ProfNet Experts Available on Free Speech, Asset Forfeiture, Medicaid, More Also in This Edition: Jobs for Writers and Media Industry Blog Posts

NEW YORK, Aug. 28, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Below are experts from the ProfNet network that are available to discuss timely issues in your coverage area. If you are interested in interviewing any of the experts, please contact them via the contact information at the end of the listing. To receive these updates by email, send a note to profnet@profnet.com with the industries you cover, and we'll add you to the appropriate edition. 

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EXPERT ALERTS

  • Court Orders that Benefits Be Paid to Policyholder in Persistent Vegetative State
  • Data Security Tune ups Needed
  • Fracking Debate in Britain
  • Asset Forfeiture on the Rise
  • Understanding Medicaid in New York
  • Texas Leads Pack on Fastest Highways
  • Baby Monitor Hacking Case 'Betrayal of Trust'
  • Student Free Speech Again Under Scrutiny

MEDIA JOBS

  • Assistant Web Editor – Times Community News (CA)
  • News Reporter – Daily Leader (MS)
  • 'Things to Do' Editor – Boston.com (MA)

OTHER NEWS & RESOURCES

  • Inclusive Diversity in America's Newsrooms
  • Grammar Hammer:I Just Can't Go Any Further (Or Farther)
  • Q&A Team: Get a Grip on Your Handshake

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EXPERT ALERTS:

Court Orders that Benefits Be Paid to Policyholder in Persistent Vegetative State
Lisa Kantor, Esq.
Kantor & Kantor
"The decision in the case of Ana Martinez v. The Beverly Hills Hotel and Bungalows Employee Benefit Trust Employee Welfare Plan highlights the importance of holding insurers accountable for providing benefits to policyholders. It is unfortunate, but it is often true that insurers need to be ordered by the court to follow their own contractual obligations. Not only is this a victory for Ana Martinez and her son, but it is also a victory for Medi-Cal and therefore California taxpayers, who are not responsible for paying for medical treatment that Beverly Hills Hotel is responsible for."
Kantor, who is the founder of Kantor & Kantor, is available to speak about insurance denials as well as the verdict of this case. Kantor represents people denied health benefits for treatment of both physical and mental illnesses. Most recently, Kantor has focused her efforts litigating denials of medically necessary treatment for eating disorders. Kantor & Kantor is the only law firm in the country with a distinct eating disorder practice staffed with lawyers and other professionals experienced in the specific needs of people who have been denied benefits for residential care for eating disorder treatment.
Media Contact: Rachel Teicher, rteicher@kantorlaw.net

Data Security Tune ups Needed
Stephen Stein
Attorney
Thompson & Knight in Dallas
"State and federal agencies are increasing enforcement actions against businesses that fail to properly protect their customer's personal information. The increased scrutiny has resulted in millions of dollars in fines and costly security upgrades during the past year. New Federal Trade Commission chair Edith Ramirez has indicated that data privacy and protection are top priorities for the agency, and will continue to be enforcement targets. The FTC and state attorneys general are pushing companies to be more diligent in protecting sensitive consumer information, establishing strict privacy policies and making sure that their business practices and employees follow those standards. Compliance is the best risk management tool to avoid the costs of an enforcement action and potential civil penalties, so companies should regularly audit their privacy and data handling practices."
Media Contact: Barry Pound, barry@androvett.com 

Fracking Debate in Britain
Andrew Derman
Attorney
Thompson & Knight in Dallas
"The potential use of hydraulic fracturing to tap into underground energy reserves in Great Britain has prompted controversy across the island nation, with Prime Minister David Cameron emerging as an outspoken advocate of the technology in the face of public protests. In light of this, it is important to note that fracking has been used and regulated in the U.S. for more than 60 years. More than half the wells drilled today in North America benefit from some form of hydraulic fracturing, which has given birth to an energy revolution in allowing oil and gas to be produced from tight rock formations. Numerous regulatory rules and contracts have been developed to accommodate the characteristics of such unconventional oil and gas plays, and I would expect similar restrictions would address many of the concerns in Britain as well."
Media Contact: Barry Pound, barry@androvett.com

Asset Forfeiture on the Rise
Lawrence Brown
Head of the Asset Forfeiture Group
Brown, PC, in Dallas
"More than ever, authorities are attempting to seize financial assets in white collar, tax and criminal prosecutions, often using overreaching legal arguments to quickly take assets from accused businesses and individuals. Asset forfeiture task forces are now working in all major U.S. metropolitan areas and attempting to seize assets in every possible case. These cases require aggressive, sophisticated representation, and that knows the law and knows how the other side thinks."
Media Contact: Robert Tharp, robert@androvett.com

