: The Blawgraphy
Life of a Law Student, University of Houston Law Center

Please note: I'm no longer updating this particular blog, but keep it around for archival purposes. Visit me at the current blog at

Remembering John O’Quinn


John O’Quinn, the well known Houston plaintiff’s lawyer and alumni of the University of Houston Law Center passed away in a car accident this morning. He was a larger than life figure at the University of Houston and you couldn’t avoid seeing his name – it was on the law library, the football field and others.

Most students remember John for the talk he gave each year for the John Black Moot Court Competition – the intraschool oral arguments that are a rite of passage for all 1L students in the spring each year. John never missed a year in the time I’ve been here. He always gave the same talk. He told the story of John Black, a classmate of his at the University of Houston Law Center in much more modest times, a blue-collar guy who developed brain cancer after his first year but was so committed to the idea of becoming a trial lawyer who could represent the little guy that he kept coming to class even after the disease had robbed him of the ability to achieve that dream. When John Black passed away, O’Quinn, with some of the others in his class established the competition in his honor. John teared up every time.

U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit Sitting at the University of Houston, November 3rd

University of Houston Law Center

The United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit will be sitting at the University of Houston Law Center on November 3rd, 2009. According to the Court’s calendar, the following cases will be heard:

Panel K: Tuesday, November 3, 2009, 10:00 A.M., The University of Houston Law Center

  • 2008-1288 DCT MBO LABS V BECTON [argued]
  • 2009-3104 MSPB RACHAL V MSPB [argued]
  • 2009-1210 BCA BEYLEY CONSTRUCTION V ARMY [argued]
  • 2009-1270 PTO IN RE CHAPMAN [argued]
  • 2009-3193 MSPB KNIGHT V MSPB [on the briefs]

Panel L: Tuesday, November 3, 2009, 10:00 A.M., The University of Houston Law Center

  • 2008-1418 DCT HUMAN GENOME V IMMUNEX [argued]
  • 2009-3155 MSPB ARMSTRONG V TREASURY [argued]
  • 2009-3200 MSPB GIBSON-MICHAELS V FDIC [on the briefs]

More information is available at the University of Houston Law Center Website

U.S. News Rankings in the Wild, UHLC 59 and 19

The newest round of U.S. News and World Report law school rankings are slowly trickling out in advance of their official release date on April 23rd. For those interested, the University of Houston Law Center is at 59 and debuts at 19 on the new part-time program rankings.

Texas Consumer Complaint Center

David Ellison’s Consumer Watch column in the Houston Chronicle carried an profile on the Texas Consumer Complaint Center at the University of Houston Law Center: Texas Consumer Complaint Center helps people with complaints (archived)

If there is a particular phone call that makes Gary Saunders proud of his job, it would be the one from a widowed pensioner who kept receiving unauthorized charges on her phone bill.

She told Saunders, a third-year law student at the University of Houston who handles complaints at the Texas Consumer Complaint Center, that she had been unable to stop the charges or get a refund. So, he called the phone company.

“She didn’t get all of her money back,” Saunders said, “but she got half of the months refunded to her and the charges stopped.”

Since the center started in 2006, Saunders and other UH Law Center students have been fielding telephone calls and e-mails from consumers with problems such as defective goods or services, debt collectors and/or bankruptcy and identity theft.

Robert Johnson, associate director of the UH Center for Consumer Law, said the students — seven to 10 each semester — “address about every legal question except for criminal matters. The students, who are paid or receive class credits, educate consumers on their rights and sometimes bring the two parties together on the phone for a resolution.” To contact the center, call 877-839-8422 or visit Johnson said the best way to file a complaint is through the Web site.

UHLC News: Olivas one of four Dean candidates for University of New Mexico Law School


Just before Christmas the Provost of the University of New Mexico announced four finalists for the Dean of the UNM School of Law, including the University of Houston’s own Michael Olivas. In addition to national recognition as an expert in higher education law, Olivas is perhaps best known for the work done on “Colored Men” and “Hombres Aqui” Hernandez V. Texas and the Emergence of Mexican-American Lawyering. It would certainly be a loss for the Law Center at the University of Houston, but it’s hard to imagine a better Dean for the University of New Mexico.

Michael A. Olivas is the William B. Bates Distinguished Chair in Law and director of the Institute for Higher Education Law and Governance at the University of Houston Law Center. Olivas earned his J.D. from Georgetown University in 1981. He has served as associate dean for research, and associate dean for students at the University of Houston Law Center. He teaches on education law, professional responsibility, immigration law, legislation, and administrative law. In the 1990s, he served as general counsel to the Association of American University Professors. Olivas is a board member and trustee of the Mexican American Legal Defense and Education Fund.

Blawgraphy: Subscribe by Email

Enter your email address:

Delivered by FeedBurner