August 19, 2011 nº 1,080 - Vol. 9


"Beware the fury of a patient man."

John Dryden

In today's Law Firm Marketing, the truth about how your occupation affects your marketing.

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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

Syria forces may be committing crimes against humanity

Syrian government forces cracking down on the opposition may be committing crimes against humanity, according to a report published Thursday by the UN OHCHR - Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights. The 22-page report, prepared by the the Fact-finding Mission on Syria, contains allegations of summary executions, killing of unarmed protesters and torture of detainees. According to the report, "the Mission found a pattern of human rights violations that constitutes widespread or systematic attacks against the civilian population, which may amount to crimes against humanity as provided for in article 7 of the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court."

S&P faces probe over mortgage security ratings

The Justice Department is investigating whether Standard & Poor's improperly boosted ratings on mortgage securities that later turned out to be toxic, helping trigger the worst financial crisis in decades. S&P, Moody's and Fitch have reaped profits from securities firms whose mortgage bonds they rated, but the agencies have always maintained that their analysts act independently from business concerns. In the wake of the financial crisis, that claim could face renewed scrutiny if the government uncovers evidence that managers leaned on analysts to burnish the ratings. Ratings agencies have sort of a protected status. Their ratings are opinions, and opinions are protected by the First Amendment. The Justice Department would have to prove S&P did more than just give a bad opinion.

Brazil's economy goes from "great" to "good"

Brazil's long boom appears to be over. After several dynamic years that saw it earn a reputation among some Western investors as "the near China," Brazil now looks to be downshifting into a pattern of economic growth of around 3 percent to 4 percent for the foreseeable future. While that is still good by the depressed standards of Europe and the United States, it puts Brazil behind most of its true peers -- fellow members in the BRICS group of large emerging markets and most major economies in Latin America. The cooler outlook is reflected in Brazil's stock market, one of the world's worst-performing indexes this year. Several companies are scaling back investment plans in the face of disappointing profits. Wall Street economists have been slashing forecasts for 2011 and years to come. The main culprit is Brazil's middle-class consumer who powered the expansion of recent years by snapping up cars and TVs at a record pace but now looks to be nearly tapped out. The evidence ranges from the empirical, such as rising default rates, to the anecdotal -- it is astonishing how easy it is to find Brazilians who are in over their heads on debt. Other restraints include Brazil's poor business climate relative to its peers; left-leaning president Dilma Rousseff's inability to push major reforms to the tax code or other changes to help lift growth; and the global economic crisis, which translates into uncertain prospects for Brazilian commodities such as iron ore in China and elsewhere. Many Brazilians are proudly optimistic about their country's recent rise to prominence and talk of a less glorious future is still treated like heresy in some circles.

  • Crumbs

1 - Time Warner Cable buys Insight for $3bn - click here.

2 - Apple faces South Korean lawsuit - click here.

3 - HTC raises patent stakes against Apple with bid to block IPhone - click here.

4 - Cargill sued over Salmonella-contaminated turkey - click here.

5 - Big law firms are on campus -- and ready to recruit - click here.

6 - Seeing red: McCarter, Debevoise to continue Louboutin-YSL shoe fight - click here.

7 - Fired associate sues Kasowitz, claims firm made promises it didn't keep - click here.

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  • MiMIC Journal

Coke to invest $4bn in China

Coca-Cola is planning $4bn in new spending in China over the next 3 years.

  • Law Firm Marketing

The truth about how your occupation affects your marketing

by Tom Trush

When it comes to effectively marketing your product or service, your prospects have little concern for your occupation.

They don't care if you're a lawyer ... real estate agent ... website developer ... auto mechanic ... bookkeeper ... doctor ... caterer ... whatever ...

Heck, I'm certain no one cares I'm a direct-response copywriter and marketing strategist. (You'll notice I don't include this information at the bottom of these e-mails.)

Whether you're writing copy, coming up with lead-generating strategies or networking with other professionals, you share an occupation with every person who actively markets a business.

You're a problem solver.

The truth is purchasing decisions are not based on occupations ... or company names ... or logo designs ... or mission statements ... or the number of abbreviations after your name. Look around, however, and you'll see plenty of self-centered marketing messages focused on these items.

What wasted opportunities!

Prospects hunt for people who can solve their problems. The more your marketing message focuses on your prospects' nagging needs, the more often you'll receive responses. So showcase your expertise by offering information that details solutions.

There's no easier way to separate yourself from your competition.

Let me explain ...

Imagine you want to sell your home and a real estate agent comes to your front door. She hands you a business card with the usual information (i.e., company name, agent's name, phone number, e-mail address and website) and tells you she's sold many homes in your neighborhood. As she walks away, the agent encourages you to contact her when you're ready to list your house.

