ProfNet Experts Available on TSA Updates, Attorney Fees, Drug Sentencing, More

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

Oct 02, 2013, 14:29 ET from ProfNet

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  • Updating the TSA's Security Program
  • AG's Drug Sentencing Move Rings Hollow
  • Windfalls Needn't Be Easy Come, Easy Go
  • Who Has to Pay Attorney Fees in Divorce?
  • Newspapers Often Source for Feds


  • Senior Articles Editor - Life & Style Weekly (NJ)
  • Reporter – Des Moines Register (IA)
  • Metro Reporter – Bay Area News Group (CA)


  • Spotlight: Jen Christensen, CNN
  • Blog Notes: Art, Fashion and Health Care Blogs
  • Media 411: The Blurred Lines of Sponsored Content


Updating the TSA's Security Program
Alan (Avi) Kirschenbaum
CEO, Kirschenbaum Consulting
Professor, Technion-Israel Institute of Technology
"As the TSA is not divulging how they will randomly give a green light for certain passengers to get PreCheck permits, the costs of this decision-making process is unknown. However, as it is based on a risk assessment, this means there are employees working on attaining these risk assessments, which are dynamic in nature. This means the costs are not a one-time deal; they require highly-skilled employees working continuously to assess risks. Then there is, of course, the fee for having the privilege of starting the PreCheck process, a payment which is a transparent cost. But it would appear that applicants also have to submit fingerprints (more employees) and be interviewed (more employees). Then there is all the administration to keep this system running (even more employees). It simply does not seem reasonable that this fee ($85, $100) would cover these costs. And, if not, who is paying for it?"
The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) is now expanding its PreCheck security program so that they won't have to remove certain clothing items and even be allowed to keep a laptop in their carry-on bag. What are the hidden costs involved in this program, and will it actually reduce queuing time and passenger frustration? Professor Kirschenbaum and co-author Dr. Carmit Rapaport examine the relationship between how passengers act in the security queue and the cost of security in a new article, "Reducing Airport Security Costs: The Passenger Behavior Factor," in the summer issue of General Aviation Security magazine.
ProfNet Profile:
Expert Contact:

AG's Drug Sentencing Move Rings Hollow
Kimberly Priest Johnson
Federal Criminal Defense Attorney
Priest Johnson, PLLC in Dallas
"The fivefold increase in the U.S. jail population over the past 30 years likely won't be resolved with further directives from Attorney General Eric Holder, who issued a memo advising federal prosecutors not to seek prison sentences in pending cases involving nonviolent, minor drug offenses. Yet, here in the trenches, a new client of mine was just indicted in federal court, and the indictment mirrored all of the other drug indictments I've seen from years past, noting the type of drug, and the amount of drug alleged in the conspiracy. This client is a 'low-level' drug defendant with zero criminal history and no history of drug abuse or violence. This tells me that until the Smarter Sentencing Act – the legislative solution to mandatory minimum sentencing laws now in place – or an equivalent measure passes Congress, little, if anything, will truly change."
Media Contact: Dave Moore,

Windfalls Needn't Be Easy Come, Easy Go
Kevin Spencer
Estates Lawyer
Spencer Law, P.C. in Dallas
"A large windfall need not be a ticket to the poorhouse. A recent study showed that about 70 percent of those who receive a sudden financial windfall lose that money within just a few years. Anyone who has received a substantial inheritance, lottery award, stock windfall, etc., should immediately hire a trustworthy team of professionals to assist them with all the many challenges and potential pitfalls ahead. This includes finding a very good lawyer, accountant, financial planner and stock broker. Pivotal to this team will be a knowledgeable, qualified lawyer who can advise clients about their rights to the funds, whether they can remain anonymous and keep their privacy, and how to protect their newfound assets from creditors and tax collectors."
Media Contact: Dave Moore,

Who Has to Pay Attorney Fees in Divorce?
Brad LaMorgese
Family Law Attorney
McCurley Orsinger McCurley Nelson & Downing, L.L.P.
"Among the many laws that went into effect on Sept. 1 in Texas is an addition to the Texas Family Code stating that courts may award legal fees and expenses to be paid by one of the parties in a divorce. Courts typically have included legal fees as 'necessaries' that are part of one spouse's requirement to support the other while the divorce is pending. But the Supreme Court of Texas' May 2013 ruling in Tedder v. Aldrich declared that such fees aren't considered 'necessaries.' This new law was intended to address that finding and give courts permission to award fees. We're glad the legislature and Gov. Perry addressed the availability of legal fees in divorce, but the courts still have a lot of discretion to order – or *not* order – legal fees to be paid. Unless a premarital agreement says otherwise, legal fees should be considered 'necessary."
Media Contact: Amy Hunt,

Newspapers Often Source for Feds
Tom Fox
FCPA and Compliance Ethics Lawyer and Blogger
Tom Fox Law in Houston
"When the U.S. government targets a company for alleged overseas bribery, the tip is sometimes from the old-fashioned newspaper and such a case may be unfolding now. At the South African mining company Gold Fields Limited, the law firm the company hired for an internal investigation found evidence of bribery law violations that should be 'self-reported.' The company declined to do that. But the Johannesburg Mail & Guardian found out and wrote about the internal probe. And that's what may have alerted U.S. Department of Justice investigators, who soon began a probe. The mining company is traded on the New York Stock Exchange, making it subject to the FCPA. I've heard DOJ representatives say that this type of news reporting is a valuable tip service. Neither the DOJ nor SEC will sit back and watch a company sustain such allegations against it without doing anything."
Media Contact: Kit Frieden,



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  • SPOTLIGHT: JEN CHRISTENSEN, CNN. This SPOTLIGHT belongs to Jen Christensen, a producer at CNN in Atlanta and the president of the National Lesbian & Gay Journalists Association. 
  • BLOG NOTES: ART, FASHION & HEALTH CARE BLOGS: In this week's edition, Christine Cube reviewed blogs relating to health, fashion and health care. Check them out here:
  • MEDIA 411: THE BLURRED LINES OF SPONSORED CONTENT. The problem most consumers have with sponsored content is its ability to blend in too easily with the "real" editorial content of a publication. It creates a blurred line that makes it difficult for some consumers to distinguish the content from the advertising.

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