Albertus Accolades

October 2017

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 met with Judge Eleanor Ross ’94 and other UHLC alumni in Atlanta on October 2 during a networking lunch at McCormick and Schmick’s. He presented an update about the Law Center and discussed Judge Ross’ upcoming visit as a Sondock Jurist-in-Residence. On October 11, Dean Baynes and the Law Alumni Association hosted a Judicial Networking Breakfast held at Bracewell LLP. Dean Baynes welcomed The Honorable Gray Miller '78, and Houston area alumni judges who came together to congratulate judicial clerks from the Class of 2017. The group returned to the Law Center for an afternoon career panel discussion with Judge Miller. The Law Center’s annual scholarship donor and recipient recognition dinner was held at the Houston Club on October 17. In his opening and closing remarks Dean Baynes shared about the importance of gratitude and how important it is to thank our donors and celebrate our scholarship recipients. On October 19, Dean Baynes hosted a reception to rededicate engravings from the 1742 Atlas Coelestis that were donated to the Law Center in 1998 by Jan and Suzanne Baker as a result of discussions with former Dean Stephen Zamora. The reception also served to commemorate Professor Emeritus Zamora’s memory and the many contributions he made to the Law Center. The Atlas Coelestis is a three hundred year old collection of astronomical charts by Johann Gabriel Doppelmayr, a prominent eighteenth century astronomer, mathematician, and cartographer. On October 20, Dean Baynes gave introductory remarks at a conference in which the Law Center partnered with the Anti-Defamation League and co-sponsored a forum about the effects of immigration on America’s local communities. The distinguished panel experts included Law Center faculty Johnny Rex Buckles, Geoffrey Hoffman, and James Nelson as well as local faith leaders, and ADL Civil Rights National Counsel, Lauren Jones. On October 23, Dean Baynes introduced the second of this academic year’s four jurists at the Justice Ruby Kless Sondock Jurist-in-Residence Program. Judge Eleanor Ross ’94 is District Judge of the United States District Court for the Northern District of Georgia and former Judge of the DeKalb County State Court. The title of her presentation was, “Sense and Sensibility: Civility in the Courtroom.” On October 26, Dean Baynes attended the annual Welcome Dinner of the 22nd Annual Frankel Lecture. The legal debate topic this year focused on the right to counsel in Texas death penalty cases. Frankel Lecture panelists included Yale Professor Stephen Bright, Houston Chronicle reporter Lise Olsen, and University of Texas Law Professor Jordan Steiker. On October 27, Dean Baynes attended the 22nd Annual Frankel Lecture Series held this year at the J.W. Marriott downtown Houston. The lecture series promotes academic exchange by featuring prominent scholars from across the nation who bring the latest cutting edge legal debate directly to the Houston Law Center. It also provides the Houston Law Review with an opportunity to support and publish presentations by internationally recognized legal scholars. Dean Baynes also welcomed prospective students at the Law Center Admissions Open House and delivered a presentation highlighting the power of a UH legal education at the Law Center. Dean Baynes provided welcoming remarks to UH Law Center faculty, staff, and alumni at the kickoff celebration of Reunion Weekend 2017. Activities commenced with two CLE programs featuring Law Center faculty Professor Emerita Jacqueline Weaver and Professor David Dow. “Arbitration Happy Hour,” an evening of networking, food, and beverages with graduates at the Law Center Plaza followed. He also introduced and celebrated the hiring of five new professors that joined the Law Center family, Victor Flatt, Carmen Gonzalez, Christopher Heard, Blake Hudson, and Amanda Watson.

Emily Berman participated in a conference hosted by the Robert Strauss Center at the University of Texas Law School called “Courts at War.” An array of scholars, judges, attorneys, and other experts spent two days examining the issue of judicial accountability in national security and counterterrorism policies. Professor Berman spoke on a panel that sought to tease out lessons learned in the two specialized national security courts: the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court and the military tribunals at Guantanamo Bay.

Kate Brem was appointed to serve as a UHLC delegate to the Association of Legal Writing Directors (ALWD) professional association, and subsequently selected to serve on the ALWD’s Teaching Grants Committee. Recently, she was also invited to participate in a panel discussion titled “Best Practices in Designing Curricula and Teaching LLM Students” at the upcoming Legal Writing Institute’s Biennial Conference in June. Joining her in the panel discussion are legal writing faculty from Northwestern University’s Pritzker School of Law, Suffolk University Law School, and Florida Coastal School of Law.

