Energy Center Faculty and Staff

David Adelman

Harry Reasoner Regents Chair in Law
Faculty Profile
David Adelman is an expert in environmental law, science, and patent law. In addition to a law degree, he holds a PhD in chemical physics and has written extensively on the relationship between regulations and innovations in technology, especially in the biotechnology field. He serves on the Department of Energy’s Environmental Management Advisory Board.

Karl Bayer

Adjunct Professor
Firm Profile
Karl Bayer teaches U. S. Commercial Arbitration and International Commercial Arbitration. Mr. Bayer is an ADR practitioner with almost thirty years of experience in litigation, mediation, and arbitration and has been teaching and guest lecturing at The University of Texas Law School for over 20 years.
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Jeremy Brown

Research Fellow
Jeremy Brown is a research fellow at the Energy Center. His current work focuses water management and environmental finance. He previously practiced energy and environmental law at Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe and the Natural Resources Defense Council.

Jeff Civins

Adjunct Professor
Firm Profile
Jeff Civins is partner in the Austin office of Haynes and Boone, LLP and has practiced all aspects of environmental law since 1975, assisting clients in compliance matters, transactions, and litigation. He teaches an environmental litigation seminar at UT Law each spring. Jeff is the organizer and co-editor of the Thomson West Texas Practice 2-volume treatise on Texas Environmental Law and a frequent author and speaker on environmental law topics. He is a fellow of the American College of Environmental Lawyers and a former chair of the Environmental and Natural Resources Law Section of the State Bar of Texas.

Jane Cohen

Edward Clark Centennial Professor
Faculty Profile
Jane Cohen practiced law extensively before joining the faculty of the Boston University School of Law. There, she founded and co-directed the Program in Legal Ethics and taught family law, federal income taxation, law and literature, property, professional responsibility, and a seminar on the human genome project. Professor Cohen left Boston and joined the University of Texas in fall, 2002. She has written extensively in the areas of family law, feminist legal theory, cultural accommodation, and genetic discrimination. Her articles have appeared in two books and in a variety of legal publications including the Pennsylvania Law Review, the Virginia Law Review, and theYale Law Journal.

Richard Deutsch

Adjunct Professor
Firm Profile
Richard Deutsch teaches International Investor-State Arbitration and International Commercial Arbitration. He is on the adjunct faculty for the St. Gallen (Switzerland) Executive Master of International Business Law Program. He is on the Steering Group of the ABA's International Arbitration Committee after serving as Vice Chair in 2010, and is on the Advisory Board of the Institute for Transnational Arbitration, and is a member of the American Society of International Law (Dispute Resolution, International Courts and Tribunals), and is Former Chair of the International Law Section of the Houston Bar Association. He has authored several published articles on international arbitration-related topics.

Steven Dewolf

Adjunct Professor
Firm Profile
Steven Dewolf teaches a seminar on Texas Wind Law. He co-authored the first Texas wind law textbook to be published by LexisNexis-Matthew Bender in April of 2011. He has lectured on legal topics before a variety of organizations including the State Bar of Texas, Texas Independent Bankers Association, the University of Texas Graduate School of Business, The University of North Texas Law School, University of North Texas, Southern Methodist University, and the Texas Police Chiefs’ Association.He is a partner and co-founder of Bellinger, DeWolf & Suberg.

Rebecca Diffen

Adjunct Professor
Firm Profile
Becky Diffen teaches a seminar on electric power law. She is an attorney in the Austin office of Vinson & Elkins where her practice focuses on energy transactions, project development, and energy regulatory law. She represents developers, investors, and other energy clients in the renewable energy, power generation, and natural gas industries on complex transactions including mergers and acquisitions, joint ventures, and project finance. She also has experience in regulatory proceedings before the Public Utility Commission of Texas and advising clients on Texas regulatory law. Becky has over 10 years of experience in the power industry and previously served as Development Manager for a utility-scale wind power developer. She was recognized by Chambers USA in 2011 and 2012 and is a co-author of Texas Wind Law, the first wind law treatise.

John Dzienkowski

Dean John F. Sutton, Jr. Chair in Lawyering and the Legal Process
Faculty Profile
John Dzienkowski is a specialist in oil and gas taxation and international energy transactions. Professor Dzienkowski is a coauthor of leading casebooks on Natural Resources Taxation, International Energy Transactions, and a treatise on Oil and Gas Law and Taxation. He has taught energy-related courses in Innsbruck, Austria; Ithaca, New York; Paris, France; Oxford, United Kingdom; and Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. He began his teaching career as the director of the Energy Law Program at Tulane Law School in New Orleans.

