UHLC in the News

August 2015

Texas state agencies to use the E-Verify system

Professor Geoffrey Hoffman was interviewed by the Texas Standard regarding a new law that will require Texas state agencies to use the E-Verify system to ensure that all new employees are legally authorized to work in the United States.

Dean Baynes wrote about the power of legal education for the July/August issue of The Houston Lawyer.

Dean Baynes will be interviewed on today’s edition of Houston Matters regarding diversity in law school enrollment. Audio is available online

A Profile in Professionalism

Dean Baynes wrote about the power of legal education for the July/August issue of The Houston Lawyer.The section featuring Dean Baynes is entitled “A Profile in Professionalism,” and appears on page 43 of the magazine (page 45 of the online viewer).

Join Us: 2015 Brigham-Kanner Conference At William And Mary Law School

A blog post on www.inversecondemnation.com announced that Professor Thompson will participate in a panel discussion on civil forfeiture during the Brigham-Kanner Property Rights Conference at the William and Mary Law School.

Failure to Raise Federal Affidavit Dooms Support Order

Professor Geoffrey Hoffman was quoted in an article from Bloomberg BNA’s Family Law Reporter regarding the case of Catlett v. Catlett, in which the Nebraska Court of Appeals held that an affidavit of support signed as part of the immigration process did not give rise to a child support obligation.

Starting September 1st, Texas Agencies Required To Use E-Verify

Houston Matters interviewed Professor Geoffrey Hoffman regarding the new Texas law that will require state agencies to run new employees through E-Verify to ensure new hires are authorized to work in the U.S., and the problems that may result from system errors.

Laredoan and Criminal Law Author Returns to Lecture at TAMIU

Texas A&M International University published a notice that Professor Thompson will hold a book-signing and lecture on its campus on August 27.

Dissident board member files criminal complaint over purchase

Professor Zale was quoted in an article that was reported by the Houston Chronicle, regarding a criminal complaint filed against the Houston Community College by one of its own trustees alleging it unlawfully overpaid for a vacant building.

Social Justice Advocates Demand Bail Bond Reform in Harris County

Professor Thompson was interviewed by Fox 26 (Houston) regarding the death of Sandra Bland and the need for bail reform.

Bail reform urged after Sandra Bland's death

Professor Thompson was interviewed by the Houston Chronicle, regarding calls to reform the current bail system.

The Jared Fogle case: Why we understand so little about child sex abuse

Professor Hamilton was quoted in an article reported by the Washington Post, commenting on the plea deal for former Subway pitchman Jared Fogle, that provides a guarantee from prosecutors that they will seek a sentence of 12½ years or less.

Laredoan, Criminal Law Author Lectures at TAMIU Aug. 27

Professor Thompson will be holding a book signing and giving a lecture at Texas A&M International University on August 27 regarding her new book Cops in Lab Coats: Curbing Wrongful Convictions through Independent Forensic Laboratories, according to an announcement from the university.

Black Elk Energy Faces Criminal Charges Over November 2012 Rig Explosion

Professor Kwok was interviewed by Houston Public Media regarding why criminal charges were filed against a Houston-based oil platform operator after a 2012 explosion that killed three workers and badly injured several others.

Texas leads nation in number of uninsured

Professor Chandler was interviewed by Fox 26 regarding the Affordable Care Act and why a large number of Texans are still uninsured.

Hercules Offshore Files For Chapter 11 Bankruptcy

Professor Bret Wells was interviewed by Houston Public Media (News 88.7) on Hercules Offshore’s recent filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy.  The interview of Professor Wells begins at 0.07 minute of the audio clip.

New Developments in ClearCorrect v. USITC

Professor Kumar authored a guest post for the Patently-O patent law blog regarding ClearCorrect Operating, LLC v. USITC, where the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit will decide whether the ITC has jurisdiction over digital information.  Professor Kumar’s recent article, Regulating Digital Trade, was discussed during ClearCorrect oral arguments last week.

Julia Heaberlin ready for the spotlight with ‘Black-Eyed Susans’

In an interview with the Dallas Morning News, author Julia Heaberlin mentions that she interviewed Professor Dow while researching the death penalty for her new novel.

