August 5, 2016 nº 1,774 - Vol. 13

"Vision without execution is hallucination."

Thomas Edison

In today's Law Firm Marketing, Why Handsome Brochures Often Fall Flat


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  • Top News

Islamic State continues to commit genocide in Northern Iraq

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon expressed his concern for the human rights violations faced by the Yazidi minority in Northern Iraq on Wednesday, stating that actions of the Islamic State (IS) may amount to genocide. Two years ago the IS attacked the Sinjar area in Iraq killing nearly 5,000 individuals. The statement claims that 3,200 Yazidi women and children remain in captivity and are subjected to nearly unimaginable violence. The Secretary-General proclaimed these crimes may constitute war crimes, crimes against humanity and even genocide. The UN encouraged the Iraqi government to bring perpetrators of these crimes to justice with a fair trial and due process while supporting the survivors.

How a Justice Department ruling could affect musicians

The Justice Department announced on Thursday that it had concluded a two-year investigation into the complex world of music licensing and decided against making changes to the regulatory agreements that govern the American Society of Composers, Authors and the Publishers (Ascap) and Broadcast Music Inc. (BMI), two large clearinghouses for performing rights that process about $2 billion in royalty payments each year. BMI quickly said it would challenge the decision in federal court, and Ascap said it would "explore legislative solutions" to the problems of music licensing in the digital age. Since Ascap and BMI are collectives that sell music rights at set prices, they have long been under antitrust scrutiny, and since 1941 they have been bound by regulatory agreements called consent decrees. Two years ago, both organizations asked the Justice Department to change these agreements, saying they needed to be updated to secure fair royalty rates in the digital era. The Justice Department said it had decided not to make any changes to the consent decrees. But it added a requirement, saying that for Ascap and BMI to comply with the existing regulations, they must offer "100 percent licensing" of their songs.

Many songs have multiple writers, and those writers don't always belong to the same rights society. According to the government's proposal, if a song has, say, three writers — one affiliated with Ascap, one with BMI and the other with one of the smaller, unregulated groups like Sesac or Global Music Rights — then for Ascap or BMI to offer that song to radio stations and digital services, it would need to have legal clearance to represent the song and be responsible for getting the writers their share of the royalties. Music industry groups say the proposed requirement would break with decades of practice, causing turmoil and possibly even violating private contracts. They argue that the performing rights organizations have long represented only the fractions of songs that they control, and that for a radio station or digital service to be properly licensed, it must have deals in place with the various groups representing any portion of a song.

Big win for tax whistleblowers as pair gets $17.8 million

The US Tax Court awarded $17.8 million to a pair of whistleblowers in a decision that significantly expands the scope of what can be claimed in such cases. The ruling for the first time allowed the whistleblowers to get a portion of criminal fines and civil forfeitures in addition to part of the taxes the government recouped because of information they provided. "This opens the door to much larger whistleblower payments in offshore-account cases." The parties involved in the case weren't disclosed, but it appears to stem from the prosecution of Wegelin & Co. The Swiss bank closed after it pleaded guilty in 2013 to conspiring with US taxpayers to hide money from the Internal Revenue Service. The amounts and breakdown of the $74.1 million in fines, taxes and forfeitures in the partially redacted case match those in the Wegelin case. (Click here)

  • Crumbs

1 - Italy tackles food waste with law encouraging firms to donate food - click here.

2 - Chinese lawyer who exposed baby milk scandal jailed for subversion - click here.

3 - Canada Supreme Court Candidates Now Must Apply for the Job - click here.

4 - Delaware top court strikes down death penalty law as unconstitutional - click here.

5 - Goldman Sachs is ordered to pay $36.3M for alleged use of confidential information - click here.


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  • MiMIC Journal

Chinese law firm founder jailed for subversion

The founder of a Chinese law firm known for representing cases against the government has been sentenced to seven years in prison for subversion. Zhou Shifeng's conviction in Tianjin is the latest development in a government crackdown on legal activism. His Fengrui law firm was involved in several high profile cases, including the 2008 tainted baby milk scandal. The crackdown has been widely seen as an attempt to silence outspoken government critics. Around 300 lawyers and activists have been arrested since last year. About 20 are still detained.

For Didi-Uber deal, a dash of regulatory uncertainty

In buying Uber’s China unit, homegrown ride-hailing rival Didi Chuxing hopes to avoid Chinese regulatory red tape. But it might not be so simple.

  • Law Firm Marketing

Warning: Attractive brochures often fail to persuade

By Trey Ryder

Things seem to come in groups. Lately I've seen several law firm brochures, some very short, others many pages long. They contain a sad consistency. They all look relatively attractive, yet when I read the words, they say almost nothing.

