Faculty Focus is a monthly publication documenting the activities, accomplishments, and honors of the University of Houston Law Center Faculty.


April 2015


Editor, Katy Stein Badeaux, kastein@central.uh.edu


Previous editions of Faculty Focus can be accessed here.



Janet Beck received the 2015 Distinguished Faculty Scholar Award in the clinical faculty category from the University of Houston Women and Gender Resource Center for her efforts on behalf of women in need and her commitment to gender equality. In March, the UHLC immigration clinic was selected as the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) Pro Bono Hero for the Central Region. In April, Professor Beck spoke in Spanish on a live hour-long panel that was broadcast on Univision/Channel 45. The topic was Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), Extended DACA and the Deferred Action for Parent Accountability (parents of US citizens and Lawful permanent residents) and the lawsuit surrounding the latter two.  She also supervised 8 Immigration Clinic students at a Naturalization workshop sponsored by Neighborhood Centers, Catholic Charities, NALEO and Bonding Against Diversity. Under Professor Beck’s supervision, the students helped more than 60 people with their naturalization applications during which time they analyzed statutory eligibility and advised people on required documentation. 


Erma Bonadero has been selected to serve on the Elections Committee of the Clinical Legal Education Association (CLEA).


Zack Bray's article RLUIPA and the Limits of Religious Institutionalism was recently accepted for publication in the Utah Law Review. Another of Zack's works-in-progress, The Fragile Future of ASR and Desalination, was also recently accepted for this summer's Junior Environmental Law Professors Workshop at the University of Washington. Professor Bray also received a 2015-2016 University of Houston Teaching Excellence Award.


Barbara Evans has been invited to serve on the Institute of Medicine’s Committee on Accessible and Affordable Hearing Health Care for Adults, which meets in Washington on April 27 to launch a year-long study with sponsorship of six federal agencies and a hearing loss advocacy organization. The NIH recently awarded Year 4 of her Clinical Sequencing in Cancer legal studies grant and she has been invited to collaborate this summer with researchers at other institutions on several studies funded by the Greenwall Foundation, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, and the National Human Genome Research Institute. She visited New Jersey last month as Seton Hall’s Distinguished Health Law Scholar for 2015 and gave a lecture series. She has been invited to speak at Harvard Medical School’s first Precision Medicine Conference in June and will give plenary talks on both days of the fifth International Summit on the Future of Health Privacy at Georgetown. She is first author of a study appearing next month in a leading medical journal and has two law articles, one sole-authored and one co-authored, in copy edits and due out soon. She has a book chapter about regulatory issues in prospective medicine in galleys at Columbia University Press and another chapter about consumer protection in genomic testing that began copy edits at Johns Hopkins Press. 


Tracy Hester traveled to New Delhi on March 14 through 21 to meet with the National Green Tribunal, the Indian Law Institute, the National Law University of Delhi and Galgotias Law School to discuss possible international student internships and scholarship exchange programs.  On March 26-27, he spoke in Washington, D.C. on the use of advanced remote sensing technologies for enforcement under the Clean Air Act at the Shapiro Environmental Law Symposium sponsored by GWU Law School and EPA.  He also participated in EPA's National Advisory Committee meeting on NAFTA’s Commission for Environmental Cooperation on April 16-17 in Washington, D.C.


Geoffrey Hoffman participated as a panel speaker in a UH faculty teaching seminar, “Touching Students’ Lives.” Professor Hoffman was one of 2 invited speakers at the panel organized by Dr. Dale Rude of the Bauer Business School.  Also in attendance was colleague and former student Veronica Bernal, Clinical Supervising Fellow of the UHLC immigration clinic. In early April, Professor Geoffrey Hoffman and immigration clinic faculty Janet Beck, Susham Modi, and Veronica Bernal spoke at a UH event entitled, "Daring to DREAM: Perspectives on DACA, DAPA, and the future for undocumented youth and their families," a panel discussion and Q&A on current topics in immigration policy. The event was sponsored by Youth Empowerment Alliance and UH's Center for Immigration Research. On April 10, 2015, Professor Hoffman spoke on a panel at a full-day seminar co-hosted by the UH Law Center and the National Immigration Project on Criminal and Immigration Bars to Humanitarian Relief. Over 100 were in attendance in addition to nationally recognized speakers. Professor Hoffman’s co-authored article entitled, Immigration Appellate Litigation Post-Deportation: A Humanitarian Conundrum was featured as the immigration article of the day by the ImmigrationProf Blog. The article was additionally cited by LexisNexis® Legal Newsroom-Immigration Law. In April, Professor Hoffman received a 2015-2016 University of Houston Teaching Excellence Award. Additionally, Professor Hoffman has been invited to serve on the executive committee for the Houston Immigration Collaborative.


Craig Joyce began work on the Tenth Edition of his Copyright Law casebook and on the 2015 Cumulative Supplement to the Ninth Edition, which appeared in 2013.


Sapna Kumar presented her article Regulating Digital Trade at the University of Illinois IP Colloquium and the Marquette IP Colloquium. Her article was listed on SSRN’s Top Ten download list for Legislation and Regulations.


Jessica Mantel spoke at The People's Law School, hosted by the Law Center, about the Affordable Care Act and health insurance on April 4. On April 16, Professor Mantel spoke at the conference "'Obamacare' The Affordable Care Act Five Years Later:  Its Impact on Communities of Color," sponsored by the Texas Southern University Thurgood Marshall School of Law. Her talk addressed how the Affordable Care Act encourages providers to address social determinants of health.


