ProfNet Experts Available on Attorneys' Fees, Energy Investments, Trade Secrets

Also in This Edition: Jobs for Writers and Media Industry Blog Posts

Mar 13, 2013, 11:33 ET from ProfNet

NEW YORK, March 13, 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 updates by email, drop us a note at with the industries you cover, and we'll add you to the appropriate edition.

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  • Houston Ruling Impacts Attorneys' Fees
  • Federal Investments in Energy
  • Trade Secret Protection a Priority for Energy Business


  • Managing Editor – Houston Press (TX)
  • Newsperson – Associated Press (DC)
  • Speed Desk Editor – Bloomberg News (NY)


  • Media News and Updates
  • A Day in the Life of an AP Reporter
  • Upcoming PR/Media Events


Houston Ruling Impacts Attorneys' Fees
Peter Scaff
Litigation Attorney
Gardere Wynne Sewell LLP in Houston
"The rules on when a losing party has to pay attorneys' fees are changing in Texas. While attorneys' fees traditionally were recoverable for breach of contract, they were not recoverable for breach of implied warranty. However, Houston's First Court of Appeals recently held in Howard Industries, Inc., et al v. Crown Cork and Seal Company, LLC, that attorneys' fees are now recoverable for claims of breach of implied warranty of merchantability where the claims are based in contract. The appellate court's opinion also impacts all parties along the distribution chain, from the manufacturer to the ultimate seller. This expanded ability to recover attorneys' fees has the serious potential to change the fundamental economics of a lawsuit. It changes a defendant's exposure from a liquidated sum to an uncertain and ever-increased sum, based mainly upon factors beyond the defendant's control, namely the plaintiff's choice of counsel. As the decision also puts intermediate suppliers on the hook, it greatly impacts their vulnerability and risk."
Media Contact: Rhonda Reddick,

Federal Investments in Energy
Matthew Stepp
Senior Analyst
Information Technology and Innovation Foundation (ITIF)
"Although the Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 stimulated public investments across the energy innovation ecosystem, many of these programs and incentives have since expired or concluded. As a result, the energy innovation ecosystem has been hollowed out, with the overall emphasis of public investment shifting from promoting a healthy innovation ecosystem to one tilted much more towards deploying existing technologies." ITIF has released a new report entitled, "Breaking Down Federal Investments in Clean Energy" (, which analyzes federal investments in energy innovation over the last three years.
Stepp is also the author of "Lean, Mean, and Clean II: Assessing DOD Investments in Clean Energy Innovation" and "Shifting Gears: Transcending Conventional Economic Doctrines to Develop Better Electric Vehicle Batteries." He is based in Washington, D.C.
ProfNet Profile:
Media Contact: William Dube,

Trade Secret Protection a Priority for Energy Business
Joe Ahmad
Ahmad, Zavitsanos, Anaipakos, Alavi & Mensing P.C. in Houston
"If American energy companies aren't already taking major steps to protect their trade secrets, they need to do so immediately. In 2011, the Department of Homeland Security reported a 52 percent increase from the prior year in attacks on 'critical infrastructure systems,' including oil and gas pipelines. Those reports of hackers, primarily based in China, have the entire industry on alert, and with good reason. We have to assume that they're looking for trade secrets, but they could have even more sinister motives. Companies that don't take this threat seriously, and proceed accordingly, are making a big mistake."
Media Contact: Mary Flood,


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  • MEDIA NEWS AND UPDATES. MEDIAware, PR Newswire's free audience research newsletter, features recent media news and job changes in the industry. This month's edition features updates on Newsweek Global, Vogue, International Herald Tribune and more:
  • A DAY IN THE LIFE OF AN AP REPORTER. As a writer, you've most likely heard of the Associated Press, one of the largest news-gathering services in the world. Last week, ProfNet hosted a webinar with Joyce Rosenberg, small-business reporter for the AP. Rosenberg gave us some insight into what a typical day is like for her, how she finds and vets sources, and more. You can read a recap of the webinar here:
  • UPCOMING PR/MEDIA EVENTS. We regularly update our ProfNet Connect calendar to include upcoming events we think will be of interest to PR and media professionals. To see some of the events taking place over the next week or so:

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