Nearly anyone can create a law firm brochure. And that's the problem. The term "brochure" is so loose, it can refer to almost anything on paper about your firm.

Many people (including artists and consultants) use this brochure recipe: Start with a pile of photographs. Add lawyers' biographies. Stir in the firm's practice areas. Print in full color. Bake until the ink dries. And presto: You have a law firm brochure!

The cost? It can be anywhere from several hundred dollars to tens of thousands of dollars, depending on how big and colorful you want it to be.

But here is the key question: How well does the brochure deliver your marketing message?

Your marketing message should have a specific beginning, middle and end When you create your law firm brochure, you should start with a competent marketing message. Then you spread that message throughout your brochure so when someone reads it, they digest your message from beginning to end.

Some people think a brochure is simply bits and snippets about your firm -- in no particular order, other than what looks good on paper. The result? A brochure that is made up of bits of information in no particular order. After all, it doesn't have to be about anything, it's simply your law firm brochure.

What a waste!

If you are fortunate enough to have your prospect's attention, you want to deliver your marketing message. A complete, competent, persuasive marketing message. After all, you want your prospect to hire your firm and not even consider hiring anybody else. Yet when your prospect picks up your brochure, he gets a few random facts that form no clear impression in his mind.

What a waste!

Most brochures are pitiful examples of a marketing document. They look great because many are in full color. They may be wonderful coffee table pieces that impress prospects and clients because they look attractive and expensive. But when you get down to brass tacks, you usually find no substance, no marketing message, no compelling reason to hire your firm.

Here's another trap: Your artist may create a wonderful brochure that doesn't look like anything you've ever seen. As a result, you may wrongly conclude that because it's different, it's a powerful marketing document. Not true.

You want your brochure to look good and provide information about your firm. But keep your priorities straight. Written content is everything. It makes no difference how the brochure looks if it doesn't immediately communicate your competitive advantages -- the reasons clients and prospects choose your firm over all others. If you don't convey that message -- immediately and completely -- nothing else matters.

Advice: Don't be quick to hire a person or communications firm to create a brochure based on what you see they have done for other law firms. Instead, take time to read brochures they have created for others. Does the brochure persuade you to do business with that firm? Is it compelling? Does it provide enough information for you to make a decision to meet with members of the firm?

Beware: Anybody will offer to create a brochure. But unless the brochure contains a powerful marketing argument that clearly explains why prospects should hire you, you've wasted your money

Copy always comes first. Because without powerful, persuasive copy, your brochure won't work.


© Trey Ryder

FREE LAWYER MARKETING ALERT: If you'd like to receive Trey Ryder's weekly Lawyer Marketing Alert, send an e-mail to 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 empresa Sinchi Wayra, subsidiaria de la suiza Glencore, notificó a Bolivia de un arbitraje internacional por la nacionalización de dos plantas de fundición de minerales y una mina, según un comunicado emitido hoy por la Procuraduría General del Estado boliviano. (Presione aquí)


Cuba concedió la gestión del aeropuerto internacional José Martí, el principal de la isla, a las compañías francesas Bouygues Batiment International y Aeropuertos de París, para la modernización y ampliación del mismo.


El gobierno de Argentina autorizó a la empresa Virgin Mobile la licencia para operar en telefonía fija y móvil, nacional o internacional, con o sin infraestructura propia. La resolución 6033 del Ente Nacional de Comunicaciones destaca que "se registrará a la empresa como Operador Móvil Virtual". Virgin Mobile es una filial de Virgin Group, un holding empresario creado por el multimillonario inglés Richard Branson, y brindará el servicio de Operador Móvil Virtual (OMV) en el país tal como lo hace en Australia, Canadá, Chile, Colombia, los Estados Unidos, Francia, India, México, Perú, Reino Unido y Sudáfrica.

  • Brief News

Litigation funding moves into mainstream

Startups like LexShares in Boston and Los Angeles-based Trial Funder, a website that raises funding for personal-injury and civil-rights cases, are taking litigation into the mainstream. The platforms have attracted investors looking for profits that aren't influenced by the broader investment market.

Islamic State: Obama says group is weakening but still a threat

Obama says there have been gains against so-called Islamic State in Iraq and Syria but warned the group still poses a threat. As the jihadist group lost ground, he said, there were signs it was shifting to attacks abroad. "It is still very difficult to detect and prevent small cells of terrorists" "The possibility of a lone actor or a small cell that kills people is real," he said, adding that networks in the US could be activated. Obama was giving an update to reporters after a Pentagon meeting.

