August 10, 2007  nº 526  -  Vol. 5  

“Leave no authority existing not responsible to the people.”

Thomas Jefferson

In today's Law Firm Marketing: differentiation is your best marketing tool.

  • Top News

Anniversary of the S. Francisco law school

This year, August 11 is a very special day for Brazilian lawyers. Besides celebrating the "Dia da Pendura", when the law students walk in the restaurants of the city center and do not settle the bill, this Saturday they will also celebrate the 180th anniversary of the famous law school of the Largo de San Francisco in São Paulo. The "Dia da Pendura" is a tradition with the students of San Francisco. The date of August 11 was chosen to celebrate the decree of 1827, when Emperor Dom Pedro I instituted, the first legal courses in Brazil - in Olinda and São Paulo.

Legal fight over red cross symbol

Johnson & Johnson is suing the American Red Cross, alleging the charity has misused the famous red cross symbol for commercial purposes. J&J said a deal with the charity's founder in 1895 gave it the "exclusive use" of the symbol as a trademark for drug, chemical and surgical products. It said American Red Cross had violated this agreement by licensing the symbol to other firms to sell certain goods. The charity described the lawsuit as "obscene". It said many of the products at issue were health and safety kits and that profits from their sale had been used to support disaster-relief campaigns. The lawsuit asks for sales of disputed products - also including medical gloves, nail clippers, combs and toothbrushes - to be stopped and unsold items to be handed over to J&J.

Debt horror story unfolds

The European Central Bank has pumped 95bn euros ($135bn) into the eurozone banking market to allay fears about a sub-prime credit crunch. The ECB made the money available in the form of loans, an offer taken up by 49 banks and other financial institutions. This came after French bank BNP Paribas suspended three investment funds worth 2bn euros ($2.35bn), citing problems in the US sub-prime mortgage sector. It said it was "impossible to value certain assets" in an uncertain market. Nobody in the markets, including central banks, can say with confidence that they know where this crisis will end. In the thriller called Sub-prime Slime, the numbers seem to get bigger with each new chapter.

Brazil fights slave labor not its causes

Brazil has made considerable progress in freeing slave laborers but has not done enough to punish the crime or tackle its causes, experts say. Brazil's booming farm sector has repeatedly been accused by foreign competitors of ignoring international environmental and labor standards. Most slave labor occurs along the agricultural frontier encroaching on the Amazon rain forest, where labor is needed to clear huge tracts of land to plant crops or graze cattle. Poor migrants looking for jobs are usually taken by bus or by trucks to farms, where they fall into debt peonage. Often, their documents are taken and armed guards prevent them from leaving. Brazil has stepped up controls since Lula came to power in 2003, freeing 15,875 forced laborers, nearly five times the annual average between 1995 and 2002. Critics say that raids may be uncovering only a fraction of actual slave labor. “So far, nobody has been punished for holding workers in slave-like conditions,” Luis Antonio Camargo de Melo, the country's chief labor prosecutor.

New flight screening program proposed

The government proposed a new version of its airline passenger screening program Thursday, stripped of the data mining that aroused privacy concerns and led Congress to block earlier versions. The third version of the program, once known as CAPPS II, drew positive reviews from privacy advocates and members of Congress who had objected to more elaborate earlier versions. Congress enacted legislation blocking earlier plans to collect private commercial data - like credit card records or travel histories - about all domestic air travelers in an effort to predict which ones might be terrorists. The new plan would require passengers to give their full name when they make their reservations - either in person, by phone or online. They also will be asked if they are willing to provide their date of birth and gender at that time to reduce the chance of false positive matches with names on the watch lists. Finally, this appears to have a coherent, narrow and rational focus.

Internet hunting has got to stop … if it starts

Thirty-three states have outlawed Internet hunting - shooting live game with a gun controlled remotely over the Web - and a bill to ban it nationally has been introduced in Congress. But nobody actually hunts animals over the Internet.

Investors fret over banks that borrow to buy

Macquarie Bank of Australia has stood out among financial institutions for its heavy reliance on debt to fund high-profile purchases and rapid growth. But its reliance on large quantities of debt has fueled questions about the bank's strategy.

The authoritative resource for information on the worldwide legal profession

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  • Crumbs!

