October 27, 2017 nº 1.919 - Vol. 14

“Where is all the knowledge we lost with information?”

T.S. Eliott

In today's Law Firm Marketing, Phone-call fear keeps prospects from calling; clients too.


Read Migalhas LatinoAmérica in Spanish every Tuesday and Thursday. Visit the website at www.migalhas.com/latinoamerica


  • Top News

How many Harvard law school grads does it take to make a Supreme Court?

When a law school has educated one of every six justices to ever serve on the Supreme Court, and its alums make up a majority of the current court, a certain amount of gasconade — to use a Harvard word — is to be expected. So the audience was appreciative Thursday when Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. took the stage at Harvard Law School with one former and four current Supreme Court justices and announced: "A minority of my colleagues send their regrets." The boastful gathering of justices marked the 200th anniversary of the law school: HLS in the World—The Harvard Bicentennial is the rather grand name of the summit. There is often concern expressed about the all-Ivy Supreme Court, sometimes even by the justices themselves. Five graduated from Harvard, three from Yale and Ruth Bader Ginsburg is the asterisk — she went two years at Harvard and finished at Columbia after moving to New York with her husband. There was no such concern about exclusivity Thursday. Roberts noted it had once been observed, at a time when Harvard had only one graduate on the court, that "Harvard does not need numbers to make her influence felt."

US belatedly begins to comply with Russia sanctions law

The US State Department on Thursday said it had belatedly begun informing Congress and others about groups associated with the Russian intelligence and defense sectors as required under a 2017 law tightening sanctions on Russia. The Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act, which became law on Aug. 2, among other things imposes sanctions on Russia to punish Moscow because US intelligence agencies concluded Russia carried out a hacking and propaganda campaign to meddle in the 2016 US presidential election. The Kremlin has repeatedly denied the allegations. The law calls on the president to impose sanctions on anyone he identifies as having engaged "in a significant transaction with a person that is part of, or operates for or on behalf of, the defense or intelligence sectors" of the Russian government.

Rising use of fintech requires heightened risk awareness

As the financial services industry continues to make use of new technologies to better interact with customers, save money, operate more efficiently and shore up critical infrastructure, the rising use of fintech can create risks or amplify existing ones, including in areas such as cybersecurity and third-party interactions, according to a new report. The report from the Depository Trust & Clearing Corp., which provides posttrade market infrastructure for the global financial services industry, says the use of cloud computing; robotics; artificial intelligence; machine learning; mobile applications; big data analytics; and blockchain, among others, can "fundamentally change the financial services landscape," including from an operational and a risk perspective. "While many of these technologies are at a nascent stage at this time, there is little doubt that fintech will likely alter the risk landscape in the future, produce unintended consequences and lead to new types of risks," stated the report.

While the use of fintech can lower a company’s fees by increasing competition, the report stated the entry of many smaller players “has the potential to fragment the creation and delivery of financial services across additional providers and platforms.” This could lead to an increase in the number of operational points of failure, an increase in the risk of data breaches, hacking and other types of third-party risk, it said. Also, as these fintech companies enter into partnerships with other companies–and other fintech firms–they create a more interconnected network that involves contractual and other arrangements. "As these arrangements become more complicated, interconnectedness and complexity risk will likely increase," stated the report. "Additionally, cybersecurity risks have been reported as top concerns by firms setting up fintech partnerships."


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  • MiMIC Journal

China's President Xi Jinping completes remarkable power grab

Chinese President Xi Jinping completed a remarkable power grab this week that could keep him in charge of China well beyond his new five-year term. Even before the Communist Party congress came to a close this week, Xi had become one of China's most powerful modern leaders -- the socalled "chairman of everything." Xi broke with precedent by refusing to anoint a successor. Instead, he surrounded himself with six party loyalists, all of whom were too old to replace him. Delegates also voted to elevate Xi to a status on par with the legendary founding father of Communist China, chairman Mao Zedong. Xi's political thoughts, or ideology, will be enshrined in the constitution and taught in China's schools.


  • Law Firm Marketing

Phone-call fear keeps prospects from calling; clients too
by Trey Ryder

Your prospect has a problem. He doesn’t know what to do. He's concerned. He's afraid. He needs a lawyer. Will he call you?

Maybe. Maybe not.

Your prospect is afraid of a problem he doesn’t understand. Plus, he's afraid of a marketplace he has learned not to trust.