Michael Goldberg

Adjunct Professor
Firm Profile
Michael Goldberg is a senior trial partner at Baker Botts, with extensive trial experience in complex commercial and international arbitration matters. He is co-chair of the firm’s international dispute resolution section (international arbitration and litigation). During his thirty years of practice, he has served as lead counsel in litigation matters as diverse as antitrust/competition, banking/finance, bankruptcy, commercial, construction, corporate acquisitions, defamation, discrimination, energy, ERISA, intellectual property, partnership, premises liability, products liability, qui tam and real estate.
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Kelly Haragan

Director of the Environmental Law Clinic
Faculty Profile
Kelly Haragan is a clinical professor and Director of the Environmental Clinic. Kelly joined the faculty in 2008. Prior to joining the Clinic, Kelly worked as legal counsel for national nonprofits including: the Environmental Integrity Project in Washington DC, Environmental Defense Fund in Austin, and Public Citizen’s Austin office. She also worked at the Austin firm Henry, Lowerre, Johnson, Hess & Frederick, representing citizen and environmental groups in permitting and enforcement matters. Kelly specializes in Clean Air Act permitting and enforcement.

John Hays Jr.

Adjunct Professor
Firm Profile
In addition to his role as an adjunct professor at UT Law, Mr. Hays gives presentations at programs for business groups and the legal profession. He has written and presented numerous papers on energy law, regulation, and litigation to such groups as the State Bar of Texas, the Department of Energy, the Texas Independent Producers and Royalty Owners Association, the Interstate Oil and Gas Compact Commission, the University of Houston Law Center, and the Center for American & International Law. Mr. Hays is a certified and experienced mediator.

Monty Humble

Adjunct Professor
Firm Profile
Monty Humble teaches Emerging Issues in Renewable Energy Policy and an Energy and Development Policy Seminar. He is President of Brightman Energy, which is a developer of energy related projects. Previously, he served as senior vice president for a renewable energy company owned by Boone Pickens, and worked on the Pickens Plan, and before that, he was a partner at Vinson & Elkins for over 20 years where he headed the firm’s public policy group.

Thomas McGarity

Joe R. and Teresa Lozano Long Endowed Chair in Administrative Law
Faculty Profile
Professor McGarity is a leading scholar in the fields of both administrative law and environmental law. He also teaches torts. He has written six influential books and is the immediate past president of the Center for Progressive Reform.

Elizabeth Miller

Adjunct Professor
Firm Profile
Becky Miller teaches Oil & Gas and Oil & Gas: Leasing and Regulation. She has practiced exclusively in Scott, Douglass & McConnico's oil, gas and energy practice since she joined the firm in 1981.

David Nix

Adjunct Professor

Mauricio Pajon

Program Coordinator
Mauricio Pajon is the program coordinator of the Energy Center. Prior to joining the Energy Center in spring 2014, he served as the administrator of the Entrepreneurship and Community Development Development Clinic and the Environmental Clinic at The University of Texas School of Law. Mauricio holds a PhD in Latin American history from The University of Texas at Austin. His dissertation is about natural disaster and social change in Latin America.

Alan Rau

Mark G. and Judy G. Yudof Chair in Law
Faculty Profile
Alan Rau is one of the nation’s leading experts on arbitration, the author of a widely-used alternative dispute resolution casebook and of numerous scholarly articles, and an active arbitrator. He serves on the Commercial Panel of the American Arbitration Association, and has been a visiting faculty member at the University of Toronto, China University of Political Science and Law in Beijing, Willamette University College of Law, the University of Geneva; and the Universities of Paris I and II.

Suzanne Schwartz

Lecturer and Environmental Program Director for the Center for Public Policy Dispute Resolution
Faculty Profile
Suzanne Schwartz serves as Environmental Program Director at UT Law's Center for Public Policy Dispute Resolution, where she focuses on building collaboration and resolving disputes in the environmental and natural resources field. She joined the law school in 2005, after serving twenty years as general counsel at the Texas Water Development Board.

Ernest Smith

Rex G. Baker Centennial Chair in Natural Resources Law
Faculty Profile
Ernest Smith is a specialist in oil, wind, and gas law. Professor Smith is coauthor of the leading casebook Oil and Gas Law, a book on international petroleum transactions, and the leading treatise Texas Law of Oil and Gas. He teaches in the areas of property, international petroleum transactions, and wind energy law, and is coauthor of a widely used text, Cases and Materials on Property. A former dean of the Law School, Professor Smith has also been a visiting professor at several law schools, including Harvard.

James Spellings Jr.