1 - Foot and mouth probe focuses on labs. (Read more)

- BNP freezes $2.2 bln of funds over subprime.
(Read more)

- Aviva profits swamped by £400m flood bill.
(Read more)

4 - Rule change ‘cheats’ skilled migrant workers.
(Read more)

5 - J&J sues Red Cross over red cross: Consumer products company files lawsuit, alleges that use by relief organization disrupts a century-old understanding.
(Read more)

- Judge blocks Anna Nicole Smith breast surgery vídeo.
(Read more)


100% Migalhas:


  • MiMIC Journal

China suspends licenses of 2 exporters

The two toy makers, including one longtime vendor for Mattel, were blamed by Chinese regulators for using lead paint in toys that were made for American companies.

  • Law Firm Marketing

Make sure prospects know how you differ from other lawyers and you'll be miles ahead of competitors

By Trey Ryder

Are you the same as all other lawyers?  Of course not!  But do your prospects and clients know how you're different?

One of the most important functions of marketing is to emphasize the ways you differ from your competitors.  Yet if you interviewed your prospects and clients, many of them might tell you one lawyer is the same as another.

Everything you do to attract new clients and maintain current client relationships should clearly state how you differ from other lawyers.

Some time back, I heard the marketing director at a large law firm say that her lawyers weren't any different from lawyers at dozens of large firms.  If she truly believes that, the firm needs a new marketing director because she just surrendered in the face of her competitors.

No two competing attorneys are exactly the same.  No other attorney on the planet has exactly the same education as you.  No other lawyer has served the same clients -- or handled the same cases -- as you.  No other lawyer has taken the same continuing education classes as you.  As a result, no other lawyer will make decisions exactly the way you do.

Whether this makes you liberal or conservative, aggressive or passive, here’s the point:  Every bit of information and experience that you absorb affects how you provide advice and services to your clients.  Your advice and services are not like those provided by any other lawyer.  You should promote your uniqueness as one of your major competitive advantages.

Competitive advantages and disadvantages are determined ONLY by what is important to your prospects and clients.  If you've been in practice 20 years, you could conclude that your tenure is a considerable competitive advantage.  But if your prospects don't care whether their lawyer has practiced for 20 years or 5 years, its no advantage at all, at least not to that group of prospects.

Heres your assignment:

The positive ways you differ from other lawyers are your competitive advantages.  The negative ways you differ are your competitive disadvantages.  Identify both so you know your strengths and weaknesses.

Look at the following lists from your prospective clients' point of view.  Write down your answers to each question and then label whether you think the answer is an advantage (A), a disadvantage (D), or whether it is neutral (N) in your prospects eyes.

Look first in these areas:

Evaluate your qualifications:  Where did you graduate from law school?  How long have you practiced law?  To which courts are you admitted to practice?  Which, if any, certifications have you received?  List your professional memberships in bar associations, bar sections, lawyers' groups, and the like.

Evaluate your experience:  Overall, how wide or narrow is the area of law in which you practice?  What types of cases or problems do you handle?  Specifically, what types of cases or problems are you most experienced at handling?  Do you have experience in one particular area at which you could be considered an expert?  If so, in which area?  What specialized skills do you have?  Are there any types of cases in your area of the law where you don't have much or any experience?

Evaluate how you serve clients:  What specific services do you provide?  How long do clients wait for their case to be resolved?  How long does it take you to return phone calls?  If a prospect or client needs to see you right away, how soon can they meet with you?  How much do clients typically pay for services?  How pleased are clients with the results?

Evaluate the physical environment in which you serve clients:  Is your office location convenient for your clients?  Can your clients easily find a parking space?  Covered or uncovered?  Do your clients have to pay to park?  Is your complex physically attractive and inviting?  Is your office easy to find and easy to walk to in your complex?  Is your office reception area attractive and inviting?  Is the furniture comfortable?  Are your magazines current?  (Recently, I picked up a magazine in a doctors reception room that was 11 years old.)  Does someone greet your guests and offer them something to drink when they enter your reception area?

Evaluate your office or the room where you meet with clients:  Is the furniture comfortable?  Is the room neat and orderly?  Are the floor and windows clean?  Do you sit with clients on the same side of your desk?  Do you sit across the desk from clients, allowing the desk to form a barrier between you and your guests?

