Professor Cortez, the inaugural Adelfa Botello Callejo Endowed Professor of Law in Leadership and Latino Studies, teaches and writes in the areas of health law, administrative law, and FDA law. His research focuses on emerging markets in health care and biotechnology. Prof. Cortez has become one of the world’s leading legal scholars on medical tourism and other cross-border health markets, and has published several articles and book chapters on the legal and ethical implications of these phenomena. His research also addresses mobile health technologies, how to regulate innovation under aging regulatory frameworks, the First Amendment constraints on FDA regulation (including FDA’s graphic tobacco warnings), immigration federalism, and alternative modes of regulation.
Professor Cortez has presented his research around the world, including to professional societies, at industry conferences, to regulators, and at several universities, including Colorado, Harvard, North Carolina, the University of Paris, Radboud University (Netherlands), Stanford, Texas, Wisconsin, and Yale. He also provides frequent legal commentary to the media, including the Associated Press, Chicago Tribune, CNN, the Huffington Post, the Los Angeles Times, NPR, WIRED, and Slate.com (including his essay for Slate, The FDA Needs to Regulate Digital Snake Oil).
Before joining the SMU faculty, Professor Cortez practiced with the Washington D.C. law firm Arnold & Porter, as part of its pharmaceutical, health care, and biotech practice. He represented clients in health care regulatory matters, with a special emphasis on health care fraud and abuse, FDA enforcement, privacy, and the Medicare and Medicaid programs. He represented clients during litigation, in corporate transactions, during agency enforcement actions, and during congressional investigations and hearings. While at Arnold & Porter, Professor Cortez litigated pro bono cases with the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund (MALDEF), and was a Board Member of the D.C. Hispanic Bar Foundation. In 2006, he was a Visiting Assistant Professor at Rutgers-Camden Law School.
In 2013, Professor Cortez and Glenn Cohen received a grant from the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard University to host an Exploratory Seminar on Mobile Health.