Adjunct Professor
Firm Profile
James Spellings teaches Oil & Gas Taxation. He is Vice President, General Tax Counsel of Exxon Mobil Corp.

David Spence

Professor of Law, Politics and Regulation; Co-Director, Energy Management & Innovation Center
Faculty Profile
Professor Spence’s research and teaching focuses on business-government relations and the regulation of business, particularly energy and environmental regulation. He received his Ph.D. in political science from Duke University, and his J.D. from the University of North Carolina. Professor Spence has taught as a visitor at the Duke University Nicholas School of the Environment, the Vanderbilt Law School, the Cornell Law School, Harvard Law School, IMADEC University in Vienna, Austria, and the Bren School of the Environment at the University of California at Santa Barbara.

Melinda Taylor

Executive Director - Center - Global Energy, Int'l Arbitration, Environmental Law
Faculty Profile
Melinda Taylor is the executive director of the Center. Prior to joining the faculty, she was the director of the Ecosystem Restoration Program at the Environmental Defense Fund, where she managed a staff of attorneys, scientists, and economists engaged in projects to protect endangered species and water resources across the United States. Taylor has also served as deputy general counsel of the National Audubon Society in Washington, D.C., and was an associate at Bracewell & Patterson in Washington, D.C.

Michael Tomsu

Adjunct Professor
Firm Profile
Mike teaches Electric Power Law. He is a partner at Vinson & Elkins where his practice focuses primarily on the energy industry, with an emphasis on renewable energy. He has substantial experience in representing clients on regulatory issues before the Public Utility Commission of Texas and other state and federal regulatory agencies. He also has substantial experience in regulatory matters impacting the development and operation of renewable and new energy technologies, including wind, solar, energy storage, electric vehicles, low-impact hydro, and geothermal generation.

Gerald Torres

Bryant Smith Chair in Law
Faculty Profile
Gerald Torres is former president of the Association of American Law Schools (AALS). A leading figure in critical race theory, Torres is also an expert in agricultural and environmental law. He came to UT Law in 1993 after teaching at The University of Minnesota Law School, where he also served as associate dean. Torres has served as deputy assistant attorney general for the Environment and Natural Resources Division of the U.S. Department of Justice in Washington, D.C., and as counsel to then U.S. attorney general Janet Reno.

Timothy Tyler

Adjunct Professor
Firm Profile
Tim Tyler teaches International Commercial Arbitration and Investor-State Arbitration. He is also Of Counsel at Vinson & Elkins. His litigation practice emphasizes both international commercial and investor-state arbitration and U.S. litigation with a non-U.S. element.

Wendy Wagner

Professor of Business, Government and Society; Professor of Law
Faculty Profile
Wendy Wagner is a leading authority on the use of science by environmental policy-makers. She received a Master of Environmental Studies degree in 1984 and her law degree in 1987, both from Yale, where she was senior editor of the Yale Law Journal and managing editor of the Yale Journal of Regulation. Before entering teaching, she practiced law in the Enforcement Division of the Department of Justice’s Environment and Natural Resources Division and as pollution control coordinator with the Department of Agriculture’s Office of the General Counsel.

D. Marie Wagner

Adjunct Professor
Firm Profile
D. Marie Wagner is the Senior Counsel International at Anadarko Petroleum. She was previously the Global Professional Development Director at Baker & McKenzie Senior Counsel - International at El Paso Energy Corporation.

Roderick Wetsel

Adjunct Professor
Firm Profile
Rod Wetsel teaches Texas Wind Law. He is a partner at Wetsel & Carmichael in Sweetwater, Texas where he maintains a statewide practice in wind energy law. The firm has been actively involved in the negotiation of wind energy leases in over 50 wind projects on behalf of Texas landowners since 1999.

Christina Wisdom

Adjunct Professor
Firm Profile
Christina Wisdom teaches Texas Environmental and Administrative Law. She is also Of Counsel at Gardere Wynne Sewell where her practice is primarily focused in the realm of energy and environmental matters. Her breadth of experience entails: managing, advancing and strategizing legislative initiatives; drafting legislation; testifying before Texas legislative committees and state agencies; and actively participating in federal and state rulemaking processes, which includes authoring detailed legal and technical comments on proposals.

Denney Wright

Adjunct Professor
Faculty Profile
Denny Wright has taught Oil and Gas Taxation at The University of Texas School of Law for many years. He is also an Adjunct Professor at the University of Houston Law Center, and the Southern Methodist University Law School. Denney Wright has worked for ExxonMobil Corporation for thirty-nine years. He is currently Senior Tax Counsel - Global Training and Development, where he oversees worldwide U.S. tax training and development for Exxon Mobil Corporation tax personnel.