June 17, 2011 nº 1,055 - Vol. 9


"Lesser artists borrow, great artists steal."

Igor Stravinsky

In today´s Law Firm Marketing, Your marketing efforts sink, swim or soar depending on how well you satisfy the "big C" plus a bonus article : Now isn´t the time to cut your marketing budget.

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

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  • Top News

Madoff claims lure banks

Some of the world´s biggest banks are jumping into a multibillion-dollar market that buys up victims´ claims in the Bernard Madoff Ponzi scheme, including two banks that have been sued in connection with the fraud. The buyers of claims offer defrauded investors who want immediate cash a fraction of what they are owed, intending to profit by collecting a larger payout when the settlement is made final, which can take years. Investors were receiving offers of just 20 cents to 30 cents on the dollar a year ago, when it was unclear how much money would be recovered. Now, with billions already extracted through settlements reached by a court-appointed trustee and the promise of billions more, deep-pocketed banks are moving in, pushing the offers on claims to roughly 70 cents to 75 cents on the dollar. Even at the higher offers, the bidders are hoping to make millions of dollars on larger claims.

Advanced Legal Writing in English

The Advanced Legal Writing course of Georgetown Law CLE and Lex Mercator engages participants in advanced exercises in legal writing, including objective and persuasive writing, such as opinion and demand letters, client email, and internal memoranda. This class is an absolute necessity for aspiring international lawyers. Web classes are held Wedesdays, from June 22 through August 10, from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. Washington, D.C. time. Migalhas readers have a 20% discount with the discount code "Migalhas20". To read more or enroll click here.

International Aspects of Taxation (in Spanish)

Prof. Peter Byrne, of Georgetown law CLE and Lex Mercator, will examine the core issues in developing international tax rules and study the different approaches countries have taken in dealing with these issues. This course will be taught in Spanish. Web classes are held Tuesdays, from June 21 through August 9, from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. Washington, D.C. time. Migalhas readers have a 20% discount with the discount code "Migalhas20". To read more or enroll click here.

Visit our new ´Magic Eye´ page and boost your career

Migalhas International, with the support of executive search firms, brings the best career and professional development opportunities to its readers. We call this service the "Magic Eye". Page Personnel is a recruitment company specializing in professional technical and management support positions. Click here to go to our special webpage and find your next lease on life.

  • Crumbs

1 - Silvio Berlusconi ´tried to cover up his relationship with a teenage nightclub dancer´ - click here.

2 - Too sexy to cycle! Police pulled me over for showing too much skin, says leggy tourist - click here.

3 - France: guardian suggested for heiress - click here.

4 - Sterilisation: North Carolina grapples with legacy - click here.

5 - China orders prison terms in iPad leak - click here.

6 - Brazil antitrust agency said to postpone Brasil Foods ruling after slump - click here.

7 - Gay marriage bill is one vote shy of clearing State Senate - click here.

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  • MiMIC Journal

China ´closes Tibet to tourists´

China has closed Tibet to all foreign tourists until the end of July. The move is being seen as an attempt by Beijing to prevent unrest ahead of celebrations marking 90 years since the founding of the ruling Communist Party.

Sullivan & Cromwell´s hires add to Wall Street law firms´ China challenge

Sullivan & Cromwell LLP hired Ng Kay Ian and Gwen Wong from Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP, making it the seventh New York law firm to expand in the Chinese city of Hong Kong since late 2009.

  • Law Firm Marketing

Now isn´t the time to cut your marketing budget

by Trey Ryder

The recession has caused everyone to more carefully watch their spending. Plus, with summer here, many lawyers cut back on their advertising.

One area that should not be cut is your investment in marketing because now is when you could gain a big competitive edge.

Let´s say both you and a competitor spend $2000 per month on marketing. And like many lawyers, your competitor cuts his budget in half to $1000 per month -- and you continue at $2000 per month.

Suddenly, without changing anything, and other things being equal, you´re getting twice the advertising impact as your competitor.

Now let´s say you increase your budget by $1000 per month to $3000. This 50% increase on your part -- coupled with your competitor´s 50% decrease, means you´re marketing impact is 3 times greater than your competitor´s, even though you´ve increased your spending only by one-half.