Texas ejecuta a recluso hispano que atropelló a un policía con inyección letal

Professor Dow was quoted in an article on the Las Américas website regarding the execution of Daniel Lee Lopez.

Justicia texana ejecuta a Daniel López, preso hispano que deseaba morir

Professor Dow was quoted in an article published on the Sin Embargo (Mexico) website on the execution of Daniel Lee Lopez

Texas inmate wants to die, lawyers try to halt execution

Professor Dow was quoted in two articles from the Associated Press regarding Daniel Lee Lopez,who wrote letters to a federal judge and pleaded for his execution to move forward, said a Supreme Court reprieve would be “disappointing.”

The banality of Texas executions

'Professor Dow was quoted in an article on the Houston Chronicle’s website regarding the use of the death penalty in Texas.

Texas inmate who dropped appeals headed to execution

Professor Dow was quoted in two articles from the Associated Press regarding Daniel Lee Lopez, a Texas inmate who was sentenced to be executed and recently won court approval to drop his appeals. The articles were picked up by several news outlets.

Starting September 1st, You Could Serve On A Grand Jury

A new law that takes effect September 1, got its start in Harris County. The Grand Jury Reform bill will shed light on what used to be a jury selection process plagued by cronyism.

Extracurricular Criminal

A professor finds himself in trouble with the law several times within the span of a few years. But none of those crimes and alleged crimes relate directly to his teaching or publications, and he’s apparently a good professor -- at least good enough to have been promoted to full professor last year while he was serving a jail sentence. But some -- included one lawmaker -- want him fired.

Symposium on Higher Education Access

The financial benefits of a college degree continue to grow, contributing to a widening gap between graduates and those who are not graduates.

Tracy Hester on What the Clean Power Plan Means For Texas

Texas power plants emit more carbon dioxide than those of Florida and Pennsylvania put together. So how will the Lone Star State meet new federal requirements to slash greenhouse gas emissions while producing enough electricity to support its growing population?

State Law Governs DirecTV Arbitration Row, High Court Told

The U.S. Supreme Court has accepted seven amicus briefs on behalf of a class of California DirecTV customers challenging an arbitration provision in user agreements, in which professors and others contended that the case is a contract dispute subject to state, not federal, law.

Voting Rights Act 50th Anniversary and the Printing Museum: Thursday’s Show (Aug. 6, 2015)

Professor Linzer gave a lengthy interview at Houston Matters to mark the 50th Anniversary of the Voting Rights Act.  He commented on the recent federal decisions regarding the Texas voter ID law (SB 14). 

Sandra Bland Lawsuit and The Full Menu 

Dr. Hamilton was interviewed by Houston Matters regarding the case of the death of Sandra Bland. Dr. Hamilton is introduced at 14:17.   

July 2015

Recent Achievements of our Community

Professor Beck was featured in the National Peace Corps Association's WorldView magazine.

Guest Post: Digital Information at the Border

Prof. Kumar is an Associate Professor at the University of Houston Law Center, where she teaches patents and administrative law. She has written extensively about the ITC. Her most recent article, Regulating Digital Trade, discusses the ClearCorrect decision at length.

U.S. college opening campus in China, wants Communists

The Kean University Campus in Wenzhou, China, has released job advertisements asking for candidates with Communist Party affiliations.The New Jersey based university recently opened a new campus in China and has begun the process of hiring staff.

Trooper Had Legal Right To Order Bland Out of Vehicle

It goes from a very minimal traffic offense to what I would consider a very aggressive and violent arrest scene," said C.O. "Brad" Bradford, Houston City Council Member.

Kean University Campus Seeks 'Communist Party' Applicants

The Council of New Jersey State College Locals is calling for the state legislature's higher education committee to investigate Kean University's Chinese campus after learning the school is advertising for positions that give preference to members of the Chinese Communist Party, The Daily Caller reports.

Chinese Communists Preferred

“Membership in Chinese Communist Party is preferred,” says the job advertisement for a “specialist for residence life” position at Kean University’s China campus, which is run jointly with Wenzhou University and is known as Wenzhou-Kean University (WKU). The same preference is stated in a posting for a “specialist for student conduct."

