ProfNet Experts Available on Mental Health Parity, Same-Sex Divorce, More Also in This Edition: Jobs for Writers and Media Industry Blog Posts

Nov 13, 2013, 12:29 ET from ProfNet

NEW YORK, Nov. 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 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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  • Legislative Prayer Comes to the Forefront
  • Crypto Locker Computer Virus Spreading
  • New York Luxury Condo Tower Plans Revived
  • Deeper Probe Into Infosys Practices Needed
  • Greater Offshore Contractor Scrutiny Needed
  • Texas Supreme Court Takes on Gay Divorce
  • Final Rule Issued for Mental Health Parity


  • Editorial Writer – The Augusta Chronicle (GA)
  • Staff Editor – The Hollywood Reporter (CA)
  • Director of Online Content Products – PR Newswire (NJ)


  • Media 411: Can Newspapers Still Be Considered Mass Media?
  • Blog Notes: Tech, Men's Lifestyle, Personal Finance Blogs
  • Fraud Solutions Takes a Bite Out of the Big Apple


Legislative Prayer Comes to the Forefront
Tom Brandt
Attorney and Establishment Clause Expert
Fanning Harper Martinson Brandt & Kutchin, P.C. in Dallas
"The ongoing debate over the relationship between religion and government was reignited in recent oral arguments before the U.S. Supreme Court in the first legislative prayer case to reach the court in 30 years. The case stems from demands for more religious diversity in the opening prayers at meetings of the Greece, N.Y., Town Board. In making its ruling, it is unlikely that this court will overturn 1983's Marsh v. Chambers, which held that legislative chaplains did not violate the establishment clause of the First Amendment. I do not expect an across-the-board ban of legislative prayer, but the court could decide there should be a greater effort to involve more religious viewpoints."
Media Contact: Rhonda Reddick,

Crypto Locker Computer Virus Spreading
Rose Romero
Cybersecurity Attorney
Thompson & Knight in Dallas
"Crypto Locker is one of the worst viruses ever reported and is affecting thousands of computers around the world. First appearing in late October, the virus prevents user access to crucial files on Windows PC hard drives until a ransom is paid for a key to decrypt the files. Because the virus typically infects computer systems through fake, benign-looking emails that appear to be sent by banks, shipping companies or retailers, it makes businesses particularly vulnerable to attack. Companies should remind employees that they should never open an attachment in an email, or follow a link, unless they know the person sending it and are expecting the attachment or link. Every business should have clear and robust security policies addressing the risks to systems and sensitive data, with regular backups and frequent testing to assure that data can be recovered."
Media Contact: Barry Pound,

New York Luxury Condo Tower Plans Revived
Joe Sarcinella,
Thompson & Knight in New York
"A long-dormant real estate development in the heart of Manhattan is again moving forward. The 72-story tower, known as 53 W. 53rd Street, will feature 145 ultra-luxury condominiums, along with new gallery space for the adjacent Museum of Modern Art. Through a great deal of care and persistence, this is a project that brought together foreign and domestic investors, lenders, and the museum. There are still attractive opportunities and low capital costs that could revive interest in proposed developments in New York and other major markets."
Sarcinella is lead counsel for the legal team advising the Singapore and Malaysia-based lending consortium responsible for the project's $860 million construction loan. Planning on the project has been ongoing since 2007, when Paris-based architect Jean Nouvel was hired by the Houston-based property company Hines to design the tower.
Media Contact: Barry Pound,

Deeper Probe Into Infosys Practices Needed
Tom Fox
FCPA and compliance ethics lawyer and blogger
Tom Fox Law in Houston
"Last week, the India-based consulting and outsourcing company Infosys agreed to pay the U.S. government $34 million for alleged visa fraud and immigration violations – a record amount for an immigration case. This case raises additional troubling questions though about what else Infosys might be doing. If a company as a matter of practice submits false documents to gain illicit visas and, as alleged, prepared a list of do's and don'ts to help employees mislead government authorities, what is its commitment to anti-corruption laws? U.S. authorities now would be justified in exploring whether the company is abiding by the FCPA, which prohibits bribery and phony accounting. Companies that are allowed to cheat can gain an unfair advantage over honest players and must be held accountable."
Media Contact: Kit Frieden,

Greater Offshore Contractor Scrutiny Needed
Jason Itkin
Arnold & Itkin LLP in Houston
"After the recent death of yet another offshore oil worker, the head of the federal agency in charge of offshore safety, said contractor activity has been a common thread in recent incidents. We agree that contractors deserve more attention from the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement, which traditionally has focused solely on the big oil companies that hold the leases. In too many cases, unsafe practices are widespread at the job site, and workers suffer as a result."
Media Contact,

Texas Supreme Court Takes on Gay Divorce
Brad LaMorgese
Family Law Attorney
McCurley Orsinger McCurley Nelson & Downing, L.L.P. in Dallas
"The Supreme Court of Texas waded into the legally gray and culturally sticky area of gay divorce, hearing oral arguments in two cases involving same-sex couples who had been legally married in other states, but are now seeking divorces in Texas. The cases are the first test of Texas' constitutional ban on same-sex marriage since the U.S. Supreme Court overturned the Defense of Marriage Act. Since gay marriage isn't legal in Texas, it's also legally impossible for same-sex couples to get a divorce here. That can leave these couples in legal limbo, unless they can find a workaround. If they were married in California, for example, that state allows same-sex couples the ability to get divorced there without first establishing residency. But most same-sex couples, just like straight couples, aren't thinking about divorce when they choose the venue for their wedding."
Media Contact: Amy Hunt,

Final Rule Issued for Mental Health Parity
Lisa S. Kantor, Esq.
Founding Partner
Kantor & Kantor, LLP
"The final rule presents an immense improvement to the MHPEA. Not only does this mandate the way insurers interpret the law, but it lays the foundation for true parity for those seeking treatment for mental illness and addiction. I am confident that the Final Rule for this law will remove significant barriers to those seeking mental health and addiction treatment. Furthermore, this will provide my clients -- most of whom suffer with eating disorders -- access to life-saving treatment."
Kantor, an authority on health insurance law and mental health parity, represents people denied health benefits for treatment of both physical and mental illnesses. Most recently, she has focused her efforts litigating insurance company denials of coverage for residential treatment of 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 eating disorder treatment. Kantor & Kantor sues health plans that refuse coverage, or agree to pay for treatment for a short period of time, forcing patients to be discharged before their health is restored. In 2007, they won the first published eating-disorder decision in California in which the court applied the state's mental health parity law to beneficiaries who sought treatment outside California. In August 2012, she won the first federal court ruling that determined health plans must pay for all medically necessary treatment for mental illnesses, including residential treatment.
Media Contact: Rachel Teicher,



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  • MEDIA 411: CAN NEWSPAPERS STILL BE CONSIDERED MASS MEDIA? Most of us get our news online, on our mobile devices, or maybe even on TV every now and then. With the decline in newspaper readership, is it appropriate to still consider newspapers a "mass medium"?  
  • BLOG NOTES: TECH, MEN'S LIFESTYLE & PERSONAL FINANCE BLOGS. Blog notes is a weekly helping of blogs recently reviewed by Christine Cube. In this week's installment, Cube reviews blogs that cover tech, men's lifestyle topics, and personal finance.
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