June 15, 2012 nº 1,189 - Vol. 10


"If you can find something everyone agrees on, it's wrong."

Morris K. Udall

In today's Law Firm Marketing, A common mistake that prevents prospects from responding to your marketing message.

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  • Top News

Rhode Island lawmakers pass 'homeless bill of rights'

The Rhode Island Senate on Wednesday passed a bill that is designed to affirm the rights of homeless individuals and prevent discrimination. The "Homeless Bill of Rights" was passed to ensure that "no person should suffer unnecessarily or be subject to unfair discrimination based on his or her homeless status." Among the rights ensured by the bill are the right to move freely in public spaces and on public transportation, the right to obtain identification and register to vote, and the right to be free from harassment by law enforcement. It also forbids employment discrimination based on homeless status and grants a "reasonable expectation of privacy in ...personal property to the same extent as personal property in a permanent residence." Supporters of the bill say it is the first law of its kind in the US.

US senators file brief supporting Defense of Marriage Act

Ten US senators on Monday filed an amicus brief urging the US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit to uphold section 3 of the DOMA - Defense of Marriage Act, which denies federal recognition of state-sanctioned same-sex marriages. The brief argues that the federal government had a legitimate interest in creating a uniform federal definition of marriage to "[avoid] massive legal uncertainty." The brief also argues that the district court incorrectly identified Congress's motivation for passing the bill as being based on "animus." The senators' brief addresses an appeal currently pending in the Ninth Circuit from a February decision of the US District Court for the Northern District of California. In that decision, Judge Jeffrey White ruled that DOMA is unconstitutional because statutory classifications based on sexual orientation should be subject to heightened scrutiny and DOMA is not "substantially related to an important governmental objective." The appeal is scheduled to be heard by the Ninth Circuit in September.

Seeing red flags where none exist

Recent news headlines making "red flag" references to corporate governance duties have gone a bit overboard. Every corporate controversy seems to be followed by suggestions that warnings had been posted — and ignored — in the boardroom. Next month will be the 10th anniversary of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act. Ahead of this governance milestone, there have been numerous allegations of executive misconduct, excessive risk-taking, lax internal controls, unqualified directors and misuse of client money. In each instance, the inference is clear: if the leadership had not missed clear signals, scandals could have been averted. Though such "20/20 hindsight" has never been more prevalent, it is detrimental to ensuring that board members do their jobs.

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  • Crumbs

1 - Stanford hit with 110 years - click here.

2 - The auction is the first time 4G broadband licenses have been allocated in Brazil - click here.

3 - Trayvon Martin shooter's wife arrested on perjury charge - click here.

4 - JetBlue sued by passengers on flight diverted by pilot's meltdown - click here.

5 - Supreme court asked to reopen Julian Assange appeal - click here.

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  • MiMIC Journal

Wal-Mart China in new food scare

Wal-Mart China is accused of food safety violations months after the country head resigned following a scandal over mislabeled pork.

Chinese officials apologize to woman in forced abortion

City officials in China have apologized to a woman who was forced to have an abortion and suspended three people responsible. She was made to undergo the procedure in Shaanxi province in the seventh month of pregnancy, local officials said after investigating. Chinese law clearly prohibits abortions beyond six months. China's birth control policy has drawn much criticism.

The issue with China

If the last 20 years were a golden age for the world's most populous nation, today is one filled with growing doubts. No issue looms larger than China's suddenly shaky economy. The world is now bracing for a slowdown that pundits said was unlikely to happen. So are officials in Beijing, who worry that social unrest could boil over quickly if growth evaporates. China's leaders have a choice. Either they make those difficult but necessary changes, with the chances of producing more sustainable growth. Or they kick reforms down the road, administer another stimulus, and risk a bigger crash in the years ahead. At the moment, the temptation is to pick No. 2.

  • Law Firm Marketing

A common mistake that prevents prospects from responding to your marketing message

by Tom Trush

Think of a number between 1 and 10.

Once you have your number, multiply it by 9. Then, if you have a two-digit number, add the two digits together and write down the number.