Shortly after the first agent leaves, another one shows up. Instead of a business card, she gives you a handout titled, "5 Simple Strategies for Quickly Selling Your Home in a 'Down' Market." In addition to the tips, the report includes specific examples and detailed testimonials of how homeowners in your neighborhood used the strategies to sell their properties. You also see several statements encouraging you to view the agent's website for more free tips.

Which website are you more likely to visit?

Which real estate agent established greater credibility?

Which real estate agent is more likely to get your business?

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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

Barbie

Barbies por Rastis. Ese parece ser el acuerdo de Mattel, la compañía estadounidense que fabrica las famosas muñecas y a la que el gobierno argentino le trabó la importación a inicio de año. La empresa llegó a un convenio para distribuir en Colombia los bloques de encastre que produce la firma argentina Dimare con las marcas Rasti y Blocky. A cambio, la compañía apuesta a que la Secretaria de Comercio Interior, que sigue de cerca este rubro, empiece a liberar los juguetes varados en la aduana.

Carreteras

El fondo canadiense Brookfield que opera en Chile desde 2006 en el área de energía eléctrica. Ahora, negocia la adquisición de la autopista concesionada Vespucio Norte, que pertenece en un 46,48% al grupo español ACS. El porcentaje restante está vinculado a la germana Hochtief.. Esta concesión fue adjudicada en 2002 por el Ministerio de Obras Públicas, a un plazo de 30 años, e involucró una inversión de US$ 320 mlls. (Presione aquí)

Inversiones

Los gigantes de la minería BHP Billiton, Anglo American y Xstrata anunciaron el jueves una inversión de unos US$ 1.300 mlls., para potenciar la producción de la carbonera Cerrejón en Colombia, de la que son copropietarias. (Presione aquí)

  • Brief News

US will review 300,000 immigrant deportation cases

Illegal immigrants to the US who pose no threat to the public are likely to have deportation proceedings against them shelved, the Obama administration has announced. Reviews will be conducted of about 300,000 illegal immigrants marked for deportation, Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano said. Republicans have argued the policy sidesteps Congressional lawmakers. An estimated 11m illegal immigrants, most of them Hispanic, live in the US.

World leaders call for Assad to step down

The leaders of the US, UK, France, Germany and the EU have all called for Syria's president Assad to step down over his suppression of protesters. It marks a significant increase in pressure on Assad for sending in his army against the protesters. Meanwhile, UN investigators say the use of violence in Syria "may amount to crimes against humanity".

Brazil: fourth minister to resign

Brazil's Agriculture Minister Wagner Rossi has resigned amid a corruption scandal. He is the fourth minister to leave office because of corruption allegations since president Dilma Rousseff came to power in January. Rossi said he had spent a month battling what he called "false accusations", and had had enough. He had been accused of accepting bribes and free air travel from agricultural companies, local media report.

Zara acts on Brazil sweatshop conditions

The owners of Spanish fashion chain Zara say they are strengthening the oversight of their production system after workers were found toiling in a Brazilian sweatshop. A raid in Sao Paulo found mostly Bolivian immigrants working for a pittance in unsafe and unsanitary conditions. Inditex, the parent company of Zara, said it had zero tolerance for such infringements. The workers were employed illegally by a subcontractor, Inditex said.

'Rape' report won't transform Strauss-Kahn case

When a French magazine reported on the leaked medical records of Dominique Strauss-Kahn's accuser earlier this week, lawyers on both sides of the case scrambled to provide competing interpretations. But legal analysts say that, despite its incendiary language, the report is unlikely to be a game-changer in either a criminal or civil trial. The medical report, as described by L'Express, contains two areas of evidence that could bolster Diallo's account of the incident: observations about her physical condition, and the story she told doctors about the alleged assault. According to the magazine, the report gives "rape" as the cause of her injuries. But that statement likely reflects only her account to doctors.

