ProfNet Experts Available on Immigration, Hurricane Sandy Anniversary, More

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

Oct 30, 2013, 17:35 ET from ProfNet

NEW YORK, Oct. 30, 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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  • Alternative Fees Prompt Move Away From Big Law
  • Appellate Ruling Reaffirms Trade Secrets' Value
  • Buyer Beware: Advice Offered Before Global M&A
  • Voter Identification Laws
  • Governor Cuomo Signs Uniform Adult Guardianship Act Into Law
  • Comet ISON Approaches


  • Hurricane Sandy – One Year Later (continuation)
  • Immigration Reform


  • Technology Reporter – Investor's Business Daily (CA)
  • Reporter – The News Herald (OH)
  • Weekend News Editor – NBCUniversal (NJ)


  • Q&A Team: Lessons Learned by Media Professionals
  • How Journalists and Bloggers Can Learn From Each Other
  • What to Do When You Get Scooped on a Story


Alternative Fees Prompt Move Away From Big Law
Clayton Bailey
Bailey Brauer PLLC in Dallas
"A recent report indicates that major corporate clients are increasingly willing to think outside the 'big firm' box when it comes to hiring high-stakes litigation counsel. One of the reasons cited for that trend is the increased use of alternative fee arrangements, and that is a trend that will only grow as corporate clients are learning that they can get the same quality of service and legal skills at boutique and midsize firms. When you add to that a willingness to enter into AFAs, those firms can become even more attractive to clients looking to control expenses."
Media Contact: Amy Hunt,

Appellate Ruling Reaffirms Trade Secrets' Value
Joe Ahmad
Ahmad, Zavitsanos, Anaipakos, Alavi & Mensing P.C. (or AZA) in Houston
"A recent ruling by the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals didn't create any new law, but it definitely sent a message to district courts that they should not be unwilling to enjoin parties from infringing on trade secrets. The court's ruling in Heil Trailer International Company v. Gavin Kula, et al. vacated and remanded a district court's decision to deny Heil's request for an injunction because Heil hadn't satisfied all six factors used in deciding whether the company's confidential information was a trade secret. In rejecting the trial court's ruling, the 5th Circuit upheld what was already established law. But they reinforced the value of legitimate trade secrets and told trial court judges that they need to take them seriously. Of course, people claim trade secret status all the time, but most can't even prove half of the six factors."
Media Contact: Amy Hunt,

Buyer Beware: Advice Offered Before Global M&A
Tom Fox
FCPA and Compliance Ethics Lawyer and Blogger
Tom Fox Law in Houston
"Before a corporation swallows up a multinational target in a merger, company executives need to be more mindful than ever for signs of corruption. The U.S. Department of Justice emphasizes pre-acquisition due diligence in its FCPA guidance issued last year. It's crucial that companies spot the red flags that can signal lax ethical practices and outright corruption. Signs include frequent policy breaches and waiver requests, financial problems, inactive compliance committees, irregular reports to the board, and no access to the CEO by the corporate compliance officer. Ignoring signs of trouble can leave the acquiring company with a real mess to clean up, or worse."
Media Contact: Kit Frieden,

Voter Identification Laws
Donathan Brown
Assistant Professor of Communication Studies
Ithaca College
"It doesn't happen very often where you see someone who's given down a ruling that something is perfectly legal and constitutional, to years later come back and say 'You know, I was wrong, and here's why.' It's a really rare turnaround, and that is what's catching most pundits and opinion-makers by surprise."
Brown is available to discuss voter identification laws and topics related to the decision made by Federal Court of Appeals judge Richard Posner's to uphold a controversial Indiana state law in 2007 requiring voters display photo identification to cast their ballot and his recent admission to making the wrong decision earlier this month during interview on the HuffPost Live Web program "Legalese It!"
Media Contact: Megan Christopher,

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,

Comet ISON Approaches
David J. Eicher
Editor in Chief/Author
Astronomy Magazine
"Comet ISON should be visible to the naked eye this December and January, and it's poised to be one of the most fantastic comets we've witnessed in decades."
Eicher, a comet/astronomy expert and the author of November's "COMETS!: Visitors from Deep Space," is the ideal expert to
comment on the spectacular comet phenomena taking place this winter. As the editor of Astronomy magazine, president of the Astronomy Foundation, and author of sixteen popular books on science and history, he has years of experience making astronomy accessible, fascinating, and fun for amateur stargazers and curious readers. He can offer an accessible and comprehensive survey of the science and history behind comets, as well as handy tips for observing and photographing comets like ISON on your own and specific commentary on the history and future of ISON. You can read his blog posts on HuffPost Science, and view his educational videos for Astronomy magazine's website. He is located in Wisconsin and is available for interviews.
Media Contact: Rachel Ewen,

