December 7, 2007  nº 573  -  Vol. 5  

"We can be knowledgeable with other men's knowledge, but we cannot be wise with other men's wisdom."

Michel de Montaigne

In today'sLaw Firm Marketing, Identifying and correcting misconceptions clears your prospect's head for your marketing message.

  • Top News

Plan Freezes 'Teaser' Rates of Subprime Loans

Bush has outlined plans to freeze rates on sub-prime mortgages for five years to help people hit by the US housing market crisis. The move aims to shield homeowners most vulnerable to the impact of rising mortgage payments, which it is feared could lead to a fresh wave of defaults. This and other measures could help more than a million people. The deal won't provide relief to many subprime-mortgage holders: These include borrowers who are now in foreclosure, have already refinanced their homes or are more than 60 days delinquent on more than one payment over the past year. In some cases, people with good credit scores will be excluded. Also left out are those deemed able to afford the higher interest rates scheduled to replace their introductory rates over the next two years. The initiative could help stabilize falling home prices and rising foreclosure rates, buoy the mortgage market and provide a modicum of comfort to investors watching the housing crisis bleed into the broader economy. But it also sets what promises to become a battle line as the subprime crisis plays out over the coming election year. Some critics, especially Democrats, say the plan doesn't go far enough to protect vulnerable homeowners against foreclosure. Others, including some homeowners, as well as those who have watched from the sidelines as home prices have soared in recent years, charge that the plan amounts to a bailout for financially reckless borrowers.

Bill to televise Supreme Court hearings approved by Senate panel 

The US Senate Judiciary Committee Thursday approved a bipartisan bill that would allow television coverage of all open US Supreme Court hearings. The Sunshine in the Courtroom Act of 2007  would permit the Supreme Court  to televise all open sessions, unless there is a majority vote amongst the justices that coverage in a particular case is determined to be a violation of the due process rights of any party. Eight Democrats and three Republicans voted for the bill, with a bipartisan group of seven senators - including leading California Democrat Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) - voting against. A date has not yet been set for a full Senate vote on the legislation. A broader proposal by Senator Charles Schumer (D-NY) to televise federal appellate and trial court proceedings was withdrawn in the face of heavy oppositon. This is the second time such legislation has been endorsed by a Senate panel.

US Supreme Court is debating the rights of Guantanamo Bay inmates to contest their detention

The hearings at Guantanamo came as the US Supreme Court began considering whether Guantanamo Bay inmates should be able to contest their detention in US civilian courts. Two cases challenge the removal by Congress of the "habeas corpus" right of detainees under the US constitution to be heard by an independent judge. Habeas corpus is a writ which requires a person held by authorities to be brought before a court of law so the legality of the detention may be examined. The cases have been brought on behalf of 37 foreign nationals who remain among the 305 detainees at Guantanamo Bay. If the court rules in their favor, indefinite detention under military control could be declared unlawful. The Supreme Court is expected to decide the case by mid-2008 - its judges have ruled against the US government in two earlier cases.

A 17th Century example

However another, more ghostly, figure will also feature in the case. This is Edward Hyde, Earl of Clarendon, who was one of Charles II's henchmen after the restoration of the monarchy in England in the 17th Century. Briefs for both sides in the Supreme Court hearing mention his activities. Clarendon set up his own Guantanamo Bay, believed to have been in Jersey, in the hope that his prisoners could be kept away from the courts and in particular from the right of habeas corpus. This is an ancient procedure in which a court can order someone holding a prisoner to bring him or her to court to justify the detention. In the end, he failed and was himself impeached before fleeing abroad. The administration had hoped, too, that, by choosing a remote location in Cuba, it would avoid the scrutiny of American courts. However, in an important case called Rasul v Bush in 2004, the Supreme Court held that prisoners, even though foreign and even though in a far away place, could petition US courts under habeas corpus. So to try to get around this, in 2006 the administration proposed, and Congress passed, the Military Commissions Act (MCA). This removed the habeas corpus right. And it is this Act which is being challenged in the Supreme Court.