Lawyers' letter could spell more bad news for Murdoch

Harbottle & Lewis, the law firm embroiled in the phone-hacking scandal sweeping Rupert Murdoch's News of the World newspaper, has taken the unusual step of fighting back against its former client to preserve its reputation. The firm was hired in 2007 solely to deal with a wrongful termination claim by News of the World editor Clive Goodman, Harbottle contends -- not to provide a wide-ranging investigation with a criminal component, the view espoused by the Murdochs. "The exercise undertaken by the firm was short, limited in terms of access to documents, without any access at all to witnesses, undertaken by civil practitioners, and undertaken for a narrow and specific purpose in an employment dispute," the firm wrote. The inner workings of internal investigations by law firms rarely come into the public view. Such pursuits, after all, are by nature private. But in July, News Corp waived attorney-client privilege at Harbottle's behest, allowing some details of Harbottle's work for the media company to come to light. The correspondence shows that Harbottle "feels the need to protect their position." While it's ususual for a firm to confront a client publicly, firms rarely, if ever, find their investigative work available for public consumption in the first place. Firms must balance their duty of loyalty to clients with their need to preserve their reputation as competent lawyers. Apart from the ethics and the law, the question is, how good is it for lawyers' reputation to turn on a client?

India upper house of parliament impeaches high court judge

After a day's deliberation, the Council of States, India's upper house of parliament voted 189 - 17 on Thursday to impeach Justice Soumitra Sen, a justice of the Calcutta High Court accused of embezzling funds. Impeachment hearings began Wednesday. Sen was charged with misappropriation of funds and misrepresentation of facts. Sen, in his capacity as justice, was assigned to sell an inventory of rejected goods from two civil suits, with the proceeds going back toward the payment of the judgment in one case, and disbursed to workers as back payments in another. Sen was to keep five percent for himself and had absolute control over all bank accounts connected to the cases. Parties to the cases requested information from Sen after not receiving their funds, which he ignored. Eventually, Sen withdrew all the money from the accounts and closed them, without explanation to the courts.

India's Hazare released from jail

Indian anti-corruption activist Anna Hazare leaves prison to begin a 15-day hunger strike to force Delhi to strengthen an anti-corruption bill.

Chile recognizes 9,800 more victims of Pinochet's rule

A Chilean commission investigating human rights abuses under the former military leader Pinochet says there are many more victims than previously documented. It has identified another 9,800 people who had been held as political prisoners and tortured. The new figures bring the total of recognized victims to 40,018. The survivors will get lifetime pensions of about $260 (£157) a month.

Execution amid death-drug row

The US state of Virginia has executed a convicted murderer and rapist by lethal injection, despite objections from the drug manufacturer. A shortage of drugs used in past US executions has forced Virginia authorities to rely on an epilepsy drug manufactured by Danish firm Lundbeck, which said it opposes the "distressing misuse" of its product. The company has strongly objected to its product's use in capital punishment, and has restricted distribution in an attempt to keep it out of prison death chambers.

Mexico president eliminates pocket veto

Mexican president Felipe Calderon on Wednesday signed a reform to the Mexican Constitution that eliminates the president's ability to use a pocket veto to prevent the passage of a bill. Originally, the president could kill the legislation by ignoring it for 30 days. The constitutional reform now requires the president to take action on a bill within 30 days of receipt. Otherwise, the bill will automatically become law.

California appeals court upholds 13.8 million judgment against tobacco company

The Second District Court of Appeals in Los Angeles on Wednesday upheld a $13.8 million judgment against Philip Morris in the death of 45-year-old lifelong smoker Betty Bullock. Family of the deceased won the case after accusing the company of fraud by using deceptive marketing tactics. Philip Morris argued that the punitive judgment should simply match the judgment for pain and suffering, $850,000, as Bullock's health was mitigated by her conduct. The three-judge panel voted 2-1 to uphold the judgment and all three judges rejected Philip Morris' reasoning.

Summer hiring holds steady

Law firms hiring associates for 2012 say they are planning to make the same number of job offers as they did for the 2011 class -- and in some cases may even increase the number of positions. While they are mindful of the fragile economy, firms are not expecting the kind of upheaval that forced them to gut their summer associate classes in the last recession. They don't forsee a freeze in banking or mergers and acquisitions work and are staffing accordingly.

How law schools can produce 'practice ready' grads: operate their own law firms

Two law professors in the US are proposing a "radical" change to help prepare law students for practice: law firms operated by law schools. The nonprofit, self-funding law firms would hire experienced lawyers to manage different practice groups and help train fledgling lawyers, according to the professors.

California sues law firms promising mortgage relief

California has broken up what it called a ring of law firms that preyed on struggling homeowners nationwide to pay thousands of dollars each to file lawsuits against their mortgage lenders and servicers.

Congress told SEC documents were destroyed

A US senator is demanding answers to an allegation that America's top financial regulator has destroyed thousands of preliminary investigation records. Senator Charles Grassley has written to the SEC - Securities and Exchange Commission to query the claims by an internal whistleblower. The SEC is said to have destroyed files on initial inquiries linked to Bernard Madoff, major banks and hedge funds. A spokesman for the watchdog said it did not need to retain every document. According to an SEC attorney-turned-whistleblower, Darcy Flynn, the regulator has destroyed more than 9,000 files on preliminary investigations since the early 1990s. The records, termed matters under inquiry, are said to include interviews and tip-offs about a range of alleged financial misconduct.