But here's a bigger problem: He's even more afraid of you.

I call this "phone-call fear," and define it as your prospect's fear of calling your office based on what he thinks might happen when he calls.

Notice that phone-call fear is not based on what will happen, because your prospect doesn't know that. It is based only on what your prospect is afraid might happen, based on his experience with lawyers and his perceptions about lawyers.

What's he afraid of? Lots of things, including the following:

- He's afraid you may refuse to talk with him over the telephone.

- He's afraid you may try to pressure him into making an appointment.

- He's afraid you may charge him for the phone call.

- He's afraid you may not handle his type of problem.

- He's afraid you may not have time to help him.

- He's afraid you may charge more than he can afford.

What else? (You can probably add several fears to this list.)

Even though prospects need your help, phone-call fear often keeps prospects from calling you. So, how do you overcome phone-call fear?

Simple. In your marketing materials and on your web site, make sure your prospects know

> You welcome their calls.

> You'll gladly talk with them over the telephone or in person, without charge.

> You'll return their calls promptly, if you aren=t available when they call.

> You won't pressure them in any way.

In addition, you can offer to help prospects even if they aren't ready to speak with you.

> You can offer a free fact kit, which you will mail or e-mail to them upon request.

> You can offer information about yourself and your firm, such as your biography and the services you offer.

> You can offer educational seminars, where they can meet and talk with you in person, without the perceived pressure of an office appointment.

> You can offer to add their name to your mailing list, so they receive your newsletter, invitations to seminars, news in your area of law, announcements and more.

> You can offer your Internet Web site, which they can visit for more information.

As a lawyer, every day you fight an uphill battle of negative perceptions about the legal profession. Since your prospect doesn't know you, he could assume that "you're as bad as all the rest." The burden is on you to show that you rise above the negative perceptions -- and that you'll do everything you can to help.

The first way you demonstrate this is by providing information about you and your practice -- and by giving your prospects ways to get to know you at whatever speed they feel comfortable. The more information you provide, and the more ways you invite prospects to learn about you, the more comfortable they will be with the process.

Addendum: After a CLE seminar, in which I explained prospects' phone-call fear, the next speaker (a lawyer) came to the podium. He seconded what I said, then added that prospects aren't the only people who are afraid to call him. He discovered that even his clients are afraid to call.

So don't conclude phone-call fear affects only your prospects. It could hinder communication with your clients, as well.

Make sure prospects and clients know that you welcome their calls. Also, make sure they know that if you can't help them with their problem, you'll gladly refer them to a competent lawyer who can.


© Trey Ryder

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  • Historia Verdadeira

México x EE.UU.

México perdió un fallo en la Organización Mundial de Comercio, OMC, en su disputa contra las reglas de mercado de Estados Unidos sobre el comercio de atún, debilitando su reclamo de sanciones comerciales con ese país.
(Presione aquí)


Itaú Unibanco Holding SA informó que recibió la última de las autorizaciones del banco central brasileño para la compra de la unidad de banca minorista de Citigroup en Brasil y que el acuerdo estará cerrado para el 31/10. En octubre del año pasado, Itaú Unibanco acordó la compra de los activos minoristas y de seguros de Citigroup Inc en Brasil por US$ 220 mlls.

Panamá - Multinacionales

Cinco empresas multinacionales tendrán su sede regional en Panamá. Se trata de VISA Inc. y la firma de consultoría McKinsey & Company, de Estados Unidos; CRRC Corporation Limited, con casa matriz en Beijing, República Popular de China; Panalpina World Transport (HOLDING) LTD., con sede en Suiza y Hankook Tire Co., Ltd. de Corea de Sur. Este grupo de empresa sumarán US$3 mlls. en inversiones y generarán grandes plazas de empleo en su primer año de operación al acogerse los beneficios de la Ley de Sedes de Empresas Multinacionales.

Brief News

Breaching the 'wall': Is the white house encroaching on DOJ independence?

DOJ veterans and lawmakers are warning the Trump administration about breaching the agency's autonomy. They cite a pattern of contacts between the White House and the Justice Department this year.

Key vote due in Catalan independence row

The Spanish Senate is due to discuss a plan by the Madrid government to take over some of Catalonia's autonomous powers, amid an escalating crisis over the region's push for independence. Earlier this month Catalonia held a disputed referendum on the issue. The Senate is expected to pass the emergency measures, which include sacking the Catalan president. Meanwhile the regional parliament is debating a possible declaration of independence.

