January 20, 2017 nº 1,829 - Vol. 14

"We cannot direct the wind, but we can adjust the sails."

 Dolly Parton

In today's Law Firm Marketing, Don't commit for the long term until you test over the short term

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  • Top News

Trump's arrival in D.C. starts clock on agenda

The inauguration of 45th president will mark the climax of a decadelong political uprising in a nation still hurting from the 2008 recession and frustrated by a gridlocked government. The New York businessman, the first president without any previous experience in elected office or the military, says he is eager to demonstrate the changes he has promised to deliver, which center on creating jobs, increasing military spending, cutting taxes and taking new approaches to some of America's most intractable foreign-policy problems. Trump also has promised a host of first-day actions that included instituting a federal hiring freeze, ending the Affordable Care Act, pursuing a constitutional amendment on term limits for Congress, repealing a raft of energy regulations and signaling the start of a renegotiation of the North American Free Trade Agreement. He is promising more activity at the start of next week, including the introduction of "extreme vetting" procedures for immigrants that he had promised during the election campaign. "We all got tired of seeing what was happening and we wanted change, but we wanted real change. We’re going to see something that is going to be so amazing." Public polls show his approval rating is low, compared with his recent predecessors when entering office, and more than 60 Democratic members of the House have said they will skip his swearing-in after he criticized civil-rights icon Rep. John Lewis of Georgia.

Trump and Obama: Two characters in search of a legacy

So the pendulum swings again. They are polar opposites, inversions, thesis and antithesis, from the skinny kid with the funny name to the old guy with the funny hair, chalk to his cheese. It says a lot about the Disunited States of America that two such different brands are its best-selling political products. In his final week, Obama's many admirers are determined to behave with the brittle exaggerated optimism of mourners at a wake, determined to celebrate the achievements of a dear friend, rather wail over his absence. They may even convince you it is hope that makes their eyes glisten so brightly. Their love - not too strong a word - for this man they mourn begs the question: "What achievements, what legacy?" And in what way did he fail? For Democrats can blame turnout, blame Twitter, blame Hillary Clinton, blame fake news, but surely the failure of his party to get a third term in the White House was in some sense Obama's responsibility? As he said, his name wasn't on the ballot, but his achievements were. This goes to the heart of a question about character: his, Donald Trump's, most importantly their country's sense of self. You could argue President Obama has no legacy, the achievements of eight years already lie shredded by the election of Donald Trump. He has indeed promised to undo Obamacare, the Iran deal, the Paris climate change deal, new environmental rules and regulations and much else that he has derided as "horrible". But we can't really judge Obama's legacy until we know how profoundly it will be undone. This will be important. Obama is cool, Trump is hot. Indeed, Obama is cool when Trump is not. He's deliberative, Trump is instinctive. Trump is angry where Obama is preternaturally calm. Trump is already much closer than Obama to an American archetype - the boaster -bumptious, self-confident, quick to anger, but with a confidence and optimism in his own abilities, which respect no horizons. America is a deeply divided country. Trump speaks for those other Americans who felt Obama never did.

At Davos, deciphering the Trump effect

If there was one thing that Davos attendees agreed on last year, it was that Donald J. Trump would not win the United States presidential election. And so this year, with Trump's inauguration on Friday coinciding with the end of the World Economic Forum, every conversation has drifted to one question: What will the Trump presidency look like, and what will it mean for business? To many American financiers who once opposed Trump’s candidacy, the prospect of fewer regulations and a blank slate with a new leader has assuaged some of the fear about uncertainties. At the forum, some attendees have been thrust into a role of interpreting the president-elect to a befuddled global elite. This is the first time there is absolutely no consensus. Everyone is looking into the abyss. Americans "do not distribute the money properly," Jack Ma, the founder and executive chairman of the Alibaba Group, said in Davos. "He's not necessarily communicating in a way that the people in this community would love," said Anthony Scaramucci, a hedge fund regular at Davos and onetime critic of Mr. Trump who is now set to join the administration as a public liaison and adviser. "But he is communicating very, very effectively to a very large group of the population in Europe and the US that are feeling a common struggle right now." Scaramucci promised that Mr. Trump had "the utmost respect for Angela Merkel," the German chancellor who was the subject of an attack by the president-elect this week; that he was in fact a champion of free trade; and that he wanted to have a "phenomenal relationship with the Chinese," despite his fiery anti-China language. Soon after his appearance on a panel, Scaramucci was on a plane heading to Washington to attend Mr. Trump's inauguration. But his words still resonated, mainly because they were being broadcast on a giant screen behind a coffee bar where World Economic Forum participants congregated between meetings. One Davos regular, the billionaire investor Paul Singer, did not attend this year. Singer, a vociferous critic of Mr. Trump for most of the election campaign, was instead making his way to Washington for the inauguration, having recently donated $1 million to the event. One major investor has not changed his views about Trump, however. George Soros, the investor and philanthropist who has called Mr. Trump "a con man," hosted a dinner on Thursday evening in Davos, during which he said that Trump "would be a dictator if he could get away with it." This was unlikely to happen, he added, because of strong democratic institutions in the United States. For those who have been puzzled over market euphoria since Mr. Trump’s election, Soros put it this way: "Markets see Trump dismantling regulations and reducing taxes — and that has been their dream."

