March 17, 2017 nº 1,849 - Vol. 14

"I have great faith in fools -- my friends call it self-confidence."

Edgar Allan Poe

In today's Law Firm Marketing, 3 ways to write effective marketing materials in less time


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  • Top News

Trump team takes on Obama's regulatory legacy

As Trump rounds out his financial regulatory team, it looks like the Obama administration's legacy on financial regulation could face some stiff challenges. J. Christopher Giancarlo, a Republican commissioner at the Commodity Futures Trading Commission since 2014 and its interim chairman, has been nominated to run the agency. He has broadly embraced the goals of derivatives regulations under the Dodd-Frank Act, but he has also criticized crucial portions of the fine print. He will be one of the regulators helping to ease some of the rules of Dodd-Frank after Mr. Trump signed an executive order taking aim at the financial regulatory law. That order directed the Treasury Department to identify whether existing regulations align with the administration's goals, which include fostering "economic growth and financial markets," and a core team of Goldman Sachs alumni has been tapped for the job. James Donovan, a longtime Goldman Sachs banking and investment management executive, has been named deputy to the Treasury secretary, Steven T. Mnuchin (also a Goldman alumnus). They will be attempting to overhaul the tax code as well as tackling the restructuring of the government-sponsored mortgage guarantors Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. (Click here)

  • Crumbs

1 - DOJ charges Russian officers for hacking e-mail accounts - click here.

2 - Trump travel ban: US judge blocks new executive order - click here.


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  • MiMIC Journal

Lethal opiates delivered by mail from China, killing addicts in the US

Carfentanil's a highly potent opioid. It is blamed for hundreds of lethal overdoses. Much of it reaches the US from China, via the US Postal Service. Now, China's announced a ban on the substance.

As China's coal mines close, miners are becoming bolder in voicing demands

State-run coal mines are shutting down in China's rust belt. Facing layoffs, miners are worried about their future — and in the absence of labor unions, are organizing to demand better treatment.

  • Law Firm Marketing

3 ways to write effective marketing materials in less time
By Tom Trush

As a busy attorney, you likely feel your work as a marketing writer could be improved.

The problem, though, is you don't have time to comb through a bunch of books and courses.

Fortunately, with a little practice -- especially on the changes that have the greatest impact on your skills -- you can quickly start creating more effective marketing materials.

Here are 3 places to focus your attention:

1. Push the outcome, not the features.

It's easy to write about how your product or service can "save time" or "save money." These claims have even become a crutch for many copywriters and marketers. The problem with this type of messaging is that it's so common -- so your message never really stands out.

Rather than talking about the technical details and features of your offer, shift your focus toward your readers' ideal outcome. What experiences and feelings do they want and why? What impact do they want your product or service to make in their lives?

By asking these questions, you'll address your readers' deeper needs, rather than just checking off a list of repetitive features.

So why does this work?

According to a recent study published in the Journal of Advertising, mental pictures of a promised positive scenario help persuade people to change their intentions. The stronger and more positive the mental picture, the easier you make it for prospects to be transported into the world you're building (so they can "buy" into your vision).

2. Tell stories.

Whether writing an email, website content or a direct-mail piece, making it compelling or persuasive depends on one factor:

Your story.

However, not just any story will do. A truly persuasive story takes readers from their current state to the world you create with your words.

Psychologists Melanie Green and Timothy Brock are recognized for their extensive research on stories' persuasive powers. Their studies show that as long as a story successfully transports a reader, it can cause a change in views or attitudes (to more consistently align with the story), regardless of whether the story is fact or fiction.

So what does this mean for you?

Well, while a positive end result is a great place to start your marketing message, you should also include a fully realized story. According to Green and Brock's research, your story should create excitement and cause readers to feel uncertain about the ending (so they keep reading).

Also, include a "model" in your story, a character your reader can mimic by following behavior and attitude changes.

Zapier, an online software company, features an impressive collection of customer stories on their website. These stories often follow a common template ...

A customer encounters a complex problem in their business processes and then, after creating a solution in Zapier, now spend more time doing the work they love.

Framing customer stories in this way, rather than just through vague testimonials, provides stronger proof. More importantly, prospects can see themselves in the profiled clients.

3. Anchor your claims in facts and data.

Strong credibility is critical to supporting your stories and promises. Statistics and science-backed research are an effective way to handle this task.

According to Chip and Dan Heath, authors of Made to Stick, these concrete details add credibility to you (as the writer) and your marketing message.

Slack, a collaboration and messaging tool for teams, offers an example of this approach in action. Though they pack their marketing messages with outcome promises -- such as "make your working life simpler, more pleasant and more productive," their homepage) also shows several charts and numbers.

For example, a bar chart details how teams using Slack report a 25.1% reduction in meetings and a 48.6% reduction in internal emails. Displaying hard facts like these boost credibility because the messaging is backed by data.

