September 15, 2017 nº 1,905 - Vol. 14

"Those who think they know it all have no way of finding out that they don't."

Leo Buscaglia

In today's Law Firm Marketing, how to give advice when your client hasn't asked for it.


Read Migalhas LatinoAmérica in Spanish every Tuesday and Thursday. Visit the website at


  • Top News

Lawsuit challenges searches of electronic devices at borders

A group of individuals represented by the American Civil Liberties Union filed a lawsuit in the US District Court for the District of Massachusetts challenging the "searches and seizures of smartphones, laptops, and other electronic devices" at the borders. The complaint alleges that such searches "absent a warrant supported by probable cause and without particularly describing the information to be searched" are a violation of the First and Fourth Amendments to the US Constitution. The plaintiffs in the case were ordinary citizens or permanent residents whose electronic devices were seized and searched, and in some cases were retained by federal authorities for months before being returned. The defendants in the case include the Department of Homeland Security, Customs and Border Protection and Immigration and Customs Enforcement. The crux of the complaint is that modern electronic devices hold massive amounts of personal information such as political or social opinions, and sensitive medical, legal and financial information. Additionally, electronic devices in this age carry a large number of intimate photographs and messages. Thus, the complaint alleges that: "The volume and detail of personal data contained on these devices provides a comprehensive picture of travelers' private lives, making mobile electronic devices unlike luggage or other items that travelers bring across the border... Because government scrutiny of electronic devices is an unprecedented invasion of personal privacy and a threat to freedom of speech and association, searches of such devices absent a warrant supported by probable cause and without particularly describing the information to be searched are unconstitutional."

North Korea fires missile over Japan

Japan warns it will "never tolerate" such actions while the US tell China and Russia to take "direct action".


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  • MiMIC Journal

Top China Bitcoin exchange to stop trading

One of China's biggest Bitcoin exchanges has said it will stop trading, after a government warning over virtual currencies. BTCC said it would stop buying and selling on 30 September in response to tightening regulation. It comes after authorities banned initial coin offerings on 5 September. The country has seen an explosion of digital currency trading, sparking fears about the financial risks and speculative investing. The price of Bitcoin tumbled sharply following the BTCC announcement late on Thursday but has since regained some ground. (Click here)

Trump blocks sale of US tech firm to Chinese company

The Trump administration has barred the sale of a US technology firm to a Chinese-backed company, citing national security risks. Since November, Chinese-backed Canyon Bridge Capital Partners has been seeking approval for a $1.3bn deal to buy Lattice Semiconductor. The firms said they were "disappointed" by the decision. The order comes as the US has been toughening its stance on business dealings with China. (Click here)

  • Law Firm Marketing

How to give advice when your client hasn't asked for it
By Trey Ryder

On one of my trips to Alaska, I went to the post office for mailing supplies and information about insuring parcels I wanted to ship home.

As I packed box after box, I went back to the post office to buy more tape, bubble padding and boxes -- a total of three trips!

At 4:50 p.m. on my last day in town (I left at night by ferry), I carried three big, heavy boxes -- one at a time -- into the post office. Then I rang the bell for service, which eventually brought a clerk to the window

He weighed the boxes, insured them as I requested, and asked me for $134.

Then he spoke these words: "You could have saved money if you had sent these by registered mail. You would have saved around $20 per box."

Thanks a bunch!

I explained I had been in the post office three times buying supplies and asking about insuring boxes for shipment to Arizona. I asked why no one had told me this before now, when the post office was only minutes from closing.

In an effort to duck responsibility and confirm that any mistake was my fault, he said...

"You didn't talk to me. You obviously weren't asking the right questions."

In fact, I was hardly asking questions at all. Had I realized that I had options, I would have asked the best way to ship the boxes. I assumed I had only one choice, so all I cared about was, How do I ship insured boxes to Arizona?

Earlier in the process, I wish any window clerk would have offered advice, even though I had not asked for it. In the alternative, I wish the post office put out an educational handout called, "How to save money when you ship insured boxes to Arizona."

Bottom line: I left the post office knowing that any window clerk could have told me how to save $60 -- yet none said a word, until it was too late.

MORAL OF THE STORY: If you see a client preparing to take action -- and this person has not asked for your advice -- here's how to approach the subject:

STEP #1: SUMMARIZE. Summarize what you're hearing your client say about his situation and ask if what you're hearing is correct. Here's what I might say, relating to lawyer marketing.