U of H Law Professor, White House Push Precision Medicine Concept

Barbara Evans, a University of Houston Law Center professor, visited the White House earlier this month as part of President Barack Obama's Precision Medicine Initiative. That's an Oval Office-initiated campaign to empower both patients and health care providers with tools, including legal ones, to tailor treatment and prevention strategies to each patient's unique characteristics.

Health Law at SEALS Annual Conference

The future of the health care system depends on effective policy implementation tailored to the evolving landscape of regulatory constraints, delivery models, emerging technologies, and changing population needs.

What's next for Millet Harrison?

Each time Millet Harrison answers the phone, his voice is a key lower, reflective of his growing disappointment.Three months ago, Harrison celebrated the end of a 20-year fight to be released from Rusk State Hospital. He was ecstatic.Because Harrison hasn't been accepted by an outpatient facility in the months since, he remains at the state hospital.

After Suit Filed Against Clerk, Couple Issued Marriage License

A same-sex couple in East Texas, who alleged that Smith County Clerk Karen Phillips denied them a marriage license on June 26, sought a court order to force Phillips to issue them a license in the wake of the U.S. Supreme Court's opinion in Obergefell v. Hodges.

Should convicted terrorists be stripped of their home country’s citizenship?

Last September, Hiva Alizadeh, an Iranian-born Canadian, was arrested with a partially-assembled bomb in his possession. Alizadeh, who became a naturalized Canadian citizen in 2007, had trained in Afghanistan with insurgents related to the Taliban, and pled guilty in September to possessing an explosive substance with intent to harm.

Same-sex issue hits close to home for county clerk

A cadre of news photographers hovered around Maria Dagen's cubicle on June 26 as the Roman Catholic mother of two stamped a Lone Star seal onto a marriage certificate for Hunter Middleton and John LaRue.

Editorial: Jailing the poor

Our criminal justice system is supposed to presume that people are innocent until proven guilty, yet being free of a criminal conviction won't keep you out of Harris County Jail. About 6,600 people, or 75 percent of inmates, in that fetid tower of cold concrete are merely biding time before trial.

Government Crusade Against Churches Begins with Removal of Non-Profit Status

In the aftermath of the Supreme Court decision mandating that states reward same-sex marriages throughout the nation, churches across the country prepare for the inevitable assault on their tax-exempt statuses.

Enough is enough: Fisher v. University of Texas

How many bites does Abigail Fisher get at this apple? Fisher was an applicant who sued the University of Texas at Austin in 2008 after she was denied admission both on the automatic admissions policy (the Percentage Plan) and by the holistic review process. She claimed her denial was due to her being white. In 2013, the Supreme Court held that the Fifth Circuit had erred when it did not apply “strict scrutiny” in its review. Upon remand, in July 2014, a three-judge panel of the Circuit carefully reviewed and upheld (2 to 1) the University’s policies. Fisher’s appeal of that ruling has been granted cert and will be heard again by the Court.

Fifth Circuit to Hear Arguments on Intervention of Immigrant Mothers in DAPA Challenge

Texas v. United States, the 26 states' challenge to the expanded deferred action program, is incredibly complex procedurally. In addition to the United States' appeal of entry of the preliminary injunction, threef immigrant mothers, who claim that they are eligible for deferred action of the under the new program, appeal a district court order denying their motion for leave to intervene.  Along with hearing arguments on the injunction appeal on July 10, the Fifth Circuit will also hear arguments on the appeal of the three proposed intervenors.  Professor Michael Olivas has collected the filings in the case, which are available here.

Will Christian Colleges (And Law Schools) Lose Their Tax Exemption After Obergefell?

Friday's Supreme Court decision that states must authorize and recognize gay and lesbian marriages could create major legal challenges for religious colleges -- primarily evangelical Christian colleges that bar same-sex relationships among students and faculty members. Or the decision may not create much of a legal challenge at all. Or it may create challenges, but not soon.

Same-sex marriage: Will conservative religious colleges lose tax-exempt status?

After last week's landmark Supreme Court ruling, the tax-exempt status of conservative religious institutions whose policies don't extend housing and other benefits to same-sex couples could be in question.