Richard Dole is a co-author of four papers on SSRN this year, and is currently in the top ten percent of authors on SSRN by total new downloads within the last 12 months.

Barbara Evans resumed mental life after achieving excellence in the field of home demolition in post-Harvey September. On October 20, she discussed legal and ethical issues affecting individual access to subclinical quality genomic data at the “All Data is Health Data” symposium at Indiana University. She is presenting an article, Understanding HIPAA Access as a Civil Right, at the “Refining Privacy to Improve Health Outcomes” symposium sponsored by the Triangle Privacy Research Hub, Duke University, and UNC on Oct. 26-27. She participated in conference calls with the NIH LawSeqTM project Data Quality Working Group, which she co-leads, on Oct. 18, and has two works in progress for presentation at the November 16 LawSeq meeting at Vanderbilt. With co-authors Kristen Rosati and Naomi Jorgensen, she completed Sentinel Initiative Principles and Policies: HIPAA and Common Rule Compliance in the Sentinel Initiative, which is under review by FDA ahead of publication this Fall. She signed a contract with Cambridge University Press for Transparency in Health and Health Care in the United States: Law and Ethics (I. Glenn Cohen, Holly Fernandez Lynch, Barbara J. Evans, Carmel Shachar, eds.). She submitted a chapter on the interplay of privacy and transparency in health care for that book. In late October, MIT Press released Specimen Science, in which Professor Evans and Eric M. Meslin have a chapter on public benefit standards for unconsented uses of biospecimens in research, and Cambridge University Press released Governing Medical Knowledge Commons (Katherine Strandburg, Brett Frischmann & Michael Madison, eds.), in which Professor Evans has a chapter on genomic data commons. Nature’s Genetics in Medicine journal published her article (with Gail P. Jarvik), Impact of HIPAA’s Minimum Necessary Standard on Genomic Data Sharing, online ahead of print.

Victor Flatt delivered the ethics lecture to the Texas State Society of Professional Engineers on October 19. He also published an op-ed in the Houston Chronicle (along with Rob Verchick, Loyola New Orleans) entitled “Climate Change Denial is No Longer an Option.” Professor Flatt has been interviewed twice in October on Houston Matters concerning issues relating to the San Jacinto hazardous waste site in Houston. He has been quoted in multiple news articles about various matters concerning the EPA, Texas, and environmental law generally in October. He attended and spoke at the steering committee meeting for the Union of Concerned Scientists. He has been asked to participate in an ABA webinar on Environmental Justice and Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria.

Jim Hawkins presented his paper Consumers as Sellers at the Property Implications of the Sharing Economy Workshop at Pennsylvania State University on October 6.

Christopher Heard and Rick McElvaney represented the UHLC Clinical Legal Education Program at the Emancipation Economic Development Council’s second annual National Night Out event on October 3 at Trinity United Methodist Church in the Third Ward.

Tracy Hester presented his draft paper on Climate Tort Federalism at a symposium on Environmental Federalism at Florida International University in Miami on October 20. His paper will be published in this year's symposium issue of the FIU Law Review. On October 9 through 12, he participated in the Climate Engineering Conference 17 in Berlin where he moderated a panel on national and regional governance approaches to climate engineering (where he also participated in a demonstration negotiation over a simulated international incident). Hester welcomed Roger Martella, the global General Counsel – Environment for The General Electric Company on October 25 as the Fall EENR Center Speaker on environmental issues. On October 24, Hester participated in recording a Briefcase Moment with Dean Baynes about environmental liability for damages after Hurricane Harvey, helped plan the upcoming 1st Environmental Conference for the Center of International Energy Law, and joined a presentation by former Colorado Governor Bill Ritter on future energy issues for the Houston Advanced Research Consortium. On September 29, Hester met with the Houston Local Emergency Preparedness Committee to discuss the preparation of a Disaster Handbook to help first responders deal with environmental and safety legal questions during emergency response actions. Last, he got to take his Environmental Law in Oil & Gas class for a fascinating tour of a working test drilling rig operated by Weatherford on September 29, where they met Weatherford’s global sustainability director for an extended lunch lecture and discussion. 

