November 18, 2011 nº 1,114 - Vol. 9


"Illusion is the first of all pleasures."

Voltaire

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

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  • Top News

Is the Stop Online Piracy Act web censorship?

The House Judiciary Committee held an important hearing on the Stop Online Piracy Act with a hugely stacked deck of witnesses—Google's lawyer was the only one of the six to object to the bill in a meaningful way. And it wasn't hard to see why. This wasn't a hearing designed to elicit complex thoughts about complex issues of free speech, censorship, and online piracy; despite the objections of the ACLU, dozens of foreign civil rights groups, tech giants like Google and eBay, the Consumer Electronics Association, China scholar Rebecca MacKinnon, hundreds of law professors and lawyers, the hearing was designed to shove the legislation forward and to brand companies who object as siding with "the pirates." How low was the level of debate? The hearing actually descended to statements like "the First Amendment does not protect stealing goods off trucks." SOPA would require search engines, payment processors, ISPs, and ad networks to block access to "rogue websites" on a judge's order. While critics have raised serious concerns about how this could affect the Internet's domain name system, affect free speech, and sweep in a host of legal sites, the bill's backers suggested that it was really just about money. Google didn't want to stop piracy because it made so much money from it.

Senate committee votes to grant military complete control over al Qaeda suspects

The Senate Armed Services Committee on Wednesday finally agreed on a controversial detainee provision of the National Defense Authorization Act for 2012 that governs the handling and prosecuting of suspected al Qaeda detainees. The provision, which was approved by a 26-0 vote, allows the military to have complete custody and control over terror suspects and grants authority to Attorney General Eric Holder over whether suspects should be tried in military or civilian courts.

Seven years to make partner

Contrary to popular belief, attorneys say that the time it takes to make partner is not getting longer, according a survey of attorneys at large U.S. law firms. Seven years is the median time that the 175 attorneys surveyed estimated it took for an associate to become partner, Robert Half Legal reported Thursday. That number was down from 2003, when attorneys from the largest firms reported that they thought it took eight years to make partner. The prevailing notion has been that law firms are requiring more years from associates before moving them into the partnership ranks, in an effort to keep fewer attorneys drawing from firms' profit pools.

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  • Crumbs

1 - Netflix subscribers offered class-action payout from Wal-Mart - click here.

2 - Jackson brothers sue over 'Thriller' jacket deal - click here.

3 - Lindsay Lohan's dad gets two years probation - click here.

4 - Judge dismisses case against Selena Gomez stalker - click here.

5 - Lawsuit dropped, but Bieber baby claim lingers - click here.

6 - Doubtful test keeps kids in adult jails - click here.

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  • MiMIC Journal

US committee warns of yuan threat

The yuan could threaten the US dollar's dominance as an international reserve currency a committee warns the US congress. The warning comes as the Chinese authorities have been pushing for a more international role for their currency. The committee said the Chinese currency could mount a challenge within the next five to 10 years. China's growth has seen an increased demand for yuan-denominated assets.

  • 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 the help of a lawyer.

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.

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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

Cobre

La inglesa Anglo American abrió la posibilidad de ir a la Ciadi con un proceso de arbitraje contra la estatal del cobre de Chile, Codelco, amparada en el convenio de promoción y protección de inversiones Reino Unido-Chile, dentro del conflicto por el 49% de las acciones que disputa con Codelco por la venta de sus acciones. (Presione aquí)

Carbón

Los trabajadores de la mina de carbón Calenturitas, operada por Prodeco, una unidad de la canadiense Glencore en Colombia, iniciaron una huelga para exigir incrementos salariales y mejores condiciones laborales. La mina, que produce más de cinco millones de toneladas al año, está ubicada en el departamento del Cesar, en el norte de Colombia, el cuarto exportador mundial de carbón.

Se busca

El fabricante indio de medicamentos Lupin está buscando adquisiciones en Brasil y México. "Continuamos buscando adquisiciones en la zona de América Latina (...) especialmente en Brasil y México, pero no hemos tenido éxito", dijo Vinod Dhawan, presidente para Asia-Pacífico, Oriente Medio, Africa y América Latina en declaraciones a Reuters. La empresa, también mira mercados de Rusia y Sudáfrica para entrar al negocio de medicamentos.

  • Brief News

Italy set for second crucial vote

Italian PM Mario Monti prepares for a second confidence vote on his economic policies, a day after comfortably passing a similar test in the upper house.

