Albertus Accolades

August 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 submitted the manuscripts for the 2018-2019 editions of Consumer Protection and the Law (2 vols.) (with Pridgen) and Consumer Credit and the Law (2 vols.) (with Pridgen), published by Thomson/West. His “A Remembrance of Raymond T. Nimmer” was published at 48 U.C.C. Law Journal 113 (2018).

Leonard Baynes hosted a lunch at Yardbird Southern Table restaurant with Miami-based alumni on August 2. He was a discussant during a First Amendment Workshop panel at the Southeastern Association of Law Schools (SEALS) conference in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida on August 5. The discussion group topic “The Boundaries of Modern Press Protection” examined issues as to what defines media in our modern era, i.e., do bloggers or other social media publishers qualify as “media” and if so (or not) what are the criteria by which to characterize someone. On August 6, Dean Baynes was a panelist during another First Amendment Workshop titled “Defining Media in a Digital World.” The workshop explored consequences of an expanded view of the term “media.” That afternoon, Dean Baynes attended a Call for Papers Luncheon Competition that honored Professor Teddy Rave, co-author of a winning paper titled “Aggregation on Defendants’ Terms: Bristol-Myers Squibb and the Federalization of Mass-Tort Litigation.” Emily Berman was also honored for her article titled “A Government of Laws and Not of Machines.” Dean Baynes delivered welcoming remarks at the Part-Time Student Orientation program on Saturday, August 11. On August 13, he gave a welcome as he greeted the 2018 entering full-time class at the New Full-Time Student Orientation program. On August 14, he attended the Foreign LL.M. Students Reception hosted by Locke Lord, LLP. He provided welcoming remarks at the Transfer Student Orientation on August 15 and later that day attended a pre-dinner reception for 1Ls at the annual Professionalism Dinner. Dean Baynes joined Provost Short and other UH deans and executives at the Provost’s Fall Faculty Welcome dinner on August 16.

On Aug 17-18, Dean Baynes and Associate Dean Sondra Tennessee joined entering law students and Law Center faculty and staff in six volunteer initiatives across Houston. Community service projects at Houston Bar Association Veteran’s Clinic (DeBakey VA Medical Center), BakerRipley Leonel Castillo Community Center, Buffalo Bayou Park, Beauty’s Community Garden, the Houston Food Bank, and UH Pro Bono Expunction Clinic gave 1Ls an opportunity to sit in on meetings with veterans seeking legal advice, assist volunteer attorneys with screenings of lawful permanent residents applying for naturalization, assist citizens in need and those who cannot afford legal representation, assist with intake and eligibility evaluation process, and assist with gardening, trash and trail pickup, natural surface trail repairs, mulching, weeding, and making beds for planting. Dean Baynes introduced four new Law Center faculty (Professors Alissa Gomez, Hilary Reed, Irene Ten Cate, and Andrew Michaels) at a reception where over 50 Houston-area alumni, friends, and faculty of UHLC gathered to network and hear an update about the Law Center and the new building campaign. Dean Baynes hosted an Alumni & Friends reception on August 23 where Denver-area alumni and friends gathered for a cocktail and networking reception and to hear an update on Law Center activities, including progress on the new building campaign. The dean also met with Denver-area prospective building campaign donors during a private breakfast meeting on August 24.

Barbara Evans participated in teleconferences and writing efforts of the NIH LawSeq project during August. Her LawSeq-sponsored article (with co-author Pilar Ossorio) on “The Challenge of Regulating Clinical Decision Support Software After 21st Century Cures” appeared last month in a collection of works on the 21st Century Cures Act at 44 Am. J. Law & Med. 237-251 (2018). Her abstract on machine-learning software was accepted for the Yale Law School’s November symposium on The Law and Policy of Artificial Intelligence and Robotics. She will participate in a workshop of the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute next week to identify emerging ethical and legal issues in genomics. She is scheduled to address the New York Academy of Sciences on October 24. She will discuss privacy issues as part of a panel on New Paradigms for Neuromodulation with Downloadable Data at the Congress of Neurological Surgeons’ annual meeting, which is being held in Houston on October 6-10.

Victor Flatt was invited to present at the Vermont Law School’s annual symposium in September, this year entitled “Corporations and Climate Change.” Professor Flatt coordinated a project at the Center for Progressive Reform examining how various laws were shown to not be enforced properly during last year’s natural disasters, including Hurricane Harvey. The document entitled “From Surviving to Thriving” will be released on September 5. Professor Flatt appeared on Houston Matters on August 21 discussing the new Trump EPA proposal to regulate greenhouse gases at coal fired power plants. On August 27, the Houston Chronicle published an essay by Professor Flatt in its Gray Matters section entitled “How the Courts Are Saving Houston’s Air from the Trump EPA.” Professor Flatt has been asked to join the University of Houston Energy Scholars, and he has agreed to serve as editor on the new UH Energy White Paper series.

