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ProfNet Experts Available on False Claims Act, E-Discovery, Humanitarian Crisis, More

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NEW YORK, July 16, 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 with the industries you cover, and we'll add you to the appropriate edition.

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  • Immigration as a Humanitarian Crisis, Not a Border Crisis
  • How the False Claims Act Empowers Citizen Prosecutors and Saves Taxpayers' Money
  • Ruling Might Spur Patent Suits, Stem Advances
  • Non-Competes Factor into Tech Relocations
  • E-Discovery Savings Can Come at a Cost
  • Texas Businesses Affected by Records Ruling


  • Senior Editor - Ad Age (NY)
  • Lifestyles Writer/Editor - Houstonia Magazine (TX)
  • Assistant Managing Editor - SportsBusiness Daily (NC)


  • Neutral vs. Regional Accents On-Air: How to Decide What Works Best for You
  • Insider Tips for Book Promotion
  • Blog Profiles: Movie & Film Blogs



Immigration as a Humanitarian Crisis, Not a Border Crisis
Hector Reyes Zaga
Assistant Professor of Spanish
Dickinson College
"We need to understand that this not an 'immigration-border crisis.' The border is not broken. In fact, the border is now more secure than ever, as witnessed through the apprehension of these children. This is a humanitarian crisis and any approach to a solution must be treated as such. The surge in child migrants started in 2009, when the Border Patrol reported that arrivals doubled in less than a year, totaling almost 20,000. In reality, governmental authorities have known about this issue for years and have had time to prepare. This is not a normal variation on the undocumented immigrant waves; it is in fact a humanitarian crisis involving mostly Centro American children. This phenomenon is a result of the unprecedented gang warfare and violence that those countries are now facing."
Zaga is available to discuss immigration, child immigration, border security, human rights, Mexican literature, and Latino(a) studies.
Media Contact: Christine Baksi,

How the False Claims Act Empowers Citizen Prosecutors and Saves Taxpayers' Money
Matthew Organ
Goldberg Kohn
The False Claims Act was passed during the Abraham Lincoln administration to empower citizens to "blow the whistle" on companies engaged in defrauding the government. Individuals are entitled to file lawsuits in an attempt to expose fraud, a legal action that government prosecutors may choose to become a part of. Whistleblowers are afforded certain protections under the law, including the right to remain anonymous until a lawsuit is unsealed and the right to be free of retaliatory actions by the accused. Says Organ: "Government agencies are already strapped for resources and they don't always have the manpower to properly conduct checks and balances. If government entities are being cheated, taxpayers end up footing the bill. That's why it's so important to protect and advocate for whistleblowers, who are entitled to 15-25 percent of any financial penalties or punitive damages that wrongdoers are legally obligated to pay."
Organ is available to comment on whistle blowers' rights and the legal ramifications surrounding False Claims Act litigation. He is based out of Chicago, IL.
Media Contact: David Paul,

Ruling Might Spur Patent Suits, Stem Advances
Adam Sanderson
Software Litigation Attorney
Reese Gordon Marketos LLP in Dallas
"The U.S. Supreme Court ruling in Alice Corp. v. CLS Bank will likely trigger more patent litigation and could discourage innovations in software. In the ruling the nation's highest court both invalidated a software patent and recognized that innovative software continues to deserve patent protection. However, they did not explain how to discern innovative software from the 'non-innovative' kind, leaving a legal ambiguity regarding exactly what software should receive patent protection. I can see that ambiguity spurring more lawsuits and perhaps even discouraging some talented inventors from creating new software. Given that the world economy is driven by software – from iPhones to big data analytics - this patent debate is far from over."
Media Contact: Dave Moore,

Non-Competes Factor into Tech Relocations
Mark Shank
Gruber Hurst Johansen Hail Shank in Dallas
"The exodus of high-tech companies from states such as California is contributing to triple-digit increases in job growth in North Texas. But one underpublicized incentive for the relocations may be the stronger protections for corporate information that exist under Texas law. Such agreements typically prohibit a former employee's use of confidential information, the solicitation of former customers or employees, or other competitive activities for a specific period of time. However, California has followed the approach that restricting the use of non-compete agreements will actually foster competition and job growth among companies. Texas courts tend to view these agreements as necessary to protect a company's advantage in the marketplace. The difference in approach is stark. So if you own a California tech company, why wouldn't this legal standard to protect proprietary information be an important consideration in deciding whether to relocate?"
Media Contact: Barry Pound,

E-Discovery Savings Can Come at a Cost
Mike Hilgers
Gober Hilgers PLLC in Lincoln, Nebraska
"The past several years have seen a dramatic increase in the volume of electronic communication data involved in complex litigation, as well as higher costs for processing, reviewing and producing discovery documents. To reduce their expenditures, corporate clients have used low-cost document review companies that charge next to nothing to handle first-line review. When these are completed, it is still up to the litigation teams to complete the process: reviewing for substance, completing the second reviews, and internalizing the information in the document set. This added demand on the litigators' time frequently offsets the majority of the initial cost savings."
Media Contact: Rhonda Reddick,

Texas Businesses Affected by Records Ruling
Kent Sullivan
Commercial Litigation
Sutherland Asbill & Brennan LLP in Houston
"The way Texas businesses manage their records may be affected by a recent Texas Supreme Court decision. The ruling reversed a $1 million jury verdict won by former professional football player Jerry Aldridge, who hurt his back when he fell 10 years ago in a Jacksonville, Texas, grocery. The store kept eight minutes of security video that showed the fall, but not a longer video clip requested by Aldridge's lawyer. The trial judge instructed jurors to decide whether the store should have known the full video could be relevant. In overturning the verdict, the high court said the trial court abused its discretion. At the same time, the justices outlined new guidance on records-keeping. This ruling has huge implications for most Texas businesses. They need to review their policies on automatic destruction of records. If there's a chance such records could be relevant in a lawsuit, destroying them could lead to sanctions from the court." Sullivan is a longtime member of the State Bar of Texas Pattern Jury Charge Oversight Committee and also has served on the Bar's Spoliation Committee.
Media Contact: Kit Frieden,



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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

  • NEUTRAL VS. REGIONAL ACCENTS ON-AIR: HOW TO DECIDE WHAT WORKS BEST FOR YOU. The issue of whether or not a neutral accent works best in Spanish-language media is an ongoing debate. Although brands usually opt for a neutral voice-over narration for campaigns in hopes of reaching a broader audience, Spanish-language TV and radio are much more strategic. Whether or not you keep your natural/regional accent or learn a neutral accent is a career choice that you must make for yourself, but here are some things to consider:  
  • INSIDER TIPS FOR BOOK PROMOTION. We recently hosted a #ConnectChat with Sandra Poirier Smith, president of the international book marketing company, Smith Publicity. During the chat she discussed the differences between advertising and publicity, the importance of bloggers, specific media outlets interested in books and much more. In case you missed it, here's a recap:
  • BLOG PROFILES: MOVIE & FILM BLOGS. Are you a movie buff? If so, check out Christine Cube's roundup of film and movie blogs that cover all of the bases:    

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