Geoffrey Hoffman appeared on the Texas Standard radio show to discuss a list of immigration measures proposed by President Trump. Audio is available here. Professor Hoffman spoke at the UHLC-ADL event titled, “The Effects of Immigration on America’s Local Communities” and moderated the panel with Professors Johnny Buckles and James Nelson. Professor Hoffman spoke via Skype at the University of Maryland International Law’s Fall 2017 Symposium: The U.S. Mexico Relationship in International Law and Politics. He was interviewed by on the Attorney General’s statements regarding alleged fraud in asylum cases as well as a case brought by ACLU concerning an undocumented juvenile’s constitutional rights and abortion.  The article from Politifact is available here. Professor Hoffman was interviewed by Dean Baynes for Briefcase on DACA, available here. Professor Hoffman was interviewed by the Texas Standard radio show on KUT Austin regarding President Trump’s policy wish list and what is means for a legislative fix for DACA recipients, available here.

Renee Knake spoke at BYU Law School as part of The Future of Law Lecture Series.

David Kwok discussed his paper Regulating the Marginal Liar at UHLC’s White Collar Crime Workshop, presented by the Criminal Justice Institute. He was also the organizer of the workshop.

Rick McElvaney and Christopher Heard represented the UHLC Clinical Legal Education Program at the Emancipation Economic Development Council’s second annual National Night Out event on October 3 at Trinity United Methodist Church in the Third Ward. Professor McElvaney appeared on a PILO Panel to advise students on Public Interest careers with Geoff Hoffman on October 5 at UHLC. He spoke at the Houston Pro Bono Committee CLE about Hurricane Harvey related consumer and landlord/tenant issues on October 11. He was also quoted in an article in the Houston Chronicle, discussing the more than 5,000 complaints filed with the Texas Attorney General’s office against hundreds of gas stations, hotels and grocery stores, accusing them of selling such essentials as gasoline or water at exorbitant prices.

Raymond Nimmer was awarded the “Lawyer of the Year” in Texas in his specialty areas by the Best Lawyers, a peer voted system in which only one lawyer receivers that accolade each year. He was also named “Lawyer of the Year” in Houston in the area of Technology Law by vote of his peers, a recognition that is given to only one lawyer each year in their designated specialty. This recognition as “Lawyer of the Year” in different specialties has occurred four times over the last five years in several different specialties. Professor Nimmer was also awarded a “Life Time Achievement Award” recognition by the Marquis Who’s Who in America and Who’s Who in International, reflecting many years of achievement and excellence as judged by that prestigious publication. He presented several speeches including a speech in New York on “Online Copyright Balance.” He wrote updates on seven books and a new edition of his jointly authored treatise on Modern Licensing Law. He published several articles, including an article in the Commercial Law Journal entitled, The Interesting Case of Licensing: First Sales and Exhaustion – Worlds Where the UCC Does Not Apply to Goods.

J. Thomas Oldham has been asked by the editor of the English journal Family Law to write a short article on a bill being considered by the English Parliament that would significantly change the economic rules for divorce. The article will compare this bill to the prevailing rules in the U.S. Professor Oldham will be submitting the article in the next month or two.

Michael A. Olivas has been reappointed to the Editorial Board of Journal of Mexican Studies/Estudios Mexicanos, published by UC MEXUS, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, and University of California Press. He was also re-appointed to chair the AALS Committee on Academic Freedom and Tenure (CAFT); this is the third time he has served in this capacity.

Kourtney James Perry, the Career Development Office's Director of Employer Relations and Development, published the article How to Develop an Employer Outreach Strategy for Emerging Legal Careers in 4 Simple Steps in the NALP Bulletin (see pages 12-14).

Theodore Rave presented his article Aggregation on Defendants’ Terms: Bristol-Myers Squibb and the Federalization of Mass Tort Litigation at the Third Annual Civil Procedure Workshop, held at the University of Arizona Rogers College of Law on October 6. And on October 12, he participated in a Gerrymandering Q&A sponsored by the UHLC student chapter of ACS on the Supreme Court’s partisan gerrymandering case, Gill v. Whitford. His article, The Information-Forcing Role of the Judge in Multidistrict Litigation (with Andrew Bradt) came out this month in 105 California Law Review 1259 (2017). The article is available here.