Mass arrests at Occupy protests

Several thousand demonstrators march across New York's Brooklyn Bridge on a day of protest that saw solidarity rallies across the US.

Brazilian police probe oil spill

Brazilian police are investigating an oil spill in an offshore field operated by the US company Chevron. Ships are working to disperse the slick 120km (75 miles) off the coast of Rio de Janeiro state, and Chevron says it has plugged the oil well. Brazil's Energy Minister Edison Lobao has said the company will be "severely punished" if it is found to have failed in its environmental responsibilities.

US body to probe China telecom firms on security threat

US legislators have launched a probe into Chinese telecom firms amid growing concerns over cyber espionage. The US House intelligence committee said the investigation would look into whether the expansion of these firms in the US posed a security threat. The committee has named Huawei and ZTE as two of the companies that it is probing. US policymakers have long been wary of Huawei, which is one of the world's biggest makers of network switching equipment.

Congressional stock trades get scrutiny

The Stock Act, a bill that would ban members of Congress from trading stock based on nonpublic information they get because they're lawmakers, has 61 co-sponsors and counting. It doesn't require blind trusts or ban trading. But it would, among other things, ban members and their staffs from trading on nonpublic information and require them to report stock purchases and sales over $1,000 within 90 days. Currently, it can take more than a year for information about trades to come out.

Arroyo faces vote-fraud charges

Philippine election officials agree to file charges against former President Gloria Arroyo for massive vote tampering - the first criminal case against her.

New call for UN action on Syria

"Germany, France and the UK have tabled a UN resolution calling for an end to human rights violations in Syria. The resolution, which also calls for the implementation of an Arab League plan to end the violence, was also backed by four Arab countries."

US man charged with Obama assassination attempt

The man suspected of shooting at the White House has been charged with attempting to assassinate US President Barack Obama or a member of his staff. Oscar Ortega-Hernandez, 21, of Idaho, remains in federal custody and is to be prosecuted in Washington DC.

Swiss can ban naked hiking, court rules

Switzerland's highest court has ruled that local authorities can impose fines on people hiking nude in the Alps. They said the ban on naked hiking was only a marginal infringement on personal freedom. Although Switzerland does not have a law against public nudity it does have one against public indecency.

Vatican legal action over kiss ad

The Vatican threatens legal action over the publication of an ad showing Pope Benedict kissing a leading imam on the mouth as part of a Benetton advertising campaign. The Vatican statement said the ad was "damaging to not only to dignity of the pope and the Catholic Church but also to the feelings of believers". A spokesman for Egypt's al-Azhar institute, whose grand imam was pictured kissing the pope, described the advertisement as "irresponsible and absurd". Other ads in the campaign feature US President Barack Obama kissing Chinese President Hu Jintao, and French President Nicolas Sarkozy with German Chancellor Angela Merkel. "We are sorry that the use of an image of the pontiff and the imam should have offended the sensibilities of the faithful in this way," Benetton said in a statement.

Germany to set up neo-Nazi registry after ten murders

Germany's interior minister has said a national database of neo-Nazi extremists will be set up. The registry could be similar to one created for Islamist extremists after 9/11. The far right in Germany is small and politically marginalized but over the years has carried out periodic attacks on immigrants.

MEP calls for fish DNA database Watch

"Global databases of fish DNA" are needed to combat illegal fishing, Swedish Green MEP Isabella Lövin has said, opening a European Parliament debate on her report on the subject.

BP reparations lawsuit remanded to Mississippi state court

A judge for the US District Court for the Southern District of Mississippi Tuesday remanded to state court the Mississippi attorney general's lawsuit against the administrator of the BP - British Petroleum $20 billion Deepwater Horizon oil spill reparations fund, the GCCF - Gulf Coast Claims Facility. Seeking to enforce an earlier subpoena for access to reparations claims filed by coastal residents, Attorney General Jim Hood filed the lawsuit in Hinds County Chancery Court in July, claiming to be "conducting an investigation into whether procedures for processing claims constitute fair and/or deceptive trade practices in violation of the MCPA - Mississippi Consumer Protection Act."

Khmer Rouge leader declared unfit to stand trial

The UN-backed ECCC - Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia on Thursday decided that Ieng Thirith is unfit to stand trial—just days before the war crimes trial of the surviving Khmer Rouge leaders is set to start. Ieng, the former minister of social affairs and the only female leader to be charged, had been charged with genocide but will be released as soon as possible because of her recent diagnosis of dementia caused by the 79-year-old's Alzheimer's disease.

