Leonard Baynes welcomed guests at the NCAA Debate held at the Law Center on April 1, featuring speakers Joe Nocera and Len Elmore, moderated by UH Downtown Interim President Michael A. Olivas. Later that day, Dean Baynes attended the Hispanic Law Students Association End-of-Year Banquet and presented scholarship checks to recipients at Hotel Derek in Houston. Dean Baynes hosted the 40th UHLC Gala on April 2 at the Westin Houston, Memorial City. Dean Baynes gave welcoming remarks and attended the Houston Journal of International Law Annual Banquet on April 7 at the Magnolia Hotel in Houston. Dean Baynes welcomed attendees at the Zika Virus Workshop hosted by the Health Law & Policy Institute at the Law Center April 8. Also on April 8, Dean Baynes gave welcoming remarks at the Joseph A. Vail Asylum Law CLE at the Law Center. Dean Baynes attended and welcomed guests that evening at the Diversity Reception hosted by the Law Center’s Admissions Office at Damian’s Cucina Italiana. Dean Baynes attended the 2016 Faculty Excellence Awards Dinner hosted by the Provost on April 14 at the University of Houston Waldorf Astoria Ballroom. Also on April 14, Dean Baynes presented awards for student winners at the 2nd Annual Advocacy Banquet at Maggiano’s. Dean Baynes hosted the Dean’s Award Ceremony on April 20 at the Law Center. Dean Baynes welcomed guests at the Houston Law Review Spring Banquet on April 21 at the Petroleum Club. On April 25, Dean Baynes provided an overview of the Law Center’s successes at ExxonMobil Energy Center in Spring. That evening Dean Baynes also attended and gave welcoming remarks at the IPIL Advisory Council Reception and Dinner at the Law Center. Lastly, on April 28, Dean Baynes provided an overview of the Law Center’s successes at the President’s Board of Visitors Meeting at the O’Quinn Great Hall of the Athletics/Alumni Center at the University of Houston.
Janet Beck was a panelist on a nation-wide immigration webinar entitled “Working with Mental Health Experts” wherein she spoke specifically about problems that arise in immigration court when the Government and/or the Immigration Judge do not want to recognize the individual as an “expert witness.” In collaboration with the non-profit organization RAICES, she organized a student trip to Karnes Detention Center this spring wherein the students oriented women and children regarding immigration procedures, asylum, and credible and reasonable fear interviews which, if positive, allow the women and children to apply for asylum or the alternative remedy, withholding of removal. She made presentations at the UHLC Joe Vail Asylum workshop on expert witnesses and played the client’s lawyer in a mock trial with a retired immigration judge. She was contacted by a Latina transgender organization in Houston and hopes to be setting up immigration talks with this group over the summer with students.
Emily Berman participated in a panel discussion and audience Q&A at the Alley Theater following a production of Grounded, a one-woman show about America’s drone program.
Barbara Evans helped welcome our colleagues from Swansea University during their visit to the Law Center on May 3 and enjoyed accompanying Allison Regan on a visit to a local biotechnology company on May 4. Professor Evans rolled out her concept of consumer-driven data commons at the May 5 meeting of FDA’s National Medical Device Planning Board and at the May 6 Annual Meeting of the Petrie-Flom Center at Harvard Law School, and she had follow up calls with colleagues at Duke’s Margolis Center and at Yale Medical School to survey patient interest and explore implementation software and strategies. On May 10, Professor Evans was an invitee at the controversial Human Genome Project/Write meeting at Harvard Medical School and spoke on the ethics panel. Professor Evans attended new member events at the American Law Institute’s annual meeting in Washington on May 15-16 and addressed the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation-funded Health Data Exploration Project/Quantified Self annual meetings in San Diego on the May 17. She has been invited to join a working group for Harvard Catalyst, Harvard’s Clinical and Translational Science Center, on recruitment and retention of participants to clinical trials. She is participating in NCVHS public hearings related to de-identifiability of data in Washington on May 24-25 and in a debate at Oxford University on May 26. She will be in Washington for meetings of the National Academies’ Committee that is studying regulation of future biotechnologies June 1-3. While there, she will also visit the White House on June 2 to discuss self-governing consumer-driven data commons at a workshop related to the President’s Precision Medicine Initiative.
Jim Hawkins, along with co-proposers, accepted an offer to publish a symposium entitled "Consumer Credit in America." After a peer-review process, Law & Contemporary Problems at Duke Law School selected the proposal. The symposium will occur in the fall at Duke, and he will publish his paper, Exploiting Advertising, in that volume. At the end of April, Professor Hawkins spoke on short-term lending at the Law Center's Money and Justice CLE.
Tracy Hester participated (along with Dean Marcilynn Burke and Professor Allison Winnike) in the initial meeting of the Texas OneGulf Network of Experts at UH on April 15 to map out a research strategy on Gulf of Mexico ecological and human health issues, and he then joined the Texas OneGulf Council’s discussion on May 13 to review the results. Professor Hester met with EPA’s National Advisory Committee on NAFTA in Washington D.C. on April 20 to advise EPA’s Administrator on Canada-U.S.-Mexico environmental issues, and he then moderated the EENR Center Speakers panel on April 21 to discuss emerging theories of climate liability. He also participated in this year’s final EENR speaker event to discuss Natural Resource Damages on April 27 with the U.S. government’s chief scientist for the Deepwater Horizon disaster. Professor Hester and Professors Bret Wells, Julian Cardenas and Ricardo Colmenter met with the head of Brazil’s Agência Nacional do Petróleo, Gás Natural e Biocombustíveis (which regulates its national petroleum operations) on May 5, and he participated in the opening workshop of the Deep Decarbonization Project on May 10. The Project’s members will meet at Columbia Law School on May 23 to map out a report on the legal consequences of decarbonizing economic activities, where he is responsible for the section on direct air capture of greenhouse gases. Last, on May 11, Professor Hester, Baker Hughes’ general counsel Alan Crain, and Eric Bettelheim spoke about the legal and moral implications of climate change for the energy sector to the plenary session of the Association of International Petroleum Negotiators’ international petroleum summit in the Woodlands.
