Texas A&M School of Law Faculty Expertise Featured in the Media

May 6, 2014

Texas A&M University School of Law faculty members are renowned for expertise in their respective areas of legal study, research and practice. As practitioners, educators and stewards to the community, they are frequently called upon as recognized experts in their fields. Professors Lynne Rambo, Gabriel Eckstein, Michael Z. Green and Sahar Aziz recently appeared in the media to share their expertise and discuss current legal issues.

Professor Lynne RamboProfessor Lynne Rambo, constitutional law professor, discussed a case currently before the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals regarding Texas’s "improper photography" law, section 21.15 of the Texas Penal Code, which criminalizes taking photos without someone’s permission with the intent to arouse or gratify the sexual desires of any person. The Fourth Court of Appeals in San Antonio ruled the statute unconstitutional on the grounds that it is overly broad and vague in violation of the First Amendment. Thus, many types of unobjectionable photos by the press and others could subject people to criminal liability. Professor Rambo says the statute requires a fix by the legislature through amending the law. The local Fox affiliate’s investigative reporter Becky Oliver sought Rambo’s expert opinion the case.

Professor Rambo shared her constitutional law expertise on two other legal issues on the local Fox news channel in February. One involved Texas Attorney General's plan to appeal the ruling lifting the ban on gay marriage. The other discussed the judge's ruling to deny media access to the probation hearing for Ethan Couch, the drunk-driving teenager who killed four people.

Gabriel EcksteinProfessor Gabriel Eckstein, professor of oil & gas law and property law, discussed how the recent $3 million fracking verdict in favor of a Wise County family against Aruba Petroleum may open the door for more lawsuits. Eckstein said plaintiffs and their attorneys will see the verdict as an opportunity to seek their own claims. “When people see a lawsuit like this succeed, especially at the trial level, you’re going to have more copycat lawsuits,” he said. See the local CBS affiliate’s story.

Professor Eckstein, also a noted expert on water rights, is director of the International Water Law Project and currently serves on the executive board of the International Water Resources Association. He was recently quoted in a New York Times article on water rights in the American West and in a December article about Rio Grande water law rights. Eckstein, an attorney with Sullivan and Worcester, has served as senior counsel in the private sector working on environmental regulation and legislative matters and is a former litigator in private practice on environmental, toxic tort and asbestos cases.

Professor Michael GreenProfessor Michael Z. Green offered his expertise on labor and employment law in a recent Fort Worth Star-Telegram article on a pregnancy discrimination case involving Pier 1 Imports being sued for forcing a pregnant California employee to take unpaid maternity leave. Green stated that a proposed federal law would provide pregnant workers more protection in states like Texas, which currently does not have a law that prevents employers from forcing pregnant workers to take unrequested leave.

Professor Green is a labor and employment mediator and arbitrator who serves as a member of the American Arbitration Association’s National Labor Arbitration panel and the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service Labor Panel. He is the co-chair of the Subcommittee on ADR for the ABA Labor and Employment Section’s Committee on Ethics and Professional Responsibility. A frequently requested speaker, Professor Green has presented at dozens of conferences on matters pertaining to labor and employment law and dispute resolution.

Professor Sahar AzizAssociate Professor Sahar Aziz was a featured panelist on the PBS program “McCuistion,” tackling the question, “Are Government Security Agencies Essential or a Threat to Our National Security?” Aziz, who teaches courses in national security, civil rights litigation, national security and race in post-9/11 America, and Islamic and Middle East law, is a board member of the American Civil Liberties Union of Texas. Professor Aziz agreed that national security agencies are necessary, but stated the real question is “What is their proper role?” In addition, Aziz discussed domestic metadata, bulk surveillance and the legal basis for their collection and use, including the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, transparency and public advocacy. View the program here.

Professor Aziz has also recently been interviewed on Al-Jazeera English about the resumption of U.S. aid to Egypt despite human rights violations, the prosecution of journalists and judicial reform in the Middle East, as well as the March death sentences of 529 Egyptian protesters. She also appeared on the Al-Jazeera English program “Inside Egypt” in May and April. She was recently interviewed on Radio France International about Egyptian women failed by the Arab Spring. Professor Aziz, president of the Egyptian-American Rule of Law Association, co-authored a New York Times op-ed piece "Protest is Egypt's Last Resort" in December 2013.