TREY: "From what you're saying, it sounds like you're thinking about running radio commercials to attract new clients. Is that right?" (If that isn't correct, your client will explain what he wants to do.)

STEP #2: CONFIRM THE PURPOSE. Ask what your client wants to accomplish so you know whether you can offer alternatives or advice. Here you're simply asking questions, without any indication that you might offer suggestions.

TREY: "Is your primary goal to attract new clients -- or do you have other things you'd like to accomplish?" (Again, your client elaborates.)

STEP #3: ASK IF HE WANTS INPUT. The most effective way to give advice is to first ask if your client wants it. If your client says yes, it's no longer unsolicited advice because your client has accepted your offer.

When you offer to help, don't call it advice. Instead, call it your input, point of view or suggestions. Emphasize that you have helped other clients in similar situations -- and that you think you could help him save money (or benefit in some other way, such as save time or get a better result).

TREY: "I've had experience helping lawyers use radio commercials to attract new clients. Would you like suggestions that might help you save money and get a higher response?"

If your client says no, move on. If your client says yes, he opened the door and he then welcomes your suggestions.

In the end, most clients will be glad that you helped them. You'll be happier knowing that your client can benefit from your experience and will likely get a better result. And by asking permission, you don't risk giving advice that your client doesn't want


© 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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  • Historias Verdaderas


La minera canadiense Gold Reserve planea lograr avances en el proyecto Siembra Minera en Venezuela, con la apertura de oficinas en las ciudades de Caracas y Puerto Ordaz y la conclusión del plan financiero. El proyecto, donde el Estado venezolano tiene el 55% y la minera el restante 45%, estará situado cerca de Las Claritas, en el estado Bolívar. Hasta ahora el proyecto ha recibido US$ 128 mlls. de Venezuela como parte de la sociedad.


La unidad brasileña de Royal Dutch Shell PLC invertirá US$ 2.000 mlls. por año en el país sudamericano hasta 2020. El plan de inversión no incluye posibles pujas por áreas de exploración que el Gobierno brasileño subastará en septiembre y octubre.


La cadena de supermercados Walmart Chile, filial de la gigante estadounidense Wal-Mart, está en negociaciones con el banco local BCI para la venta total o parcial de su unidad de créditos Presto. Walmart Chile informó que un eventual acuerdo se enmarca en su estrategia de concentrarse en su negocio de supermercados en el país y ceder el control de Presto, unidad que maneja una cartera de colocaciones de alrededor de US$ 1.000 mlls.

  • Brief News

UK and EU firms to urge faster Brexit deal

Firms employing more than a million workers will call on Brexit negotiators to speed up Brexit talks to protect jobs. Brussels would not be allowed to use Brexit to introduce protectionist “bespoke” measures designed to protect the City of London after Brexit, financial services being the UK's most important export to the EU. (Click here)

Boeing rejects Ottawa's call to drop Bombardier trade complaint

Boeing Co. is refusing to back down from its trade complaint against Bombardier Inc., warning the federal government that Canada's aerospace industry will be one of the main victims if the US-based giant is frozen out of future military contracts. Boeing International president Marc Allen said the priority is fighting back against illegal subsidies and ensuring the global aerospace industry operates by a clear and common set of rules. Federal officials refused to comment on the dispute with Boeing last week. Bombardier has publicly rejected allegations of dumping or illegal subsidies and is fighting the matter in front of the ITC. The US Department of Commerce announced in May that it would investigate accusations that sales of Bombardier's new jetliner constitute dumping into the US market. The investigation could lead to punitive US duties being slapped on sales of the jet. A first decision on the matter is expected in late September.

Spain prosecutor summons 712 Catalonian mayors over independence referendum

Spain's state prosecutor on Wednesday summoned 712 Catalonian mayors who have said they will allow the use of public space for an independence referendum that is due to take place October 1. Last week the Spanish Constitutional Court suspended the referendum and agreed to hear arguments to determine if it violates the Spanish Constitution which states that the nation is "indivisible."

