Faculty Highlights

June - July 2015

Associate Professor Cynthia Alkon spoke on a panel, "Looking Back, Looking Forward" at the conference, "Celebrating the CEELI Legacy:  25 Years of Working to Advance the Rule of Law," at the Central and East European Law Initiative (CEELI) Institute in Prague, Czech Republic, June 27.

  • Presented a paper, "Prosecutors Have it All:  Reforming Penal Codes to Reverse Mass Incarceration" as part of a discussion group on "Reversing Mass Incarceration: What Reforms are Working (or Could Work) and Why?at the Southeastern Association of Law Schools Annual Conference in Boca Raton, Fla., July 29.

Professor Susan Ayres was invited to publish her article, "Teaching Empathy:  Using Dramatic Narrative to Understand Domestic Violence” in Family & Intimate Partner Violence Quarterly.

  • Participated in a teaching workshop at the Southeastern Association of Law Schools conference (SEALS), presenting “Integrating Critical Writing and Thinking Ideas into the 1L Doctrinal Classroom” (Boca Raton, July 30).

  • Invited to the Taos Summer Writers' Conference, July 12-18. She participated in a writing workshop led by former Santa Fe Poet Laureate, Valerie Martinez.

Associate Professor Mark Burge presented “Navigating the (Not Quite) Free Market for Contractual Choice of Law” to the Corporate Counsel Section of the Tarrant County Bar Association on June 3.

  • Organized and moderated a panel entitled “Thinking Outside the Four Corners of Contract Doctrine” at the 2015 Conference of the Southeastern Association of Law Schools (SEALS), held in Boca Raton, Fla., July 27-Aug. 2. He also presented “Lawyers Beyond Automation” as part of the panel.

Professor Gabriel Eckstein served as an international water law expert for a team organized by UNESCO’s International Hydrological Programme that designed and lead a training seminar on Legal and Institutional Aspects of Water Governance: From the International to the Domestic Perspective. The seminar was held in Tashkent, Uzbekistan, July 6-9.

Professor Michael Z. Green presented “The NLRA and the Evolving Workplace: Technological and Legal Issues” at the Thirty-Second Annual Warns-Render Labor and Employment Law Institute sponsored by the University of Louisville Brandeis School of Law in Louisville, Ky. on June 11.

  • Presented “What Non-Union Employers Need to Know About Their Policies and the National Labor Relations Board” at the Fort Worth Human Resources Management Association Monthly Legal Hour and Luncheon on June 18.

  • Presented and participated in several programs at the Southeastern Association of Law Schools (SEALS) Annual Meeting held in Boca Raton, Fla. during the last week of July including:

    • Presenter, “2014-15 Supreme Court Labor, Employment, and Employment Discrimination Cases: Accommodation, Agency Power, Wages and Whistleblowing,” as part of a Workshop on Constitutional Law: Supreme Court Update: Business, Administrative, Securities, and Labor and Employment held on July 28.
    • Participant, Discussion Group: “ADR in Faculty Governance and Change: What Works —If Anything—and What Doesn’t “ held on July 28.
    • Participant, Workshop on Labor and Employment Law, Discussion Group: “Can Employees Be “Too Hot?” and (Re)emerging Issues of Appearance Discrimination in the Workplace” held on July 30.
    • Moderator and Participant, Workshop on Labor and Employment Law, Discussion Group: “New Voices in Labor and Employment Law” held on July 31.
  • Green will also present his work-in-progress paper, “Balancing Workplace Speech Protections,” at the Tenth Annual Colloquium on Scholarship in Employment and Labor Law to be held September 11-12, at Indiana University Mauer School of Law in Bloomington, IN. Green will also be presenting this same paper as part of a Works-in-Progress Colloquia for a Workplace Panel at the LatCrit 20th Anniversary Conference (Anaheim, California Oct. 2-3).

Professor William Henning who is a Life Member of the Uniform Law Commission (ULC), attended the ULC’s 2015 Annual Meeting from July 10-15 in Williamsburg, Va. During the meeting:

  • He was appointed to a two-year term as a member of the Executive Committee, which functions as the ULC’s Board of Directors.
  • The Drafting Committee on a Uniform Wage Garnishment Act, which he chairs, gave a first reading of the act. It is expected that the act will be read for a final time and formally adopted by the organization at its 2016 Annual Meeting.
  • The Drafting Committee on a Uniform Social Media Privacy Act, on which he serves as a member, gave a first reading of the act. It also is expected to be formally adopted at the 2016 Annual Meeting.
  • He served as Chair of the Committee of the Whole for the reading of draft amendments to the Revised Uniform Law on Notarial Acts.