What I'm about to run you though is an exercise in taking direction.

It's a fact that few people make decisions without direction or some type of guidance.

To translate this truth into your promotional efforts, your writing must explain what you want your prospects to do after reading your marketing materials.

Leave the choice up to your prospects and you'll end up disappointed. That's because people need validation for even the most basic decisions.

When you give them a "call to action," you appeal to their need for guidance. This direction can be something as simple as calling your office, visiting your website or (my personal favorite) requesting a free article/report.

Now, take the number you wrote down earlier and subtract 5 from it. Once you have your new number, write down the letter in the alphabet that corresponds to that number (for example, 2 = B).

In most situations, your call to action should be easy. The simpler the process, the more likely your prospects will respond.

In the case of this exercise, the directions are simple, so there's little chance of making a mistake -- another factor that keeps your prospects from taking action.

If they have a hint of doubt about what will result from your call to action, they won't take the next step.

Remember the letter you wrote down? Spell out the name of a country that starts with that letter. Then look at the second letter of that country and write down the name of an animal that begins with that letter.

By now you've written down several letters and numbers, proving you take direction if given a chance -- just like your prospects. What you have to be careful of is assuming prospects will make a decision you view as logical.

That's why testing is so important in marketing.

Okay, finally, think of the color of the animal you wrote down and spell that word on your piece of paper.

If you made it this far, you should now have a country, animal and color listed.

Now all you need is proof that you made the right decision to follow all these steps. With your prospects, this confirmation comes in the form of valuable information that addresses their problems.

When you meet this demand, your chances of turning prospects into customers are much better than seeing a grey elephant roaming wild in Denmark.

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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

Castigo

El presidente mexicano, Felipe Calderón, promulgó las reformas legales que castigan hasta con 60 años de cárcel la trata de personas, los feminicidios y diversas agresiones a mujeres y menores, y contra la dignidad de las personas. (Presione aquí)

Medida cautelar

La Justicia de Argentina aceptó, por primera vez, un amparo que habilita la compra de dólares para una operación inmobiliaria, en medio de las restricciones que impone el gobierno a la adquisición de divisas. (Presione aquí)

Indemnización

Una obra social y una empresa de ambulancias deberán indemnizar con casi dos millones y medio de pesos a la familia de una joven embarazada que murió al caer de una ambulancia en la que su madre era trasladada a un hospital. (Presione aquí)

  • Brief News

Row erupts between EU bodies over Schengen rules

The European Parliament has frozen talks with EU governments on five draft laws in protest at a decision last week to reduce its say on border controls. The European Council, grouping the 27 governments, removed the parliament's right to decide on the running of the Schengen border-free zone. In future, MEPs will only have a consultative role on the issue. Stripped of the right to block Schengen legislation, parliament can now effectively only delay it by procedural means. In response, leaders of the European Parliament blocked five bills on: (1) the Schengen border code and the convention implementing the Schengen agreement; (2) judicial co-operation in combating attacks against information systems; (3) the European Investigation Order on sharing evidence;(4) 2013 budget aspects relating to internal security; (5) EU airline passenger name records.

Germany says 'no' to eurobonds

Germany's deputy finance minister has ruled out "eurobond-lite" plans to pool part of eurozone countries' debt. Secretary of State Steffen Kampeter said "debt is a national responsibility". "I don't see any strategies where we socialize and redistribute the bad political decisions made by some who are over-indebted."

Aging prisoners should be released

The ACLU - American Civil Liberties Union released a report on Wednesday claiming that it costs $68,270 per year to house a prisoner age 50 and older while many pose virtually no threat to society. The ACLU found that 16 percent of the national prison population is age 50 and older with California, Texas, Florida and the federal prison system having the highest number of such prisoners. The population increased 14 times from 1981 and it is predicted that the aging prisoner will comprise over one-third of prisoners in the US by 2030. Most of the older prisoners have been sentenced to prison for 20 years or more not for serious crimes such as murder but for nonviolent low-level crimes such as nonviolent drug crimes, fraud, larceny, burglary, and traffic and public order violations. The ACLU estimated that states could save approximately $66,000 per year by releasing aging prisoners.