ICTY orders Mladic medical exam

A panel of judges from the ICTY - International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia on Wednesday ordered the appointment of a medical expert to conduct a medical examination and issue a report on the physical condition of former Serbian general and alleged war criminal Ratko Mladic. The order was issued in response to Mladic's absence last week from court due to illness. The court also noted that while the issue of Mladic's health had been raised on several past occasions in court and various filings, neither the prosecutor nor Mladic's defense team had requested a medical examination.

Massachusetts passes transgender anti-discrimination bill

The Massachusetts legislature passed a bill Tuesday night that will protect transgender people in housing, credit and the workplace, as well as including them under hate crime protections.

  • Daily Press Review

Philippines' Arroyo faces poll fraud charges
Al Jazeera, Doha, Qatar

Free Syrian Army detail attack on intelligence complex
Asharq Al-Awsat, Pan-Arab daily, London, England

Turkey PM lashes out at muted criticism of Syria
Egyptian Gazette, English-language, Cairo, Egypt

Israeli parents protest growing extremist bent in religious schools
Haaretz, Liberal daily, Tel Aviv, Israel

Cairo: Muslim Brotherhood to protest army's power
JPost, Conservative, Jerusalem, Israel

Cameron and Merkel set for talks
BBC News, Centrist newscaster, London, England

Obama attends APEC amid signs of reform in Myanmar
CNN International, London, England

Clinton to make landmark Burma trip
Daily Express, Conservative tabloid, London, England

New Yorkers fight back: Thousands of protesters storm Brooklyn Bridge as 300 are arrested in clashes with riot police
Daily Mail, Conservative daily, London, England

Demi Moore files for divorce from Ashton Kutcher
Daily Mail, Conservative daily, London, England

Italy prepares for its age of austerity
EuroNews, International news, Ecully Cedex, France

ITALY: Italy's new government passes key confidence vote
France 24, Issy-les-Moulineaux, France

Arms blast death toll rises to at least 36: Iran media
Hurriyet Daily News, (Liberal, English-language), Istanbul, Turkey

177 arrested as police clash with Wall Street protesters
Independent The, London, England

Where face control began
Moscow News The, Independent, Moscow, Russia

Stephen Lawrence: couple prayed for teenager as he bled to death on the street
Telegraph The, Conservative daily, London, England

Demi Moore to divorce Ashton Kutcher
Telegraph The, Celebrity news, London, England

SET index drops 0.87% midday
Bangkok Post, Independent, Bangkok, Thailand

Struggling Nanya gets FPG support
China Post, English-language daily, Taipei, Taiwan

Korea Must Get Tough on Illegal Chinese Fishing
Chosun Ilbo, Conservative daily, Seoul, South Korea

Obama says sees 'flickers of progress' in Myanmar
Hindustan Times, New Delhi, India

Man discharged from rehab run over by lorry
India Times, Conservative daily, New Delhi, India

139 listed manufacturers took hit from Thai floods
Japan Times, Independent centrist, Tokyo, Japan

Teen fakes own kidnapping, tries to extort father
New Zealand Herald, Conservative daily, Auckland, New Zealand

Spotlight of Dubai Int'l Airshow
People's Daily Online, English-language, Beijing, China

Egypt activist posts herself nude, sparks outrage
Straits Times, Pro-government, Singapore

Kallis rises as Ponting sinks
Sydney Morning Herald, Centrist daily, Sydney, Australia

Greek and Italian Police clash with protesters against austerity measures
Taiwan News, English-language daily, Taipei, Taiwan

China Vice-Premier Li: Global risks rising
The Economic Times, Business, Mumbai, India

Occupy anniversary in U.S. sees hundreds arrested
Canadian Broadcasting Centre, Toronto, Ontario

Police to reopen probe of actress Natalie Wood’s 1981 drowning death
Globe and Mail The, Centrist daily, Toronto, Canada

Rupee Drops Past 51 per Dollar; Weakest Since March 2009
International Business Times, Business news organization, New York, U.S

BRAZIL: 'Pacification' of Favelas Not Just a Media Circus
IPS Latin America, International cooperative of journalists, Rome, Italy

Greeks protest as France, Spain squeezed
Reuters, Business News, New York, U.S

As Khmer Rouge cadres face trial, truth eludes Cambodia
Reuters, World News, New York, U.S

Bed sores, hunger and neglect: Elderly continue to suffer
Toronto Star, Toronto, Ontario

Kenya offers troops for Somalia
BBC News, Centrist newscaster, London, England

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