June 2015

Supreme Court to Re-Hear UT Admissions Case White Woman Suing Over Affirmative Action

The long-running legal battle over affirmative action at the University of Texas is heading back to the Supreme Court. The high court has agreed to hear the case of Abigail Fisher for a second time.  Fisher is a white woman who sued after she was denied admission to UT-Austin in 2008.

SCOTUS, same-sex marriage, and Christian colleges

Conservative religious groups have shown concern over the Supreme Court decision in Obergefell v. Hodges, a case that has resolved the question of whether the U.S. Constitution establishes a right to same-sex marriage.

Supreme Court will hear UT affirmative action case for second time

For the second time, the University of Texas at Austin's consideration of race in admissions will face the scrutiny of the U.S. Supreme Court, bringing potential resolution to a years-long case that could have broad implications for affirmative action at universities.

Did the Roberts Court Really Lurch Left?

For a group of nine justices that has been called one of the most conservative in recent memory, the Roberts court gave liberals reason cheer this term—from granting a historic nationwide right to same-sex marriage to upholding a key section of the Affordable Care Act.

Next Step for Death Row Defense Lawyer David Dow

In the wake of the Texas Supreme Court's ruling against death penalty defense lawyer David Dow in his battle with its sister criminal court, his legal team expects to seek a review in federal court.

Remember, don’t rush to get married in Harris County just yet

The Harris County Clerk isn’t ready for you and won’t be for at least a little while.

A week of generational change reflected in court rulings

Three Supreme Court decisions in a week topped Friday with the landmark ruling rendering same-sex marriage legal across America may be recalled as one of the most stunning moments in the court’s history of involvement in social change.

Court's Ban of Death Penalty Lawyer Will Stand

The Texas Supreme Court on Friday ruled it has no authority or jurisdiction to intervene in its sister court's ban of prominent death penalty lawyer David Dow.

Texas High Court Affirms Suspension Of Death Row Atty

The Texas Supreme Court ruled Friday it doesn't have jurisdiction to overturn a sanction issued by the state's Court of Criminal Appeals that bars a prominent death penalty lawyer from appearing in that court for a year because he failed to give adequate justification for filing a late stay of execution motion.


Today, U.S. Rep. Jim Renacci (R-OH) questioned health care insurance experts on the most recent harmful effects of Obamacare on the American people. 

City Honors faith-based volunteers, names Graves to Crime Lab Board

On Wednesday June 24, Houston Mayor Annise Parker issued proclamations honoring the three largest faith-based emergency response organizations for their service in the recent historic floods.

Experts eyeing bail reform in Harris County, statewide

In jails across the country, including Harris County, a majority of the people behind bars have not been convicted of a crime. In the jail complex on the north side of downtown Houston, more than 6,600 people, about three-quarters of the prisoners there, are waiting to go to trial. Each one costs taxpayers about $45 a day.

Koh Tang: Survivors of last Vietnam battle go back to honor missing comrades

Forty years ago, scores of inexperienced U.S. servicemembers waged a largely forgotten battle in a largely unknown place to rescue a mysterious ship from an unfamiliar enemy.

Will Supreme Court decision on same-sex marriage challenge or change Christian colleges?

Friday's Supreme Court decision that states must authorize and recognize gay and lesbian marriages could create major legal challenges for religious colleges -- primarily evangelical Christian colleges that bar same-sex relationships among students and faculty members.

Health Care Law and Insurance Premiums

Professor Chandler’s testimony before the House Ways and Means Committee on Oversight regarding the effects of the Affordable Care Act on health insurance premiums appeared on CSPAN.

Federal judge rules against Sysco merger with US Foods

Professor Bush was quoted in a Houston Chronicle article regarding a federal judge’s ruling against the merger of Sysco and US Foods.

ACA uncertainty sends Tennessee official to DC to testify

The Tennesseean reported that Professor Chandler will testify before Congress today regarding the effects of the Affordable Care Act on health insurance premiums.

UHLC Prof. Chandler to testify before Congress on insurance cost impacts of Obamacare  

UHLC reported that Professor Chandler will testify before Congress today regarding the effects of the Affordable Care Act on health insurance premiums.