Stephanie Gallo will be co-presenting the webinar “When First Gen Meets iGen: What to Expect and How to Get Through” for the National Association for Law Placement (NALP) on September 27. During the 45-minute webinar, presenters will discuss the “First Gen” population (first generation students), the “iGen” population (also known as Generation Z), how the populations intersect and overlap, and how J.D. career advisors can effectively communicate with and present opportunities to First Gen and iGen students.

Janet Heppard was quoted, along with Professor of Practice Ryan Marquez, in both the Texas Lawyer and the Community Impact Newspapers in the Woodlands and in Houston discussing the new Hurricane Harvey Consumer Project within the Law Center Clinical Program. The project was made possible through a grant from the Greater Houston Community Foundation – Hurricane Harvey Relief Project.

Tracy Hester completed work on four publications this summer: a paper on “Transnational Liabilities in U.S. Courts for Environmental Injuries Abroad” for publication in the 2018 Rocky Mountain Mineral Law Annual Proceedings; an article on “Climate Tort Federalism” for an upcoming symposium issue of the Florida International University Law Review; final pre-publication work for an article with Professor Bret Wells on “Abandoned But Not Forgotten: Improperly Plugged and Orphaned Wells May Pose Serious Concerns for Shale Development” in the Michigan Journal of Environmental and Administrative Law; and the environmental law text Mastering Environmental Law with Professor Joel Mintz. Professor Hester spoke at the Houston Bar Association’s Environmental Law Section’s luncheon on May 16 about the ethical implications of using artificial intelligence software to provide legal advice on environmental matters, and he participated on June 11 in the University of Houston’s invitational workshop on the corporate social responsibility challenges facing energy producers. On June 14, he had the great pleasure of teaching two classes to the UH Pre-Law Pipeline students, and on July 25 he participated in the Greater Houston Partnership’s Environmental Advisory Committee meeting to discuss pending environmental issues in the next Texas Legislature session. On July 21, Professor Hester spoke at the Rocky Mountain Mineral Law Foundation’s annual conference in Victoria, British Columbia on transnational liability issues facing energy producers. While there, he met with the operators of (and toured) the world’s first direct air capture demonstration plant to remove large-scale quantities of carbon dioxide from the ambient atmosphere. Finally, he recently was nominated to become a regent of the American College of Environmental Lawyers (along with only 12 other environmental lawyers in the United States), and was named in the Best Lawyers of America for environmental law for the 13th year in a row.

Geoffrey Hoffman served as a volunteer attorney at St. Luke’s United Methodist Church DACA outreach with clinical supervising attorney Josephine Sorgwe. The outreach helped more than 50 immigrants and was cosponsored by HILSC. Professor Hoffman was interviewed by the Texas Standard regarding the upcoming hearing where Attorney General Ken Paxton along with attorneys general from six other states will present their case against DACA before U.S. District Judge Andrew Hanen in Houston. Audio is available here. Professor Hoffman was among the legal scholars who filed an amicus curiae brief with the Teller County, Colorado District Court in support of the plaintiff in Canseco Salinas v. Mikesell. Professor Hoffman was among more than 120 scholars and teachers of immigration law and administrative law who signed a letter to the U.S. Justice Department criticizing the Trump Administration’s move to use case quotas as a measure of immigration judges’ performance. Professor Hoffman attended the Mexican American Bar Association Texas (MABATx) Foundation’s annual scholarship luncheon on August 22 in downtown Houston. He authored a post for the ImmigrationProf Blog regarding the recent decision in Pereira v. Sessions, with thanks to Professor Lonny Hoffman and Clinical Lecturer Rosemary Vega for the input they provided for the piece. Professor Hoffman has been invited to serve on the inaugural Board of Editors of the AILA Law Journal, which is being launched by the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) and the legal publisher Fastcase next year.

Renee Knake spoke on two different discussion panels at the Southeastern Association of Law Schools (SEALS) Annual Meeting – “The Ethics of Legal Education” and “Perspectives on Gender Equality in the Future of the Legal Profession.” She also was invited by West Academic to speak at its Teaching to Engage Workshop.

Sapna Kumar presented her paper “Innovation Nationalism” at the 2018 International Association for the Advancement of Teaching and Research in Intellectual Property conference in Helsinki, Finland. She completed a one-month intensive intermediate German class at the Goethe Institute in Freiburg, Germany under a scholarship from the German Academic Exchange Service.

David Kwok presented a paper, “Benevolent Corporate Fraud,” at the Southeastern Association of Law Schools (SEALS) Annual Meeting.

Ellen Marrus and Thomas Oldham were listed as Amicus Curiae Counsel on a brief filed in the case of In the Interest of A.E., which is before the Texas Supreme Court.