Jessica L. Roberts had a very productive couple of months. The Michigan Law Review accepted the final version of her book review, Nudge-Proof: Distributive Justice & the Ethics of Nudging, reviewing Cass Sunstein, Ethics of Influence (Cambridge University Press 2016), for publication this spring. The University of Pennsylvania Law Review Online accepted her essay, co-authored with UHLC 2L Brittainie Zinsmeyer, Fit to Play in the NBA? Reconciling the NBA Collective Bargaining Agreement with the Americans with Disabilities Act, for publication in November. She presented her forthcoming paper with the Notre Dame Law Review, Progressive Genetic Ownership, via videoconference at the inaugural Junior Faculty Forum for Law and STEM at the University of Pennsylvania Law School. Her post on Baylor College of Medicine’s Policywise blog discussing the gap in postpartum medical care (available here) has over 1,200 views. And the symposium she hosted last November in Houston for her book on healthism, co-authored with Elizabeth Weeks, has just been sent to print by the Marquette Benefits & Social Welfare Law Review. Of course, her greatest accomplishment in October was giving birth to her and Dave’s beautiful daughter Lucy J. Fagundes. Jessica is excited to rejoin the UHLC family when she returns from maternity leave in January.

Robert Schuwerk has sent out the updates for his 1,800-plus-pages portion of the Handbook of Texas Lawyer and Judicial Ethics, which he co-authors with UHLC alumna Lillian B. Hardwick. The 2018 version will be the sixteenth edition of their collaboration.

Lauren Simpson shared her editing expertise with students enrolled in the Fort Bend Independent School District’s Gifted & Talented Mentorship Program, who visited the Law Center on October 18. Dean Leonard Baynes welcomed the students and emphasized the importance of the mentorship program and strong writing; Professor Simpson showed the students how to edit their thesis papers effectively. Professor Simpson has also continued her naturalist community service. On October 21, at the invitation of Keep Friendswood Beautiful, she gave a presentation entitled “Easy Tips for Gardening with Native Plants in your Own Backyard,” explaining the importance of wildscaping and how to convert a home garden into a wildlife habitat. Additionally, Professor Simpson completed Level 1 of the Native Landscape Certification Program (NLCP), offered by the Houston Chapter of the Native Plant Society of Texas. The NLCP “is a series of day-long classes that teaches best practices for native plant landscaping---including wildlife habitat gardening.”

Greg Vetter was an invited presenter for the University of Tulsa College of Law faculty colloquia on Friday, September 29, 2017, presenting the topic: Regulating the Software License in Health Information Technology. He represented the Law Center and IPIL at the October 3, 2017 dinner of The Honorable Nancy F. Atlas Intellectual Property American Inn of Court in Houston, Texas. He also presided as vice-chair at the 33rd Annual Institute on Intellectual Property Law, held by IPIL and the Houston Intellectual Property Law Association (HIPLA) on October 5-7, 2017, in Galveston, Texas. In his capacity as Associate Dean, he represented the Law Center at the UHLC Scholarship Dinner on October 17, 2017; and, on Tuesday, October 24, 2017, he presented an award from the Law Center to Texas Supreme Court Justice Eva Guzman as part of an event honoring the Justice held by the Pan American Round Table of Houston.   

Bret Wells testified before the US Senate Finance Committee at its hearing on International Tax Reform on October 3. The hearing can be viewed here and Professor Wells’ written testimony is available here. On October 10, Professor Wells gave a presentation on Business Tax Reform to the Houston YIN Chapter of the International Fiscal Association.

Kellen Zale's article, Compensating City Council, 70 Stan. L. Rev. _ (forthcoming 2018), was selected for the New Voices in Legislation Program at the AALS Annual Meeting in January 2018. She presented a work-in-progress, Expanding the Right to Share, at Penn State Law School's Workshop on the Property Implications of the Sharing Economy on October 6. She presented another work-in-progress, Part-time Government, at the State & Local Government Law Annual Works-in-Progress Conference at Golden Gate University on October 21.