Albertus Accolades

March 2017

Editor, Katy Stein Badeaux • 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 gave an overview of the Law Center at the law firm of Morgan, Lewis, & Bockius on February 1. On February 3, Dean Baynes gave welcoming remarks for Touchdown! A Sports CLE Program and moderated a panel on social issues and sports hosted by UHLC Alumni Relations during pre-Super Bowl 2017 events. Next, Dean Baynes gave welcoming remarks and introduced Provost Short at a ribbon cutting ceremony to celebrate the opening of the Law Center’s new and expanded clinical office space.  Dean Baynes gave opening remarks at the Houston Business and Tax Law Journal’s 17th Annual Symposium held at the ExxonMobil Campus on February 10. Dean Baynes presented the Law Center’s five-year "Implementation of the Strategic Vision" to UHLC students, staff, and faculty on February 14, during two sessions of Discussions with the Dean. The next day Dean Baynes gave welcoming remarks at the Black History Month Celebration featuring Professor Paul Butler, author of Let’s Get Free: A Hip Hop Theory of Justice, and moderated a panel of commentators including Dr. James Conyers, David Dow, U.S. District Judge Vanessa Gilmore, and Michael Olivas. Finally, on February 23, Dean Baynes gave welcoming remarks at the First Annual EENR Conference and moderated a panel of general counsel heading up energy legal departments.

Janet Beck spoke at the UHLC Know Your Rights Workshop on immigration courts, detention, minors and credible fear interviews. Janet Beck, along with UHLC Immigration Clinic student Edwin Villa (who spoke on SB 4) and other panelists, made a presentation to a Spanish-speaking audience of about 60 people at Christ Church Cathedral. Under the auspices of Professors Heppard and G. Hoffman, Janet Beck met with the Director of the Centro de Proteccion Consular al Migrante Hondureno to discuss possible presentations about immigration laws by students (under the supervision of the UHLC Immigration Clinic lawyers) that would benefit the Honduran community.

Robert Clark published “Electronic Surveillance: An Annotated Bibliography” in the Fall 2016 issue of the SWALL Bulletin (newsletter of the Southwestern Association of Law Libraries).

Richard Dole’s paper, Preemption of Other State Law by the Uniform Trade Secrets Act, has been listed twice on SSRN's Top Ten download list for: PSN: International Trade Regulation (Topic).

David R. Dow gave the keynote address at the Utah Valley University's tenth annual Law and Justice Conference in Orem, Utah. He spoke on "The Role of Narrative in Capital Sentencing."

Barbara Evans spoke at a Nuffield Council of Bioethics event on March 1 and at King’s College London on March 2. She addressed the Cardozo Law School’s Intellectual Property + Information Law Colloquium on March 20 and will speak at NYU’s Innovation Policy Colloquium on March 30. She will be skyping into a Master’s course on CRISPR-Cas9 gene editing technology at Institut des sciences et industries du vivant et de l'environnement (AgroParisTech) later this month. Professor Evans co-chairs the Subcommittee on Privacy, Confidentiality, and Security of the National Committee on Vital and Health Statistics, which conducted hearings on de-identification of protected health information under HIPAA last Summer and published its recommendations on February 23. Biotechnology Products and Opportunities to Enhance Capabilities of the Biotechnology Regulatory System, which was tasked with preparing the independent assessment of future biotech products pursuant to the Executive Office of the President’s July 2, 2015 memorandum on modernization of the U.S. Coordinated Framework for Regulation of Biotechnology. The Nature journal, Genetics in Medicine, has accepted her article, “Impact of HIPAA’s Minimum Necessary Standard on Genomic Data Sharing,” co-authored with Gail P. Jarvik, M.D., Ph.D., Head of the Division of Medical Genetics at University of Washington. Professor Evans launched work this week on an FDA-funded study of privacy protections related to FDA’s postmarketing drug safety data infrastructure.

Whitney Heard completed “Cougar Ally Training” (with Lauren Simpson). Cougar Ally Training assists faculty, staff, and students in increasing their awareness of the issues that Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender people face and prepares Cougar Allies to respond knowledgably and sensitively to expressed needs.