So, if you don´t invest one penny more than your usual advertising budget, the fact that many lawyers are cutting their budgets allows you to gain a competitive edge. And if you want to gain a huge advantage, increase your budget by 50%, for example, and get 3 times the impact of your competitor.

As you can see, now isn´t the time to cut your marketing budget. Instead, now´s the time to increase it -- attract more new clients and referrals -- and leave competing lawyers in your dust!

Your marketing efforts sink, swim or soar depending on how well you satisfy the "big C"

by Trey Ryder

A few years ago I created a to-do list for my business (different from my to-do list for clients). Nearly every day I would add something to the list. Soon, I had over five pages of things to do -- tasks I viewed as important enough to interrupt what I was doing so I could add them to my list.

Before long, every time I opened the document I got depressed. I was always adding to the list, but almost never crossing anything off.

Why? I discovered I had a number of well-worn excuses:

I don´t have enough time. The project seems too big. It won´t hurt to put it off a little longer. I feel no pressure to get it done. Maybe it isn´t important after all.

When I looked at the tasks I did complete, I assumed they would match my highest priorities. Right? Wrong!

I surprised myself to learn that priority had almost nothing to do with it. Instead, the major factor in my decision to complete these tasks was the Big C: Convenience.

I could finish them quickly and easily. I could complete them in one sitting. And I felt really good when the job was done: instant gratification.

So, what did I do with my 5-page to-do list? I deleted it. Now I feel much better.

When your prospective clients need to hire a lawyer, do they hire you? Or are they skilled at finding ways to "put it off until tomorrow" -- or much later?

I encourage you to make every aspect of your law practice convenient for both your prospects and clients -- because if they face any obstacles, they may have all the reason they need to do nothing.

Now, here are 12 smart ways to make your law practice more convenient for prospects and clients:

Smart Way #1: Make sure prospects find it easy to learn about you. This includes having an education-based web site that answers their questions and explains in detail how you can help them. Also, I suggest you have an educational packet that contains articles and information about your services. Prepare one hard-copy packet so you can send it by mail. And have the same packet in a form that you can send it by e-mail.

Smart Way #2: Make sure prospects find it easy to reach you. Do you accept phone calls from prospects -- or do you insist that they come into your office before you´ll speak with them? Do you offer a toll free number -- or do prospects have to pay to call you? Do you respond to e-mails from prospects? The more convenient you make it for prospects, the more calls you´ll receive.

Smart Way #3: Make sure clients find it easy to reach you. Are you available by pager or cell phone in an emergency? Can a client reach you quickly and easily on the phone? Do you return calls promptly?

Smart Way #4: Make sure prospects find it easy to get to your office. Is your office on or near a major street? Is your parking area close to your building or office? Is your office at a convenient location in the building? If on the second floor or higher, is the elevator close by?

Smart Way #5: Make sure prospects find it easy to meet with you. If prospects have a hard time coming to your office, will you go to their home or office? If weekdays are difficult for them, will you meet with them in the evening or on a weekend?

Smart Way #6: Make sure prospects find it easy to hire you. Can they hire you without having to drive to your office? Can you send your engagement letter or contract by fax or e-mail? If you have an established relationship, can they hire you simply by calling you on the phone? Or by sending you an e-mail? Can they hire you without a retainer?

Smart Way #7: Make sure prospects find it easy to pay you. Will you accept personal checks? How about credit cards? Do you offer a payment plan? Can you provide self-addressed, stamped envelopes to make sending their payment to you more convenient?

Smart Way #8: Make sure prospects and clients find it easy to provide you with the information you need. Do you have a form they can fill out and send by fax or e-mail? Do you provide business reply envelopes where you pay return postage? For larger packets, do you provide self-addressed UPS or FedEx labels?

Smart Way #9: Make sure prospects and clients find it easy to remember appointments and other important dates. Do you send them a calendar of upcoming dates, including what you need from them -- or expect of them -- by those dates? Do you send letters or e-mails reminding them of appointments? (A more tactful way to remind them of an appointment is to ask instead if this time is still convenient for them.)

Smart Way #10: Make sure clients know when to call you to update documents. You might provide them a list of criteria or events that should prompt them to contact you.

Smart Way #11: Make sure clients find it easy to refer their friends and colleagues. You might mail to each client your referral brochure, which contains a complete listing of your services and contact information. Consider providing clients with referral postcards they can give to friends and colleagues to request a meeting with you. Offer educational seminars so clients can bring friends to meet you and hear your message in person.

