June. Her speech, entitled “Children’s Rights are Human Rights,” focused on the Convention of the Rights of the Child and the benefits for children in the United States if we become a signatory to the convention. Also in June she presented at the annual Arizona Public Defender Association conference to juvenile public defenders, “Pushing the Status Quo,” and in Wales presented at a meeting held at the Welsh Parliament, “Remembering Professor Mike Sullivan and Looking to the Future,” focusing on his work on global connections between Swansea University and other world-wide institutions of higher learning. Along with Dean Alan Detlaff (UH Graduate College of Social Work) she will be contributing a chapter to Social Democracy With a Welsh Stripe? The Impact of Welsh Devolution. In July Professor Marrus organized and presented at the 20th Annual Zealous Advocacy Conference. In addition to being a small group facilitator, she presented on adolescent development and raising race in juvenile cases.

Andrew Michaels published an article, "How Congress Could Abolish Patent Eligibility Exceptions," in Law360 on July 1. Also, on July 29 he presented his work in progress, "Artificial Intelligence, Legal Change, and Separation of Powers," at the New Scholars Workshop during the 2019 Southeastern Association of Law Schools (SEALS) Annual Meeting.

Sarah Morath has signed a contract with Cambridge University Press to write Our Plastic Problem: Costs and Solutions. The book will be published in late 2020 or early 2021.

Nathan Neely was appointed as a member of the Schools and Candidates Committee (formerly the Services and Programs Committee) of the Law School Admission Council.

Thomas Oldham has been selected to be a member of the editorial board of the American Bar Association’s Family Law Quarterly for the next year.

Michael A. Olivas continues to make the rounds of Old-Guy Survivor awards; in the fall, he will receive the Mexican American Bar Association Lifetime Achievement Award at MABA-Houston’s Annual Dinner. When his forthcoming NYU Press book, Perchance to DREAM: A Legal and Political History of The DREAM Act and DACA, is published, there will be a scholarly send-off for the book project at NYU Law School, with panels and speakers. He and a small group of immigration scholars are drafting an amicus brief for the DACA case (actually, several consolidated cases) that is scheduled for a November SCOTUS hearing. When the brief is circulated, it is expected that former immigration judges and immigration law professors will be signing. He and his wife, Professor Augustina Reyes, will be retiring from UHLC in December, to Santa Fe, New Mexico, his hometown.

Lauren Simpson and Professor Katherine Brem have accepted an invitation to speak at the Western Regional Legal Writing Conference at Santa Clara University School of Law in September 2019. Their presentation, entitled “Making Mindfulness a Part of the Legal Writing Curriculum,” will discuss their methods for improving students’ emotional well-being within the legal-writing classroom. Professor Simpson, Professor Brem, and Professor Hilary Reed will also conduct a writing workshop at the Fifth Circuit Appellate Advocacy Seminar, sponsored by the Bar Association of the Fifth Federal Circuit, in October. Their workshop, entitled “Catching the Court’s Eye: Effective Writing and Editing Techniques to Elevate Your Advocacy,” will focus on brief-writing for appellate practitioners. Professor Simpson continues her community service in support of pollinator conservation and urban wildscaping. She was recently interviewed by The Leader newspaper on her home’s wildlife-habitat gardens and pollinator advocacy for an article entitled “Oak Forest Couple Creates Pollinators’ Paradise.”  Professor Simpson has also accepted an invitation to speak in February 2020 to the Garden Club of Jackson (Mississippi), a chapter of the national Garden Club of America, on wildscaping to support pollinators—her first wildscaping talk outside of Texas. Finally, the recording of her May 2019 talk entitled “Hold the Phone!: Tips for Photographing Native Plants and Wildlife with Your Smartphone” for the Native Plant Society of Texas Houston Chapter is now available here.    

Irene Ten Cate and Megan Davis gave a presentation titled "Under, Here, Therefore" at the Empire State Legal Writing Conference in New York City in May. Irene also presented her and Megan's joint research project under the same name at a scholars' workshop held in connection with the Empire State Conference. The project addresses how translating the deductive syllogism into concrete cue words can help students gain a deeper understanding of fundamental legal reasoning and bridge a perceived gap between doctrinal and skills courses. In June, Irene presented her work-in-progress "The Performance Enhancement Paradox" at the Law and Society Association's Annual Conference. Irene's new research project, tentatively titled "Three Models of Arbitral Judging," was competitively selected for presentation at the American Society for International Law's Research Forum and the American Society for Comparative Law's Annual Meeting.

Sandra Guerra Thompson attended the International Conference of Forensic Science and Evidence Law in Freiburg, Germany from July 31 to August 1. Her coauthor, Adjunct Professor Nicole Casarez, presented their paper, “Solving Daubert’s Dilemma for Forensic Science through Blind Testing,” and Professor Thompson chaired a panel on forensic science issues.

Amanda Watson presented “Cool Tools” at the American Association of Law Libraries (AALL) Annual Meeting and Conference, this year held in Washington, D.C. She was also installed as a member at large of the Academic Law Libraries Special Interest Section, vice-chair of the Computing Services Special Interest Section, and member of the 2020 annual programming committee.

Bret Wells’ co-authored casebook on Federal Income Taxation of Corporations, published with West Academic, was released in July. On July 2, Professor Wells provided a half-day session on Federal Income Taxation and Estate Taxation as part of the Kaplan Bar Review Course.