ProfNet Experts Available on Defective Products, Public Prayer Case, More Also in This Edition: Jobs for Writers and Media Industry Blog Posts

Nov 06, 2013, 13:30 ET from ProfNet

NEW YORK, Nov. 6, 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 with the industries you cover, and we'll add you to the appropriate edition. 

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  • Defective Products
  • Supreme Court: Chemical Weapons Convention/Bond v. United States
  • The Supreme Court Case on Public Prayer: Town of Greece v. Galloway
  • Addressing Barriers to Community College Access and Success
  • Governor Cuomo Signs Uniform Adult Guardianship Act Into Law
  • Links Between Obesity and Cancer


  • Senior Copy Editor – The Hollywood Reporter (CA)
  • Reporter – Daily Leader (MS)
  • Assistant Editor – Hudson Valley Reporter (NY)


  • Media 411: Struggling Newspapers Sell off Old Headquarters
  • Blog Notes: Food & Lifestyle, Marketing and Makeup Blogs
  • Grammar Hammer: Into the Great Wide Open


Defective Products
David Perecman
Founder and Personal Injury Attorney
The Perecman Firm
"Upon learning of a product that is a substantial hazard or poses a potential hazard to people, companies are required by federal law to report the problem to the Consumer Product Safety Commission immediately. Those who suffer injuries when using a defective product may be entitled to compensation, though there are time limits to pursuing a legal claim, and a personal injury lawyer can help injured victims and their families seek redress."
Death, injuries and property damage from consumer product incidents cost the U.S. more than $1 trillion annually, according to the Consumer Product Safety Commission. From faulty medical implants to dangerous children's toys to malfunctioning power tools to defective vehicles, Americans rely on the CPSC to protect the public from unreasonable risks associated with consumer products. Manufacturers have a responsibility to create products that are free from defects and do not pose a risk to users' safety. Despite the CPSC's best efforts, injuries occur -- and those who suffer injuries while using defective products may have recourse.
Media Contact: David Paul,

Supreme Court: Chemical Weapons Convention/Bond v. United States
David Fidler
Professor of Law
Indiana University Maurer School of Law
Fidler, a renowned expert on international law, is available to discuss the Supreme Court case Bond v. Galloway (argument on Nov. 5): "Bond's suggestion that the Convention's reference to 'other peaceful purposes' permits all 'nonwarlike' uses is inconsistent with the Convention's plain terms. The brief supports the U.S. government's position that properly interpreted, the treaty requires states parties, including the United States, to apply its prohibitions on development, possession and use of chemical weapons to individuals, such as Bond, who obtain and use toxic chemicals as weapons. The legislation implementing the treaty in the U.S. fully complies with this obligation by including penal provisions applicable to the individuals regardless of their motive or the impact of their actions."
Fidler specializes in international law as it relates to biosecurity threats (e.g., biological weapons and bioterrorism); arms control and non-proliferation concerning WMDs; and the international legal implications of "non-lethal" weapons. He is among a group of leading arms control experts who filed an amicus brief on the Bond case urging the Supreme Court to uphold federal legislation that implements U.S. treaty obligations under the Chemical Weapons Convention.
Contact: Brianne O'Donnell,

The Supreme Court Case on Public Prayer: Town of Greece v. Galloway
Daniel Conkle
Professor of Law, Adjunct Professor of Religious Studies
Indiana University Maurer School of Law
According to Daniel Conkle, an expert on the intersection of constitutional law and religion, the upcoming Supreme Court case Town of Greece v. Galloway -- which challenges the constitutionality of prayers to open local government meetings -- could lead to a major pronouncement on the general meaning of the Establishment Clause. While the justices could confine themselves to interpreting and applying Marsh v. Chambers, a more significant ruling would be if the justices embrace the town's broader constitutional argument: that the Establishment Clause should not extend to non-coercive endorsements of religion.
Conkle: "Such a ruling could dramatically relax the governmental bodies as well as governmentally sponsored religious symbolism, such as Christmas displays or Ten Commandments monuments. If the court elects to move in this direction, its decision could be a blockbuster, signaling a path-breaking shift from the longstanding interpretations of the First Amendment."
Contact: Brianne O'Donnell,