Bar Association considers striking 'honeys' from the courtroom

Opponents argue that a ban on sexual harassment by lawyers addressing each other would interfere with a lawyer's ability to function. An opposing lawyer was fined and rebuked by a judge for making a sexist remark to Lori Rifkin, who said she was "well accustomed" to such comments.

'Burkini' at French waterpark criticised

A waterpark in France is to be booked out for one day to Muslim women wanting to wear "burkinis" - but the decision has led to criticism by politicians on the right. A community group in Marseille arranged the day, giving access only to women wearing the all-over swimming garment. The group was set up to "encourage women to join in with the community". Some leading political figures said the move was contrary to France's legally enshrined secular values. France was the first European country to ban the full-face Islamic veil in public places, but it is legal to wear Islamic dress.

Turkey scolds Austria in EU membership dispute

Turkey has angrily rejected Austrian suggestions that its membership talks with the EU should be ended. Austrian Chancellor Christian Kern said the negotiations were "no more than fiction" and "Europe needs a new path". Turkey's EU Affairs Minister Omer Celik said his comments were "disturbing" and "similar to far-right rhetoric". Turkey's crackdown since a failed coup on 15 July has fuelled alarm in the EU. Kern said democratic standards in Turkey were far from EU requirements. Austrian Defence Minister Hans Peter Doskozil has criticized "signs of a dictatorship" in Turkey, and called for an end to its EU accession talks.

Nissan has no doubts over Olympics sponsorship

The chief executive of Nissan says it the was "the right decision" to sponsor the Rio Olympics, despite a slump in Brazilian car sales. Carlos Ghosn said there was a need to build a "much higher awareness" of the company's products in Brazil. When Nissan took the decision to back the games, the Brazilian market was booming with sales of 3.8 million vehicles a year. But a recession has seen that sales figure tumble to 2 million a year. The company's goal with the Olympics sponsorship is to help increase its market-share in Brazil from 3% to 5%, he said. As part of its sponsorship, Nissan is supplying 5,000 cars for the Games and the Brazilian Olympic team to use. The company has used Olympic sprint champion Usain Bolt in its adverts since 2012. Ghosn says the global car market will continue to be sluggish until 2019, with growth of just 1% next year.

US health insurer warns 3.7m after cyber-attack

US health insurer Banner Health has written to 3.7 million customers and healthcare providers to warn that their data may have been stolen, after a cyber-attack. The breach could have targeted data on patients, physicians and health plans. An investigation revealed that attackers may have also accessed payment-card data at Banner Health food and drink outlets. The firm says it has hired a forensics team to help it secure its systems.

Bank of England cuts interest rate to historic low, citing economic pressures

UK interest rates have been cut from 0.5% to 0.25% - a record low and the first cut since 2009. The Bank of England has also signaled that rates could go lower if the economy worsens. The Bank announced additional measures to stimulate the UK economy, including a £100bn scheme to force banks to pass on the low interest rate to households and businesses. It will also buy £60bn of UK government bonds and £10bn of corporate bonds. The FTSE 100 closed up 105 points at 6,740.16, higher than the same day last year. The pound was down 1.5% against the dollar at $1.3120 and was down 1.3% against the euro at €1.1799.

Obama grants clemency to 214 inmates

US President Barack Obama has cut short the jail sentences of 214 federal inmates, including 67 life sentences, in what officials say is the single biggest act of presidential clemency in more than 100 years. Most of those affected were guilty of non-violent crimes, many involving possession or distribution of drugs. The president has now made 562 commutations, officials say. He has authorized more than the previous nine presidents combined.

Canada PM announces new selection process for Supreme Court justices

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Tuesday announced a new process for selecting Supreme Court justices that will allow all qualified individuals to apply for the position. Trudeau stated that, "[f]or the first time, any qualified Canadian lawyer or judge may apply for appointment to the Supreme Court of Canada through the Office of the Commissioner for Federal Judicial Affairs." Those applications will be reviewed by a seven-member Advisory Board that will be chaired by former prime minister Kim Campbell, and four of the members will be appointed by "independent professional organizations." The questionnaire administered to candidates will also be made public.

Tax-avoiding mergers find champion in US Chamber of Commerce

The Chamber is leading a legal fight in Texas to overturn Treasury rules aimed at curbing mergers done for tax reasons. The US Chamber of Commerce and a Texas business group sued the federal government, alleging that the Treasury Department's rules limiting tax-motivated inversion transactions violate the law.

Everyone despises SolarCity deal, except Tesla shareholders

Focusing on the conflicts of interest in Tesla Motors' proposed takeover of SolarCity misses the bigger picture, some investors say.


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