February 25, 2011 nº 1.011 - Vol. 9

"All appears to change when we change."

Henri-Frederic Amiel

In today's Law Firm Marketing, Your unique educational message: how and why it attracts new clients.


Read Migalhas LatinoAmérica in Spanish every Tuesday and Thursday. Visit the website at www.migalhas.com/latinoamerica


  • Top News

Law professors ask Congress to subject Supreme Court justices to ethics rules

A group of law professors asked Congress Wednesday to extend the Code of Conduct for United States Judges to apply to the Supreme Court. In a letter to the House and Senate Judiciary Comittees, more than 100 law professors representing 67 schools urged Congress to advance legislation to apply the Code to Supreme Court justices, establish a procedural framework for enforcement, require a written opinion for every denial of a motion to recuse and create a review procedure for those decisions. In support of their position, the professors cited the court's own ruling in Caperton v. AT Massey Coal, a 2009 case in which the court decried the self-judging of ethics issues by judges. The group argued that, by its own reasoning, the lack of review for the same judgments made by Supreme Court justices is inappropriate.

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  • Crumbs

1 - Read Am Law on your iPhone and iPad - click here.

2 - France backs Brazil's permanent membership bid in UNSC - click here.

3 - Court weighs the power of Congress - click here.

4 - Big bill for snake on a train - click here.

5 - Julian Assange to be extradited to Sweden - click here.

6 - Child-product makers seek softer rules - click here.

7 - Supreme Court allows lawsuit over rear seat belts - click here.


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  • MiMIC Journal

Huawei open to US investigation

Huawei, a Chinese telecom equipment maker, has said it would welcome a formal investigation by US authorities after a takeover bid was halted on security concerns.

Shanghai announces 'one-dog policy'

The city of Shanghai - which already follows China's one-child policy - has announced a new rule for households. From May a one-dog policy will be introduced, and more than 600,000 unlicensed dogs will be declared illegal. Last year more than 140,000 people told police they had been bitten by an unlicensed dog. Last week, a US security panel rejected Huawei's purchase of American computer company 3Leaf systems. The company has played down any ties to either the military or China's government.

  • Law Firm Marketing

Your unique educational message: how and why it attracts new clients

by Trey Ryder

Your educational message is the most important piece of your marketing puzzle. This is the message that attracts inquiries from prospective clients. Depending on their readiness, this handout will motivate them to visit your web site, attend your seminar, request an appointment with you, hire your services, or all four.

When a prospective client comes into your office, you have certain things you say to him with the hope of persuading him to hire you. The information you present may be much the same from one prospect to the next if both prospects are interested in the same area of the law.

On the other hand, even if you practice only in one area, you may find that you present significantly different information from one prospect to the next because your prospects' have different needs. For example, an estate planning lawyer might have one educational handout addressing basic estate planning topics and another for advanced asset protection issues. A family law attorney may have one set of materials for couples wanting a divorce and another set for couples hoping to adopt a child.

If you address two distinct types of prospects, you should prepare one educational handout for each so he can request the handout that is relevant to his needs. Or, if you want to attract one of these prospects but not the other, the subject matter in your handout will determine which prospect calls to request your information. In this way, you attract specifically the clients you want, and do not attract those you would rather screen out. As your information grows more and more specific, the type of client you attract will grow more and more specific, as well.

Your educational message should teach your prospect about (1) the seriousness of his problem (or the importance of the goal he wants to achieve), (2) the seriousness of allowing the problem to persist, (or the benefits he will gain from achieving his goal without delay) and (3) the steps he should take to get the best result. And last, you should include your biographical information, including your photograph, so you go as far as possible to creating a trusting relationship and giving your prospect the feeling that he already knows you.

The premise is this: You want your prospect to appreciate the urgency of solving his problem or achieving his goal at the earliest possible moment. You want your prospect to know all the steps that need to be taken to bring him the best result. You want your prospect to conclude you have the knowledge, skill and experience necessary to achieve the best outcome.