Addressing Barriers to Community College Access and Success
J. Noah Brown
President and CEO
Association of Community College Trustees
"Higher education is no longer a luxury. Despite today's high unemployment rates, a large number of available jobs remain vacant because of a dearth of qualified employees. Community and technical colleges help to fill the void by offering socioeconomically disadvantaged students access to an affordable, high-quality education that empowers them to find meaningful work and a living wage. Still, many students are unaware of existing financial and other resources that can help them succeed. As Thanksgiving approaches, it's time to take stock of blessings we normally overlook. For 12 million Americans each year, that includes community colleges."
Brown is available to comment on an ambitious and innovative way to make sure socioeconomically disadvantaged students are not only able to access higher education, but to find success despite barriers that could have derailed them otherwise. He is the author of "First in the World: Community Colleges and America's Future." He has also written a white paper as well as produced a video of a Congressional staff briefing panel discussion featuring community college students who were able to succeed despite major hurdles. ACCT and Single Stop USA have partnered to create a bold approach in assisting students to break through the barriers that many low-income and first-generation individuals at community colleges face in obtaining a degree. He is located in Washington, D.C.
ProfNet Profile:
Media Contact: David Conner,

Governor Cuomo Signs Uniform Adult Guardianship Act Into Law
Ronald Fatoullah, Esq.
Ronald Fatoullah & Associates
"I am proud to report that Governor Cuomo has signed the Uniform Adult Guardianship and Protective Proceedings Jurisdiction Act (UAGPPJA) into law. This law will now make 'granny snatching' cases in New York a difficult challenge. The UAGPPJA provides a set of uniform rules that address jurisdiction and related issues in adult guardianship cases, when multiple states are involved. Under the Constitution currently, guardianship cases of one state are not recognized by another. This results in multiple states claiming jurisdiction of the same matter, making 'granny snatching' cases burdensome, difficult and costly for all parties involved. The goal of the UAGPPJA is to have only one state with jurisdiction of a matter at any one time. Thus far, 38 states including New York have enacted the UAGPPJA."
Fatoullah has been advising clients about the legal and financial challenges of aging for more than 30 years. He has an eight-year inclusion as one of the New York area's "Best Lawyers," in the fields of elder law and trusts and estates, and is highly recognized for his expertise and contributions in the fields of elder law and estate planning.
Media Contact: Carol Schell,

Links Between Obesity and Cancer
Karen Basen-Engquist, Ph.D., M.P.H.
Director of the Center for Energy Balance in Cancer Prevention and Survivorship
The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center
"The increasing toll of Americans' largely sedentary lifestyle and its links to cancer is just beginning to be understood. But we have evidence that going from being completely sedentary to just a little bit active is where we'll see the most benefit in cancer survivors and, probably, in the general population as well. This is important because it's a 'do-able' thing for most people. It is crucial to identify the interventions that are most likely to help people adopt healthier changes, no matter how small."
Dr. Basen-Engquist is available to comment on research presented at the American Institute for Cancer Research annual conference on food, nutrition, physical activity and cancer, as well as on a wide range of topics related to obesity and cancer. She is a professor in the Department of Behavioral Science at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center. A psychologist by training, she is internationally recognized for her research on improving the quality of life for cancer survivors by developing and testing health behavior interventions to improve survivors' physical function and health outcomes. She recently completed a National Cancer Institute (NCI)-funded study investigating the mechanisms of exercise adoption and maintenance in endometrial cancer survivors. She's a co-leader of Project LEAP, a new clinical trial at MD Anderson evaluating the use of metformin, a diabetes drug, to prevent endometrial cancer in high-risk individuals. She also co-directs the Patient-Reported Outcomes, Population, and Survey Research (PROSPR) Shared Resource, a NCI-supported shared resource that assists investigators who are conducting research involving patient-reported outcome, behavioral, and psychosocial data. Her research includes: how exercise and diet affect cancer survivors' symptoms, biomarkers of cancer prognosis and overall health; helping cancer survivors adopt more physically active lifestyles; and designing innovative mobile technology methods of measuring and changing health behaviors in cancer survivors and healthy individuals.
Media Contact: Lindsay Kurs,



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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

  • MEDIA 411: STRUGGLING NEWSPAPERS SELL OFF OLD HEADQUARTERS. It seems impossible not to come across a story each week that describes the woes of the newspaper industry. Many newspapers across the country have already sold their properties – but what does this mean for the industry?
  • BLOG NOTES: FOOD & LIFESTYLE, MARKETING AND MAKEUP BLOGS. Blog notes is a weekly helping of blogs recently reviewed by Christine Cube. In this week's installment, Cube reviews blogs that cover food and lifestyle, marketing and makeup.
  • GRAMMAR HAMMER: INTO THE GREAT WIDE OPEN. In this week's installment of Grammar Hammer, Cathy Spicer explores when to use "in" versus "into."


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