  • Crumb

1 - U.S. sues Oracle, alleges salary and hiring discrimination - click here.

2 - South Korea court denies arrest warrant for Samsung heir - click here.

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  • MiMIC Journal

China economy grows 6.7% in 2016

China's economy grew by 6.7% in 2016, compared with 6.9% a year earlier, marking its slowest growth in more than a quarter of a century. China's growth is a key driver of the global economy and a major concern for investors around the world. The figure is in line with Beijing's official growth target of between 6.5% and 7%. But some observers say China's growth is actually much weaker than official data suggests. China is the world's second-biggest importer of both goods and commercial services, meaning its economic performance has a big knock-on impact around the world. It plays an important role as a buyer of oil and other commodities. Its slowdown has been a factor in the decline in the prices of such goods. Beijing's aim to rebalance the economy towards domestic consumption has led to major challenges for large manufacturing sectors with layoffs, especially in heavily staffed state-run sectors such as the steel industry.

Paramount gets $1bn Chinese funding

US film company Paramount Pictures has secured a $1bn cash injection from two Chinese firms. As part of the deal, Shanghai Film Group and Huahua Media will finance about a quarter of all Paramount's films over the next three years. The partnership gives Paramount an entry point into China, the world's second biggest box-office market. Viacom-owned Paramount said the investment would help fund future projects to help grow the studio. (Click here)

China city bans second-time wedding banquets

A city in south-western China is banning wedding banquets for people marrying for a second time, in an attempt to curb public extravagance, and lavish affairs. The authorities in Kaili, Guizhou province, have issued rules saying that only funerals and first-time weddings can be celebrated with banquets. They have also banned multiple feasts, and the use of different locations for one marriage ceremony.

  • Law Firm Marketing

Don't commit for the long term until you test over the short term
By Trey Ryder

You've probably found marketing opportunities that you'd like to try -- but then you discover they come with a lengthy and costly commitment.

The only way to test a marketing opportunity is to test small. No doubt, your sales rep will show you testimonials from happy advertisers. And you'll likely see page after page of powerful statistics. So you might conclude that your ad can't lose. Not so.

Even if you design a perfect ad -- with a powerful message and high-impact graphics -- your ad could still fall flat on its face if for no other reason than that medium doesn't reach your target audience.

So, unless you've got money to burn, don't start big. Start small. In place of a full-page ad, test a quarter-page ad. In place of 15 or 20 radio commercials, test five, or even three. If you get a few responses -- and if you're pleased with the quality of the inquiries -- you can always buy more. But if you start big, you may be over your head in debt with huge media bills before you discover that you made a mistake -- or that something went wrong.

Also, don't forget the opportunity cost of other marketing efforts you could test if you didn't have this long-term commitment. Even if you assume you will attract a few new clients, does this opportunity allow you to use the money in the way that you think is best?

So consider not only the length of your commitment, but the other opportunities you lose by making this commitment. This will help you make better marketing decisions.

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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

Acuerdo

Perú, un importante productor de minerales, buscará un acuerdo comercial con el Reino Unido, que está preparando su salida de la Unión Europea, un bloque con el que el país sudamericano ya tenía un acuerdo. El ministro de Comercio Exterior peruano, Eduardo Ferreyros, dijo que en reunión con el ministro del Departamento de Comercio Internacional de Gran Bretaña, Lord Price, el país europeo mostró interés de impulsar la relación comercial.