Understanding Medicaid in New York
Ronald Fatoullah, Esq.
New York Elder Law, Trusts & Estates Attorney
Ronald Fatoullah & Associates
"Often, people confuse 'Medicaid' with 'Medicare.' It is a common occurrence. Who is eligible? What are the requirements? How do you apply?"
Fatoullah, founder of Ronald Fatoullah & Associates, is available to explain the differences between Medicaid and Medicare and the steps required to apply for Medicaid in New York. He has been selected as one of New York's "Best Lawyers" in the fields of elder law, trusts and estates for seven consecutive years. He also serves on the executive committee of the Elder Law Section of the NYS Bar Association.
Website: http://www.fatoullahlaw.com 
Media Contact: Carol Schell, cschell@fatoullahlaw.com

Texas Leads Pack on Fastest Highways
Steven C. Laird
Personal Injury Attorney
The Law Offices of Steven C. Laird, P.C. in Fort Worth, Texas
"As states rush to adopt faster highway speed limits, the Lone Star State is leading the way in creating unsafe driving conditions. The Governors Highway Safety Association indicates that fatal crashes have increased in rural areas by about 9 percent due to increased speed limits. It appears that Texas is leading the way in creating unsafe driving scenarios, implementing the nation's highest speed limit, 85 mph, on Pickle Parkway, which runs between San Antonio and Austin. The association's report also states that Texas is among 35 states to reduce enforcement of speed limits. These higher speed limits and lax enforcement only encourage drivers of all kinds – including the operators of 80,000-pound 18-wheelers who are paid by the mile – to exceed safe speeds. Considering these facts, perhaps the slogan 'Speed Kills' should be replaced with 'Higher Speeds Kill More.'"
Media Contact: Dave Moore, dave@androvett.com 

Baby Monitor Hacking Case 'Betrayal of Trust'
Scott Callahan
Personal Injury Lawyer
Law Office of Scott P. Callahan, P.C., Houston
"Disturbing questions are being raised about the security of Internet-based consumer electronics after reports that a man hacked into a Houston family's baby monitor and spewed vulgarities at a sleeping 2-year-old girl. It is a betrayal of our trust as parents to design web-accessible baby monitors without adequate security measures. When parents buy baby monitors, they are buying protection. When manufacturers sell baby monitors, they are selling trust. Manufacturers are responsible for providing products that are safe, secure, and free of defect. This is never more true than when it involves the vulnerability of a baby, the protection of innocence, and the sanctity of home."
Media Contact: Kit Frieden, kit@androvett.com 

Student Free Speech Again Under Scrutiny
Tom Brandt
Attorney
Fanning Harper Martinson Brandt & Kutchin, P.C., in Dallas
"Posters drawn by literary arts students in a Georgia high school have garnered nationwide attention for their inclusion of a single line from the play 'The Crucible," with the mother of at least one student saying her daughter was uncomfortable in the classroom where the quote 'God is dead' is included on the artwork. The situation again spotlights student speech, which has been at the center of such high-profile cases as the use of Biblical references on spirit banners in Kountze, Texas. A state district court judge's ruling allowed the banners, but the Kountze Independent School District appealed, as the ruling did not make clear whether the district was required to allow the banners as free speech or whether it was permitted to allow them because they are, in essence, the speech of the district. Although the law regarding student speech continues to be unclear, the safest course of action for the school district is to let the artwork remain. It may not be popular, but given the current status of the law regarding student speech, it is the safest thing to do." Brandt represents Kountze ISD in the ongoing litigation.
Media Contact: Rhonda Reddick, rhonda@androvett.com

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MEDIA JOBS:

Following are links to job listings for staff and freelance writers, editors and producers. You can view these and more job listings on our Job Board: http://bit.ly/pncjobboard

See more listings here.

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OTHER NEWS & RESOURCES:

Following are links to other news and resources we think you might find useful. If you have an item you think other reporters would be interested in and would like us to include in a future alert, please drop us a line at profnetalerts@prnewswire.com

  • INCLUSIVE DIVERSITY IN AMERICA'S NEWSROOMS. Last week we hosted our latest #ConnectChat, "Inclusive Diversity in America's Newsrooms" with Jen Christensen, a writer and producer for CNN and president of the National Lesbian & Gay Journalists Association (NLGJA): http://bit.ly/13GwS5O
  • GRAMMAR HAMMER: I JUST CAN'T GO ANY FURTHER (OR FARTHER). Good news – further and farther essentially mean the same thing (at a greater distance), but there are some specific guidelines to follow for correct grammatical usage: http://bit.ly/18Pkb6S
  • Q&A TEAM: GET A GRIP ON YOUR HANDSHAKE. The limp handshake; the over-achieving handshake; the no eye contact shake. You've probably experienced them all. Which one are you? Check out our Q&A Team, where Polina helps you to get a grip on your own handshake: http://bit.ly/18MnV97

PROFNET is an exclusive service of PR Newswire. To submit a request for experts: http://bit.ly/findexperts  To search the ProfNet Connect experts database: http://www.profnetconnect.com  To contact ProfNet by phone: +1-800-PROFNET, ext. 1  To share a thought on Expert Alerts: profnetalerts@prnewswire.com

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