Professor Timothy Mulvaney has been invited to participate on a cross-cutting panel titled “Peer-to-Peer Consumption: Emerging Legal Issues in the New Sharing Economy” at the American Association of Law Schools Annual Meeting in New York, N.Y. on January 6-10, 2016.

  • Will present his work-in-progress, tentatively titled “Inaction Takings,” at the Sixth Annual Colloquium on Environmental Scholarship at Vermont Law School in South Royalton, Vt. on October 2-3.

Professor Neal Newman presented his current work in progress “A Capital Formation Overhaul” at the National Business Law Scholars Conference. The conference was June 4-6 at the Seton Hall University School of Law in Newark, N.J.

Associate Professor Carol Pauli participated in a panel on “Responding to Inequality” at the annual meeting of the Southeastern Association of Law Schools (SEALS) in Boca Raton, Fla., July 31.

Professor Meg Penrose participated on a panel discussing same-sex marriage and the Supreme Court's decision in Obergefell (legalizing gay marriage) at the American Association of Law Schools’ midyear meeting in Orlando, Fla. in June.

  • Participated in a Texas State Bar continuing legal education livecast with Professor Lynne Rambo in Austin in July. The panel discussed the legal landscape following the Obergefell decision.

  • Attended the American Bar Association's annual meeting in Chicago as an American Bar Foundation Fellow in July. While in Chicago, she joined two Student Bar Association members in a community service project to help create hygiene bags for the homeless.

  • Invited by the Sports Law Section to present her research on the panel, "The New Frontier in College Sports: The Professionalization of Amateurism," at the annual meeting of the American Association of Law Schools (New York, January 2016).

  • Penrose also has a separate case (Escamilla v. Stephens) that has a petition for certiorari pending before the U.S. Supreme Court. She will be filing a petition for certiorari in Mr. Flores’ case by early October.

Professor and Associate Dean for Faculty Research and Development Huyen Pham was interviewed by several media outlets regarding policies enacted by cities across the United States, limiting their cooperation with federal immigration authorities (often called “sanctuary” policies):

  • "Texas A&M Law Professor Huyen Pham talks about 'Sanctuary Cities' in Texas and the United States," A Minute with Mitch, CBS DFW Radio (July 14, 2015).
  • "Why It’s Difficult to Crack Down on ‘Sanctuary Cities'," National Journal (July 13, 2015).
  • Interviewed by Law360 (an online news source for lawyers, business leaders, and the judiciary) regarding the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Mellouli v. Lynch, holding that an immigrant’s conviction for possessing drug paraphernalia (here, a sock used to hold Adderall) did not make him deportable (June 1). Link to the interview.

  • Asked by Law360 to comment on the impact of the Supreme Court’s 2014-2015 immigration cases (June 29, 2015).

  • Pham was also appointed as a Fulbright Scholar Program Discipline Peer Reviewer for the 2016-17 academic year.

Associate Professor Peter Reilly taught a course in Negotiations within Georgetown University’s Center for Public and Nonprofit Leadership in Washington, DC. on June 18.

  • On July 16, editors of the Corporate Crime Reporter published an article entitled “Get Rid of Deferred Prosecution Agreements,” highlighting Reilly’s forthcoming BYU Law Review article, “Justice Deferred is Justice Denied:  We Must End Our Failed Experiment in Deferring Corporate Criminal Prosecutions.” Link to the article.

Professor Malinda Seymore was appointed as a Fulbright Scholar Program Discipline Peer Reviewer for the 2016-17 academic year.

Neil L. Sobol, associate professor of law and director of legal analysis, research, and writing,  participated on a panel entitled “Reversing Mass Incarceration: What Reforms Are Working (or Could Work) and Why?” at the Southeastern Association of Law Schools Conference in Boca Raton, FL. on July 29.

Associate Professor Gina S. Warren was interviewed by Yale Climate Connections regarding her recent article, "Regulating Pot to Save the Polar Bear: Energy and Climate Impacts of the Marijuana Industry."

  • Warren's scholarship was also the subject of several news articles including:

    • "Weed Growers Are a Drag on Denver's Energy Supply," Brentin Mock, MSN News US, July 7.
    • "Weed Growers Are a Drag on Denver's Energy Supply," CityLab, July 6.
    • "Marijuana Plants Suck Up Energy in Denver," Grist, July 7.
    • "This Is How Much Energy It Takes to Legalize Weed," Mother Jones Online, July 8.

Professor Peter Yu published the following op-eds:

  • Commented on China's counterfeiting problems in China Daily and GB Times.

  • Co-organized the 7th Annual Innovation and Communications Law Conference at Xiamen University in China (July 6-7, 2015).

  • Spoke at the 6th Euro-Asia Intellectual Property Conference at Academia Sinica in Taiwan. The conference theme was "Exploring Sensible Mechanisms of Paying for Copyright" (June 11-12, 2015).