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Androvett NewsWire: February 23, 2012: Stanford Testimony | Naming Rights | Insurance Fraud
 
February 23, 2012 11:44 am

Potential Stanford Testimony Looms Large
Jurors in the Houston federal fraud trial against R. Allen Stanford will put a premium on what Stanford may say or do on the stand in his own defense, says local white collar criminal defense attorney and former prosecutor Philip Hilder. “If Stanford takes the stand as his defense attorney promised, then jurors will weigh everything else they’ve seen and heard against their perception of Stanford’s own credibility,” says Hilder. “The defense will hope to make him seem like a man of humble rural Texas beginnings who built an honest empire through his own hard work, while the prosecution will try to portray him as a manipulative, out-of-touch elitist who did not care about the people who lost billions of dollars in their dealings with him.” For more information, contact Mary Flood at 800-559-4534 or mary@androvett.com.

Naming Rights Can Be Burdensome in Long Run
While Fort Worth-based American Airlines grapples with its bankruptcy reorganization, it’s uncertain what will come of the company’s long-term naming rights obligations for the American Airlines Center in Dallas and other facilities that carry the American Airlines banner. “A federal bankruptcy judge has allowed Kodak, which is embroiled in its own bankruptcy, to reject its naming rights deal for the theater in Los Angeles that hosts the Academy Awards show,” says bankruptcy attorney Mark Ralston of Dallas’ Taber, Estes, Thorne & Carr. Media reports indicate that creditors have declined to honor the remaining nine years on the Kodak Theatre naming rights contract, which amounts to $38 million in obligations. “Certainly, like any long-term contract, there is a risk that that the commitment will prove burdensome when a company buys naming rights,” says Ralston. But, as he points out, the purchase of naming rights can also result in great publicity for companies. For more information, contact Rhonda Reddick at 800-559-4534 or rhonda@androvett.com.

Controlled Visitation Key in Volatile Cases
The tragic outcome of the case of Josh Powell, the Washington state man who police say killed his two sons and himself in a Feb. 5 house explosion, highlights the critical importance of supervised visitation in some highly volatile divorce and custody cases, says Keith Nelson, a name partner in the Dallas family law firm of McCurley Orsinger McCurley Nelson & Downing, LLP. “Courts and other authorities should take great care in determining the location of supervised visits. If the parent in question has a history of violence or there is a potential threat of physical violence by that parent, then mental health experts advise against visitation,” says Nelson. “Such visits should take place in a controlled environment, not that parent’s house. Cases like these happen far too often, and the most tragic part is that so many of them are preventable.” For more information, contact Amy Hunt at 800-559-4534 or amy@androvett.com.

SEC Offers Say-On-Pay Clarification
In its ongoing attempts to clarify the say-on-pay requirements mandated by the Dodd-Frank Act, the SEC recently released a new Compliance and Disclosure Interpretation. That C&DI addresses the description public companies should be using on their proxy cards requesting a nonbinding shareholder vote on compensation for those companies’ executive officers. The C&DI for Exchange Act Rule 14a-21 describes how companies must represent these advisory votes to shareholders, says attorney Rick Jordan of Gardere Wynne Sewell LLP. “Proxies must precisely describe what is being asked of shareholders,” says Jordan, one of the authors of Gardere’s securities law blog, FromTheSoxUp. Under Dodd-Frank, most public companies are required to conduct three types of shareholder votes on executive compensation: approval of executive officer compensation, how often that shareholder approval vote should occur and a vote regarding a company's golden parachute payments in connection with a change-in-control transaction. For more information, contact Rhonda Reddick at 800-559-4534 or rhonda@androvett.com.

Preventing Insurance Fraud
In tough economic times, insurance companies undoubtedly see an increase in fraud. Insurance attorney Marc H. Fanning, Chairman of Dallas’ Fanning Harper Martinson Brandt & Kutchin, says insurance companies should utilize “examinations under oath” (EUO) as a way to detect and prevent potential fraud. EUOs allow carriers to fully investigate claims, answer unresolved questions, and pursue elements of potential fraud. “Examinations under oath are a critical tool for investigating fire and theft claims, and a proper and timely EUO can help spot red flags and stop fraud attempts,” says Fanning, who will discuss EUOs at the 14th annual Texas Department of Insurance Fraud Conference next week in Austin. The annual TDI Fraud Conference brings together insurance company investigators and law enforcement to discuss new investigative techniques, fraud scams and changes in laws affecting the insurance industry. For more information, contact Alan Bentrup at 800-559-4534 or alan@androvett.com.


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