Geoffrey Hoffman served as an expert consultant in a complex civil case involving an immigration issue held in state court. Professor Hoffman also worked with a local law firm on a petition for writ of certiorari to be filed in the Supreme Court, relating to a citizenship issue; he will be co-counsel in the Supreme Court case. Professor Hoffman was also interviewed by the Dallas Morning News for an opinion piece entitled The Sad Corrido of Izzy Torres and the Brutal Deportation of Mexican Immigrants, available here. Professor Hoffman's blog, Donald Trump’s Muslim Ban: Unravelling Our American Immigration Jurisprudence, was published on the ImmigrationProf blog and is available here. The piece was picked up by ILW.com and was the subject of a piece on Donald Trump and DACA/DAPA on the LA Opinion website, available here.
Craig Joyce finalized preparations for IPIL’s 2016 National Conference in Santa Fe. This year’s topic is “Authorship in America (and Beyond).” The presenters will include scholars from Harvard, Penn, Berkeley, and Beijing. Their essays will be published in Houston Law Review, in an issue containing also the Spring Lecture by Mark Lemley of Stanford.
In April David Kwok published a policy paper with the Open Society Foundations, Lessons from Qui Tam Litigation in the United States, available here. In May, advisors from the State Department sought his input on international anti-corruption efforts, and Professor Kwok was invited to discuss whistleblower research with the Laura and John Arnold Foundation.
Peter Linzer became a Life Member of the American Law Institute as a member of the Life Class of 1991, and was honored at a luncheon on May 17 at the Ritz-Carlton in Washington, D.C. during the Institute’s 93rd Annual Meeting.
Tom Oldham’s chapter contribution to a book pertaining to recent developments in English and American family law has recently been designated on two different SSRN lists as one of the top 10 downloads.
Michael A. Olivas briefed a number of reporters on various topics, including Campus Carry laws, Fisher v. University of Texas, Texas v. U.S. (immigration), a Georgia state case involving immigrant college students, and a case under consideration by SCOTUS on racial hatred and musical group naming trademarks.
D. Theodore Rave presented his article, When Peace Is Not the Goal of a Class Action Settlement (forthcoming in the Georgia Law Review, available here) at the Center For Consumer Law’s Teaching Consumer Law Conference in Santa Fe, New Mexico on May 20. Professor Rave was also a guest on Houston Public Media’s television show Red, White & Blue discussing the Supreme Court’s term. The episode aired May 20.
Greg Vetter accepted an offer of publication for his paper Opportunistic Free and Open Source Software Development Pathways from the Harvard Journal of Law and Technology.
Jacqueline Weaver taught a week-long course at the Law Center's sister law school in Nuevo Leon, Monterrey (Mexico) on international petroleum contracts, with a focus on the new contracts used by Mexico in its major energy reforms. She has been invited to visit at the University of Western Australia in Perth, Australia in spring 2017, to teach a course there and engage in collaborative research with oil and gas professors in Australia and the United Kingdom involved in offshore oil regulation.
Bret Wells presented his article entitled International Tax Reform By Means of Corporate Integration to the International Tax Forum of Houston on May 5. On May 11, Professor Wells presented the same paper to the Houston Tax Roundtable. Professor Wells was invited by Senators Hatch and Wyden to testify on May 17 before the Senate Finance Committee at its Hearing on Integrating Corporate and Individual Tax Systems: The Dividends Paid Deduction Considered in order to discuss his views set forth in his article. On May 20, Professor Wells presented his above article as part of the Texas Tax Faculty Workshop hosted by the SMU Dedman School of Law.
Allison Winnike was awarded the National Center for State Courts' 2016 Distinguished Service Award, one of the highest awards presented by the organization, for her significant contributions to the judiciary as a result of her public health emergency preparedness legal scholarship and community outreach. The Distinguished Service Award is presented annually to those who have made significant contributions to the justice system and who have supported the mission of NCSC. On May 3, she delivered a speech on “Public Health Law & Ethics and Implications for Local Health Authorities” as part of the Texas Department of State Health Services’ High Consequences Infectious Disease Response Workshops in Dallas, Texas. She attended the second of four leadership workshops as a member of the Leadership Texas Class of 2016 in Amarillo on May 15-17. On May 18, she hosted and spoke at the “Broadband Prescriptions for Mental Health: A Policy Conference” co-hosted by the Federal Communications Commission Connect2HealthFCC Task Force and the University Houston Law Center Health Law & Policy Institute. She organized the conference, which aims to engage a diverse array of stakeholders to identify emerging issues and opportunities in using the transformative power of broadband to connect consumers with mental health services, in conjunction with the FCC Connect2HealthFCC Task Force.
The O’Quinn Law Library presented the CLE program "Specialized Legal Research for the Generalist: Tax, Health, and International Law" at the Law Center on April 23. Chris Dykes concentrated on researching the primary sources of tax law. Emily Lawson focused on federal and state primary legal material related to health law. Daniel Donahue discussed the relations between international law, foreign law, and local law (state and federal), the materials available, and the general path for researching international law. The free program, organized and managed by Mon Yin Lung, was approved for three hours of CLE credit and especially designed for recent graduates and solo and small firm practitioners.