When you include a (fairly) detailed list of steps that should be taken to achieve the best result, your prospect often concludes (1) the task is too big for him to tackle on his own, and (2) you are the only attorney he knows who understands how to achieve the results he wants.

When you offer steps in a process, your marketing has a pre-emptive effect on competing lawyers. After reading your materials, your prospect realizes that you know how to solve his problem, but he can't be sure that other lawyers know as much about the subject as you. This bonds him more tightly to you and increases his desire to hire you over other attorneys. In fact, depending on the prospect's experience hiring lawyers, after he receives your materials, he might not even consider hiring anyone else.

Your educational handout should have several sections. While you don't need to label them "Section 1" or "Section 2", each is separated by a subhead with a persuasive title all its own. The subheads at the beginning of each section should be a teaser that attracts attention to that part of your handout. Here are the sections I recommend:

SECTION #1: Introduces and discusses the subject in general, and defines any legal terms you will use to explain the subject.

SECTION #2: Identifies and describes the problems most people face when they don't have a lawyer's help.

SECTION #3: Misconceptions about the subject. Identifies misconceptions people have that cause problems and may cause them to get a result different from what they want.

SECTION #4: Mistakes people make. This can cover mistakes they make when trying to handle the matter themselves -- or mistakes that result from hiring a lawyer who is not skilled in this area of law.

SECTION #5: Steps the prospect should follow to get the best result, or secrets of solving the problem or achieving the goal. Use "steps" if things should be done in sequence. Use "secrets" if things must be done, but not necessarily in any order.

SECTION #6: How to hire a lawyer. Includes points to consider and questions to ask before your prospect hires an attorney. This is where you teach the prospect how to qualify lawyers he might hire. Since this is your playing field, you define the hiring qualities the prospect should consider as broadly or narrowly as you wish.

SECTION #7: Your photograph and biography. Gives details of your relevant education and qualifications. When you include a good photo and a fairly extensive biography, prospects grow comfortable because they know something about you.

SECTION #8: Call to action. This is the key marketing element that invites your prospect to take whatever action you want him to take. Prospects who don't know how to proceed often don't do anything.

SUMMARY: Your educational handout should (1) answer all the questions your prospect might ask, (2) include a title and sub-heads that tease your prospect, with the hope that he won't take any action or hire another lawyer until he first reads your materials, (3) create a warm, friendly feeling toward you based on the quality of your photograph, and (4) demonstrate to your prospect that you are qualified to work on his behalf based on the information we include in your biography -- and based on the depth of the information and advice you present.


© Trey Ryder

FREE LAWYER MARKETING ALERT: If you'd like to receive Trey Ryder's weekly Lawyer Marketing Alert, send an e-mail to Trey@TreyRyder.com. Write "Subscribe LMA" in the subject line and write your name and e-mail address in the body of the message.


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  • Historia Verdadera


La china Xuzhou Construction Machinery Group (XCMG) planea realizar una inversión inicial de US$ 10 mlls. en la construcción de una unidad en Brasil, para aprovechar las "políticas preferenciales" del gobierno del país sudamericano y explorar el mercado regional. La nueva sucursal brasileña, denominada Xugong Brazil Investment, será controlada por las filiales hongkonesas XMG International Trade, que aportará US$ 9,5 mlls. y XCMG International Development, que aplicará los 500.000 dólares restantes. XCMG es uno de los mayores fabricantes de maquinaria para construcción civil del mundo y la más importante de China, con cerca de la mitad de mercado.


Nestlé y Federacafé se unieron para buscar la sostenibilidad de cafetales , con una inversión inicial de más US$3,2 mlls, la multinacional trabajará de la mano con el gremio caficultor para activar el plan Nescafé, un proyecto que prevé garantizar la calidad de los cafetales en Colombia y el mundo.