EXPERT ROUNDUP: Hurricane Sandy – One Year Later (continuation)

Following is an additional expert for our Hurricane Sandy expert roundup. To view the original roundup, click here:

Hurricane Sandy – One Year Later
Christine Messina
Executive Vice President
allRisk Property Damage Experts
"Have you prepared for the next Sandy? The one-year anniversary of Hurricane Sandy is Oct. 29 (in New Jersey). It caused 117 deaths and billions of dollars in damage (the second costliest in U.S. history). A great deal of information about disaster planning and response has occurred. While we know more, today, what are the specific steps that individuals, first responders and communities can take to prevent or minimize a future disaster?"
Messina has more than 10 years of experience in disaster planning and recovery, working with state officials, institutions, businesses and homeowners. Her company was active in restoring a variety of sites at the New Jersey shore after Hurricane Sandy. 
Media Contact: Tom Peric,

Sandyversary: Battery Back-up in the Wake of Extreme Weather
Paul Dailey 
Product and Technical Sales Manager
AEE Solar
"Having a battery backup system for your home is a bit like carrying a spare tire for your car -- you hope you never need it, but it can be a life saver when you do. We heard from a lot of folks after Sandy who were very glad they had a solar-powered backup system and a lot more who wished they had one." 
Dailey is available to discuss how solar battery backup systems can securely maintain power and improve grid stability during natural disasters like Sandy. 
Media Contact: Carlie 


Now that the shutdown is over, the Obama administration is turning its attention to overhauling the nation's immigration laws, including citizenship for the country's 12 million undocumented immigrants. Following are experts who are available for articles you are writing on this topic:

Ken Salazar
Former Senator, Former Secretary of the Interior
Secretary Salazar was a member of the group that crafted a comprehensive immigration reform bill in 2006. He says that for all the challenges facing Congress, comprehensive immigration reform is achievable, and that Congress can and must do the right thing and fix our broken immigration system. He says the road map is there; it just takes statesmanship and a rise above petty politics to get it done. Secretary Salazar is available for select interviews.
Media Contact: Lori Ames,

Kathleen Campbell Walker
Immigration Attorney
Cox Smith (Texas)
"Being from El Paso and practicing immigration law here for over 27 years, this area has provided a unique lesson into the reality of border security and its impact on the businesses and people in this cross-border location. My practice has focused on business based immigration issues, worksite enforcement and compliance, consular processing, admissions, naturalization, citizenship, and family based cases. I believe our nation's economic strength can be aided by fixes to both the commercial and human side of the immigration reform equation. The current economic uncertainty in the U.S. underscores clearly that the time is now for the political courage to make the hard choices necessary to change the status quo concerning our immigration law and enforcement practices from dysfunction to serving the country's economic, security, and humanistic needs."
Walker is internationally recognized for her experience handling the complex issues related to business immigration, consular processing, admissibility and immigration security issues. In addition to immigration and nationality law, she has also advocated at local, state, and federal levels for comprehensive immigration reform, the improvement of national border security infrastructure and procedures, consular processing and admission procedures for foreign nationals, and improvement in the provision of pro bono immigration services and detention standards.
As a result of her experience with immigration and cross-border issues and trends, Walker has been regularly called upon to provide testimony before Congress, as well as the Texas House and Senate. She was recently named the top immigration attorney in Texas by Texas Lawyer magazine's editorial team. She was president of the American Immigration Lawyers Association, prior general counsel to AILA, chair of the AILA National Customs and Border Protection Liaison Committee, and chair of the AILA National Department of State Liaison Committee. From 2011 to 2012, she was chair of the AILA National Verification and Documentation Liaison Committee, focusing on immigration worksite compliance, and continues to serve on that committee. In 2010, she received the National AILA Service Excellence Award for her leadership. The incoming chair of the Greater El Paso Chamber of Commerce, where she currently serves as chairman of the government relations division, Walker is also chair of the Border Relations Committee for the City of El Paso. Board certified in immigration and nationality law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization, she was selected to serve on the Council of Foreign Relations Independent Task Force on U.S. Immigration Policy, which was chaired by former Gov. Jeb Bush and Thomas F. (Mack) McLarty.
Media Contact: Melinda Hart,