UH Experts Available to Address SCOTUS Decisions on Health Care, Same Sex Marriages

A press release from the University of Houston identifies several UHLC professors as experts available to discuss the upcoming Supreme Court decisions on health care and same sex marriage. The list includes Professors Seth Chandler, Patricia Gray, Geoffrey Hoffman, Jessica Mantel, Thomas Oldham, and Peter Linzer.

Immigration Article of the Day: Michael A. Olivas, The Growing Role of Immigration Law in Universal Higher Education: Case Studies of the United States and the EU

Professor Olivas’ recent article, The Growing Role of Immigration Law in Universal Higher Education: Case Studies of the United States and the EU (37 Houston Journal of International Law 353 (2015)), was highlighted as the ImmigrationProf Blog’s Article of the Day on Saturday, June 20.

Alleged Russian Taliban fighter says he is POW and cannot be criminally prosecuted

The Richmond Times-Dispatch quoted Professor Paust making a case for giving prisoner-of-war status to the Taliban.

Houston Campuses Getting Ready for Guns

Professor Olivas is quoted in an article on KTRH (Houston-AM 780) News Radio’s website, commenting on the new law that allows concealed handguns to be carried on university campuses in Texas.

Experts spar in Virginia court over status of accused Russian fighter for Taliban

Reuters reported in a news story that Professor Paust testified at a hearing in Richmond, Va., where attorneys for Irek Hamidullin (a former Russian army officer charged with terrorism and conspiracy for his role in a Taliban attack on U.S. forces in Afghanistan) argued that the case should be dismissed because he was a war combatant and was entitled to protections under the Geneva Conventions. The article quotes from Professor Paust’s testimony.

Houston Law School Ranked High for Networking

Dean Baynes was quoted in a Texas Lawyer article, which reported that the Law Center was ranked seventh on a recent list of the top 25 law schools for “Quality of Network.”

Supreme Court dismantling of health care law could hit Texans hard

Professor Roberts was quoted in a Houston Chronicle article regarding the number of people in Texas who may lose their health insurance if the Supreme Court strikes down a provision of the Affordable Care Act that provides tax subsidies for plans purchased through the federal insurance exchange. 

Immigrants Get More Court Access Under High Court Ruling

Professor Olivas was quoted in a Law360 article regarding the U.S. Supreme Court’s recent ruling in the case of Mata v. Lynch, reversing a 5th Circuit decision regarding jurisdiction to review a B.I.A. refusal to reopen a deportation case based on ineffective assistance of counsel.

Did You Think Campus Carry Was Settled Law?

Professor Olivas was quoted in a Texas Tribune article regarding the new law that allows concealed handguns to be carried on university campuses in Texas.

Debit Card Scams: How to Spot, Report & Recover

Professor Alderman was interviewed for an article appearing on the CardHub.com website. The article identifies many common debit card scams and Professor Alderman discusses how consumers can best protect themselves.

Legislature hands new ‘upskirt’ law to Abbott.Courts had tossed previous law

Professor Linzer was quoted in an article available on the San Antonio Express-News’ website, commenting on the constitutionality of a bill that state lawmakers have sent to Gov. Greg Abbott to rewrite a statute banning improper photography. 

Fact check: How does Australia's plan to strip foreign fighters of citizenship compare to other nations?

Professor Berman was quoted in an article reported by Australian Broadcasting Corporation’s FactCheck, commenting on the constitutionality of current legislation pending before Congress to revoke U.S. citizenship.

Need a repair? These steps will save you money and headaches

Professor Alderman was quoted in an article on ConsumerReports.org, commenting on actions that consumers can take if a product repair goes wrong.

Death row inmate released from prison

Professor Thompson was interviewed by KPRC (NBC-Houston) and quoted in an article on the station’s website. The news story reported that capital murder charges have been dropped against former Texas death row inmate Alfred Dewayne Brown.  Professor Thompson comments on the rule that requires prosecutors to show the defense any evidence that would tend to show innocence. 

The 'devious defecator' case shows why employers should never ask for DNA

An article by Professor Roberts was published on the Guardian’s website, commenting on the Lowe v. Atlas Logistics case and the legalities of taking employees’ DNA.

The 'devious defecator' case shows why employers should never ask for DNA

Professor Roberts was quoted in an article available on BioNews.org, commenting on the potential consequences of taking an employee’s DNA for identification purposes.

