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

April 2012

Editor, Dan Baker djbaker2@central.uh.edu

Previous editions of Faculty Focus can be accessed here.


Zachary Bray gave a presentation on a paper “The New Progressive Property and the Low-Income Housing Conflict” at the Association for Law, Property, and Society Conference at Georgetown Law School on Mar. 2.


Aaron Bruhl's article "Hierarchy and Heterogeneity: How to Read a Statute in a Lower Court" is now in print in the current issue of the Cornell Law Review.


Jim Hawkins’ article "The CARD Act on Campus" was selected for publication in the Washington and Lee Law Review. Prof. Hawkins was chosen as the Order of the Barons Professor of the Year.


Tracy Hester arranged a meeting for UHLC students with the Board of Directors of the Texas Bar's Environmental Section on Mar. 29, and he met with the Governing Council for the ABA's Section on Environment, Energy & Resources Law in Salt Lake City on Mar. 22. He also moderated a panel on the impacts of shale gas production in the Eagle Ford shale at the UH and Texas Tribune's Symposium on Energy & the Environment on Apr. 13.


Julie Hill's latest article, "Transaction Account Fees: Do the Poor Really Pay More Than the Rich?," was accepted for publication by the University of Pennsylvania Journal of Business Law. Prof. Hill recently presented the article at the Case Western School of Law (Feb. 27), the University of Alabama School of Law (Mar. 26), and the University of Arkansas School of Law (Apr. 9).


Geoffrey Hoffman spoke at the Civil Rights Coalition Annual Conference held in Houston on Mar. 31. The conference schedule of speakers may be found at http://civilrightscoalition.wordpress.com/conference-2012/schedule/. The keynote speaker was Amy Goodman of NPR's "Democracy Now". The immigration panel consisted of an immigration attorney, ACLU attorney, LULAC policy director, and Prof. Hoffman, representing the UH Immigration Clinic.


Craig Joyce agreed to write a history of the Houston Law Review in celebration of its 50th Anniversary. The project will include the creation of a permanent database to make information and memories concerning HLR's first half century of existence more accessible to interested persons and future researchers.


Jessica Mantel presented her article "ACOs: Can We Have Our Cake and Eat It Too?" at a workshop at Arizona State's Legal Scholars Conference on Mar. 17.


Rick McElvaney was the Speaker at the Houston Bar Association Consumer Law Section monthly meeting on Apr. 11. He spoke on landlord and tenant law.


Douglas Moll spoke to the Georgia State law faculty on Apr. 16. His topic was "Shareholder Oppression in Close Corporations: Majority Rule Isn't What It Used to Be."


Michael A. Olivas spoke on the use of prosecutorial discretion in DREAM Act immigration cases on Mar. 30 at the William & Mary Law School Institute of Bill of Rights Law symposium entitled "Non-citizen Participation in the American Polity." He also served as the outside member of a PhD dissertation committee at NYU School of Education. Prof. Olivas also completed "Undocumented College Students and the DREAM Act," which will appear in the Oxford Bibliographies in Latino Studies, edited by Ilan Stavans (New York: Oxford University Press, forthcoming, 2012).


Jordan Paust's article "Genocide in Rwanda, State Responsibility to Prosecute or Extradite, and Nonimmunity for Heads of State and Other Public Officials" has been published in 34 Houston Journal of International Law 57-85 (2011). His JURIST op-ed on the pending Supreme Court case of Kiobel v. Royal Dutch Petroleum Company is at http://www.jurist.org/forum/2012/03/jordan-paust-kiobel.php. Prof. Paust taught two sessions on the laws of war and human rights regarding treatment and targetings at the NATO School's Operational Law Course for military and civilian legal advisers in Oberammergau, Germany on Apr. 16 and 17.


Jessica L. Roberts has accepted an offer from the Minnesota Law Review to publish her paper "Health Law as Disability Rights Law."


Robert Schuwerk's treatise, Handbook of Texas Lawyer and Judicial Ethics, 10th (2012) edition (Thomson Reuters 2012), reached fine bookstores everywhere at the end of March. Prof. Schuwerk's co-author, Ms. Lillian B. Hardwick, is an alumna of the Law Center.


Spencer Simons has revised his book Texas Legal Research. The revised edition will be published this summer. Prof. Simons also participated on an ABA site visit team to St. Thomas University School of Law, Miami Gardens, Florida, from Mar. 14 to Mar. 17.


Greg Vetter co-presented to the Intellectual Property Student Organization on Feb. 29 on the topic of patent law as it impacts biomedical research. His co-presenter was Professor Jessica Roberts.


Jacqueline Weaver visited KIMEP University's law school as a Fulbright specialist scholar during the first 2 weeks in March in Almaty, Kazakhstan. KIMEP is the Kazakhstan Institute for Management and Strategic Research, a Western-style university that teaches its classes in English. She guest-lectured in classes taught by three Kazakh professors in Public International Law, Advanced Contracts, and a writing seminar, on a variety of topics. Prof. Weaver also met with the faculty to discuss the LLM Thesis process and ways to improve student performance in producing publishable papers. The Association of International Petroleum Negotiators (AIPN) hosted a reception at the law school and Prof. Weaver spoke on the "Path to Global Standards in Offshore Safety." A former LLM student, Almas Zhaiylgan, also spoke at the AIPN meeting, giving a recent update on Kazakh laws, including cap-and-trade carbon dioxide laws (Kazakhstan signed the Kyoto Protocol). Mr. Zhaiylgan is now a partner in the leading law firm in Almaty. Two of the days there were holidays for International Woman’s Day, a highly celebrated occasion. Almaty is situated at the base of mountains, and skiing and hiking are a mere 20-30 minutes outside the city. As a former Soviet republic capital city, Almaty was designed as a nice place to live for high-level Communist Party members—and it is a wonderful city to visit.


Bret Wells presented his paper entitled "Territorial Taxation: Homeless Income is the Achilles Heel" to the Annual Symposium sponsored by the Houston Business & Tax Law Journal on Mar. 7. Also, Prof. Wells received confirmation this month that the United Nations Committee of Experts on Cooperation in International Tax Matters has appointed him to be an official observer and a permanent member of the subcommittee responsible for the United Nation's Manual for Negotiations of Bilateral Tax Treaties Between Developed and Developing Countries. The subcommittee's work seeks to provide interpretive insights to tax administrators in developing countries to aid them in their negotiation of bilateral tax treaties with developed countries.