Minera

La minera chilena Antofagasta confirmó que saldrá totalmente de la propiedad del polémico proyecto hidroeléctrico Alto Maipo, tras diferencias con su socio AES Gener por el aumento en los costos de la iniciativa. AES Gener adquirirá directa o indirectamente la participación de Minera Los Pelambres, de propiedad de Antofagasta, la que posee un 40 por ciento de la central ubicada en las afueras de la capital chilena.

Límites

Autopridades de México y Cuba tuercen los dedos para que el pacto jurídico sobre límites territoriales en el Golfo de México, que se gestó con el presidente Obama, sea aprobado por la administración de Donald Trump. Se tenía previsto firmar el acuerdo este 20/1.

  • Brief News

European Commission welcomes end to Amazon, Apple exclusive audiobook deal

The European Commission on Thursday welcomed an agreement between Amazon and Apple to eliminate their exclusivity obligations with respect to the supply and distribution of audiobooks. These exclusivity rights required Apple to source only from Amazon's audible unit and prevented Amazon from distributing any music platform other than Apple's iTunes store. Under this agreement to eliminate exclusivity, Amazon can now supply its downloadable audiobooks to other third party platforms, Apple can source audiobooks from alternative suppliers, and publishers and content aggregators can make distribution deals directly with Apple. The EC stated: "The removal of these exclusivity obligations will allow for further competition in a fast growing and innovative market and allow European consumers broader access to downloadable audiobooks." Germany's Bundeskartellamt also welcomed the agreement. (Click here)

Republican Governors balk as Congress races to end Obamacare

Republican governors, while remaining publicly committed to ending Obamacare, are telling their congressional delegations that repealing the health-care law without an adequate replacement would ravage budgets and swamp hospitals with the uninsured. They are urging a heavy dose of caution. They're warning lawmakers as President-elect Donald Trump and congressional leaders come to grips with the reality of promises to end a law Trump styled "a disaster" even as it brought insurance to 20 million Americans. "We must be careful not to increase the rate of uninsured, particularly for our most vulnerable citizens." "Reforms must be fiscally prudent but, should maintain or improve affordable access to health care for those that are currently covered."

Trump inherits Guantanamo's remaining detainees

Despite President Obama's executive order to close the Guantanamo Bay prison, dozens of detainees from the war on terrorism are still there.

Ethics lawyers call trump's business conflicts 'nakedly unconstitutional'

The new president will be "violating the constitutional conflicts clause ... as soon as he takes the oath of office," Eisen, who served as President Obama's special counsel on ethics and government reform, says. "It is extraordinary that we'll have a president who is violating the constitutional conflicts clause, the so-called Emoluments Clause, as soon as he takes the oath of office,"

Uber to pay $20m to 'misled' drivers

Between January and March 2015, ride-sharing service Uber put out ads on Craigslist in the hope of attracting new drivers by offering attractive hourly rates of pay. In Boston, for example, it told potential drivers they would earn $25 an hour. In truth, fewer than 10% of drivers in the city actually managed to bring in that amount, according to a lawsuit brought by the US Federal Trade Commission. Uber said "the potential income a driver on UberX can make in a year is more than $90,000 in New York and more than $74,000 in San Francisco". The FTC said the median amount earned in those cities - for drivers working a 40 hour week - was significantly less ($29,000 and $21,000 less, respectively). The FTC listed 18 cities across the US where it said Uber was painting a far more lucrative picture than was realistic. In Baltimore, fewer than 20% of drivers earned $16 an hour. Chicago - fewer than 20% earned $21. Minneapolis - 10%, $18. And so on. On Thursday, Uber agreed to pay $20m to those drivers in order to settle the claim. The company said its settlement didn’t constitute an admission of guilt, disputing the way the FTC calculated its figures. (Click here)

Brazil judge Teori Zavascki dies in plane crash

A prominent Brazilian Supreme Court judge has died in a plane crash. Two other bodies were found at the crash site in the sea near Paraty, some 250km (160 miles) south of Rio de Janeiro. Teori Zavascki, 68, was overseeing a massive corruption investigation at the state oil company, Petrobras.

