March 10, 2017 nº 1,846 - Vol. 14

"Don't worry about people stealing your ideas. If your ideas are any good, you'll have to ram them down people's throats."

 Howard Aiken

In today's Law Firm Marketing, 15 business card sins lawyers commit

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  • Top News

EU court limits right to be forgotten

The European Court of Justice ruled Thursday that individuals cannot demand that their personal data be erased from company records. The court said the ruling came from the public need for legal certainty to protect third party interests. The registers hold very little personal data and do not infringe on privacy. The court reserved its right to assess specific circumstances under which company registers should be limited on an individual basis. The case was brought by Italy due to their loss of a case over compensation to a man whose properties had failed to sell because a bankruptcy he filed was kept on record at Lecce Chamber of Commerce. In May 2014 the EU court ruled that individuals could request that irrelevant information be removed in the search results from search engines like Google and Bing. (Click here)

UN expert: right to strike is fundamental

The UN Special Rapporteur on the rights to freedom of peaceful assembly and of association said Thursday that the "fundamental right to strike must be preserved." Special Rapporteur Maina Kiai's remarks were in response to a Human Rights Council event about freedoms of association and assembly in the workplace in addition to an important meeting of the International Labor Organization (ILO). Kiai said that the right to strike is an "intrinsic corollary" to freedom of assembly and has a long history as part of international law.

More than 170 organizations sign letter urging net neutrality

More than 170 organizations urged acting Federal Communications Commission Commissioner Ajit Pai Tuesday to preserve net neutrality. The letter, signed by organizations such as the American Civil Liberties Union, Greenpeace and the American Library Association, asks Pai to "oppose legislation and regulatory actions that would threaten net neutrality," in the interest of competition, innovation, free speech, and equality of access. The signatories seek to preserve the Internet protections of the Obama administration against a new FCC Commissioner the New York Times described as moving aggressively to "roll back consumer protections."

UN rights expert condemns modern-day surveillance laws

The UN Special Rapporteur on the Right to Privacy, Joseph Cannataci, presented a report to the Human Rights Council on Wednesday condemning modern-day surveillance legislation and expressing grave concerns regarding the threat to privacy rights in the digital age. Cannataci particularly directed attention to legislation in the US, UK, France and Germany, stating that "[t]here is little or no evidence to persuade me of either the efficacy or the proportionality of some of the extremely intrusive measures that have been introduced by new surveillance laws" and that he does not support these laws. Cannataci expressed concern that modern surveillance legislation increasingly allow for "the creation, access and analysis of personal data" without adequate authorization and oversight

  • Crumbs

1 - Samsung chief Lee Jae-Yong on trial for bribery - click here.

2 - Shell sells Canadian oil sands, ties bonuses to emissions cuts - click here.

3 - U.S. judge allows Hawaii to challenge Trump's new travel ban - click here.

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  • MiMIC Journal

Chinese human rights report attacks US 'hypocrisy'

An annual report by China on human rights in the US has accused it of corruption, hypocrisy and brutality. "In 2016, money politics and power-for-money deals controlled the presidential election, which was full of lies and farces," it said. "There were no guarantees of political rights." The US regularly accuses China of ignoring human rights - its own annual report on human rights in almost 200 countries was released last week. The US report said Chinese civil society groups suffered "repression and coercion" and accused Beijing of curtailing freedoms in Hong Kong and Macau.

Trump trademarks approved by China

China has given US President Donald Trump the chance to expand his brand, after approving dozens of applications to register the Trump trademark. Many of the requests, for industries from hotels to security, were made during the US election campaign. Trump, who already owns about 70 trademarks in China, has pledged not to strike new foreign business deals while in office. Critics have warned the approvals could breach the US Constitution.

  • Law Firm Marketing

15 business card sins lawyers commit
By Trey Ryder

SIN #1: Your type is too small. Few things provoke as many negative comments as type that's too small to read. In an effort to achieve a corporate or high-end look, artists often choose fonts that are painfully small. Don't. Make sure your prospects can easily read the words on your card.

SIN #2: Your fonts are hard to read. To achieve a high-end look, many lawyers turn to scripts and even Old English typefaces. Unfortunately, they're nearly impossible to decode. How often have you looked at a business card and then rolled your eyes because you didn't have a clue what it said? A business card that people can't read is worthless.