Evaluate your office procedures when you're involved in client meetings:  Do you insist on no interruptions?  Do you bar phone calls except in emergencies?  Do you give your guests your undivided attention?  Do you allow guests enough time to discuss their problem?

One more important advantage:  If you use education-based marketing, your educational efforts become a significant competitive advantage.  People who request your educational materials, as well as your existing clients, receive your monthly newsletter.  They receive invitations to your seminars.  You invite them to call you with their legal questions.  And so forth.  In this way, the marketing method you choose can be a major competitive advantage that leaves other firms in your dust.

If you think of anything else that distinguishes you from other lawyers, add it to this list.

Your competitive advantages benefit you only if you make them known to your prospects and clients.  So start by memorizing the many ways you're different.  When you talk with clients and prospective clients, your competitive advantages should roll off your tongue as part of your normal conversation.  Likewise, in your written materials, you should feature your competitive advantages because this tells prospects the important ways you differ from other lawyers.

Make sure you always explain to prospects and clients how you differ from other lawyers.  Then they will know why they should choose you over all other lawyers.

© 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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  • Historia Verdadera


Agentes del FBI que visitan Santiago, Chile, dijeron que a partir de su experiencia en Estados Unidos, el mejor consejo para combatir el abuso sexual a menores es formar equipos especializados de investigadores, fiscales y jueces, y tener a los culpables el mayor tiempo posible en prisión.


Las restricciones en contra de los inmigrantes ilegales han contribuido a una drástica caída de las remesas enviadas a México provenientes de varias entidades estadounidenses, según un estudio realizado por el BID, los más afectados son los mexicanos que viven en estados del centro como Louisiana, Carolina del Norte y Georgia.

Lavando la imagen

China invertirá US$ 1.100 mlls. de aquí a 2010 para mejorar su seguridad alimentaria y otorgará más facultades a sus reguladores, como parte de sus esfuerzos para recuperar la confianza en sus productos, afectados recientemente por una serie de escándalos denunciados en diferentes países de Norte y Sud América.

Venezuela – Ecuador

El presidente venezolano Hugo Chávez y su colega Rafael Correa suscriben acuerdo para construcción de una refinería en Manabí, es parte del direccionamiento de Ecuador.

EE.UU. – Ecuador

Ecuador y Estados Unidos iniciaron los diálogos para establecer los alcances que tendría un futuro acuerdo comercial permanente entre las dos naciones. El objetivo es extender definitivamente los beneficios arancelarios producto de la Ley de Preferencias Arancelarias Andinas (Atpdea), que está en vigencia.


Read Migalhas Latinoamerica in Spanish every Tuesday and Thursday


  • Brief News

Crunch time

It's been another volatile day on the financial markets — with the Dow Jones Industrial Average down 300 points in the afternoon. Investors are worried about a global credit crunch — as a major European bank suspended three of its funds because of, in its words, "the complete evaporation of liquidity."

Mexico cleric quizzed over abuse

Mexico's leading Roman Catholic cleric has been questioned by American lawyers in connection with an ongoing child abuse inquiry.

Chavez offers LatAm energy pact

Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez has pledged to guarantee the energy needs of his allies in Latin America. Speaking in the Argentine capital, Buenos Aires, he announced the signing of what he called an "energy security treaty" with Argentina. Chavez said he intended to sign similar treaties with Uruguay, Nicaragua, Ecuador and Bolivia. Venezuela regularly uses its large oil and gas reserves as a tool to help broker deals with other countries.

Scandal over cash-stuffed suitcase creates uproar in Argentina, Venezuela

An Argentine official resigned Thursday after a Venezuelan businessman was found carrying about US$800,000 (€583,00) in undeclared cash on a government-chartered flight, the latest scandal to rock President Nestor Kirchner's administration. Claudio Uberti, who ran a regulatory body for Argentine toll roads, was asked to resign after he let the businessman join an official Argentine delegation on the flight chartered by state energy company Energia Argentina. Venezuelan law prohibits carrying more than US$10,000 (€7,300) in cash and such a sum should have been declared upon leaving. Venezuelans aboard the chartered flight were not part of President Hugo Chavez's entourage during a recent visit to Argentina.

