ProfNet Wire: Government & Law: Destruction of Documents/Medical Marijuana

Article ID: 512571

Released: 16-Jun-2005 8:55 AM EDT

Source Newsroom: Profnet, PRNewswire

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ROUND-UP: DESTRUCTION OF DOCUMENTS (continued)

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**1. DAVID C. REYMANN, commercial litigation attorney at PARR WADDOUPS GEE BROWN & LOVELESS: "Although the Supreme Court's decision may, at first, appear to provide a blanket license for companies to shred documents according to their document retention policies, it is actually a quite narrow criticism of overzealous prosecution by the government. While companies that routinely destroy documents can take some comfort from the decision, it should not be read as a broad endorsement of document shredding. Even if a company has a valid document destruction policy, it could still be criminally prosecuted if it shreds documents with consciousness of wrongdoing, knowing that the documents might be material in a foreseeable legal proceeding."

ROUND-UP: MEDICAL MARIJUANA (continued)

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**1. DAVID BERNSTEIN, law professor at GEORGE MASON UNIVERSITY, can address questions about constitutional limits on federal authority and how they apply to this case.

ROUND-UP: MICHAEL JACKSON CASE (continued)

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**1. ARI WEISBROT, Esq., attorney at SHAPIRO CROWLAND: "What I know about child molesters is that they don't do it twice over 10 years. They do it all the time and they cannot stop. If the molester also happens to be the most famous person in the world, you would expect a flood of allegations and a mountain of evidence. The best the prosecutors could come up with in this case were two highly incredible victims with unabashed ulterior motives and a history of extortion. Other than that, when the dust settled, there was no evidence." Weisbrot is available to comment on the case and what Jackson should do now to protect himself from future allegations.

**2. TOM PERIC, president of GALILEO COMMUNICATIONS INC., is a publicity and communications expert and author of "Wacky Days: How to Get Millions of $$$ in Free Publicity by Creating a 'Real' Holiday & Other Tactics Used by Media Experts": Michael Jackson's trial grants him the temporary glow of a not- guilty verdict. But can Jackson rehabilitate his reputation, which took a brutal beating during the trial? Can he once again become an appealing image to fans who are undecided or turned off by Jacko's wackiness? Short of being a mass murderer, everyone can rehabilitate their image. It's all a matter of how you do it. And it can be done. However, Jackson has other problems -- the bankroll is thinning and he doesn't sell albums the way he once did. How his image develops will indicate how well he'll survive."

_____LEADS

**1. ENERGY: ENERGY DEBATE EXPECTED TO RAGE ON. STEPHEN CONANT, senior power analyst for Boston-based ENERGY SECURITY ANALYSIS INC., can provide expert comment related to power markets, particularly those on the West Coast. Conant can offer insight into a number of issues, including the impact of rising natural gas prices on California's electricity markets, market redesign issues in California, general energy/utility issues and the movement toward renewable energy. He can also address issues related to President Bush's speech at the 16th Annual Energy Efficiency Forum in Washington, D.C., on June 15: "The energy debate is expected to rage on with continued questions about the use of technologies to improve conservation, diversified energy supplies and reliable means to deliver energy to consumers."

**2. DEFENSE: ANSWERING THE CALL TO DUTY. BRETT COOK, U.S. Army sergeant who served in Operation Iraqi Freedom for two years and continues to serve as an Army recruiter in Las Vegas, can speak to what answering the call to duty means to him and how he's addressing the recruitment challenge during the week of the Army's 230th birthday: "Serving one's country isn't an easy job, but there is a nobility of service -- you are part of something larger, living by a code. The call of duty won't fall on deaf ears in this country."

**3. GOVERNMENT: COMPETITIVE SOURCING REPORT SHOWS PROMISE AND PROBLEMS. STAN SOLOWAY, president of the PROFESSIONAL SERVICES COUNCIL: "As the recent OMB report demonstrates, the competitive sourcing initiative continues to illustrate significant efficiencies and cost-savings in the delivery of services to American citizens. Unfortunately, the overwhelming federal in- house win ratio strongly suggests a bias in the process and serious implementation problems. Because of this, private sector companies continue to walk away from the program, significantly reducing competition and limiting positive results."

**4. GOVERNMENT: PATRIOT ACT UNDERMINES JUDICIAL OVERSIGHT. ROBERT MARTIN, associate professor of government at HAMILTON COLLEGE and author of "The Free and Open Press": "History suggests that powers given will be powers used. Just ask radicals hauled before McCarthy in the '50s or those spied on by the FBI in the '60s. The Patriot Act gives lots of new powers and repeatedly undermines judicial oversight. Apply all these new surveillance tools on a political radical -- newly labeled a 'domestic terrorist' -- and the FBI file on Martin Luther King Jr., will look like a mere Post-It note. The Supreme Court may step in to question the Act's constitutionality, but, given our history, we should not rely on it."

**5. LAW: DOJ'S HIPAA RULING ANSWERS SOME QUESTIONS, CREATES OTHERS. CHERYL CAMIN, attorney at GARDERE WYNNE SEWELL: "The Justice Department's recent ruling, which sharply limited criminal liability for violations of the HIPAA privacy rule by individuals and companies, should not be read as letting violators off the hook completely. They may still be criminally or civilly liable under other federal and state laws. If a hospital is found liable for an employee or vendor's mistake, the hospital may seek recourse against them for breach of contract. And this announcement may not be the final word on HIPAA liability, either. Additional interpretations of this and future DOJ rulings will shed more light on who really may be held accountable under HIPAA."

**6. LAW: LEARN TO BE AWARE OF REGULATIONS, LAWS. DAN CONAWAY, attorney at CONAWAY & STRICKLER, P.C., is an expert commentator on criminal defense and justice: "As U.S. citizens, we live within a newly minted set of rules and regulations, laws, and assumptions about behavior that make up the criminal justice system, and we are both protected and threatened by it. We need to be aware of the basic rules so that we can navigate life in the United States today safely and reduce the risk that we will face arrest and prosecution for actions that a generation ago would not have resulted in a criminal arrest." Conaway is a member of both the Georgia and New York State Bars. Throughout the course of his career, he has handled over 1,000 criminal cases in state and federal courts and has tried over 100 jury and bench trials. Conaway has written for various publications on cutting-edge criminal law issues. He has also been on numerous national and local television news programs, including CNN's "Burden of Proof," Fox 5 and CBS 46.

**7. SECURITY: NEW WIRELESS RULES ON FLIGHTS RAISE SAFETY ISSUES. DAVID NORTON, aviation attorney at Dallas' SHACKELFORD, MELTON & MCKINLEY: "The recent FCC proposal to lift the ban on cell phone calls during commercial flights raises multiple safety and operational issues impacting the business community, the airlines and the Department of Homeland Security. The FCC's proposed rule change is a significant shift in policy, but the FCC is just one part of the puzzle. The Federal Aviation Administration and the Department of Homeland Security have navigation and security issues that have to be addressed as well."

**8. WORLD AFFAIRS: MYTHS FUEL VIOLENCE IN IRAQ. WEAM NAMOU, author of "The Feminine Art," which is based on true events: "Many Americans think Iraq is a country full of Saddam Hussein victims, women oppressors, Islamic fanatics and insurgents. Iraqis have their misconceptions about Americans, too." Namou grew up in Iraq and says such myths help fuel war and terrorism, and that her book helps to dispel these myths.


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