So when crafting your marketing messages, once you figure out your prospects' desired outcome and work in a story or two, review your claims, and support them with data. You can use your own research (like Slack) or cite academic research and statistical findings.

Tom Trush is available at


© Trey Ryder
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  • Historia Verdadera


Gobierno de Venezuela investiga a la petrolera PetroSaudi International, de Arabia Saudí, por delitos de fraude en un negocio con PDVSA por US$ 1,3 blls. (Presione aquí)


Brasil entregó el jueves a tres grupos europeos los derechos para operar cuatro aeropuertos, recaudando casi el doble de las ofertas mínimas en una subasta que destacó el apetito de los inversores por una ola de privatizaciones impulsadas por el gobierno del presidente Michel Temer. La operadora de aeropuertos alemana Fraport AG, el grupo francés Vinci SA y el aeropuerto de Zúrich ofertaron un total de US$ 470 mlls. por los derechos para operar los aeropuertos en Porto Alegre, Salvador, Fortaleza y Florianópolis. Las empresas se comprometieron a invertir al menos R$ 6.610 mlls. en los aeropuertos y a pagarle al Gobierno R$ 2.260 mlls. extra en cargos operacionales por los próximos 30 años.


La minera canadiense Duran Ventures firmó una carta de intención para vender su proyecto de cobre y plata Ichuna, ubicado en el departamento de Moquegua, Perú, a Tartisan Resources Corp. por una contraprestación en efectivo de US$ 37,600 y 500,000 acciones de Tartisan. Ambas compañías planean reemplazar la carta de intención por un acuerdo definitivo que contenga los términos y condiciones estándar de la industria a más tardar el 17/5/2017, después de las revisiones de debida diligencia por ambas partes.

  • Brief News

Brexit bill receives 'royal assent' and becomes law

UK House of Commons speaker John Bercow announced Thursday that the EU withdrawal bill has received royal assent and become law. UK Prime Minister Theresa May is now empowered to begin the Brexit process under Article 50 of the EU's key treaty. Article 50 explains that the UK will cease to be a member of the bloc two years after the prime minister notifies the Union. The prime minister's office has indicated that notification will occur in the final week of March, and the prime minister plans to create a new free-trade deal between the UK and the EU at that time. (Click here)

Federal appeals court denies rehearing of Trump's original immigration order

The US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit on Wednesday denied an en banc rehearing regarding US President Donald Trump's original immigration order. The US Department of Justice (DOJ) had previously withdrawn its appeal regarding Trump's original immigration order, which was filed after the Ninth Circuit denied a request to stay the proceedings. A judge on the Ninth Circuit called for a vote to hear the issue en banc, but the matter did not receive a majority vote in favor of the rehearing. The Ninth Circuit noted that the issue became moot since the DOJ had voluntarily withdrawn its appeal and mentioned that no party had moved to vacate the order denying the stay.

New rulings against Trump's travel ban

Trump's second attempt at a "travel ban" was supposed to go into effect Thursday. Instead, the central components of the executive order have been blocked by judges on opposite sides of the country. In both cases, the judges relied heavily on public statements from Trump and his advisers to conclude that the order — despite being "facially" neutral on religion — was designed to target Muslims. The order would deny entry to citizens of Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen for 90 days and suspend the U.S refugee program for 120 days. (Iraqi citizens, people who already have visas and refugees whose travel plans were already finalized were all exempted from this order — although they were barred under the first version of the travel ban.) The first order prompted chaos, and advocates say the second does little to alleviate fear and uncertainly. The original ban was blocked by a federal court, and an appeals court stood behind the lower court's decision. The new version was supposed to address the courts' objections. But judges in Hawaii and Maryland — ruling on cases originally filed against the first order — found that the changes didn't address the underlying concerns and blocked it, too, from going into effect. A third court, in Washington state, also heard arguments Wednesday. Trump complained of "unprecedented judicial overreach".

Britain's GCHQ denies wiretapping Trump

Claims are "nonsense, utterly ridiculous and should be ignored", the intelligence agency says.

Pakistan tackles Facebook on blasphemy

Pakistan says it has asked Facebook to help investigate "blasphemous content" posted on the social network by Pakistanis. Facebook has agreed to send a team to Pakistan to address reservations about content on the social media site, according to the interior ministry. Blasphemy is a highly sensitive and incendiary issue in Pakistan. Critics say blasphemy laws, which allow the death penalty in some cases, are often misused to oppress minorities. Earlier this week Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif voiced his support for a wide-ranging crackdown on blasphemous content on social media. (Click here)

Erdogan threatens to scrap EU-Turkey migrant deal

Erdogan has threatened to tear up a key migrant deal with the European Union. He said the EU could "forget about" Turkey re-admitting failed asylum seekers who had reached Europe via Turkey, a key part of the agreement. Erdogan also said the EU's top court was leading a "crusade" against Islam. His comments are the latest in a widening, increasingly acrimonious dispute with EU governments and institutions. The Turkish government has been enraged by Germany, the Netherlands and other nations' decisions to block its officials from holding political rallies in those countries.