Trump: Opioid 'national shame' a public health emergency

Trump has called America's painkiller-addiction crisis a "national shame" as he declared it a public health emergency. Trump announced a plan to target the abuse of opioids, which kill more than 140 Americans each day. The president has previously promised to declare a national emergency, which would have triggered federal funding to help states combat the drug scourge. The move instead redirects grant money to be used in dealing with the crisis.

WhatsApp and Facebook to face EU data taskforce

WhatsApp and Facebook will be scrutinized by a data protection taskforce, after they were accused of "non-compliance" with EU laws. The regulators took issue with the messaging app's plan to share user data with parent company Facebook. A group of watchdogs and regulators from EU nations, known as the Article 29 Data Protection Working Party, said WhatsApp had not fixed issues raised. Facebook bought the messaging app in 2014 and pledged to keep it independent from its social network. However, in August 2016, it announced plans to share user data with its parent company to offer up "friend suggestions" and "more relevant ads". At the time, the move was criticized by the UK's Information Commissioner Elizabeth Denham, who said she did not believe the firm had obtained valid consent from its users. In its newest letter to WhatsApp chief executive Jan Koum, the Working Party said "the information presented to users was seriously deficient as a means to inform their consent".

Brazil Congress votes against Temer trial

Brazilian lawmakers voted Wednesday against putting President Michel Temer on trial on corruption charges, keeping him at the helm even as the chances of approving some of his promised economic reforms dwindle ahead of next year’s presidential election.

Senators introduce bill to reform warrantless internet surveillance program

A bipartisan group of US senators introduced the USA Rights Act on Tuesday that would overhaul aspects of the National Security Agency (NSA) warrantless internet surveillance program. Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, which is set to expire at the end of the year, is used by US intelligence officials to combat national and cyber security threats, and it allows officials to tap into and store digital communications from foreign suspects. The program also incidentally stores communications of American citizens, including if a citizen has conversations with foreign targets. Those communications can then be subject to warrantless searches, including by the FBI.

Australia's deputy PM disqualified

Barnaby Joyce and four others were wrongly elected because they held dual citizenship, a court says.

SEC signals pullback from prosecutorial approach to enforcement

The Securities and Exchange Commission on Thursday signaled a pivot away from the prosecutorial approach to enforcement that the agency pursued after the financial crisis.

Trump approves release of some JFK files

Some 2,800 records on the assassination are declassified, but the president withholds some others. Senior administration officials did not divulge the contents of the records being shared by the National Archives on Thursday. Conspiracy theories have swirled since President Kennedy was fatally shot in Dallas, Texas, 54 years ago. A 1992 law passed by Congress required all records related to the assassination - around five million pages - to be publicly disclosed in full within 25 years.

Twitter bans RT and Sputnik ads amid election interference fears

Twitter is banning two of Russia's biggest media outlets from buying advertising amid fears they attempted to interfere with the 2016 US election. The ban on advertising from Russia Today (RT) and Sputnik, and all linked accounts, was "effective immediately". US authorities say both act as "a platform for Kremlin messaging". The social media giant will donate an estimated $1.9m made from the outlets into research on Twitter's use in "civic engagement and elections".

CVS is said to be in talks to buy Aetna in landmark acquisition

The proposed deal, which could be worth more than $60 billion, would accelerate the health care industry’s transformation. In addition to its pharmacies, where it runs walk-in clinics, CVS is one of the nation’s top three pharmacy benefit managers.

MEPs to visit Malta over rule of law concerns

A delegation of Members of the European Parliament will travel to Malta to investigate the rule of law, corruption and money laundering in the country. The decision comes in the wake of the murder of journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia, who was killed in a car bombing earlier this month. Caruana Galizia had written extensively on allegations of government corruption.

Weinstein sues Weinstein Company, demanding access to records

Harvey Weinstein sued the studio he had co-founded, saying he needs access to records and emails to defend himself against accusations of misconduct against women.

Monsanto attacks scientists after studies show trouble for weedkiller Dicamba

Scientists are accusing the seed and pesticide giant of denying the risks of its latest weedkilling technology. Monsanto has responded by attacking some of those critics.

Deutsche Börse C.E.O. to resign amid insider trading scandal

Carsten Kengeter’s resignation came after a German judge declined to approve a financial settlement between the exchange operator and the authorities.


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