ProfNet Experts Available on Health Care Fraud, H-1B Visa Filing, More

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Feb 26, 2014, 16:51 ET from ProfNet

NEW YORK, Feb. 26, 2014 /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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  • H-1B Visa Filing Season About to Begin
  • Companies May Dip into Chip-and-Pin Cards
  • Making Patent Trolls Pay for Frivolous Lawsuits
  • Tracking Corporate Apologies for Authenticity
  • Securing Vacant Properties Still a Priority
  • Astros' Snapping up Ryan a 'Smart Move'
  • Supreme Court to Hear EPA Air Regs Case
  • Health Care Fraud Draws Federal Scrutiny
  • Achieving Engineering Literacy in Elementary Schools


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  • Reporter – Law360 (CA)
  • Education Reporter – Corpus Christi Caller-Times (TX)


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H-1B Visa Filing Season About to Begin
Marc Klein
Thompson & Knight in Dallas
"This year's demand for H-1B visas among foreign nationals working in 'specialty occupations' is projected to be even higher than last year. By law, only 85,000 new H-1Bs can be issued for fiscal year 2015, including 20,000 exclusively for workers who hold advanced degrees from U.S. universities. The federal government will accept H-1B petitions beginning April 1, so interested employers should begin preparing the documentation immediately. It's critical to allow enough time to complete the petition and other materials and compile the required supporting documents. Last year, more than 124,000 petitions were received, and a lottery is expected to be needed again to determine which ones will be processed. Because of the high non-selection rate, companies, where appropriate, should condition employment on approval of the H-1B visa petition."
Media Contact: Barry Pound,

Companies May Dip into Chip-and-Pin Cards
Steve Stein
Thompson & Knight in Dallas
Demand is growing for U.S. retailers, banks and credit card companies to accelerate the introduction of chip-and-pin technology to combat cybersecurity risks. Rather than a magnetic stripe, chip-and-pin cards feature an embedded microcomputer chip with encrypted data, greatly enhancing security at the point of sale and making the theft of card numbers less profitable for hackers because the cards are much more difficult to replicate and use. More than 1.6 billion chip-and-pin cards are already being used worldwide. The federal government is historically hesitant to impose a single-technology standard on American businesses, as evidenced by our competing mobile phone platforms versus the European adoption of a single standard. However, newly proposed legislation, as well as the threat of costly class-action litigation, may put increased pressure on companies to adopt more secure and proven solutions for credit and debit cards."
Media Contact: Barry Pound,

Making Patent Trolls Pay for Frivolous Lawsuits
Matthew Anderson
Intellectual Property Attorney
Munck Wilson Mandala in Dallas
The U.S. Supreme Court is preparing to hear two cases in which businesses are seeking to recover attorneys' fees for the cost of defending frivolous lawsuits. The cases ask the Court to revisit the Patent Act and the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure and invoke 'loser pays' fee-shifting in patent disputes. Making fee-shifting more common in patent litigation could be one tool to help control the rise in filings from so-called patent trolls or non-practicing entities. Even frivolous patent lawsuits can be extremely expensive for businesses to defend. The court has an opportunity here to expand the definition of what constitutes an 'exceptional case' that allows fee-shifting. A broader application of fee-shifting could discourage trolls from filing suits that are frivolous or primarily aimed at 'shaking down' the defendants for quick settlements."
Media Contact: Robert Tharp,

Tracking Corporate Apologies for Authenticity
Tom Fox
FCPA and Compliance Ethics Lawyer and Blogger
Tom Fox Law in Houston
"The New York Times – inspired by public apologies offered by New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, bank executive Jamie Dimon, and sports star LeBron James – has launched the 'Apology Watch' column on the popular 'DealBook' blog and on Twitter to monitor the public apology reflex and track individuals' actual follow-through in behavior and policy. The sincere apology after a corruption enforcement or any corporate compliance error needs to be followed by the kind of accountability and correction these reporters are looking for. Along with any corporate apology must come 'yes' answers to questions such as: Did your company remediate the issue that caused the violation? Did you terminate those responsible? Were there internal penalties against senior management or the board that oversaw the conduct in question? Was your company truly accountable?"
Media Contact: Mary Flood,