Shanon Stevenson
Fisher & Phillips LLP
"For the first time in 27 years, the United States is on the verge of passing the most comprehensive immigration legislation. The proposed legislation includes measures to strengthen border security, streamline our legal immigration system to allow businesses to retain workers for their skill needs, create a path to earned citizenship for the estimated 11 million undocumented foreign nationals in the U.S., and crack down on employers that hire undocumented workers. While the labor unions and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce are in agreement on the need for comprehensive immigration reform, it remains to be seen if the politicians can reach a compromise to help businesses, immigrant families, and the entire U.S. economy."
Stevenson is a partner in the Atlanta office and a member of the firm's Global Immigration Practice Group, with a focus on corporate immigration law. She began practicing in this area in 1998. She has comprehensive knowledge and extensive experience in a broad range of immigration areas, including advising clients on current immigration legislation, handling nonimmigrant and immigrant visa applications, outbound visas, Export Administration Regulation Deemed Export determinations, and advising employers on I-9 compliance. She is a member of the American Immigration Lawyers Association and has written and spoken extensively on immigration legal issues. She has been repeatedly recognized for her immigration practice by independent ratings agencies.
Media Contact: Kevin L. Sullivan,

Paul Goldstein
Attorney of Counsel and Director, Immigration Law Department
Kelley Kronenberg, Fort Lauderdale
"The time is now for comprehensive immigration reform for the sake of the country's economy, as well as keeping families together."
Goldstein focuses his practice on the complex immigration and naturalization laws of the United States. He represents individuals and businesses with nationality law issues and immigration matters, including green cards/adjustment of status, naturalization and citizenship, deportation defense and relief from removal, employment-related visas, I-9 employment verification and eligibility, asylum in the U.S., criminal matters affecting Immigration status and E-1/E-2 Treaty Trader/Treaty Investor visas. He is also a member of the American Immigration Lawyers Association.
Media Contact: Kelsey Dean,

Geoffrey Hoffman
Clinical Associate Professor of Law, Director of the Immigration Clinic
University of Houston Law Center
"The current proposals are stalled in the House. The Senate has already passed a comprehensive proposal (S. 744) that cannot even be considered in a joint conference unless the alternatives in the House come up for a vote. A current House alternative, the so-called SAFE act, for example, is an extremely punitive bill and very detrimental to civil liberties and the rights of immigrants. An overhaul of the immigration system is much needed. Everyone should be able to agree on the basic need for reform and that our immigration system is broken on a variety of levels."
Hoffman can address House and Senate proposals for comprehensive immigration reform, and, more specifically, proposals relating to families, asylum seekers and those who are members of vulnerable populations of immigrants.
Media Contact: Carrie A. Criado,

Michael A. Olivas
William B. Bates Distinguished Chair of Law
University of Houston Law Center
Olivas commented on the immigration reform bill that is coming to the fore again after being on the backburner for several months: "The first draft is groundbreaking in its comprehensiveness. It covers many important points, and is a good framework for negotiation. While it has many generous provisions that will likely clear many of the longstanding problems with the 1996 revisions, it still is not our better angel yet. There are still too many devils in the details, but I am hopeful that the give and take of the process will improve the bill."
A nationally recognized immigration scholar, Olivas can provide an overview of reform efforts and comment on the broader context of the immigration issue. He is also the director of the Institute for Higher Education Law and Governance and a prolific writer on immigration and education issues.
Media Contact: Carrie A. Criado, 

David Koelsch
Attorney, Immigration Law Clinic
University of Detroit Mercy
The Immigration Law Clinic represents immigrants on a variety of legal issues, including abandoned immigrant children and abused immigrant women. Professor Koelsch is available to discuss an array of legal, economic and political issues that are tied to immigration. A few notable topics: 1) Syrian refugees in Detroit: The Immigration Law Clinic has seen a spike in applications for temporary protective status for Syrian refugees, many of whom are particularly clustered in the Detroit area. 2) Gay and lesbian Ugandan immigrants in Detroit: The Immigration Law Clinic also works with a number of LGBT Ugandan refugees who faced intense persecution in their home country, where they have virtually no legal protection and can receive life imprisonment under the country's penal code. We can recommend sources from Uganda who can tell their personal stories. 3) 30th anniversary of Freedom House in Detroit: Freedom House is the only place in the country that provides everything under one roof for refugees seeking asylum. The Immigration Law Clinic works closely with the two staff lawyers at Freedom House to ensure its clients – including many immigrants from Africa – receive adequate legal services. We can connect you with the attorneys and clients involved in these efforts.
Media Contact: Martin Grego,

Christina Greer
Professor of Political Science
Fordham University
Greer is available to discuss Obama's immigration reform. Her research and teaching focus on American politics, black ethnic politics, urban politics, quantitative methods, Congress, New York City and New York State politics, campaigns and elections, and public opinion. Greer's book, "Black Ethnics: Race, Immigration, and the Pursuit of the American Dream" (Oxford University Press), investigates the increasingly ethnically diverse black populations in the U.S. from Africa and the Caribbean. She finds that both ethnicity and a shared racial identity matter and also affect the policy choices and preferences for black groups.
Media Contact: Gina Vergel,

