ProfNet Experts Available on Same-Sex Employee Benefits, Cellphone Tracking, More

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Jul 31, 2013, 15:59 ET from ProfNet

NEW YORK, July 31, 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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  • Rowling Lawyers Needed 'No Leakus Secretus' Charm
  • DOMA Decision Leaves Taxing Questions
  • SEC Ruling Shouldn't Prompt Mass Advertising
  • Cellphone Tracking and Search Warrants
  • Gandolfini's Giant Estate Tax Mistake Will Cost Heirs Millions


  • Business Reporter – The Desert Sun (CA)
  • News Editor – AgriNews Publications (IL)
  • Copy Editor – The Week (NY)


  • Media 411: News Overkill
  • Grammar Hammer: Lay Your Hands on Me
  • Privacy in a Social Age


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Rowling Lawyers Needed 'No Leakus Secretus' Charm
Joe Ahmad
Executive Employment Lawyer
Ahmad, Zavitsanos, Anaipakos, Alavi & Mensing in Houston
"Worldwide headlines recently announced the revelation that 'The Cuckoo's Calling,' the debut novel from author 'Robert Galbraith,' actually was written by Harry Potter scribe J.K. Rowling. The fact that the culprit in letting the word out was a partner at the London law firm Russells, which represents Rowling, should serve as a reminder to everyone with access to confidential information of the need to keep mum. The Rowling disclosure not only has damaged Russells' reputation, but also can't help but make its many clients in the entertainment business nervous about whether their confidences also will be betrayed. You *might* not get caught if you leak secrets, but don't count on it. Too many people think that no one will find out, but they do. They either leave traces or the person they tell blabs, as happened in the Rowling case. The moral of the story is twofold: trust no one, and never reveal confidential information."
MediaContact: Amy Hunt,

DOMA Decision Leaves Taxing Questions
Michael Abbott
Tax/Employee Benefits Attorney
Gardere Wynne Sewell in Houston
"As the emotional dust begins to settle on the U.S. Supreme Court's recent decision invalidating the Defense of Marriage Act, the full impact of the ruling is only beginning to develop. At this point, it seems that there is much more that we don't know than what we do. Among the unknowns is the legal standing of married, same-sex couples living in a state that does not recognize the marriage and the possible retroactivity of the decision. The high court's ruling could have particular impact on a sponsoring employer's pension, 401(k) or welfare plans, which were already notoriously difficult to administer and ripe for errors. This decision will only add to administrative complexity."
Media Contact: Rhonda Reddick,  

SEC Ruling Shouldn't Prompt Mass Advertising
Larry Mandala
Securities Attorney
Munck Wilson Mandala in Dallas
"Following the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) decision to lift an 80-year-old ban on publicizing unregistered stock offerings, some startups say they're planning mass media marketing blitzes to advertise their need for capital. But restraint is necessary. Because the SEC's measure still limits the sale of unregistered stock to accredited investors – the wealthiest 7.4 percent – mass media advertising simply isn't cost effective. The SEC has yet to enact rules to permit so-called 'crowdfunding,' and pending advertising protocols designed to protect investors will make mass advertising tricky. The most successful fundraisers will be companies that can target their nuanced message to the top 7 percent."
Media Contact: Robert Tharp,

Cellphone Tracking and Search Warrants
Richard Roper
Thompson & Knight in Dallas
"National surveys show that police departments routinely use cellphone tracking data in emergency and nonemergency cases, typically without any court oversight or public awareness. Now several states and Congress are considering legislation that would require law enforcement agencies to secure search warrants before obtaining tracking information. But people use cellphones to communicate with others, not to allow the police to track their precise movements. As legislatures and courts react and try to place limits on law enforcement's ability to access this information without judicial review, any new legislation should include an emergency exception authorizing the tracking of individuals based on probable cause. In those circumstances, it's likely that police would still need to get court authorization after the fact. Nationally, court decisions have disagreed about whether cellphone tracking aligns with the Fourth Amendment, which guards against unreasonable searches and seizures."
Media Contact: Barry Pound,

Gandolfini's Giant Estate Tax Mistake Will Cost Heirs Millions
Ronald Fatoullah, Esq.
New York Elder Law, Trusts & Estates Attorney
Ronald Fatoullah & Associates
"The recent death of James Gandolfini was sudden and completely unexpected. His abrupt departure saddened many, including surviving family members, fellow actors, colleagues and adoring fans. When a beloved family member dies, the loss is deep and palpable and sometimes coping with mundane matters is quite difficult. Unfortunately, Mr. Gandolfini's poor estate planning prior to his demise has added insult to injury. No one anticipates dying prematurely, so his lack of adequate planning is understandable, but it also underscores how imperative it is to engage in estate planning when one is healthy and vital."
Fatoullah is available to discuss ways to prevent mistakes when planning an estate. He is the founder and managing attorney of Ronald Fatoullah & Associates, a New York law firm that exclusively focuses on the legal and financial challenges of aging: elder law, estate planning, Medicaid eligibility, asset preservation, probate, wills, trusts, guardianships, veteran planning, and planning for same-sex couples.
Media Contact: Carol Schell,


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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: NEWS OVERKILL. What do the royal baby and Anthony Weiner have in common? Nothing, really, except that we're probably tired of hearing about them. Read on to see Evelyn's take on over-the-top news coverage:
  • GRAMMAR HAMMER: LAY YOUR HANDS ON ME. Have you ever mixed up the words "lay" and "lie"? This week's Grammar Hammer post will help you out:
  • PRIVACY IN A SOCIAL AGE. Confidentiality on the Internet has become a greater concern as we contemplate the newness of this technology. Our very own Polina recently moderated a Social Media Club New York panel that discussed some of the privacy implications in our 24/7 social age:

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