Egypt restores broad arrest powers to military

Egypt's Ministry of Justice on Wednesday issued a decree restoring broad arrest powers to the Egyptian military to arrest civilians for non-military offenses. The decree restores some of the power previously granted to the military through the emergency law, which expired in May after being in effect for nearly 30 years. Under the decree the military is once again authorized to conduct arrests for crimes which are typically handled by the police. It allows the military to arrest civilians for crimes such as destruction of property and obstructing traffic. The decree will remain in effect until the newly-elected constitutional assembly completes the new Egyptian Constitution. The CA is not expected to complete a draft of the Constitution for several months.

Brotherhood anger at Egypt ruling

The Muslim Brotherhood has warned that Egypt's fragile democratic gains are under threat, after a surprise court ruling overturned last year's parliamentary elections. Egypt could see "dangerous" days ahead if power is returned to those linked to the previous regime, it said. The group's candidate, Mohammed Mursi, faces ex-PM Ahmed Shafiq in a runoff presidential election this weekend. The decision by the Supreme Court on Thursday plunged Egypt into turmoil.

Fernandez demands Falklands talks

Argentina's President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner has demanded that Britain enter negotiations over the sovereignty of the Falkland Islands. Fernandez was addressing the UN Committee on Decolonization on the 30th anniversary of the UK territory's liberation from Argentine occupation. She said history and geography backed Argentina's claim. But an islander told the committee Argentina was "bullying". UK Prime Minister David Cameron has said there would be "no negotiation".

Nokia cuts another 10,000 jobs as losses deepen

Nokia is cutting another 10,000 jobs globally and has warned that second-quarter losses from its mobile phone business will be larger than expected. The cuts bring total planned job cuts at the Finnish group since Stephen Elop took over as chief executive in September 2010 to more than 40,000. Nokia will also book additional restructuring charges of about 1bn euros (£811m; $1.3bn).

Ponzi-scheming tycoon gets 110 years

Disgraced tycoon Allen Stanford has been sentenced to 110 years in jail for operating a Ponzi scheme that defrauded investors of more than $7bn. The scheme was described as one of the largest in US history. In court, Stanford denied any guilt, telling the judge at his sentencing hearing: "I did not defraud anybody." Stanford's Ponzi scheme centered on his banking operation based in the Caribbean island nation of Antigua. Some 30,000 individual investors were swindled, it was alleged. Prosecutors failed to find as much as 92% of the assets Stanford International Bank claimed to have.

Libya's High Court strikes down law banning glorification of Gadhafi

The court said the law violated Libyans' freedom of speech. At the same time, the ruling proved the country's new judiciary is independent.

Colombian Congress approves landmark peace talks law

The Colombian Congress has approved a law setting up guidelines for peace talks between the government and left-wing guerrilla groups. The so-called Legal Framework for Peace calls for soft sentences for rebels if they confess and compensate victims, and agree to lay down arms. The move marks a shift from the policies of previous governments, which have refused to negotiate with rebels. But critics say the legislation is too lenient.

Coca-Cola announces Burma return

Coca-Cola will resume business in Burma after a 60-year absence, following a US decision to suspend investment sanctions against the country. Officials suspended the sanctions last month as the country has moved towards democratic reforms.

Federal judge dismisses lawsuit over US medical experiments in Guatemala

A judge for the US District Court for the District of Columbia on Wednesday dismissed a lawsuit filed by seven Guatemalans who alleged that they had been the subject of non-consensual human medical experimentation by the US PHS - Public Health Service. In its decision, the court found that under the FTCA - Federal Tort Claims Act the US government is specifically exempt from liability for torts that occur outside of the US. Because the plaintiffs sued government officials who were acting in the capacity of their positions, the claim is automatically converted to a claim against the US government, and the court is bound by the FTCA. In his decision, Judge Reggie Walton acknowledged that "the Guatemala Study is a deeply troubling chapter in our Nation's history," but concluded that the court had no authority to provide relief.