Police can order removal of face coverings under new NSW law

Police in Australia have welcomed new laws that require people to remove face coverings or risk a fine or jail time, saying officers will no longer be hindered on the job. Under changes to the Law Enforcement Act that have the backing of the Islamic community, police can require anyone to remove a face covering - including a helmet, burqa, niqab or mask. "With respect for different religions and beliefs but, when it comes to enforcing the law, the police should be given adequate powers to make a clear identification."

Guilty plea in conspiracy case

Mark Kaiser, the former marketing chief of a U.S. unit of Ahold NV, pleaded guilty to a criminal charge after he was granted a new trial last year on allegations he participated in a scheme to artificially boost the unit's operating results.

  • Daily Press Review

Israel launches strikes on Gaza after attacks
Al Jazeera, Doha, Qatar

Turkish military attacks PKK rebels in Iraq
Asharq Al-Awsat, Pan-Arab daily, London, England

Libya rebels take Garyan, south of Tripoli-witness
Egyptian Gazette, English-language, Cairo, Egypt

10 rockets strike Israel day after coordinated terror attacks kill 8
Haaretz, Liberal daily, Tel Aviv, Israel

Al-Qaida-linked group praises Eilat terror attacks
JPost, Conservative, Jerusalem, Israel

Blasts hit UK compound in Kabul
BBC News, Centrist newscaster, London, England

Explosions rock British compound in Kabul
CNN International, London, England

Pope meets Spanish royals and PM
Daily Express, Conservative tabloid, London, England

FTSE 100 takes another battering by opening 2.4% down as bank fears spark panic on the markets
Daily Mail, Conservative daily, London, England

Celebrity Big Brother 2011: Tara Reid leaves new husband Zack Kehayov behind
Daily Mail, Conservative daily, London, England

Chile acknowledges thousands more Pinochet victims
EuroNews, International news, Ecully Cedex, France

ISRAEL: Gaza rockets strike Israel after deadly border ambush
France 24, Issy-les-Moulineaux, France

Eight dead in attack on British Council in Kabul
Hurriyet Daily News, (Liberal, English-language), Istanbul, Turkey

'Eight dead' in Kabul attack
Independent The, London, England

Businessmen on the barricades
Moscow News The, Independent, Moscow, Russia

UK riots: Home Secretary considering new general curfew powers
Telegraph The, Conservative daily, London, England

Harry Potter's Daniel Radcliffe pictured with pretty brunette
Telegraph The, Celebrity news, London, England

Suthep: Bodies not linked to last govt
Bangkok Post, Independent, Bangkok, Thailand

DJIA tumbles more than 480 points
China Post, English-language daily, Taipei, Taiwan

Used car dealers and rentals hurt by heavy rain
Chosun Ilbo, Conservative daily, Seoul, South Korea

Fears grow over Nigerian Islamists' 'terror links'
Hindustan Times, New Delhi, India

Mumbai dabbawalas 1st strike in 120yrs
India Times, Conservative daily, New Delhi, India

Composite index revised upward
Japan Times, Independent centrist, Tokyo, Japan

Ashton Kutcher: federal criminal?
New Zealand Herald, Conservative daily, Auckland, New Zealand

British Council attacked in Kabul, 4th blast heard
People's Daily Online, English-language, Beijing, China

Five dead after storm strikes Belgian pop festival
Straits Times, Pro-government, Singapore

With 'friends' like these...
Sydney Morning Herald, Centrist daily, Sydney, Australia

Deans refuses to explain Giteau omission
Taiwan News, English-language daily, Taipei, Taiwan

China satellite aborts mission after 'malfunction'
The Economic Times, Business, Mumbai, India

B.C. man freed after 3 years in Mexican jail
Canadian Broadcasting Centre, Toronto, Ontario

India's culture of black money
Globe and Mail The, Centrist daily, Toronto, Canada

China expects U.S. to confront debt crisis
International Business Times, Business news organization, New York, U.S

BRAZIL: Biofuel production - local development or social breakdown?
IPS Latin America, International cooperative of journalists, Rome, Italy

Stock futures signal another day of losses
Reuters, Business News, New York, U.S

India graft activist leaves jail to huge crowds
Reuters, World News, New York, U.S

Are predictable TTC fare hikes a good idea?
Toronto Star, Toronto, Ontario

Ivory Coast charges ex-president
BBC News, Centrist newscaster, London, England

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