SIN #3: You print on top of a photograph or illustration. Some lawyers put an image or photo on their card and then print words across it, called overprinting. Don't do it. Overprinting makes the illustration hard to see and the words hard to read.

SIN #4: Your letters are spaced too far apart. Several years ago, artists started putting a lot of space between letters in the same word to gain a sophisticated look. (You might know this is called kerning.) They could take a five-letter word and make it as wide as a ten- or twenty-letter word. Few things look as artificial or amateurish as letters that are pulled apart in an effort to create a highbrow effect. If you're sophisticated, people know it. If not, they know that, too.

SIN #5: Your fonts create the wrong image. Fonts are not just a matter of personal preference. Their lines, curves and serifs create a certain look. Formal or casual. Contemporary or traditional. Elegant or comic. Lawyers often choose a font they like without realizing that the font doesn't convey the image they want to communicate.

SIN #6: You use too much foil. Foil stamping can look professional when used with discretion. But commercial printers get excited when they buy a new foil stamping machine. For the next few months, everybody who walks out of their shop has foil-covered business cards that look like an explosion in a paint factory.

SIN #7: Your information is hard to find. When prospects look at your card, they want some piece of information. Often, it's your phone number or email address because they want to contact you. Make sure you put information where prospects can find it quickly and easily. Otherwise, you'll end up frustrating the same people you want to attract.

SIN #8: Your card stock is flimsy. People see your card's colors and fonts immediately. But many lawyers don't realize that people also draw conclusions based on how your card feels. Rough or smooth. Heavy or light. Firm or limp. Make sure your card's feel is consistent with the image you want to project.

SIN #9: You use cheap, raised, plastic lettering. It's called thermography and people like it because they can feel the letters rise off the card. The fact that lettering stands up to coffee stains is hardly a reason to buy it. Thermography is fine for a plumber or car mechanic, but it falls short if you're looking to convey an upscale, dignified image.

SIN #10: Your information is out of date. Some people think they can't order new cards until they use up all their old cards. They may even cross out the old phone number and write the new number above it. Spend the money. Order new cards.

SIN #11: Your card looks more like an ad. Lawyers sometimes design their business cards so they look like small display ads. More often than not, this is a mistake. Prospects often need a good amount of information before they decide to hire you, but on your business card is not the place to put it.

SIN #12: Your odd-size card doesn't fit into business card holders. In an effort to stand out from the crowd, some lawyers use cards of unusual sizes. True, this makes you different, but not always in a positive way.

SIN #13: You give your toll free number to everyone. When you print your toll free number on your card, you're inviting the world to use it. Consider printing only your local phone numbers on your business card. Then, when you want someone to have your toll free number, write it on the back. The person receiving it will think he's special -- and you have much tighter control over who uses your toll free line.

SIN #14: You put too little information on your business card. Prospects and clients may prefer to reach you in different ways. One may like email; another may want to send a fax. When you give prospects and clients different ways of contacting you, you're more likely to offer a method that they find convenient.

SIN #15: Overall, your card is too much. For a dignified, professional image, aim for a card that is quiet, graphically appealing and understated. When a client hands your card to a prospect, in two seconds your prospect draws conclusions based on what he sees. That small piece of card stock projects the image, substance and depth of your entire firm. Don't underestimate the importance of a good business card. When you want a new image for your law firm, make sure you hire a competent designer. What your card says -- and how your card looks and feels -- are too important for an amateur.

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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

Demanda

Agricultores de Honduras demandan a una entidad del Banco Mundial por otorgar créditos a una empresa que involucrada en una disputa de tierras donde produce aceite de palma. La querella fue accionada por EarthRights International. (Presione aquí)

Auditor

Accionistas minoritarios de la aerolínea colombiana, Avianca, piden una auditoría de los últimos negocios suscritos por los socios mayoritarios con empresas extranjeras. El tema en litigio está en tribunales estadounidenses y cuestiona un acuerdo comercial con United Airlines. (Presione aquí)

Mercados

Seis empresas mexicanas realizaron anuncios de Inversión Extranjera Directa (IED) en Colombia por US$ 693 mlls. en el 2016. Estos capitales estuvieron encabezados por la cementera Cemex, que reinvirtió US$ 340 mlls. en su infraestructura productiva de materiales de construcción. En el mismo sector, Lamosa realizó adquisiciones por US$ 230 mlls. Otras inversiones fueron realizadas por TV Azteca, que reinvirtió US$ 70 mlls para ampliar su infraestructura; Elementia, con una reinversión de US$ 38 mlls, y Alsea, que adquirió restaurantes por US$ 15.3 mlls. entre otras.

