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ProfNet Experts Available on Child Abuse Cases, Protecting Unaccompanied Children, More

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

NEW YORK, July 30, 2014 /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 [email protected] with the industries you cover, and we'll add you to the appropriate edition. 

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  • How Attorneys Can Protect Abused
  • Mexico's Energy Overhaul Moving Forward
  • So Long Paper Driving Log, Hello Smartphone
  • Tackling Tax-Avoiding 'Inversions' Not So Easy
  • Controlling Big-Ticket Litigation Costs
  • Non-Competes Pose Issues for Relocating Execs
  • Leveraged Lending Under Scrutiny
  • Vulnerability of Unaccompanied Children From Central America


  • Sports Reporter - The Daily Journal (NJ)
  • Reporter/Editor - The Lake Gazette (MO)
  • Assistant Managing Editor - Reminder Publications (MA)


  • Media 411: Buzzfeed's Best Media Lists
  • ProfNet Success Story: Crystal Cooper, Porter Novelli
  • Grammar Hammer: Validated by "Weird Al'


How Attorneys Can Protect Abused Children 
Michael Steinger
Personal Injury Lawyer
Steinger, Iscoe & Greene
"This is an issue that's near to all of our hearts.  When you see firsthand the effect that abuse has on a child's life, you feel a need to act. A good child abuse lawyer can even secure compensation to provide medical treatment and therapy."
Steinger is available to discuss how attorneys are in a unique position to protect abused children. Steinger, Iscoe & Greene works continuously to help victims recover and move past abuse, and want tomorrow's attorneys to do the same. More than six million children are abused in the United States each year according to the nonprofit Childhelp. The firm unveiled a new scholarship for law students this week which will help future lawyers who want to fight for the rights of abused children and their families.
Media Contact: Denae Olberding, [email protected]

Mexico's Energy Overhaul Moving Forward
Gabriel Ruiz
Thompson & Knight in Monterrey
"Mexico's Senate recently approved most of the rules and regulations designed to open its energy markets and diminish the monopoly held by Petroleos Mexicanos (Pemex) since 1938. The action is the latest victory for President Enrique Pena Nieto, who has made energy industry reform a cornerstone of his economic agenda. The enacting legislation is extremely important because it continues to detail the framework for oil and gas contracts with non-domestic investors, and defines the authority and scope of action of the regulatory agencies that will supervise and sanction the markets. The legislation gives Pemex flexibility to partner with private companies and will gradually require both Pemex and the national utility CFE to operate as competitive firms."
Media Contact: Barry Pound, [email protected]

So Long Paper Driving Log, Hello Smartphone
Bill Chamblee
Trucking Defense Lawyer
Chamblee, Ryan, Kershaw & Anderson, P.C. in Dallas
"Smartphones and tablets likely will play a key role in helping trucking companies and truckers track their miles in the near future. Realizing that more than 60 percent of the U.S. population uses smartphones already, the Federal Motor Carrier Administration has decided the time is now for drivers to use that technology to help them comply with Hours of Service Regulations and other rules. The new rules, if enacted, will create a new means of logging miles for drivers and carriers in hopes of reducing driver fatigue while lowering costs and increasing safety."
Media Contact: Dave Moore, [email protected]

Tackling Tax-Avoiding 'Inversions' Not So Easy
Tim Devetski
Federal Tax and International Business Transaction Attorney
Sidley Austin LLP in Houston
The biggest takeover deal so far this year – pharmaceutical giant AbbVie's $54 billion acquisition of Shire – once again involves an "inversion" structure that uses reincorporation and other strategies to dramatically reduce a company's U.S. taxes. AbbVie, headquartered near Chicago, says it will reincorporate in Shire's home base of Britain. Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew and several members of Congress have called for legislation to stop inversions. Says Devetski: "But it's not as simple as closing a loophole in the tax code. It could require a new definition of 'residency' for companies, which raises a host of questions. And that's only the starting point. Many believe fundamental tax reform is the best way to address inversions, but it seems unlikely Congress will tackle that anytime soon. So it seems probable that we will continue to see more of these in the future."
Devetski, a partner in the Houston office of Sidley Austin, specializes in federal tax law and international business transactions.
Media Contact: Kit Frieden, [email protected]

Controlling Big-Ticket Litigation Costs
Michael Gardner
Gardner Haas in Dallas
"Businesses looking to rein in expenses on big-ticket litigation should look at four primary factors when considering outside counsel: efficient communication, how effectively their lawyers manage e-discovery, the law firm's culture and whether the firm will enter into a billing arrangement that aligns the client's and the law firm's economic interests. Old-school techniques like good client communication ensure we're all on the same page, and new-school methods, like the smart use of technology, can reduce the expense of e-discovery. In addition, billing practices that reward success and efficiency offer an incentive to resolve client matters on the best possible terms and in a time frame that makes them happy. In other words, the traditional billable hour creates an incentive to wage a never-ending land war in Asia, and we're not interested in that."
Media Contact: Amy Hunt, [email protected]

