ProfNet Sources Available on Plea Bargains, Arbitrator Disclosure, More

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  • Plentiful Federal Plea Bargains Skew System
  • All Groups Can Learn from Boy Scouts Scandal
  • Uncertainty Remains Over Arbitrator Disclosure


  • Features Writer/Reporter – New York Post
  • Breaking News Metro Reporter – Bay Area News Group
  • Multimedia Journalist – Sinclair Broadcast Group


  • Book Blogs You're Bound to Enjoy
  • Upcoming Events
  • Letting Sources Decide Which Quotes You Use



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Plentiful Federal Plea Bargains Skew System
Andy Drumheller
Trial Lawyer and Former Prosecutor
Rusty Hardin & Associates in Houston
"Plea bargains are soaring in the federal criminal justice system, with 97 percent of federal criminal cases ending in pleas last year, up from 84 percent in 1990, according to a report this week in The Wall Street Journal. That's a troubling trend. Plea bargains are supposed to be based on sentences lawyers expect from trials. If only a fraction of cases are tried, then the system spirals into a parody, like the stock market reacting to itself rather than to the real-world value of companies. A lack of trials and actual experience testing juries' and judges' reactions to disputed issues leaves the accused in the dark and the system drinking its own Kool-Aid."
News Contact: Mary Flood,

All Groups Can Learn from Boy Scouts Scandal
Bill Chamblee
Trial Lawyer
Chamblee, Ryan, Kershaw & Anderson
"Any organization can learn from the sexual abuse scandal that has shaken the Boy Scouts of America, which faces the real possibility of extensive litigation now that an Oregon court has ordered the group to release reports of sexual abuse at the hands of troop leaders going back to 1925. Any organization, especially those that deal with the mentoring or supervising of children, needs to conduct thorough background checks on individuals before putting them in positions of trust. If there are reports of abuse, organizations must act swiftly, not just to protect themselves, but also to prevent further abuse. As we've learned from the Catholic Church, any attempt to hide wrongdoing can make an organization a party to abuse."
News Contact: Dave Moore,

Uncertainty Remains Over Arbitrator Disclosure
Juan M. Alcalá
Gardere Wynne Sewell LLP in Austin
"As the legal universe becomes increasingly smaller, it is not uncommon for attorneys, judges and arbitrators to cross paths during the course of their careers. Not all the meetings are memorable though and are frequently forgotten. But should it preclude arbitrators from hearing a case involving someone they may have once known or with whom they unknowingly shared business interests? Recently revised United Nations Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL) rules on disclosure tried to provide some clarity. But with respect to an arbitrator's disclosure standards, there remains uncertainty as to what constitutes a circumstance worthy of disclosure. The uncertainty will continue until there is a uniform standard and rules for determining an arbitrator's disclosure responsibilities."
Alcala co-wrote the chapter "Arbitrator Disclosure Standards in a State of Flux" in the International Centre for Dispute Resolution book, "ICDR Awards and Commentaries."
News Contact: Rhonda Reddick,



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  • BOOK BLOGS YOU'RE BOUND TO ENJOY: Thomas Hynes, manager of blogger relations for PR Newswire, takes a look at a few book blogs:
  • UPCOMING EVENTS: A summary of events taking place over the next week or so that we think will be of interest to media and PR professionals:
  • LETTING SOURCES DECIDE WHICH QUOTES YOU USE: Tony Rogers of About Journalism explores the issue of whether journalists should let sources decide which of their quotes can be used in a news story:


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/PRNewswire -- Oct. 3/