Colombian tolls spark border demo

A number of key roads between Colombia and Venezuela are being blocked by lorry drivers protesting against the introduction of tolls. Car drivers will have to pay about $2, and lorries $10.

U.S. considers aiding Mexico in drug war

The Bush administration is considering joining Mexico's battle against narco-traffickers with a multibillion-dollar anti-drug plan. Few details are leaking out about the program, which could be announced formally later this month. But media reports have said the package could provide telephone tapping equipment, military helicopters, radar to track drug shipments, and training. It would be the second biggest U.S. anti-narcotics program abroad, smaller only than the seven-year-old, $5 billion Plan Colombia.

Fewer Mexicans are sending money home

One in three Mexican migrants living in states where Hispanic migration is relatively new stopped sending money home this year. Anti-immigrant sentiment may be to blame, the Inter-American Development Bank reported Wednesday. In states considered "new destination" states for Latinos, such as Georgia, Pennsylvania and North Carolina, only 56 percent of Mexican migrants said they sent money home, compared to 80 percent the previous year. Migrants in these states previously had the highest remittance rate.

No mechanical error in Brazil air crash

"There was no mechanical error or malfunction of the computers on board," Yannick Malinge, Airbus vice-president for flight safety, told a congressional committee investigating an ongoing aviation crisis in Brazil. His conclusion was based on data from flight recorders, he said. The same committee said last week, also citing data from the flight recorder, that an engine throttle in the wrong position was probably a major cause of Brazil's worst air accident.

Brazil's Gol Air cuts 2007 profit forecast on delays

Gol Linhas Aereas Inteligentes SA, Latin America's biggest airline by market value, cut its 2007 profit forecast for a third time as widespread airport delays damp demand and boost costs. Gol's earnings were also affected by its recent acquisition of Varig, the former Brazilian flagship carrier that almost collapsed in bankruptcy last year.

Rio de Janeiro asks Brazil troops to stay to fight violence

Rio de Janeiro state made a formal request to the federal government for a national security force to stay in the state and help fight drug-related violence after the Pan American games last month. Rio added 8,000 police officers and other public safety personnel from the army, the federal government and out-of-state departments to bolster its force of 10,000 during the two weeks of the Pan American Games in July. The extra troops started pulling out of the city after the athletic events ended on July 29, leaving some residents fearful for their safety.

Valor Econômico to publish 'WSJ' content

One of Brazil's financial newspapers will publish content from The Wall Street Journal starting Aug. 13. Valor Econômico, which has a circulation of 60,000, will run some of the Journal's content in print and online under the banner the Wall Street Journal Special Edition. The Journal will select, translate, and paginate the stories the Brazilian paper.

Morgan Stanley expands in "strategic" Brazil

Morgan Stanley, the No. 2 US investment bank by market value, has big plans for Brazil, where it is boosting its real estate investments and expanding in investment banking, research and trading. Like Citigroup and other foreign securities firms, Morgan Stanley has increased hiring in Brazil and moved bankers from New York to Sao Paulo as mergers and acquisitions and stock and debt sales soar to all time highs. Citigroup has worked on 19 takeovers so far in 2007 totaling about $15 billion, close to its volume last year. Overall, takeovers in Brazil are 50 percent higher than in 2006 and will likely reach an all-time high by the end of the year,

Brazil Prosecutors to Examine Senate Chief's Records

Brazilian prosecutors plan to examine tax returns and banking records of Senate President Renan Calheiros as part of an expanding investigation of allegations he allowed a lobbyist to pay his personal expenses.

Cyber-Crime Crackdown

A Secret Service effort to pursue major cyber-crime figures has led to the arrest in Turkey of a man authorities rank among the largest international distributors of stolen bank-card information, a significant step in law-enforcement agencies' battle against online identity theft.

Law Firm Names That Are Funny

We came across a National Law Journal story about a law firm that has perhaps the best law firm name we’ve ever heard of — Payne & Fears. Another one is Low, Ball & Lynch. See if you can red this one: Ziffren, Brittenham, Branca, Fischer, Gilbert-Lurie, Stiffelman, Cook, Johnson, Lande & Wolf. Any others out there worth noting? Slez & Slez in Westport CT. How about Hyde, Baggs and Lucre? Or Allen, Allen, Allen & Allen in Chesterfield, Va. Holland & Knight has a partner named Harry Potter! Smart & Biggar in Canada, even if the order of those names was reversed. Two former San Francisco firms: Walkup & Downing; Knecht, Dingus & Boring.