La brasileña Braskem informó que el Consejo Administrativo de Defensa Económica aprobó su adquisición de Quattor Participacoes, Unipar Comercial e Distribuidora y Polibutenos Indústrias Químicas, anteriormente propiedad en conjunto de Unipar y de la estatal Petrobras. Asimismo, el órgano también autorizó la consolidación de las participaciones petroquímicas propiedad de la local Odebrecht y Petrobras en Braskem. Con esta decisión, la empresa asume la gestión integral de los activos petroquímicos adquiridos, con los cuales Braskem creó la mayor productora de resinas termoplásticas del continente americano.

  • Brief News

Courts 'will reject test secrecy'

There is a serious mismatch between the government's aim to commercialize forensic science and the requirement of courts for openness, according to a top UK forensic expert. UK courts would not accept forensic tests whose details are kept secret due to commercial confidentiality issues. This would prevent proper scrutiny of forensic techniques. The National DNA Database also needs upgrades urgently.

Obama seeks consensus over Libya

Obama calls the leaders of the UK, France and Italy as international efforts to respond to the violence in Libya gather pace. US officials said the steps could include seeking stronger action by the UN Security Council - including possible sanctions such as travel bans and asset freezes - support for calls to suspend Libya from the UN Human Rights Council, and enforcing a no-fly zone over Libya. The UN Security Council is expected to meet later on Friday in New York to consider further action against Col Gaddafi's government.

Foreign investment ebbs in India

Direct investment in India fell more than 31 percent last year, and corruption and bureaucracy are being blamed.

An enduring and powerful legacy

Joseph H. Flom, the veteran Wall Street attorney who made an art form of the hostile takeover during the 1970s and 1980s, has died at the age of 87.Flom rose to prominence in the 1960s as a scrappy young lawyer who cut his teeth in proxy fights. But he used the work as a springboard into the burgeoning world of mergers and acquisitions — and built his upstart law firm into the prototypical modern mega firm in the process. Many argued that the mergers were hurting the nation's economy by transferring wealth from employees to bondholders and bankers, and diverting corporate funds from research and development. Flom, however, was skeptical about the need for changes. "Shareholders already have a referendum," he said. "If they don't like the results, they can fire the management, or sell their stock. The system, with all of its problems, is working. There's no justification for questions about economic concentration." Flom developed a reputation for driving his staff. Lawyers would work around the clock for days to get deals done. (Skadden continues to be regarded as an aggressive, high-pressure firm that commands high fees.) Concerned that Skadden could become a boutique law firm focused primarily on mergers and acquisitions, Flom headed an effort to expand into other areas, like real estate, product liability and energy.

Boeing wins contract to provide aerial tankers for USAF

Boeing has won a lucrative contract to provide the US with 179 aerial refueling tankers. Boeing and European rival EADS had been competing for almost a decade for the $35bn US Air Force contract. During that time both the US and the European Union have reported each other's companies to the WTO, alleging illegal subsidies. And over the past decade two previous attempts to choose a contractor have failed.

Deutsche Bank gets 1bn won fine after Korea market fix

Deutsche Bank has been fined 1bn won ($885,000) after South Korea's regulators said its staff manipulated the country's stock market. The fine is the largest ever handed down by Korea's stock exchange, KRX. According to the FSC, Deutsche Bank employees had built up large positions in derivatives that allowed them to influence the market. That drop earned the staff profits of about 44.9bn won ($26 bn), the regulators claim.

Russia plans $650bn defense spend

Eight nuclear submarines, 600 jets and 1,000 helicopters feature in a planned Russian defense spend of $650bn up to 2020.

A blank check for cleaning up Madoff's mess

The officials investigating the Ponzi scheme of Bernard L. Madoff don't have the usual limitations. They have spent $228.3 million so far and expect to spend $1.1 billion more.

Judge unseals gov't demands for tobacco firms

A judge overseeing a long-running fight between the United States and cigarette companies over the dangers of tobacco unsealed on Wednesday statements that the government wants cigarette companies to publish, including admissions that they lied under oath.

After Obama's gay marriage decision, 'it's a new world'

Obama's assertion that the federal ban on same sex-marriage is unconstitutional has expanded the political debate on legal rights for gay Americans. Democrats in Congress say they'll reintroduce a bill that would repeal the federal Defense of Marriage Act. They also will try to pass legislation that would extend benefits to domestic partners and spouses of federal workers who are gay.