Trump unveils 'hard power' budget that boosts military spending

The president's budget blueprint calls for a 10 percent increase in military spending, along with deep cuts in foreign aid and the Environmental Protection Agency.

Controversial 'Sharia Law' bill advancing in Montana

Montana's Senate Bill 97, which bans the application of foreign laws in Montana, passed the Republican-controlled House Judiciary along party lines and will now move to the House floor. While the legislation does not specifically mention Sharia law, both those in favor of and in opposition to the measure have referred to it in hearings as the "Sharia law bill." Sharia law is what governs Islamic societies, in the public square and in the home. The bill's sponsor, state Senator Keith Regier insists that his intent is to protect the fundamental liberties of Montana citizens by forbidding the use of foreign laws in state courts. "For these immigrants to retain their diverse rule of law would create a society in chaos," Regier said. Sandy Montgomery, a constituent of Regier's, defended the measure, calling it "long overdue." "We have allowed legal immigrants, illegal immigrants, and now refugees to take advantage of our law and our culture and to take up their own agendas," she said. "They have no intention to abide by our laws nor are they interested in assimilating into our culture."

Proposed Trump budget would end Legal Services Corp.

Tucked in Trump’s sweeping proposed budget released Wednesday is a line item that many in the legal community feared was coming: the complete elimination of the Legal Services Corp. The nonprofit organization, established by Congress in 1974, funnels money to more than 130 civil legal-aid groups around the country. The funds go toward assisting low-income Americans in navigating a challenging legal system, often related to family-law and housing issues. Unlike in criminal cases, those involved in civil legal cases have no right to counsel, and must either pay for their own lawyer or rely on pro-bono services like those funded by Legal Services Corp. The group has taken around $400 million or less in recent years in federal funds, which make up the majority of its budget. They’d asked for $502.7 million for this fiscal year, but never heard back from the Office of Management and Budget.

Audi and VW sites raided in emissions probe

German prosecutors have raided Audi and VW sites as part of a probe into the manipulation of US emissions tests. Officers searched the Audi factory in Ingolstadt in Bavaria, and eight other locations, including parent company Volkswagen's headquarters in Wolfsburg. The searches were carried out in order to identify those involved in installing the devices that cheated the diesel tests, Munich prosecutors said. Audi-owner VW has already agreed to settlements of $21bn in the US. The raid at Audi's sites coincided with the company's annual press conference, in which it reported pre-tax profits of 3bn euros for 2016, a 37% drop on the previous year. The firm also announced a new autonomous vehicles division.(Click here)

Brazilians protest against reforms to pension system

Tens of thousands of people have taken part in protests across Brazil against planned reforms to the pension system. In the capital Brasilia, hundreds occupied the finance ministry, while in Sao Paulo, demonstrators brought traffic to a standstill. President Michel Temer says capping pension benefits and raising retirement age is needed to fix the country's finances. Brazil is going through its worst recession in more than a century.

Cautious optimism in Brazil as appetite returns for I.P.O.s

After a three-year drought of initial public offerings amid economic and political upheaval, some expect that more than a dozen deals will be filed by the end of the year.

Thousands gather in Belarus to protest labor law

Thousands of people in Belarus on Wednesday gathered to protest a labor law that fines people if they do not work enough days during the year. President Alexander Lukashenko enacted Ordinance No. 3 in April 2015, and it has been attacked since its proposal as a forced-labor law and a reenactment of Soviet principles against "social parasites." The law requires people who live in the country for more than half a year to pay a fine equal to $250 if they do not work in an officially recognized capacity for those 183 days. There are exceptions for certain groups or those that are unemployed but looking for work, and these all require official proof and recognition. Earlier this month Lukashenko suspended enforcement of the law for this year, but protests have still continued. Many Belarusians that marched on the capital of Minsk yesterday or rallied in other cities called for the resignation of Lukashenko, who has ruled since 1994.

Donald Trump's favorite law firm

When prominent lawyers take top jobs at the White House or the US Department of Justice, they often bring along several attorneys from their firms. With the Trump administration, one firm—Jones Day—is taking that to an extreme. "I don't know of a precedent," says Theodore Olson, a solicitor general in the George W. Bush administration and a partner in the Washington office of Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher. So far, at least 14 Jones Day attorneys have joined the Trump team, although some are awaiting Senate confirmation. Donald McGahn II, the White House counsel and a former Jones Day partner, has hired at least six attorneys from the firm to work with him advising the president on ethics, executive orders, and judicial nominations. McGahn, a former chairman of the Federal Election Commission and the main bridge between Jones Day and the administration, has represented Trump since 2015, when the president was a long-shot candidate.


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