Smart Way #12: Make sure clients find it easy to remember you. You might provide things that contain your contact information, such as calendars and paperweights. Send cordial-contact letters. Mail them your newsletter. Don´t overlook greeting cards, gifts and donations given in their name. And consider hosting special events like art walks and wine tastings.

In summary: Convenience is a big factor in how prospects and clients respond to your marketing efforts. Don´t allow even the slightest obstacle to come between your prospects and you. Instead, emphasize how easily prospects can do business with you. In this way, you melt the ice that freezes many prospects in place -- and help them realize that working with you is an easy, positive, rewarding experience.

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© 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

Etanol

Costa Rica propuso hospedar una conferencia en 2012 entre el sector productor agroindustrial de la caña de azúcar y etanol de EE.UU., Brasil y Centroamérica. La presentación la hizo el embajador de Costa Rica en Brasil, Víctor Monge, en el marco de la Conferencia Mundial sobre el Etanol 2011, promovida por La Unión de Industrias de La Caña de Azúcar, que se realizó en Sao Paulo.

Colombia – Canadá

El TLC – Tratado de Libre Comercio entre Canadá y Colombia entrará en vigencia el 15 de agosto, la noticia se produce luego de que el ministerio de Asuntos Exteriores y Comercio Internacional de Canadá notificara al Gobierno colombiano acerca del cumplimiento de los requisitos internos para la entrada en vigencia del acuerdo. El ministro de Comercio, Industria y Turismo, Sergio Díaz - Granados anunció que con el acuerdo, empresarios e inversionistas de ambos países tendrán un marco de jurídico que permitirá potenciar el flujo comercial.

Inversiones

La gestora estadounidense de activos The Carlyle Group cerró dos fondos por un total de US$ 1.000 mlls. para efectuar inversiones de capital y adquisiciones en Brasil y Sudamérica. Los fondos son el CSABF - Carlyle South America Buyout Fund, con US$ 776 mlls., en activos totales, el cual será un fondo pan-sudamericano con el foco principal en Brasil. Y el fondo conformado en asociación con el estatal Banco do Brasil de US$ 225 mlls., que investirá junto a CSABF en negocios en Brasil.

  • Brief News

New York City Bar rules on the ethics of litigation financing

The New York City Bar has issued a new ethics opinion about the growing industry of litigation financing, in which financial firms invest millions into others´ suits in the hopes of getting a sizable return if the borrowers score a favorable settlement or verdict.

Utilities turn to mergers as demand for power slows

As technological advances hold the line on power consumption, major electricity players are looking to get bigger to protect their bottom lines.

Facebook juror sentenced to eight months for contempt

A juror who contacted a defendant via Facebook, causing a £6m ($10m) drugs trial to collapse, has been jailed for eight months for contempt of court. Joanne Fraill had admitted the charge, in the first UK case of its kind.

Agents ´let cartels buy US guns´

US firearms agents say they were ordered to step aside and watch as guns were purchased, illegally resold and sent to Mexican drug cartels.

Anger and despair overshadow Greece´s attempts to swallow more austerity

Greek PM George Papandreou replaces his finance minister in a bid to push through unpopular austerity measures demanded by the EU. The Greek debt crisis further worries markets. A failure to pay Greece´s debt could scare investors away from buying other European countries´ government bonds. It could make European banks — especially in Germany and France — who invested in Greece more vulnerable. Greek police have fired teargas at protesters as MPs prepared to debate new austerity measures required for the EU and IMF bail-out.

Strauss-Kahn ´opposed handcuffs´

Ex-IMF chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn complained about handcuffs and initially claimed immunity when he was arrested in New York, documents reveal.

Argentine leader says UK ´arrogant´ over Falklands

Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner, has called Britain "arrogant" for refusing to negotiate on the Falklands. She called Cameron’s refusal to hold talks on the sovereignty of the Falklands, or Malvinas, arrogant and bordering on stupidity.

