ProfNet Experts Available on Navy Yard Shooting, U.S. Response to Syria, Health Insurance Law, More

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Sep 18, 2013, 15:00 ET from ProfNet

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  • Washington Navy Yard Shooting and Psychological Profiling
  • Dying Without a Will in New York
  • Health Insurance Law, Mental Health Parity and Eating Disorders
  • Increased Oil and Gas Oversight Needed
  • Relaxing the Pemex Monopoly
  • Debates Surrounding U.S. Response to Syria
  • Obama and the Security Council


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Washington Navy Yard Shooting and Psychological Profiling
Dr. Richard A. Chaifetz
CEO, Neurophsychologist
"Sadly, tragedies such as the Washington Navy Yard mass shooting are often predictable and even preventable. There are a number of warning signs that individuals such as Aaron Alexis often present, leading up to an act of violence. If neighbors, coworkers, relatives and acquaintances can learn to spot these warning signs and act upon them, we can disrupt and intervene before the tragedy happens."
Dr. Chaifetz is founder and CEO of ComPsych Corporation, the largest provider of employee assistance programs, covering 55 million individuals from more than 20,000 organizations. The company responds to thousands of workplace crisis situations per month, rendering psychological first aid to employees affected by workplace robberies or violence, natural disasters or death of a coworker.
Media Contact: Jennifer Hudson, or +1-312-595-4048

Dying Without a Will in New York
Ronald Fatoullah, Esq.
New York Elder Law & Estate Planning Attorney
Ronald Fatoullah & Associates
"Having a will is always recommended. In addition to having a will in hand, the process of working with an attorney and sorting through how assets are to be distributed after death always gives a person peace of mind."
Ronald Fatoullah is a certified elder law and estate planning attorney in New York. He is the founder of Ronald Fatoullah & Associates, a New York and Long Island based law firm concentrating exclusively in the areas of aging, elder law, estate planning, Medicaid eligibility, special needs planning, preparation if wills & trusts, probate, estate mediation guardianships, planning for veteran's and same sex-couples.  
Media Contact: Carol Schell,

Health Insurance Law, Mental Health Parity and Eating Disorders
Lisa S. Kantor, Esq.
Founding Partner
Kantor & Kantor, LLP
"I believe that insurance companies must be held accountable for the mental health parity violations that they inflict on their members. As long as insurers continue to deny benefits that their insured members are entitled to, I will advocate daily, so that my clients have access to the benefits and life-saving treatments they need and deserve."
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, Ms. Kantor 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 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, Kantor 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. For her achievements, she was recently nominated by the White House as a "Champions for Change" leader helping communities focus on prevention and public health by tackling everything from childhood obesity, reducing health disparities, fighting healthcare acquired infections, to taking various innovative steps to move us towards a healthier America -- based on wellness and prevention, rather than sickness and disease. See:
Media Contact: Rachel Teicher,

Increased Oil and Gas Oversight Needed
Darren Nicholson
Oil and Gas Litigation Attorney
Sayles Werbner in Dallas
"The Department of Labor recently announced its plan for increased scrutiny of the oil and gas industry following the deaths of 138 oil field workers last year, a 23 percent increase since 2011 and the highest in 10 years. The plan is much needed as this is an industry that is increasingly pushing the envelope -- hiring a lot of new workers, not training them enough, not instituting enough safety standards. As a result, you're seeing an increase in injuries and an increase in fatalities." He represents victims in cases involving oil and gas truck crashes, refinery explosions, wastewater truck accidents, defective equipment, gas leaks, collapsed decks, fires, falling equipment, gushers, blowouts, and other dangerous situations.
Media Contact: Bruce Vincent,   

Relaxing the Pemex Monopoly
Gabriel Ruiz
Thompson & Knight in Monterrey
"A debate over the future of the Mexican energy industry is scheduled to begin this month, with proposed reforms that would open the oil and gas sector to foreign investment for the first time in 75 years. The changes could alter the long-standing monopoly of Pemex by allowing the government to enter into contracts and profit-sharing agreements directly with foreign oil and gas companies. These businesses and companies with expertise in horizontal drilling and fracking, together with service and equipment suppliers, could greatly benefit from the proposed changes. This historic development could greatly increase interest from major producers with the capital, skills and experience to access Mexico's shale and deep-water reserves. The proposal is aimed at boosting the country's oil and gas production, and some industry participants estimate that increase could be as much as 50 percent."
Media Contact: Barry Pound,

Debates Surrounding U.S. Response to Syria
Melissa Labonte
Associate Professor of Political Science
Fordham University
"Al-Assad's use of weapons of mass destruction violates internationally agreed upon, traditional security norms. Maintaining the status quo position of non-intervention suddenly becomes more costly and risky than other policy options – including intervention. Moreover, propping up the status quo may become increasingly untenable as it looks more and more to policymakers like a failing policy. The fact that chemical weapons have been used systematically and indiscriminately against innocent civilians also facilitates arguments based on appropriateness – it is unjust and abhorrent, and renders intervention morally legitimate as a possible policy response. And what does this say about how President Obama should frame the argument moving forward, should the current negotiations with Russia ultimately fail to reach a satisfactory conclusion? No one doubts that the president faces an uphill struggle on this issue. However, a dual framing – built on emphasizing both consequences and appropriateness – surely has the greatest chance of persuading and influencing policymakers to support the proposed course of action in Syria -- whatever that ultimately proves to be."
Media Contact: Gina Vergel,

Obama and the Security Council
John Davenport
Professor of Philosophy
Fordham University
"First, we have to ensure that the Security Council resolution includes authorization of military force if Syria does not comply. If the Russians veto this, then the whole thing may fall apart, and Obama can come back to his plan to act with France and perhaps other allies. Second, he should start right away sending more heavy weapons to the Free Syrian Army, especially anti-aircraft surface to air missiles. This would be as good as an air strike in threatening Assad, and he has not asked Congress to vote on this. Sending more arms to the rebels is already proceeding but the administration may take it up a notch. Third, the U.S. administration should really introduce the option of a league of democracies. No sign this will happen, but it would change the whole dialogue with Russia. Short of that, when the UN meets in coming weeks, Obama and his people should be much stronger in criticizing the use of SC vetoes to protect tyrants. They need to push back hard against Putin's editorial. I sense that the administration thinks it should go softer while trying to work with Putin, but he does not stop blasting us while trying to work with us, so we should not stop. For example, some senior person in the admin should say directly that Sergei Lavrov's still continuing to suggest that the rebels gassed their own people is an egregious lie and terrible offense to everyone in the civilized world. The admin needs to notch up the war of words significantly, even while trying to proceed at the Security Council. Russia will give in there only if under very serious pressure from multiple sides."
Media Contact: Gina Vergel,



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