First foreign defense lawyer sworn in at Khmer Rogue genocide tribunal

French lawyer Francois Roux was sworn in Wednesday to defend former Khmer Rouge prison chief Kaing Khek lev , also known as Duch, in his trial before the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia (ECCC) . Cambodian Bar Association President Ky Tech said that Roux is the first foreign defense lawyer to receive formal approval to appear before the ECCC. Roux, who has practiced law for over 30 years and has represented US terror convict Zacarias Moussaoui and defendants before the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda, was selected  by Duch last Wednesday along with Cambodian lawyer Kar Savuth. Roux submitted his application to register with the Bar Association of the Kingdom of Cambodia on July 31 and has been serving as Duch's "legal consultant."

Homeland Security to issue stricter rules on illegal hiring

The US Department of Homeland Security  is expected to issue stricter guidelines this week to enhance employer compliance with federal immigration regulations, the New York Times reported Wednesday. Under the proposed new rules, employers who receive notices from the Social Security Administration  informing them of non-matching records between an employee's name and social security number (SSN) must resolve any discrepancy within 90 days, or be required to dismiss the employee or face up to $10,000 in fines for knowingly hiring illegal immigrants. Social Security Administration spokesperson Mark Hinkle told that the agency sends out notices to employers with over 10 employees with SSN discrepancies and when those employees constitute at least 0.5 percent of the employer's total employees.

Federal appeals court rejects right to experimental drugs for terminal patients

The US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit ruled  Tuesday that terminally ill patients do not have a constitutional right to use experimental drugs that have passed limited safety trials but have not been proven safe and effective under requirements from the Food and Drug Administration . According to the appeals court, the plaintiffs - the Abigail Alliance for Better Access to Developmental Drugs and the Washington Legal Foundation (WLF)  - argued in their lawsuit  that the FDA's "lengthy clinical trials, combined with the 'FDA's restrictions on pre-approval availability, amount to a death sentence for ...  patients.'" The plaintiffs also argued that "the FDA's exceptions to the clinical testing process" do not "provide the terminally ill the access they need." The court upheld a lower court ruling rejecting the plaintiffs arguments.

  • Daily Press Review

Fierce fighting rocks Mogadishu
BBC News, Centrist newscaster, London, England

Court offers unique help scheme for victims, Independent online news aggregator

MTTU gives Statistics of fatal accidents
GhanaWeb, Online news portal, Amsterdam, Netherlands

South Africa: Lesbians Targeted for Murder
Human Rights Watch (Africa), International news press releases

Axed deputy health minister speaks
iafrica, Online news portal, Cape Town, South Africa

‘Promise of fame’ leaves a scar on girl
Independent Online, News portal, Cape Town, South Africa

Motorist shoots Jo'burg taxi driver in the mouth
Mail & Guardian Online, Liberal, Johannesburg, South Africa

Najwa reports due in court, Online news portal, Cape Town, South Africa

Iran to finance various projects in Nicaragua
Brazil Sun, Independent online news aggregator

Call to fire Jack Warner after opposition to England 2018 bid
Caribbean News Portal, Online news aggregator

El Salvador: Terrorism Law Misused Against Protesters
Human Rights Watch (Americas), International news press releases

ARGENTINA:   Suitcase Stuffed with Cash Triggers Scandal
IPS Latin America, International cooperative of journalists, Rome, Italy

People's National Party (PNP) repeats full literacy pledge
Jamaica Gleaner, Independent daily, Kingston, Jamaica

Over 300 of Peru's Archaeological Pieces Recovered in Miami, U.S.
Living in Peru, News portal, Lima, Peru

Hikes for boys; pedicures for girls
The Globe and Mail, Centrist daily, Toronto, Canada

Police secrecy blasted on Arar warrants
Toronto Star, Liberal daily, Toronto, Canada