Securing Vacant Properties Still a Priority
Chad Mosley
Senior Vice President
Vacant Property Security
"Even as the housing industry recovers and the number of vacant properties begins to decline, cities around the country continue to struggle with how to maintain and secure those homes that are still vacant. These vacant homes pose a variety of risks to the surrounding community, but the most prevalent method of securing vacant homes – plywood boards – is like ringing the proverbial dinner bell to thieves and vandals. They look unkempt and they're easy to breach. Some cities have responded by banning plywood or limiting its use to just a few months. In Chicago, vacant buildings may be boarded for up to six months, after which owners must find an alternative way to secure the building, such as commercial grade steel security panels. Steel barriers are not only more attractive. They are also much more secure."
Media Contact: Amy Hunt,

Astros' Snapping up Ryan a 'Smart Move'
Joe Ahmad
Executive Employment Lawyer
Ahmad, Zavitsanos, Anaipakos, Alavi & Mensing, or AZA, in Houston
Former Texas Rangers CEO Nolan Ryan's decision to join the Houston Astros as an 'executive adviser' is a solid move for the Astros that resembles other high-profile executive moves. I'm sure there were all the requisite agreements and assurances of non-disclosure of confidential information, as would be the case in any executive move. That's a solid policy regardless of the circumstances. But given that Ryan has a history with the Astros and his son, Reid, is the team's president of business operations, the Rangers can rest assured that Ryan is joining the Astros to 'spend more time with family,' and not because he's going to be sharing team secrets. All in all, it's a smart move for the Astros, which should bring them a lot of good will. And, frankly, they need it."
Media Contact: Mary Flood,

Supreme Court to Hear EPA Air Regs Case
Daniella Landers
Environmental Compliance Attorney
Sutherland Asbill & Brennan LLP in Houston
"The U.S. Supreme Court heard arguments this week challenging the Environmental Protection Agency's authority to require air permits for greenhouse gases emitted by large new and modified industrial pollution sources, such as power plants and factories. Industry groups and several states argue that, as written, the Clean Air Act requires permits for only specific types of emissions from industrial facilities, not the greenhouse gases that contribute to global warming. The court's final ruling, likely in June, may well set off new challenges. If the agency's authority is confirmed, there will likely be a move in Congress to amend the Clean Air Act to limit EPA's authority on these issues. Alternatively, if the decision limits the regulation of greenhouse gases, it will create further uncertainty for industry and regulators. The decision also could signal how the court will view other challenges to future air regulations."
Media Contact: Kit Frieden,

Health Care Fraud Draws Federal Scrutiny
David M. Walsh IV
Health Care Attorney
Chamblee, Ryan, Kershaw & Anderson, P.C. in Dallas
"The recent crackdown on fraud among health care providers is a reminder of the federal government's increased vigilance on how Medicare dollars are being spent. As more and more care falls under the umbrella of governmental programs, especially the Affordable Care Act, and as baby boomers increasingly make use of governmental benefits, federal investigators are more attuned to monitoring where the money is going, and are checking on whether tax dollars are being used appropriately. Some reports state that for every dollar spent on health care enforcement, the government receives a significant return. This would seem to make health care fraud enforcement a profit center in times of lean budgets. Currently, the government is focused on more big-ticket and obvious fraud. But they'll soon move on to less obvious frauds. Health care providers must make sure they're closely following government regulations in seeking Medicare and Medicaid reimbursements."
Media Contact: Dave Moore,

Achieving Engineering Literacy in Elementary Schools
Christine Cunningham
Director of Engineering is Elementary
Museum of Science, Boston
Even as America celebrated "National Engineers Week" last week, Linda Rosen of Change the Equation announced in the Huffington Post that we face national "engineering emergency." American schools are failing to provide equitable opportunities for all students. As a result, African-Americans and Latinos are the students least likely to pursue -- and reap the rewards – of a career in engineering. Says Dr. Cunningham: "Our vision is that *all* students should achieve engineering literacy. Our research suggests that all students can."
Dr. Cunningham is an educational researcher and vice president at the Museum of Science, Boston who can speak about educational strategies used with undeserved children in Arizona, North Carolina, and Maryland that help build 21st century skills -- skills that will enable these students to pursue a broad range of career choices, including engineering. She is the founder and director of Engineering is Elementary, a nationally disseminated award-winning curriculum for elementary students.
ProfNet Profile:
Media Contact: Cynthia Berger, 


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