Supreme Court allows class action suit against Bayer

The US Supreme Court on Thursday unanimously reversed the lower court in Smith v. Bayer Corp., allowing a class action lawsuit against the company to proceed. The Court held that under the re-litigation exception of the Anti-Injunction Act, a district court exceeded its authority when it enjoined Smith from seeking class certification in state court after denying certification to a similar class. They also declared issues in the federal case and the state tribunal case different enough to warrant separate trials. Finally, the Court declared that the district court did not have personal jurisdiction over Smith, who was not a member of the initial class, and acted improperly when they denied him the ability to relitigate. Justice Elena Kagan delivered the opinion.

Indonesia cleric sentenced to 15 years in prison on terror conviction

Indonesian cleric Abu Bakar Bashir was sentenced Thursday to 15 years in prison for his involvement with a terrorist training camp in the Indonesian province of Aceh to prepare Islamic radicals to carry out attacks in Jakarta. Prosecutors said Bashir provided more than $62,000 to the group, which was allegedly planning attacks modeled after the 2008 Mumbai terror attacks and targeting high-profile members of the Indonesian government. Bashir was found guilty of inciting terrorism in connection with the terrorist training camp. He was not convicted, however, of funding terrorist activities because there was not enough evidence to prove Bashir´s money contributed to purchasing guns for use at the training camp. The 72-year-old said he would appeal the sentence because it ignores Sharia law.

Hackers claim CIA website shutdown

The hacker group Lulz Security has claimed it has brought down the public-facing website of the US Central Intelligence Agency. The alleged attack on CIA.gov occurred on the same day the group opened a telephone request line so its fans could suggest potential targets. The CIA would not confirm if it had been the victim of an attack.

Men with sports cars ´not marriage material´

Men who buy flashy sports cars might be more successful at getting a date, but women do not see them as good marriage material, a study suggests.

No D.& O. liability risk? Wouldn´t that be nice

Contrary to arguments that directors and officers face little liability risk, a lawyer specializing in corporate governance issues asserts that this risk is real.

Kenya selects 5 appointees to serve on first Supreme Court

The JSC - Judicial Service Commission of Kenya on Wednesday selected five appointees to serve on the nation´s first Supreme Court. After taking a week to interview 25 candidates, the JSC panel selected one woman and four men to present to Kenyan President Mwai Kibaki for appointment. The list of nominations was submitted to Kibaki for direct appointment because Article 166(1)(b) of Kenya´s Constitution exempts the appointees from questioning by the Parliament of the Republic of Kenya. The CJ - Chief Justice, DCJ - Deputy Chief Justice and DPP - Director of Public Prosecution had already been nominated by the JSC, appointed by the president, and approved by parliament pursuant to the country´s new constitution. The Constitutional Implementation Oversight Committee, in a report detailing the criteria and process for selecting the CJ, DCJ and DPP, recommended that interview panels evaluating future nominations also create documents describing the methodology for the selection process.

Capital One to buy ING web bank

Capital One Financial will buy ING Group´s online banking business in the United States for about $9bn in cash and stock, in an effort to bolster its banking operations.

Supreme Court rules evidence not excluded when law changes between search and trial

The US Supreme Court on Thursday ruled 7-2 in Davis v. United States that when the law for what constitutes a legal search changes between a search and an accompanying trial, the evidence is not excluded. Justice Samuel Alito´s opinion states that because suppression of the evidence would do nothing to deter other officers from committing the same error, there´s no reason to enforce the exclusionary rule.

New York judges ask for 41% raise, retroactive pay

A coalition of more than 1,100 New York judges has asked the state´s newly-created Judicial Compensation Commission for a 41% pay hike, after more than a dozen years without a raise. The request would increase the salary for state trial-court judges to $192,500 from $136,700, where it has held steady since 1999.

  • Daily Press Review

Rebels back with vengeance at key oil port near Tripoli
Al Arabiya, Online news, Dubai, United Arab Emirates

Finance minister replaced in Greece
Al Jazeera, Doha, Qatar

Young Pakistanis using the Web to push for change
Arab News, Pro-government, Jidda, Saudi Arabia

Yemen protesters meet Saleh deputy over demands
Egyptian Gazette, English-language, Cairo, Egypt

Syrian forces take over northwestern town of Maaret al-Numan
Haaretz, Liberal daily, Tel Aviv, Israel

IHH pulls out of upcoming Gaza aid flotilla
JPost, Conservative, Jerusalem, Israel

Delivery for Gaza medical shortages
Ma´an News Agency, Bethlehem, Palestinian Territories