ICC declines to stay proceedings against Congo militia leader Lubanga

The trial chamber of the International Criminal Court (ICC) on Wednesday declined a request from lawyers for accused Congolese militia leader Thomas Lubanga Dyilo to stay the proceedings against him. The trial chamber, in a confidential ruling, rejected contentions of prosecutorial misconduct levied by Lubanga's defense team, including allegations that prosecutors, through proxies, offered bribes to witnesses and coached testimony. Lubanga had previously been released from custody and his trial stayed until prosecutors complied with a directive to provide certain information to the defense, though the ICC appeals chamber later rescinded those orders and directed the trial to proceed.

Libya leader alleged to have ordered Lockerbie bombing

Former Libyan Justice Minister Mustafa Abel-Jalil on Wednesday alleged that Muammar Gaddafi ordered the 1988 Lockerbie bombing, according to Swedish newspaper Expressen. During the 40-minute interview, Abel-Jalil, who resigned earlier this week in opposition of the country's violent response to protesters, claimed to have evidence that Gaddafi gave direct orders to Abdelbaset Ali Mohmet al-Megrahi to conduct the bombing. Megrahi was convicted in 2001 of the Pan Am bombing and sentenced to 27 years in prison, which he subsequently appealed. Megrahi, a former Libyan intelligence official, was released from custody in August 2009 on compassionate grounds after being diagnosed with terminal cancer and subsequently returned to his native Libya.

Supreme court upholds California timeliness rule for habeas petitions

The US Supreme Court on Wednesday ruled unanimously in Walker v. Martin that a state law barring a prisoner from collaterally attacking his conviction is adequate to support a procedural bar to filing a habeas corpus petition. The decision upholds a California state law preventing prisoners from collaterally attacking their judgment when the prisoner "substantially delayed" filing his habeas petition. Writing the opinion for the court, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg noted that the court has the responsibility to ensure that state procedural claims do not discriminate against claims of federal rights, but determined that California's timeliness rule does not operate to the particular disadvantage of such rights of the petitioner.

Algeria government lifts 19-year state of emergency

The Algerian Council of Ministers on Tuesday approved a draft ordinance repealing the country's 19-year state of emergency, delivering on a promise made the week before. The draft ordinance will have the force of law upon publication in the Official Journal of Algeria, which the Council of Ministers said would be "imminent." The state of emergency, which has been in place since a series of decrees in 1992, gave the government power to limit political freedoms and even peaceful protests. Opponents also claimed that the state of emergency gave rise to arbitrary detentions. President Abdelaziz Bouteflika announced earlier in the month that the order would be lifted and maintained that protests have not been discouraged: "[n]o law or order has ever forbidden any legal formation or association."

SAP files motion to discard Oracle copyright verdict

Oracle Corp should be paid no more than $408.7 million for copyright infringement carried out by a SAP AG subsidiary, the European software company argued in a court filing late on Wednesday.

Consumer lawsuits challenge online data brokers

Two lawsuits in federal court in California that challenge the way a popular online data-mining company does business could give consumers more privacy protection from firms that sell personal information on the Web. Elsewhere, Venture capitalists are plowing money into companies that help target online advertising, despite public concern about privacy and potential government restrictions.

U.S. foreclosure deal slowed by infighting

U.S. regulators' efforts to settle with banks over improper mortgage foreclosures are being hampered by disagreements among the groups involved over the size and shape of an accord. Banking regulators and a coalition of state attorneys general are trying to forge a settlement with the largest U.S. banks, which have been accused of foreclosing on borrowers without having the necessary paperwork in place. A settlement would relieve a potentially large legal liability and reputational black eye for the banks, as they could face a myriad of lawsuits and fines without a universal agreement. Sources familiar with the talks say the various groups disagree on the parameters of a settlement, with bank regulators pushing to outline a settlement plan as soon as mid-March. Analysts said the discussions highlight the difficulties of reaching a universal settlement as disparate groups are involved in the negotiations.