Greg Berk
Carothers, DiSante and Freudenberger, LLP
Berk works closely with employers throughout California, the U.S. and overseas on immigration matters, including: work visas, such as H-1B, L-1, TN and O-1; employer-sponsored green cards; overseas consular matters; and consultations and second opinions on complex matters.
Media Contact: Kristina Sarenas,, or Liz Drew,

Cindy Hahamovitch
Professor of History
The College of William and Mary
Hahamovitch is an expert on guest workers, the history of immigration, and the history of labor. She is the author of "No Man's Land: Jamaican Guestworkers in America and the Global History of Deportable Labor," which won the Merle Curti Award for the best book in social history, the James A. Rawley Award for the best book in race relations. She served as Human Rights Commissioner for the National Guestworker Alliance in October 2013.
Media Contact: Phillip Jones,

Angela Banks
Cabell Research Professor of Law
The College of William and Mary
An expert on immigration law and international law, Banks teaches on these topics, as well as human rights. Prior to joining William and Mary, she was the Reginald F. Lewis Fellow for Law Reaching at Harvard Law School; a legal advisor to Judge Gabrielle Kirk McDonald at the Iran-United States Claims Tribunal; an associate at Wilmer, Cutler & Pickering in Washington, D.C.; and a law clerk for Judge Carlos F. Lucero of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit.
Media Contact: Phillip Jones,

Harley Lippman
Genesis10 is an information technology consulting, staffing and domestic outsourcing firm. Lippman can speak to immigration issues concerning H1-B visas for highly skilled foreign workers. Based in New York, Genesis10 works with about 130 clients across industry sectors, mostly Fortune 500 companies, and has 2000 employees and consultants nationwide.
Media Contact:  Michelle Manoff,

Jamie Longazel
Assistant Professor, Sociology
University of Dayton
Longazel researches the local and national politics of immigration, as well as other issues pertaining to race, law and crime. He has written about the politics of local immigration laws, such as those in Alabama, Arizona and Hazleton, Pa. He has also written about immigration and crime, arguing that "tough on crime" rhetoric in the immigration debate is more about politics, race and control than it is about security, law and order.
Longazel earned his Ph.D. at the University of Delaware and was previously a doctoral fellow at the American Bar Foundation in Chicago. His work has been published in the Chicano/a Latino/a Law Review; Journal of Criminal Justice; Race & Justice; and Taking Local Control, an edited volume about state and local immigration policy published by Stanford University Press.
Media Contact: Cameron Fullam,

Robin Jacobson
Associate Professor, Politics and Government
University of Puget Sound
Jacobson writes and lectures on the politics of immigration and race in the U.S. and serves on the board of a Northwest group that seeks alternatives to immigrant detention. Her book, "The New Nativism: Proposition 187 and the Debate over Immigration" (2008), explores what role race plays in immigration restrictionist activities. She has published articles on immigration detention, state anti-immigrant initiatives, the debate over birthright citizenship, and the relationship between the labor movement and immigration politics. She also is co-editor of "Faith and Race in American Political Life" (2012), which focuses on the central role that race and religion play in American politics. Public lectures include "The Politics of Immigration Reform" at University of Oregon and "Homegrown Nativism or Corporate Profits" at Arizona State University. She is a vice chair for the Northwest Detention Center Roundtable, an organization that provides services and alternatives to detention for immigrants in one of the largest immigration detention centers in the country. Education: BS, Johns Hopkins University, 1996; Ph.D., University of Oregon, 2004.
Media Contact: Shirley Skeel,

T. Douglas Stump
American Immigration Lawyers Association, Oklahoma City
Stump is an immigration lawyer from Oklahoma City and president of AILA for the 2013-2014 year. For over 30 years, Stump has been an attorney, practicing immigration law exclusively, and maintaining offices in both Tulsa and Oklahoma City. He focuses his practice on employment-based immigration law, complex deportation, federal court litigation and family immigration matters. He has coedited over 30 books on immigration law. He was previously an adjunct professor of immigration law at the Oklahoma City University School of Law, where he earned his J.D. He is also the former general counsel for the Oklahoma State Council for Human Resource Management.
Media Contact: Belle Woods,, or George Tzamaras,