New Jersey court upholds firing of corrections officer who wore hijab to work

A New Jersey appeals court on Wednesday upheld the firing of corrections officer Linda Tisby, who was terminated for wearing a hijab to work as an expression of her religious beliefs. Tissuey, who had worked for the jail for 13 years, argued that her beliefs required her to wear the religious headscarf while she was at work and that her firing was a violation of New Jersey's Law Against Discrimination. The court, however, disagreed holding that Tisby's hijab was an exception to the law as it would cause an "undue burden" on the jail due to "overriding safety concerns, the potential for concealment of contraband and the importance of uniform neutrality." Several groups have expressed concern with the ruling, including the Council on American-Islamic Relations calling the ruling "negative precedent." (Click here)

Turkish MPs hold final vote on boosting Erdogan powers

Turkish MPs are holding a second and final round of voting on constitutional changes to give President Recep Tayyip Erdogan sweeping new powers. Under the plans, the president will be able to choose ministers and judges and the prime minister post will be axed. Seven out of 18 articles were passed overnight. If MPs back the rest in the coming days, a referendum will follow. Erdogan says the package will create more stable government, but critics see it as a dangerous power grab.

Rights groups express concern over Facebook censorship

Seventy-seven advocacy groups penned a letter to Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg Wednesday asking for transparency in the social media website's censorship of speech. The groups are concerned with Facebook's censorship of people of color's posts, mainly regarding political speech and law enforcement. The letter was backed by 77 different groups, including the American Civil Liberties Union. The letter criticized the website for taking down posts against police, yet not doing enough to white supremacists on the platform.

Russia constitutional court: Russia need not pay reparations to Yukos shareholders

The Russian Constitutional Court ruled Thursday that Russia does not have to comply with a 2014 European Court of Human Rights order to pay 1,9 bn Euros to former shareholders of Yukos, an oil company that was nationalized by the Russian government more than a decade ago. The court found that the ECHR ruling violates the Russian constitution. The decision can not be reviewed by any other Russian court.

A Trump administration, with Obama staff members filling in the gaps

Trump arrived in Washington the day before his inauguration as the nation's 45th president in a swirl of cinematic pageantry but facing serious questions about whether his chaotic transition has left critical parts of the government dangerously short-handed. His team is still scrambling to fill key administration posts. He announced last-minute plans to retain 50 essential State Department and national security officials currently working in the Obama administration to ensure "continuity of government." In all, Trump has named only 29 of his 660 executive department appointments. None of this seemed to bother him. He declared, with typical bluster, that his cabinet nominees had "by far the highest I.Q. of any cabinet assembled."

McCartney won't 'Let It Be,' sues Sony to get back song rights

A quirk in US copyright law says Paul McCartney may be able to get the rights to one of his songs back as early as next year, with others following. He is relying on a provision in the law that gave authors who sold their rights before 1978 the option to reclaim them after 56 years -- the maximum length of copyrights before that time. But Sony Corp. appears to be standing in the way. Sony, buoyed by a court victory in the UK where it defeated an attempt by the band Duran Duran to reclaim the rights to its songs, isn't willing to give in to McCartney. McCartney may have sung that he doesn't care too much for money, but the dispute with Sony involves more than 250 songs from the 1960s and 1970s, including some of the Beatles' greatest hits such as "Hey Jude," "Let it Be" and "Yesterday." Those songs still generate royalties with regular play on classic rock radio stations, advertisements and films. The music industry will be watching the lawsuit carefully because, if McCartney wins, it could open up the flood gates to other artists who transferred their copyrights in the 1960s to reclaim their songs. (Click here)

Tesla's self-driving system cleared in deadly crash

The highway agency found that while Tesla's Autopilot feature didn’t prevent a crash in Florida, the system performed as it was intended.

New UK surveillance law will have worldwide implications

Even if you don’t live in Britain, the UK's new "Snooper's Charter" is worth watching. It could inspire other democratic nations to adopt aggressive surveillance policies. The legislation, which passed in late November and replaced the old surveillance law at the beginning of this year, is called the Investigatory Powers Act (or, by its critics, the "Snooper's Charter"). It enshrines broad new authority for UK law enforcement and intelligence agencies to conduct online surveillance, hack into devices deemed relevant to investigations, and make technology companies provide access to data about their users—even by forcing them to change the design of products. It also gives investigators the authority to use these powers in "bulk," meaning they can access large data sets that may include information about people not relevant to investigations. They can even hack into devices owned by people who are not suspects in a crime. Opponents take issue with many parts of the legislation, but the most high-profile fight is over a new authority for the government to compel Internet service providers to retain "Internet connection records"—including websites visited or mobile apps used, the times they were accessed, and the duration of use—for up to 12 months for all their customers. Investigators won't need a warrant from a judge to access this data.

Fannie Mae shareholders lose another round in Federal Court

Shareholders in Fannie Mae can't sue the firm's auditor for alleged misconduct, a federal court ruled Wednesday.

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