  • Brief News

UK House of Lords approves amendment requiring parliamentary approval of Brexit negotiations

The UK House of Lords passed an amendment to the EU Notification of Withdrawal Bill Tuesday that gives the Parliament the ability to approve the negotiations of the UK's exit from the EU. The upper house also rejected another amendment that would have required a national referendum vote to approve an agreement between the UK and the EU regarding the terms of the exit. The EU Notification of Withdrawal Bill gives the prime minster the ability to formally start the process of exiting the EU. The bill now returns to the House of Commons so that the amendments can be considered by the lower house. The Brexit minister, David Davis, has stated that they will seek to overturn the amendment in the House of Commons. (Click here)

More US states challenge Trump travel ban

Three US states have joined Hawaii in a legal challenge against Trump's revised travel ban. Trump signed an executive order placing a 90-day ban on people from six mainly Muslim countries on Monday. New York maintains the new directive is a ban on Muslims while Washington says it is harmful to the state. Oregon and Massachusetts later also joined. The ban begins on 16 March, with the White House saying it is "very confident" of winning in court. Trump's original order was more expansive but it was defeated after a legal challenge initially mounted by Washington and Minnesota.

Profitable companies, no taxes: here's how they did it

Complaining that the United States has one of the world’s highest corporate tax levels, President Trump and congressional Republicans have repeatedly vowed to shrink it. Yet if the level is so high, why have so many companies' income tax bills added up to zero? That's what a new analysis of 258 profitable Fortune 500 companies that earned more than $3.8 trillion in profits showed. Although the top corporate rate is 35 percent, hardly any company actually pays that. Companies take advantage of an array of tax loopholes and aggressive strategies that enable them to legally avoid paying what they owe. The institute's report cites these examples: Multinational corporations like Apple, Microsoft, Abbott Laboratories and Coca-Cola have ways of booking profits overseas, out of the reach of the Internal Revenue Service. Citing evidence in the report, Senator Bernie Sanders, the Vermont independent, and Senator Brian Schatz, Democrat of Hawaii, introduced a bill on Thursday to eliminate tax loopholes that encourage companies to shift activities offshore. Others qualified for accelerated depreciation, enabling them to write off most of the cost of equipment and machinery before it wore out. Others, saved billions in taxes by giving options to top executives to buy stock in the future at a discount. The companies then get to deduct their huge payouts as a loss. Individual industries have successfully lobbied for specific tax breaks that function as subsidies: for instance, drilling for gas and oil, building Nascar racetracks or railroad tracks, roasting coffee, undertaking certain kinds of research, producing ethanol or making movies.

Court ousts South Korea's scandal-hit president

South Korea's President Park Geun-hye has become the country's first democratically elected leader to be forced from office. Judges unanimously upheld Parliament's decision to impeach Park over her role in a corruption scandal involving close friend Choi Soon-sil. She now loses her presidential immunity and could face criminal charges. There have been angry scenes outside the court, as supporters of Park protested against the verdict.

AirBnB raises $1bn of investment funding

Home rental company AirBnB has raised $1bn of investment funding in a deal that values the firm at $31bn. The San Francisco-based firm disclosed the investment in a filing to the US Securities and Exchange Commission. AirBnB did not comment on how it would use the funding, but is expected to expand its operations globally. It has grown rapidly since its launch in 2008, and currently operates in 65,000 cities worldwide. The firm, which does not publish its sales figures, makes its money by enabling homeowners to rent out their homes. It takes a 3% cut of each booking and a 6% to 12% service charge from guests. (Click here)

Trump nominates Noel Francisco as Solicitor General

US President Donald Trump on Wednesday named acting Solicitor General Noel Francisco as his choice for the permanent position. Formerly a partner at large international law firm Jones Day, Francisco has spent a career in litigation. Francisco graduated from the University of Chicago in 1996, clerked for the late Supreme Court justice Antonin Scalia and represented tobacco giant RJ Reynolds successfully in a First Amendment claim against regulations, according to his Federalist Society profile. He has previously argued before the Supreme Court in McDonnel V. United States, Zubik v. Burwell and NLRB v. Noel Canning. It is expected that the Republican controlled senate will confirm Francisco. (Click here)