Non-Competes Pose Issues for Relocating Execs
Joe Ahmad
Executive Employment Lawyer
Ahmad, Zavitsanos, Anaipakos, Alavi & Mensing, or AZA, in Houston
"The recent influx of California companies to Texas means that executives who are relocating to the Lone Star State may be asked to enter into a covenant not to compete. Such agreements are generally unenforceable in California, but that's not the case in Texas. Some people think because Texas is a 'right to work' state that they have the right to work, but that's not really what it means. Executives relocating from California to Texas will want to take a magnifying glass to any non-compete they're asked to sign. The courts will often enforce it if the terms are considered 'reasonable' in scope, geography and time. The time to negotiate those terms is on the front end, before you sign it. You don't want your personal 'right to work' to be infringed more than is absolutely necessary."
Media Contact: Amy Hunt, [email protected]

Leveraged Lending Under Scrutiny
Angela Fontana
Corporate Finance Lawyer
Sidley Austin LLP in Dallas
"Lending for highly leveraged buyouts is under increasing scrutiny from financial regulators, raising questions about whether the pace of lending and acquisitions will continue in the second half of 2014 and beyond. U.S. regulators are using stronger language in compliance with the Leveraged Lending Guidance unveiled in 2013. Over the past six months, we have seen more regulatory focus on the guidance. During that time, enforcement has become increasingly stringent, despite lingering questions about the scope and application of the guidance. Moreover, enforcement has been somewhat inconsistent between regulators and among examiners, leaving the industry with mixed messages. We are starting to see banks lending more conservatively in the highly leveraged lending space and, in some circumstances, walking away from deals. The natural consequence is that financial institutions and debt funds that are not under the same regulatory oversight are poised, and already have begun, to step into the breach."
Media Contact: Robert Tharp, [email protected]

Vulnerability of Unaccompanied Children From Central America
Barbara Babb
Associate Professor
University of Baltimore School of Law
"I take a global policy perspective on this issue -- the U.S. is the only country in the West without a national policy on children and families. This is about how we treat children of all kinds. We need to think about our priorities and recognize the vulnerabilities of our children."
Babb, a professor of law and the director of University of Baltimore's Sayra and Neil Meyerhoff Center for Families, Children and the Courts, is currently involved in a growing nationwide effort to stop legislative proposals that would eliminate current protections for unaccompanied children from Central America and instead subject them to an expedited screening process that does not take into account their age and vulnerability. She is a signatory to a July 21 letter sent to congressional leaders that argues that, in the U.S. legal system, children and adolescents are understood to be developmentally immature and thus not fully responsible for their actions. The letter questions the efficacy of any law that would put legal choices into the hands of children too young to properly understand the issues or to advocate for themselves. She was published in an article in Encyclopedia of Criminology and Criminal Justice: Therapeutic Jurisprudence (with David B. Wexler) (2014); an article in Problem-Solving Courts: Social Science and Legal Perspectives: Unified Family Courts: An Interdisciplinary Framework and a Problem-Solving Approach (2013); an article in Family Court Review: Reevaluating Where We Stand: A Comprehensive Survey of America's Family Justice Systems (2008).
Media Contact: Chris Hart, [email protected]


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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 [email protected]

  • MEDIA 411: BUZZFEED'S BEST MEDIA LISTS. Buzzfeed lists are everywhere, bringing fits of laughter to all who read them and admire their wit and cleverness. The ones most humorous are the ones to which we can relate so Here's a roundup of Buzzfeed's most hilarious lists associated with media and journalism. You're almost sure to find yourself in at least one of these.
  • PROFNET SUCCESS STORY: CRYSTAL COOPER, PORTER NOVELLI. We recently caught up with ProfNet member, Crystal Cooper, a senior account executive at public relations firm, Porter Novelli. She shared how she continues to gain media exposure for her clients using ProfNet, and also provided some tips for those responding to queries. Check out her story:
  • GRAMMAR HAMMER: VALIDATED BY 'WEIRD AL.' We counted ten grammar topics in "Word Crimes" that have already been covered by Grammar Hammer. Thank you, Weird Al Yankovic, for showing us that you can be stunningly creative and still employ good grammar to get your point across. Are you a stickler for grammar? Check out Grammar Hammer's take, as well as a link to an interview with Yankovic himself:

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