Tracy Hester was invited to speak at Carnegie Institute about carbon removal technologies and developments in climate engineering governance law in New York City on February 16, and then traveled to Austin on February 21 to participate in the Shale Energy Task Force meeting of The Academy of Medicine, Engineering and Science of Texas. He moderated a panel on cross-border legal issues for the EENR Center’s North American Energy Summit on February 23, and subsequently joined a dinner meeting on February 28 with the Canadian Consular General and Dean Ian Holloway of Calgary University Law School to celebrate our International Energy Lawyers joint degree program along with Dean Baynes, Dean TennesseeDean Regan and Professor Wells. He met with the Houston Advanced Research Center and Dr. Katherine Hayhoe of Texas Tech University on March 8 to discuss possible approaches to forecast the specific impacts of climate change on the Houston region (and their legal implications). Last, Hester travelled to Washington, DC to review the effectiveness of NAFTA’s environmental side agreement at a conference sponsored by the international Commission for Environmental Cooperation, and then spoke again on March 17 on potential environmental legal issues created by reopening NAFTA at a scholars workshop hosted by the North American Conference of Legal Educators. For fun, he welcomed the Law Center's foreign LLMs for an international potluck dinner at his house on March 5 organized by the unsinkable Peggy Fortner.

Geoffrey Hoffman organized and spoke at the Know Your Rights Workshop held in the Hendricks Heritage Room attended by UHLC students, UH main campus students, local non-profits, as well as local attorneys. Professor Hoffman was interviewed by Houston Public Media regarding President Trump’s first address to Congress. The video clip is available here. On March 9, Professor Hoffman was quoted in an article reported by Bloomberg commenting on President Trump’s revised travel ban. Next, Professor Hoffman was quoted in a Daily Cougar article about Texas Senate Bill 4, which would penalize public universities that do not cooperate with federal immigration requests. Hoffman was interviewed for an NBC News piece on what makes a municipality a so-called “sanctuary city,” and was a signatory to a letter sent to President Trump by a group of law school professors demanding rescission of section 9(a) of Executive Order 13768, also regarding sanctuary cities. Professor Hoffman additionally joined law professors representing unaccompanied immigrant youth as amici in a brief filed in Flores v. Sessions. He also joined fellow law professors in another amicus brief, filed in Commonwealth v. Lunn, a case concerning whether Massachusetts can keep individuals issued ICE detainers in its custody — even after criminal charges are dismissed. On March 29, Professor Hoffman will be a guest panelist at a Houston Bar Association Lunch ‘n’ Learn CLE. The topic is “The Executive Travel Ban, the Constitution, and the Balance of Powers.”

Craig Joyce was reappointed to his 18th term on the Editorial Board of H-LAW. H-LAW is a vehicle of the American Society for Legal History, advancing the discussion network of Humanities Social Sciences On-Line. 

Rick McElvaney taped a Briefcase segment with Dean Baynes about Landlord and Tenant issues in Texas. He also appeared on a ABC13-Houston interview regarding a dispute between a consumer and a car dealership. 

Doug Moll was asked by Representative Jessica Farrar to submit a letter in support of House Bill 744. HB 744 would amend section 38.001 of the Texas Civil Practice & Remedies Code to allow the winning party in a breach of contract dispute to recover attorney’s fees from any defendant business organization. Section 38.001 presently allows recovery only against an “individual or corporation” defendant. 

Sarah Morath accepted an offer to publish her article Regulating Food Waste in the Texas Environmental Law Journal. She presented her paper Animal Welfare and Private Governance at the 2017 J.B. and Maurice C. Shapiro Symposium: Private Environmental Governance at George Washington University Law School in March. The symposium was sponsored by The George Washington University Law School, School of Business, Institute for Corporate Responsibility; Vanderbilt University Law School, Department of Sociology; and Environmental Law Institute. Articles will appear in George Washington’s Journal of Energy and Environmental Law. As an editorial board member of the peer-reviewed journal Legal Writing: The Journal of the Legal Writing Institute, Professor Morath reviewed several articles submitted for publication.

Michael A. Olivas is acting as if he never left the Law Center, as he participated in several recent UHLC and other UH programs: he spoke at a UHLC CLE on immigration issues and the Super Bowl; he commented upon rock and roll and hip hop legal issues in response to Paul Butler’s UHLC Lecture; and delivered the Keynote Address at the Arte Publico Press Annual Banquet (“The Accidental Historian”). He also addressed the Texas House and Senate Appropriations Committees on higher education funding, and, while he was in Austin, gave the Annual Meeting Keynote Address to the Texas Council of Faculty Senates on “Sanctuary” Campuses and college immigration issues. He also briefed over a dozen reporters on a variety of entertainment law, higher education law, and immigration law developments.

D. Theodore Rave attended a meeting at the Mexican Consulate of their open-ended working group on legal matters on March 17.

In March, Jessica L. Roberts wrote two blog entries on HR 1313, a workplace wellness program bill (available here and here) and was interviewed by Wired. On March 21, she gave a talk to students and faculty at Ohio Northern entitled “Precision Medicine & the Law.” On March 30, she will attend a lunch for authors who have published in the Pennsylvania Law Review at the University of Pennsylvania School of Law. The Michigan Law Review accepted “Nudge-Proof,” her review of Cass Sunstein’s book The Ethics of Influence, for publication in its upcoming book review issue.