Congress must continue blocking ‘risk corridor’ bailout of insurance companies

An article on the Hill’s website mentioned Professor Chandler’s testimony before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee’s subcommittee hearing last summer on the bailout provisions focusing on Obamacare’s reinsurance and risk corridor programs.

Why Are Health Insurers Seeking Big Rate Hikes?

Professor Chandler has written an article available on National Review’s website, commenting on why health insurers are raising their premiums.

A state district judge has expanded the probe into Paxton’s alleged securities violation.More possible offenses investigated.

Professor Thompson was quoted in an article reported by the San Antonio Express-News’ website, identifying possible offenses that could justify the expansion of securities investigations such as the ongoing investigations of the Texas Attorney General. This is an expanded version of an article originally reported by the Houston Chronicle.

Judge expands scope of Paxton investigation

The Houston Chronicle quotes Professor Thompson concerning possible offenses that could justify the expansion of securities investigations, such as the ongoing investigations of the Texas Attorney General.

Brazos Bookstore hosted professor Thompson.

Brazos Bookstore hosted Professor Thompson this past Wednesday to discuss her new book, Cops in Lab Coats

Innovative University of Houston Law Center mentorship program to grow in second year

Initiative helps pair youth with adult role models and provides legal assistance to juvenile offenders.

A press release available on PRNewswire.com discussed the Juvenile & Capital Advocacy Project (JCAP) at UHLC (an offshoot of the Texas Innocence Network based at UHLC launched last fall) and that Professor Dow first proposed the idea in a TED talk. The press release mentions that JCAP will also work with Professor Marrus and Professor Heppard to develop additional hands-on training for law students interested in working with juveniles.

ProfNet Experts Available on Patriot Act, FIFA Indictments, College Funding, More

Professor Olivas was mentioned as an expert regarding “Elonis v. U.S.: Use of Rap Lyrics as Evidence in Criminal Prosecutions,” in a press release available on PRNewswire.com.

UH Law Center prof Zale says it will take time for laws to catch up with 'sharing economy'

Renting apartments, rooms, or homes raises new questions in property law

A press release available on Security @ IT BusinessNet’s website quotes Professor Zale extensively regarding her forthcoming paper, “Sharing Property,” which was presented at the April conference, "Sharing Economy, Sharing City: Urban Law and the New Economy," at Fordham University and will be published in the Colorado Law Review (Winter 2015/2016 edition).

Many insurers seek double-digit rate hikes for 2016: 6 things to know

An article on the Becker’s Hospital Review website quoted Professor Chandler’s comments to Politico regarding health insurance premiums.

First graduates of Houston-Calgary law school partnership earn dual JDs with degree emphasis in energy law

A press release reported that Andrea James, Julia Gill, and Barrett Schitka became the first graduates of the International Energy Lawyers Program (IELP), a dual-degree collaboration between the Law Center and the University of Calgary. Dean Baynes was quoted in the article.

University Of Texas Hosts Inaugural Texas Tax Faculty Workshop

The TaxProf Blog reported that Professor Wells will be participating in the Texas Tax Faculty Workshop at the University of Texas School of Law today. Professor Buckles will also be participating in the workshop.

Health experts see big price hikes for Obamacare

Politico quoted Professor Chandler on the reasons for rising insurance rates under Affordable Care Act plans.

The Cons of the ACA

A post on Professor Chandler’s ACA Death Spiral blog, “The Cons of the ACA,” was featured on RealClearPolicy.com. The entry includes the annotated text of a speech Professor Chandler recently presented at the annual conference of PIAA, a group of insurance professionals. In the speech, Professor Chandler discussed the architecture of the Affordable Care Act and its problems.

Football stadium tragedy serves as backdrop for latest legal thriller by UH Law Center's David Crump

PR Newswire published a press release regarding Professor Crump’s fifth book, Sudden Death Overtime. Professor Crump was quoted throughout the press release. This item appeared in multiple sources.

‘Devious Defecator’ Case Tests Genetics Law

The New York Times quoted Professor Roberts discussing how the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act was applied in a recent case where genetic testing was used for non-medical purposes.


View 2015 UHLC in the News Archive