Forthcoming Facebook motion said to discuss nasdaq's role in I.P.O.

A month after its botched I.P.O., the social network is set to file a motion to consolidate all shareholder lawsuits against the company — a filing that could place some blame on Nasdaq.

  • Daily Press Review

Brotherhood calls Egypt ruling a 'coup'
Al Jazeera, Doha, Qatar

Egypt's court says parliament is dissolved
Asharq Al-Awsat, Pan-Arab daily, London, England

At least 16 killed in renewed Yemen clashes
Egyptian Gazette, English-language, Cairo, Egypt

Peres concludes U.S. trip with sendoff event hosted by Israeli ambassador
Haaretz, Liberal daily, Tel Aviv, Israel

Efforts underway for high level Israel, PA meet
JPost, Conservative, Jerusalem, Israel

Bank bid to boost ailing economy
BBC News, Centrist newscaster, London, England

Police seize final suspect in Tokyo nerve gas attack
CNN International, London, England

Obama and Romney slugging it out
Daily Express, Conservative tabloid, London, England

Government ministers accused of 'watering down' crucial banking reforms
Daily Mail, Conservative daily, London, England

Fast Girls review: London 2012 Olympics film doesn't take the breath away
Daily Mail, Conservative daily, London, England

US financier jailed for 110 years for defrauding investors of billions
EuroNews, International news, Ecully Cedex, France

EGYPT: Ruling to dissolve Egypt's parliament sparks outrage
France 24, Issy-les-Moulineaux, France

Realpolitik alla turca
Hurriyet Daily News, (Liberal, English-language), Istanbul, Turkey

Pharmacist's murder highlights Greek economic plight
Independent The, London, England

BP staying in Russia after split
Moscow News The, Independent, Moscow, Russia

Stephen Lawrence profile: the ambitious teenager with a fun-loving streak
Telegraph The, Conservative daily, London, England

Actress Ophelia Lovibond bans luvvie pillow talk with Tom Hughes
Telegraph The, Celebrity news, London, England

Somsak to wait for charter court ruling
Bangkok Post, Independent, Bangkok, Thailand

Spain borrowing rates hit new high after downgrade
China Post, English-language daily, Taipei, Taiwan

USFK Proposal Is Worth Considering
Chosun Ilbo, Conservative daily, Seoul, South Korea

Saudi women petition king for right to drive
Hindustan Times, New Delhi, India

Mutilated body of film director found in Delhi
India Times, Conservative daily, New Delhi, India

Remix Film Festival questions the future of copyright law
Japan Times, Independent centrist, Tokyo, Japan

China sending astronauts to permanent space base
New Zealand Herald, Conservative daily, Auckland, New Zealand

Yemeni army troops kill at least 40 al-Qaida militants in southern Yemen
People's Daily Online, English-language, Beijing, China

Britain, Argentina joust over Falklands 30 years after war
Straits Times, Pro-government, Singapore

Dances with millions
Sydney Morning Herald, Centrist daily, Sydney, Australia

Argentina's president takes Falklands claim to UN
Taiwan News, English-language daily, Taipei, Taiwan

Greece's exit from euro may not be as shocking as collapse of Lehman Brothers
The Economic Times, Business, Mumbai, India

Egypt's top court orders new parliamentary elections
Canadian Broadcasting Centre, Toronto, Ontario

Police arrest last fugitive in Japan gas attack
Globe and Mail The, Centrist daily, Toronto, Canada

Central Banks Ready Response To A Greek Election Shock
International Business Times, Business news organization, New York, U.S

Trade Pact with Europe Still a Tough Sell to Africa, Pacific Bloc
IPS Latin America, International cooperative of journalists, Rome, Italy

Asian shares rise as markets bet on central bank support
Reuters, Business News, New York, U.S

Syrian town deserted, burnt after clashes
Reuters, World News, New York, U.S

Dalton McGuinty threatens an election after budget bill 'gutted'
Toronto Star, Toronto, Ontario

Brotherhood anger at Egypt ruling
BBC News, Centrist newscaster, London, England

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