Poland fails to stop Donald Tusk EU re-election

EU leaders have re-elected Donald Tusk as president of the European Council despite a bid to oust him by his home country, Poland. The leaders voted 27 to one to give him another two-and-a-half-year term. The Polish government insisted Tusk, a former PM from a rival party, had violated his mandate by interfering in domestic politics. Poland's prime minister said she would refuse to sign off on the summit's final statement in protest. "Poland has a right to veto the conclusions - and Poland is exercising that right," Beata Szydlo said. She added that Tusk was not impartial. "He does not have the support of his home country - that's sufficient reason for him not to be appointed."

Belarus suspends 'social parasite' tax

Belarus's president has suspended the collection of a tax on people not in full-time employment - the so-called decree "against social parasites". Alexander Lukashenko said those who worked fewer than 183 days per year would not be liable in 2017 - but stressed the tax would not be scrapped. The decree - adopted in 2015 - requires those people to pay about $250 as compensation for lost tax revenues. It triggered mass protests last month, and more rallies are planned for March.

South Africa cancels withdrawal from ICC

South Africa on Tuesday informed the UN that it is canceling its decision to withdraw from the International Criminal Court (ICC). South Africa's decision to cancel the withdrawal comes in response to the South African High Court finding the withdrawal unconstitutional. High Court Judge Phineas Mojapelo found that the "decision by the national executive to deliver the notice of withdrawal of South Africa from the Rome Statute of the ICC without prior parliamentary approval is unconstitutional and invalid." The South African government called the judgement 'merely procedural' and said that the government would continue working on leaving the ICC. Those comments by the South African government have created some doubt whether Tuesday's cancellation of the withdrawal is just temporary or if South Africa intends to stay part of the ICC.

UN rights experts disapprove of EU migrant return procedure

UN experts said on Thursday that the new recommendation from the European Commission is a "slippery slope" to solve migration problems. According to the UN the recommendation is focused on more rapid return rates and is disregarding the human rights of the migrants. The recommendation also encourages the use of increased detention, even for children, as a deterrence to future migrants. The report states that there is no empirical evidence that shows the use of detention works as a disincentive for migrantion. In addition, the report draws attention to the welfare of migrant children

EU could demand £1.7bn from UK after customs fraud probe

The UK is facing a $2.1 bn fine after failing to stop Chinese criminal gangs using the country as a fraud "hub", despite repeated warnings. Clothes and shoes were imported through the UK at fictitiously low values for years to avoid duties, the European Anti-Fraud Office (Olaf) has found. As a result, investigators say the EU budget has lost millions of pounds in customs duties. HMRC said it plans to challenge Olaf's claims about lost revenues. The Olaf investigation found the UK to be a "significant hub" for so-called undervaluation fraud - where importers can profit from evading customs duties and related taxes. Organized crime groups are using fake invoices to undervalue goods being imported from China - many of which are destined for the black market in other parts of the EU, investigators found.

Florida lawyer's trousers catch fire in court arson trial

A Florida defense lawyer's trousers have reportedly caught fire in court during an arson trial. Stephen Gutierrez was to address jurors on Wednesday when smoke began billowing from his pocket.The attorney fled the court and later returned unharmed with a singed pocket, blaming a faulty battery in his e-cigarette, the Miami Herald reports. Gutierrez, who had been arguing that his client's car spontaneously caught fire, said it was not a stunt. "It was surreal," one witness said, while another pointed out that "a lot of people could have been hurt". (Click here)

Harvard Law School will no longer require the LSAT for admission

For 70 years, the LSAT has been a rite of passage to legal education, a test designed to gauge students’ ability to learn the law. But its dominance could change. Beginning this fall, Harvard Law School will allow applicants to submit their scores from either the Graduate Record Examination or the Law School Admission Test. The significant change in admissions, a pilot program at Harvard, is part of a broader strategy to expand access. Because many students consider graduate school as well as law school, and because the GRE is offered often and in many places worldwide, the decision could make it easier and less expensive for people to apply. (Click here)

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