Lauren Simpson and Professor Katherine Brem have accepted an invitation to conduct a half-day training in May on legal writing for attorneys served by the American Bar Association’s Children’s Immigration Law Academy (CILA) in Houston. The training will offer practical instruction on writing effectively for Texas state courts in SAPCR proceedings, Immigration Courts, and the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services. CILA provides trainings, technical assistance, and other resources to attorneys across Texas representing children in their immigration matters. Professor Simpson and Professor Whitney Heard recently completed “Cougar Ally Training.” Cougar Ally Training assists faculty, staff, and students in increasing their awareness of the issues that Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender people face and prepares Cougar Allies to respond knowledgably and sensitively to expressed needs. Professor Simpson continues her community service of educating about pollinators, their conservation, and the wildscapes supporting them. On March 4, she gave a presentation entitled “Easy Tips for Gardening for Wildlife in your Own Backyard,” which explained the importance of wildscaping and discussed how to transform a home landscape into a pollinator-friendly wildscape.  The program was sponsored by the Oak Forest Homeowner’s Association and the Oak Forest Community of Gardeners. Professor Simpson has also accepted two invitations for local April events: first, giving a tour of her gardens with a short discussion of pollinator-friendly wildscaping (Forest West Garden Club), and second, hosting an educational table on native bees and how to support them in home gardens (Garden Oaks “Spring Fling on Sue Barnett” event). Additionally, Professor Simpson will speak in May at the Texas Pollinator Powwow, an annual pollinator-conservation conference. Her presentation, entitled “How I Came to Love the Syrphid Fly—from the Journal of a Citizen Scientist,” will introduce the audience to this family of pollinating fly, explain its important role in pollination and garden health, and showcase its species’ beauty through photographs from Professor Simpson’s own home wildlife-habitat gardens. Finally, Professor Simpson has joined the Native Plant Society of Texas–Houston Chapter’s Wildscapes Workshop 2017 working group.

Sandra Guerra Thompson co-authored, with Adjunct Professor Robert Wicoff, a chapter in a book entitled, Wrongful Convictions and the DNA Revolution: Twenty-Five Years of Freeing the Innocent (Cambridge University Press, Daniel Medwed, ed.). She also co-authored a symposium article, with Visiting Professor Nicole Casarez, entitled Building the Infrastructure for “Justice through Science”: The Texas Model, which was published by the West Virginia Law Review. Her monthly newsletter Pretrial Justice Update discussed major bail reform legislation pending in the Texas legislature, and the newsletter was extensively quoted in the Texas criminal justice blog, Grits for Breakfast, on March 8 as well as in the Houston Chronicle, on Houston Public Radio, and the blog. She attended the press conference regarding the bail reform bill held at the Texas Supreme Court on March 9. On March 7, she spoke on bail reform at a round table discussion at the National Black Law Students Association. She completed work as chair of the Harris County District Attorney’s Evidence Integrity Committee, submitting the committee’s report on March 13. She attended the Board of Director’s meeting of the Houston Forensic Science Center on March 10, and also participated in a “Forensic Fridays” roundtable at the UH Psychology Department. On February 17, she was quoted in a Texas Observer article regarding an eyewitness identification in a criminal case. She has also been named to the Advisory Board of the Public Law Archive at Medeniyet University in Istanbul, Turkey, where she gave a lecture on eyewitness identification in 2012.

Gina Warren’s article, Small Hydropower, Big Potential: Considerations for Responsible Global Development, was published in the Idaho Law Review, 53 Idaho L. R. 149 (2017), which is a peer reviewed publication. Professor Warren was also invited to present her hydropower research at the XVIth World Water Congress in Cancun, Mexico, May 29-June 2, 2017. 

Jacqueline Weaver received the Deans Award from the Institute for Energy Law at its annual conference in March. The award recognizes her years of research and writing in oil and gas law. She delivered a luncheon speech to the institute in the “A Good Regulator As Industry’s Best Friend,” drawing on many examples of how environmental and safety regulation has made the industry cleaner, safer, and more productive and efficient. She also submitted the annual updates to two volumes of Smith and Weaver, The Texas Law of Oil and Gas, to the publisher.

Bret Wells’ article entitled International Tax Reform By Means of Corporate Integration” was published at 20 Florida Tax Rev. 71 (2016).  Professor Wells presented his views expressed in this paper last May in a hearing held by the Senate Finance Committee on international tax reform where Professor Wells was called as an invited witness. On February 21, Professor Wells gave a presentation entitled “Section 385 Traps and Pitfalls” to the Austin Tax Study Group.