Ex-CIA director quits Harvard over Chelsea Manning posting

Former acting director of the CIA Michael Morell has resigned from his post at Harvard University over its hiring of Chelsea Manning. In a letter announcing his resignation, the 33-year CIA veteran wrote that it was his "duty" to oppose Harvard's "wholly inappropriate" decision. Manning - who served seven years in a military prison before her sentence was commuted by Obama - was named as a visiting fellow at the Institute of Politics at Harvard Kennedy School on Wednesday. "Unfortunately I cannot be part of an organization... that honors a convicted felon and leaker of classified information", Mr Morell wrote in his resignation letter. Manning was convicted of espionage in 2013 after leaking US government documents to Wikileaks. On her Twitter page, Manning deemed Mr Morell's decision "good".

Brazil President faces more criminal charges

Brazil's top anti-corruption prosecutor has charged Michel Temer with obstruction of justice and racketeering. It is the second set of criminal charges he faces and is based on the plea-bargain testimony of the owners of the meatpacker JBS. They accused Temer of taking bribes and of conspiring to buy the silence of a witness. Temer has strongly rejected all allegations of wrongdoing. The earlier corruption charge was blocked by Congress, which has the power to decide whether the president should stand trial. (Click here)

Google sued over sex discrimination

Three women who used to work at Google have filed a lawsuit against the technology giant, alleging it pays women less than men for comparable work. The suit says Google is aware of the situation, but has not moved to fix it. It comes as companies in Silicon Valley face growing scrutiny over gender relations. Google is also under investigation by the US Department of Labor over its pay practices. (Click here)

Kaspersky: Russia responds to US ban on software

A US government decision to stop using software from Kaspersky Lab undermines fair competition, said Russia. The Kremlin statement came in response to a 90-day deadline given to US federal agencies to remove the security software. The US Department of Homeland Security said it was concerned about ties between company officials and the Russian intelligence services. Kaspersky Lab has repeatedly denied that it has ties to the Kremlin. In addition, US retailer Best Buy has said it would no longer sell Kaspersky products in its tores.

Minnesota top court finds part of disorderly conduct law unconstitutional

The Minnesota Supreme Court overruled part of a state disorderly conduct statute on Wednesday, saying that it violated the First Amendment because it is "overbroad." Minnesota Statues 609.72, subd. 1(2) makes it a crime for a person to disrupt a legally held assembly. The case was brought after defendant Robin Lyne Hensel appealed her conviction under the statute after she had silently protested at a City Council meeting and refused to leave when asked. The majority wrote, "Due to the countless ways in which can prohibit and chill protected expression, we conclude that the statute facially violates the First Amendment's overbreadth doctrine." The dissent, agreeing with the state, wrote that the statute could be narrowly construed to prohibit only conduct not protected by the First Amendment.

Israel High Court strikes down ultra-orthodox draft law

The Israel High Court of Justice ruled Tuesday that a law exempting ultra-Orthodox Jews from compulsory military service is unconstitutional. Israel has mandatory military service, but a 2015 law allowed the defense minster to grant exceptions from the draft to yeshiva students. The High Court ruled 8-1 that the law was unconstitutional because it discriminates between religious and nonreligious men who are eligible for the draft. The one dissent argued that not enough time has passed to determine if the law is unconstitutional. (Click here)

On insider trading, an appeals court comes to its senses

A decision upholding the conviction of Mathew Martoma, a former SAC Capital portfolio manager, gives the upper hand back to prosecutors.

Deutsche Börse to pay $12.5 million in fines in insider trading inquiry

Frankfurt prosecutors have been examining share purchases by the exchange operator’s C.E.O. before merger talks with the London Stock Exchange.

Bernie Sanders introduces 'Medicare for all' bill

US Senator Bernie Sanders on Wednesday introduced his "Medicare for all" bill. The Medicare for All Act of 2017, which is cosponsored by 16 democrats including 2020 front runners Cory Booker, Kamala Harris, and Elizabeth Warren seeks to fundamentally change the American health care system to a single-payer plan. Under the bill, individuals would be given a benefits card that would allow them to have access to services including dental coverage and mental health treatment. The bill seeks to distinguish between basic, preventative health care needs and expansive coverage by creating plans with differing levels of coverage.

Manhattan D.A. aims to stop prosecuting subway-fare evaders

The Manhattan district attorney's office says it has largely stopped prosecuting subway-fare evaders, offering many offenders alternatives such as counseling and community service—and other boroughs are watching.


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