Victor D. Nieblas
First Vice President
American Immigration Lawyers Association, City of Industry, Calif.
Nieblas practices immigration law in Southern California, where he focuses on deportation defense, Federal Court litigation, consular abroad processing, immigrant and non-immigrant visas, waivers and appellate work. He graduated from Loyola Law School in 1995 and serves as an adjunct professor of law at Loyola Law School in Los Angeles. Nieblas is the guest legal commentator for several local news broadcasts, including "MundoFox Noticias 22" in Los Angeles, Univision's "Primera Edicion," and MundoFox National News. Nieblas has also hosted a cable television show named "Inmigracion 411," where he provides answers to viewer questions and is recognized as an immigration expert. He is also regularly quoted in major national print media and often appears on national news broadcasts discussing immigration law. He is fluent in English and Spanish.
Media Contact: Belle Woods,, or George Tzamaras,

Crystal L. Williams
Executive Director
American Immigration Lawyers Association, Washington, D.C.
AILA is the national association of more than 13,000 attorneys and law professors who practice and teach immigration law. Williams has been involved in immigration for more than 25 years, as a practicing immigration attorney, a law publisher, a pro bono program director, a government official, and, for most of the past decade, a program leader within the AILA national office. She is a cum laude graduate of Georgetown University Law Center and a magna cum laude graduate of the State University of New York at Oneonta.
Media Contact: Belle Woods,, or George Tzamaras,

Gregory Chen
Director of Advocacy
American Immigration Lawyers Association, Washington, D.C.
Chen is director of advocacy for AILA. Prior to joining AILA, he served for three years as director for legislative affairs with Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service, and three years as director for policy and advocacy at U.S. Committee for Refugees and Immigrants. He served five years in San Francisco at Legal Services for Children, representing children in detention and removal proceedings and other immigration matters, as well as child welfare, juvenile delinquency, and education law proceedings. He is a graduate of Harvard College and NYU Law School and clerked for the Honorable Stephen Reinhardt of the U.S. Court of Appeals.
Media Contact: Belle Woods,, or George Tzamaras,

Ana Mendez Mencini
Clinical Professor and Supervising Attorney, Immigration Clinic
IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law
Before joining the IIT Chicago-Kent faculty in 2011, Mencini was the principal attorney of Ana M. Mencini & Associates PC and the Immigration Law Group, where her work focused primarily on immigration matters. The daughter of an immigrant (her father is from Colombia), Mencini is an active advocate in the immigration debate. She participates in advocacy efforts for the reform of immigration laws. She contributes to the immigrant community by representing select clients in removal proceedings on a pro bono basis, and she is a frequent volunteer at events such as World Relief DuPage's naturalization workshops. While volunteering with the Midwest Immigrant and Human Rights Center, Mencini won asylum for clients from Colombia who were fleeing persecution from the FARC, a far-left guerrilla insurgency.
The Immigration Clinic handles immigration cases dealing with family- and employment-based petitions, non-immigrant visas (H-1B, work, student, visitor), adjustment of status, fiance(e) and spouse visas, labor certifications, naturalization, asylum, Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) petitions, removal defense in Immigration Court, unlawful presence and other waivers, and assessment of the immigration consequences of criminal accusations and convictions.
Media Contact: Gwen Osborne,

David Cook- Martín
Associate Professor of Sociology; Director of the Center for International Studies
Grinnell College
Cook-Martín is a political sociologist who examines interconnected migration and nationality policies in the Americas and Europe as a way to understand political membership and belonging from a transnational perspective. A member of Grinnell's Department of Sociology since 2007, he teaches the full range of courses in his department, including International Migration, Political Sociology, Law and Migration, Development of Sociological Theory, Methods of Empirical Investigation, and Introduction to Sociology.  His most recent book, "The Scramble for Citizens and the Making of Dual Nationality" (Stanford University Press), explores citizenship and its changing character. His next book, "Race, Immigration and Citizenship in the Americas" (with David FitzGerald) examines interactions between classical political liberalism, repressive regimes, and the unexpectedly greater openness of the latter to immigration; it is forthcoming from Harvard University Press in 2014. His work appears in the Journal of Historical Sociology, the Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies, Citizenship Studies, and the Journal of Interdisciplinary History. He has also published chapters on transnational religious networks, ethnic return migration, and Latin American migrations to Spain.
Expertise: nationality, immigration and emigration policies.
Media Contact: Melissa Connerton,

Stephen Zamora
Leonard B. Rosenberg Professor of Law; Director of the Center for U.S. and Mexican Law
University of Houston Law Center
Zamora is also director of the North American Consortium on Legal Education (NACLE). His expertise encompasses all legal aspects of U.S.-Mexico relations, with an emphasis on economic integration and NAFTA. Migration and labor issues fit squarely within this area.
Media Contact: Carrie A. Criado,


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