Ellen Marrus presented at the John Marshall School of Law in April for their symposium on Juvenile De-Incarceration that was co-sponsored by the National Juvenile Defender Center. Her talk was entitled What’s Race Got to do With It? Just About Everything: Challenging Implicit Racial Bias to Reduce Minority Youth Incarceration in America and will appear in an upcoming volume of the John Marshall Law Journal. Professor Marrus’ article Education in Black America: Is It the New Jim Crow? was recently published in the Arkansas Law Review Wiley E. Branton Symposium issue. The article was based on a presentation made at the National Bar Association’s 25th Anniversary Wiley E. Branton Symposium co-sponsored by the University of Houston Law Center and St. John’s Law School in October 2014.


Douglas Moll was elected to the American Law Institute in April.  His solicited article, Shareholder Oppression and the New Louisiana Business Corporation Act, 60 Loyola Law Review 461 (2014), will be republished by the Houston Business & Tax Journal Professor Moll was also invited to speak at the 2015 LLCs, LPs and Partnerships CLE in July in Austin.


Michael A. Olivas delivered the Hon. Clifford Scott Green Distinguished Lecture at Temple U’s law school, on immigration and higher education. He published The Growing Role of Immigration Law in Universal Higher Education: Case Studies of the United States and the EU in 37 Houston Journal of International Law 353 (2015), and delivered a paper at Michigan State University Law School, on Who Gets to Control Civil Rights Case Management? An Essay on Purposive Organizations and Litigation Agenda-Building, which will appear in the Michigan State Law Review.


D. Theodore Rave’s article, When Peace Is Not the Goal of a Class Action Settlement, was selected for presentation at the 2015 Yale/Stanford/Harvard Junior Faculty Forum on June 16-17 at Harvard Law School.


Jessica L. Roberts received the Provost’s Certificate of Excellence for her consulting work on the Football Players’ Health Study at Harvard and the University’s Teaching Excellence Award. On April 17, she presented her essay “An Alternate Theory of Hobby Lobby v. Burwell” at the 2015 University of Connecticut Insurance Law Center and Connecticut Insurance Law Journal Symposium: The Affordable Care Act Turns Five.  The essay is forthcoming in the Connecticut Insurance Law Journal in 2016.  On April 10, she gave a presentation called "Disability Law Basics: What Parents Need to Know When the Systems Are Struggling” at the Third Annual LEND Conference in the Medical Center.  On March 27, she lectured on "Disability Law for Health-Care Professionals” to a group of graduate students in the LEND trainee program.  


Robert Schuwerk's co-authored three-volume Handbook of Texas Lawyer and Judicial Ethics 2015 (Thomson Reuters 2015) has just become available in fine bookstores everywhere. His co-author, Lillian B. Hardwick, is a graduate of the Law Center.


Sandra Guerra Thompson was interviewed on March 30 by Fox 26 News regarding a proposed Texas bill that would abolish the "pick a pal" method of selecting Grand Juries.  Video of the interview is available at: http://www.myfoxhouston.com/story/28638695/eye-on-the-legislature. On April 2, PR Newswire published a press release featuring Professor Thompson’s new book, Cops in Lab Coats. This item was picked up and published by multiple sources.  Professor Thompson was interviewed by KHOU on April 5 regarding Houston crime data for the first quarter of this year that showed that police were investigating 73 homicides (compared to 46 homicides for the first quarter last year, an increase of 59%). The video clip is available at

http://www.khou.com/story/news/crime/2015/04/03/houston-homicides-spike-in-first-quarter/25274563/. On April 8, Professor Thompson and Professor Jessica Mantel co-authored an op-ed in the Austin American-Statesman about how Medicaid expansion in Texas could reduce the number of mentally ill people in jail, while bring relief to local and state taxpayers. In April Professor Thompson also received the UH Distinguished Leadership in Teaching Excellence Award.


Greg Vetter presented at the Texas A&M University School of Law on the topic of Open Source and Free Software: Collaborative Licensing, Communal Development and Commercial Considerations, for the Center for Law and Intellectual Property (CLIP) on February 10.  He also presented his forthcoming article at the faculty colloquia for the Texas A&M University School of Law:  Are Prior User Rights Good for Software?, on February 18. Additionally, for the Center for Law and Intellectual Property (CLIP), he moderated a discussion of the patent law topics in the film Flash of Genius, on March 3.  He was an invited panelist by the South Texas College of Law for the topic:  Net Neutrality: A Discussion of the FCC’s Open Internet Rules of the Road, held on March 9, 2015. He was an invited panelist for the Twelfth Annual 2015 IP and Social Justice Continuing Legal Education Seminar, by the Institute for Intellectual Property and Social Justice (IIPSJ) at Howard University School of Law, for the topic:  How Intellectual Property Scholars Can Impact the Law, held on March 13.  He was an invited panelist for the topic Software’s Interface with the Law for a presentation at the SMU Dedman School of Law, held on April 15.


Jacqueline Weaver was named the AIPN Professor in Residence for 2015-2016.  The AIPN is the Association of International Petroleum Negotiators; it drafts many model contracts used around the world. The Professor in Residence award grants free registration to AIPN conferences for a year, with all travel covered. It is intended to strengthen the ties between academics and practitioners in the international oil and gas business.


Bret Wells presented “Corporate Inversions and US Tax Policy” at SMU Dedman School of Law’s Tax Colloquium Series on March 3, 2015. 


On April 25, the Law Library presented the CLE program "Essential Legal Information & Technology for Texas Lawyers" at the Law Center. Spencer Simons talked about Texas bill tracking, legislative history, and administrative agency research. Mon Yin Lung discussed free online resources for lawyers. Chris Dykes and Emily Lawson's presentation introduced attendees to special mobile device applications for lawyers. The free program, approved for three hours of CLE credit, was targeted at recent graduates and solo and small firm practitioners.