Security Committee assaults Yemen protestors
Yemen Observer, Sana´a, Republic of Yemen

Public sector pension ´due at 66´
BBC News, Centrist newscaster, London, England

Archaeologists discover Iron Age dwelling on remote island
BreakingNews.ie, Online news portal, Cork, Ireland

Saudi women to drive for change
CNN International, London, England

Stolen relic returned to church
Daily Express, Conservative tabloid, London, England

Gas leak kills five in Israel
EuroNews, International news, Ecully Cedex, France

USA: Strauss-Kahn ´claimed immunity´ upon arrest
France 24, Issy-les-Moulineaux, France

´Miss Moscow´ contender Yana Lapikova focuses on Putin post
Independent The, London, England

No gas deal for Russia and China yet
Moscow News The, Independent, Moscow, Russia

Stop the press: new boss for irrelevant organisation!
Spiked, (Alternative Internet Magazine), London, England

Quarter of UK population will be on new police database
Telegraph The, Conservative daily, London, England

New owner of Castaway island named
Telegraph The, Celebrity news, London, England

Liberia seized arms from Ivory Coast
Antara News, News agency, Jakarta, Indonesia

Sonthi: Matubhum can end southern unrest
Bangkok Post, Independent, Bangkok, Thailand

Former No. 2 succeeds bin Laden as al-Qaida chief
China Post, English-language daily, Taipei, Taiwan

Telecom to credit customers affected by metering error
Computer World, IT information, Fairfax, New Zealand

Israeli troops shoot two Palestinians
Daily Jang, Left-wing daily, Karachi, Pakistan

Gas pipeline blown up in Dera Bugti
Dawn, English-language daily, Karachi, Pakistan

India could be key target of new al-Qaeda chief
Hindu The, Left-leaning daily, Chennai, India

Venizelos is new finance minister
Hindustan Times, New Delhi, India

Govt, civil society deadlock over Lokpal Bill
India Express, News portal, Mumbai, India

Employees on attack mode against Gehlot
India Times, Conservative daily, New Delhi, India

Kanagawa ex-goveror to join entertainment agency
Japan Times, Independent centrist, Tokyo, Japan

US candidate supports Jerusalem as Israel´s capital
New Zealand Herald, Conservative daily, Auckland, New Zealand

Israeli troops shoot two Palestinians
News The, Left-wing, Karachi, Pakistan

11 dead as Kandahar clashes enter 2nd day
Pajhwok Afghan News, (Independent news agency), Kabul, Afghanistan

Nigerian Islamists claim responsibility for bomb attack
People´s Daily Online, English-language, Beijing, China

Saudi women begin challenge to driving ban
Straits Times, Pro-government, Singapore

Paternity question halts trial
Sydney Morning Herald, Centrist daily, Sydney, Australia

Egypt: Al-Zawahri succeeds bin Laden as al-Qaida leader
Taiwan News, English-language daily, Taipei, Taiwan

Atayal film recounts ancient migration and modern conflicts
Taiwan Today, Government Information Office, Taipei, Taiwan

Working with seniors will be a learning experience: Fletcher
Thaindian News, Bangkok, Thailand

Greek rescheduling could be fatal for Euro
The Economic Times, Business, Mumbai, India

Will hunt down new al-Qaida chief Zawahiri just like Osama: US
Times of India, Conservative, New Delhi, India

Air Canada, union reach tentative deal
Canadian Broadcasting Centre, Toronto, Ontario

Time out on the promises of European Union Partnership
Caribbean360, Online news portal, St. Michael, Barbados

Law paves way for shakeup of Supreme Court Justices
Dominican Today, Independent daily, Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic

Greek PM replaces finance minister amid debt crisis
Globe and Mail The, Centrist daily, Toronto, Canada

On a shoestring, Libya´s Misrata seeks normality
Reuters, World News, New York, U.S

Prince Harry could return to Afghanistan duty: reports
Vancouver Sun The, Conservative, Vancouver, Canada

Islamists ´bombed Nigeria police´
BBC News, Centrist newscaster, London, England

AFGHANISTAN: Worrying spike in civilian deaths
Irin News, Humanitarian news and analysis, Nairobi, Kenya

Former US envoy calls for military action against Sudan
Sudan Tribune, Khartoum, Sudan

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