France's Publicis faces $100 mln gender bias suit in U.S. court

A former public relations employee filed a $100 million class action suit against Publicis Groupe that accuses the French advertising company of discriminating against women in pay and promotions. The proposed class consists of all women who have worked in the company's American public relations practice. Women make up 70 percent of the company's public relations staff but hold only about 15 percent of leadership positions, says the lawsuit which was filed in New York federal court. "A Publicis woman's place is in the back of the line, far removed from senior management positions, almost all of which are reserved for the men," the complaint contends. It goes on to state that "Publicis's glass ceiling might as well be a cement wall."

Is the patent-marking law unconstitutional? A Judge says yes

A federal judge on Wednesday ruled unconstitutional a law that allows plaintiffs to sue companies for labeling products with expired patent numbers.

Apple, once the scrappy outsider, beefs up its antitrust team

For years, Apple relished its reputation as a scrappy outsider, fighting to stay alive in a world dominated by Microsoft Corp.'s Windows monopoly. But a quiet recent hire by the Cupertino company suggests it realizes how much that picture has changed. A few months ago, Apple hired Kyle Andeer, a top former litigator at the Federal Trade Commission, to be its first in-house antitrust counsel. The hire wasn't publicly announced at the time and has gone largely unnoticed. Andeer will likely have his hands full: Apple is facing a proliferating number of antitrust investigations by both the FTC and U.S. Justice Department.

  • Daily Press Review

Gaddafi blames al-Qaeda for revolt
Al Jazeera, Doha, Qatar

Sudanese protesters block roads in capital
Egyptian Gazette, English-language, Cairo, Egypt

Videos reveal evidence of mass executions in Libya
JPost, Conservative, Jerusalem, Israel

Fire at Houston daycare center 3, injures 4
Khaleej Times, English-language daily, Dubai, United Arab Emirates

World grapples for response as battles divide Libya
Times of Oman, English-language daily, Muscat, Oman

Al-Qaeda to attack military headquarters in South Yemen
Yemen Observer, Sana'a, Republic of Yemen

Race to rescue Britons from Libya
BBC News, Centrist newscaster, London, England

LIBYA: UN to discuss new sanctions against Libyan regime
France 24, Issy-les-Moulineaux, France

Iraq Drafting International Arbitration Law
Radio Free Europe, Prague, Czech Republic

Obama calls crisis talks as Gaddafi strikes back
The Guardian, Liberal daily, London, England

Polls open till 10pm as nation votes in election
The Irish Times, Centrist daily, Dublin, Ireland

Ireland needs more than a change of government
The Telegraph, Conservative daily, London, England

Protesters throw eggs and flowers at Chinese envoy
China Post, English-language daily, Taipei, Taiwan

Swamy names Karunanidhi in 2G telecom scam
India Express, News portal, Mumbai, India

Barasat murder accused does a U-turn, claims innocence
India Times, Conservative daily, New Delhi, India

One passenger killed as boat sinks in S Philippines
People's Daily Online, English-language, Beijing, China

Plane lands in Libya to airlift Canadians
Canadian Broadcasting Centre, Toronto, Ontario

Swank condo in Spaniard's 1,200K cocaine case sold for US$34.7M
Dominican Today, Independent daily, Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic

RIGHTS-CUBA: Tension on Anniversary of Hunger Striker's Death
IPS Latin America, International cooperative of journalists, Rome, Italy

'The people have woken up' in Libya
Toronto Star, Toronto, Ontario

Obama seeks consensus over Libya
BBC News, Centrist newscaster, London, England

Mercenaries from Ethiopia kill Libyan protesters
Jimma Times, Online news portal, Jimma, Ethiopia

China says over 2400 dead in coal mines in 2010
Mail & Guardian Online, Liberal, Johannesburg, South Africa

Court hears gory details of decapitation
News24.com, Online news portal, Cape Town, South Africa


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