Rick McElvaney published the 2018-2019 version of O’Connor’s Property Code Plus. This is the 14th year of publication.

Douglas Moll was interviewed for Peter Mahler’s Business Divorce Roundtable podcast. Professor Moll discussed his article, “Judicial Dissolution of the Limited Liability Company: A Statutory Analysis,” published in the Tennessee Journal of Business Law. Professor Moll also submitted the 2018 revisions for his treatise on Closely Held Corporations (LexisNexis, with Robert Ragazzo).

Sarah Morath published two articles over the summer: “Hydroponics: The End of Organic?” in Natural Resources and Environment, and “Private Governance and Animal Welfare” in the George Washington Journal of Energy and Environmental Law. She was interviewed by Vice Media for an article on the farm bill called “Inside the Most Important Battle in Congress You Aren't Paying Attention To” (available here). In addition, she was appointed to the Legal Writing Institute (LWI) and Association of Legal Writing Directors (ALWD) Scholarship Grants Committee. In August, she presented on a panel entitled “Persuasive Comment-Writing: Connecting with the Administrative Process and Policy Advocacy” at the Southeastern Association of Law Schools conference. She recently accepted an offer to publish “Our Plastic Problem” in the spring 2019 edition of Natural Resources and Environment.

Michael A. Olivas will receive the Association of American Law Schools’ Triennial Award for Lifetime Service to Legal Education and to the Legal Profession. The Award has only been given three times in the history of the organization, and will be presented to Professor Olivas at the first meeting of the AALS House of Representatives at the 2019 AALS Annual Meeting in New Orleans, Thursday, January 3, 2019 at 3:30 p.m.

Teddy Rave presented his article “Aggregation on Defendants’ Terms: Bristol-Myers Squibb and the Federalization of Mass Tort Litigation” (with Andrew Bradt, Berkeley Law) and accepted an award at the Southeastern Association of Law Schools (SEALS) Call For Papers Award Luncheon on August 6. He also participated in two other panels at SEALS. He presented a new paper he is working on with Andrew Bradt entitled “It’s Good to Have the Haves on Your Side: A Defense of Repeat Players in Aggregate Litigation” at the New and Established Voices in Civil Procedure panel on August 10. And he participated in the Revised Discovery Rules in Practice Discussion Group on August 11. Back in Houston, he attended a meeting of the Harris County Civic Engagement Initiative Policymaker Task Force on August 28.

Hilary Reed has been named to the Legal Writing Institute One-Day Conference Committee and is serving on the AALS LRWW Outreach Committee this year.

Sandra Guerra Thompson was recently named the Newell H. Blakely Chair by Dean Baynes. On August 28, she also gave an interview on the topic of prosecuting hate crimes in Texas which aired on KUHF’s Houston Matters radio show.

Rosemary Vega participated as faculty in the NITA/CILA “Advocacy in Immigration Matters” CLE held at South Texas College of Law on August 1-3.

Greg Vetter presented the Associate Dean’s orientation program for adjunct professors on August 14. In his capacity as Associate Dean, he represented the Law Center at the event on August 21 celebrating the Law Center’s new faculty hires. He represented the Law Center, IPIL, and the Honorable Nancy F. Atlas Intellectual Property American Inn of Court in Houston, at the weekend event in Austin, Texas, bringing together the three intellectual property inns of court in Texas for a summit, held on August 25-26. Finally, he presided over the IPIL Advisory Council dinner event of August 29, where Professor Lucas Osborn presented on the topic of intellectual property rights and 3D printing. Professor Osborn is with the Campbell University School of Law in North Carolina.

Amanda Watson published “Don’t Burn the Books, Read Them!” in the International Journal of Legal Information. The article is available here. She presented at the National Conference of the American Association of Law Libraries in Baltimore, Maryland on the topic, “Technology Competence in Legal Practice: Where Do Libraries Fit In?” She was named to the Advisory Board of ALLStar Benchmarking, and the Strategic Planning Committee of the Computing Services Special Interest Section of the American Association of Law Libraries.

Jacqueline Weaver taught a course on "Oil and Gas: Production, Pipelines and the Environment" at the Vermont Law School in July, midst the green hills of Vermont.

Bret Wells was a discussant on a panel that considered “Tax Reform in the Trump Era” at the Southeastern Association of Law Schools (SEALS) Annual Meeting on August 10. On the prior day, Professor Wells was a discussant on a panel on “Tax Compliance and Privacy” as part of the SEALS tax workshop series. Professor Wells’ article entitled “Reform of Section 355” was accepted for publication in the American University Law Review and is expected to be published in this fall semester. Professor Wells co-authored an essay with Professor Reuven Avi-Yonah (Michigan) entitled “The BEAT and Treaty Overrides: A Brief Response to Rosenbloom and Shaheen.” The essay is available here.