Rescuers find another dead victim in Morowali disaster, death toll reaches 73
Antara News, News agency, Jakarta, Indonesia

Daewoo Securities Co
Chosun Ilbo, Conservative daily, Seoul, South Korea

Sensex tumbles 509 pts on global cues
India Express, News portal, Mumbai, India

Another student kidnapped in Patna
India Times, Conservative daily, New Delhi, India

A Good Year
Japan Times, Independent centrist, Tokyo, Japan

Report on proposed LCCT for Penang ready next month
Malaysian Star, Online news portal,  Selangor Darul Ehsan, Malaysia

Three charged over 40kg ecstasy haul
New Zealand Herald, Conservative daily, Auckland, New Zealand

Families of Sept. 11 victims, NYC mayor compromise on memorial
People's Daily Online, English-language, Beijing, China

Sharemarket nosedives
Sydney Morning Herald, Centrist daily, Sydney, Australia

Focus on nuclear deal in Parliament
The Hindu, Left-leaning daily, Chennai, India

World shares fall on credit fears
BBC News, Centrist newscaster, London, England

Johnson misses out for Blues, Online news portal, Cork, Ireland

Hunt for Madeleine: Now police focus on 'the missing hour'
Daily Mail, Conservative daily, London, England

Americans buy England for $60,001
DMeurope, Online news portal, Amsterdam, Netherlands

Race against time to be ready for QE2 visit
icLiverpool, Online news portal, Liverpool, England

Pope steps back from meeting Polish priest
International Herald Tribune, Independent daily, Paris, France

Machine-gun cops on cowes patrol
Isle of Wight County Press, Independent daily, Isle of Wight, England

Learn from my agony
Manchester Online, Independent daily, Manchester, England

Foot and mouth tests at third farm
News & Star, Independent daily, Carlisle, England

Man on sex assault and rape charges
North-West Evening Mail, Independent daily, Cumbria, England

Tourist of the day - day 3
Radio Prague, Online news portal, Prague, Czech Republic

McCanns: 'We Won't Be Bullied Out Of Here'
Sky News, Independent newscaster, Middlesex, England

Back From Extinction:  Majestic White-Tailed Eagle Returns to German Skies
Spiegel International, Liberal newsmagazine, Hamburg, Germany

MoD gags armed forces
The Guardian, Liberal daily, London, England

Ford steps down in Galway
The Irish Times, Centrist daily, Dublin, Ireland

France buries Jew who became Catholic cardinal
The Scotsman, Moderate daily, Edinburgh, Scotland

Foot and mouth 'spreading'
The Sun, Conservative tabloid, London, England

British clear most of Afghan 'Green Zone'
The Telegraph, Conservative daily, London, England

Record crop of heroin poppies hits anti-drug effort in Afghanistan
Times Online, Conservative daily, London, England

Yisrael Beiteinu Praises Barak
Arutz Sheva, Online, right-wing, Tel Aviv, Israel

Gadhafi's Son: Bulgarian Medics Tortured
Asharq Al-Awsat, Pan-Arab daily, London, England

Russian bombers 'exchange smiles' with US jets
Gulf News, Independent daily, Dubai, United Arab Emirates

Kaddish, Psalms to be read at funeral of Jewish-born Lustiger
Haaretz, Liberal daily, Tel Aviv, Israel

Culture:  It All Begins With a Webcam and a Smile
IPS Middle East, International cooperative of journalists, Rome, Italy

MSM-30 index scales new heights - Oman
Middle East North African Network, Online financial portal, Amman, Jordan

Nagasaki Shows the World Its Nuclear Wounds
Nahamet, Online news portal, Beirut, Lebanon

Iran backs Maliki, says US troops must leave Iraq
The Daily Star, Independent daily, Beirut, Lebanon

Black list released of press freedom suppressors in Yemen 
Yemen Times, Independent weekly, Sana'a, Yemen


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Copyright 2007 - Migalhas International

The messages that appear in this newsletter are for informational purposes only. They are not intended to be and should not be considered legal advice nor substitute for obtaining legal advice from competent, independent, legal counsel in the relevant jurisdiction.

Transmission of this information is not intended to create, and receipt does not constitute, an attorney-client relationship. The information contained on this list may or may not reflect the most current legal development.