Three prisoners executed in Japan

Japanese authorities have hanged three men, bringing the number of executions in the country this year to nine. For the first time, the names of the hanged men were made public. Previously, authorities would not release any details about executed men, in order to reduce the psychological damage to their families. Human rights groups have been critical of the secrecy surrounding executions in Japan, one of the few industrialized countries to retain the death penalty.

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  • MiMIC Journal

Ex-Chief of Northeast Expressway is sentenced in corruption case

A former transport executive accused of corruption involving a total of 50 million yuan ($6.8 million) has been sentenced to death in northeastern China, the official Xinhua news agency reported. Former Northeast Expressway Co. Chairman Zhang Xiaoguang's sentence was suspended for two years by the Intermediate People's Court of Baicheng City, Jilin Province, after which it likely will be reduced to life in prison.

Chinese lawyers call for elimination of 're-education' labor camps 

A group of renowned Chinese lawyers and academics Tuesday released an open letter to the Chinese government, calling for the end of "re-education" labor camps. The scholars said the camps, originally designed in 1957 to deal with political dissidents, violate the Chinese constitution because sentences are imposed by police or political leaders rather than by the judiciary. They also said the camps exist in violation of numerous Chinese laws and international human rights laws to which China is a party. The scholars who signed the letter include an Economist at the China Academy of Social Sciences, and professors from People's University and the China University of Political Science and Law.

  • Law Firm Marketing

Identifying and correcting misconceptions clears your prospect's head for your marketing message

by Trey Ryder

Have you ever gone hiking on what you thought was a flat, easy trail -- only to suddenly find yourself stepping over rocks, ducking to avoid tree limbs, and pushing aside underbrush and thorns?

You face the same obstacles when you try to deliver your marketing message.  For years, your prospect has believed stories that aren't true -- bought into silly myths -- and listened as friends told tall tales with exaggerated facts.  Then you come along with a message about how you can help your prospect.  Here's the problem:  His mind is so full of misinformation that you have almost no chance of getting through his mental underbrush and thorns.

For example:

- If your prospect has the misconception that he doesn't have a problem, then he won't likely take action to correct it.

- If your prospect has the misconception that his problem isn't big enough to worry about, then he won't likely seek a solution.

- If your prospect has the misconception that his problem will correct itself over time, then he will probably ignore it.

- If your prospect has the misconception that his problem cannot be solved, then he won't keep his eyes open for a way out.

- If your prospect has the misconception that any solution is worse than his problem, then he will discount suggestions from people who offer answers.

- If your prospect has the misconception that your services cost more than he can afford, the he won't likely call you.

Look at it this way: If you can say to yourself, "My prospects have a lot of misconceptions about (your subject). If they had correct information, many more people would hire me." -- then you have the opportunity -- and the need -- to set the record straight.

You do this by writing a message that identifies and corrects misconceptions.

You may have seen the article I offer called "13 Marketing Misconceptions That Cost Lawyers a Fortune."  The title is attractive (if you have an interest in lawyer marketing) because it identifies incorrect information and adds that the result of bad information can prove costly.  Further, because it mentions lawyers, it identifies my target audience.  This increases response from attorneys and screens out others who think this information won't apply to them.

I suggest that you compile a list of misconceptions that you know prospects have that keep them from solving their problem or hiring you.  Your list should include misconceptions about all of the following:

(1) Your field of law.

(2) Your prospect's problem.

(3) Your recommended solution(s).

(4) Your services.

Make sure you identify as many as you can because all it takes is one misconception and your prospect won't call you.  Then, after you create your list, write your handout like this:

1.  Identify the misconception.

2.  State in absolute terms that it's not correct.

3.  Describe is clear language what is correct and what you recommend.

For example, here's one misconception from my "13 Marketing Misconceptions That Cost Lawyers a Fortune":

MISCONCEPTION #8:  You should mail your newsletter to clients and prospects quarterly.  Not even close!  In today's over-advertised society, you're fortunate indeed if you can create an impression in your prospect's mind.  If you hope to make your impression stick, you should send your newsletter at least monthly.  The more often you mail to prospects on your mailing list, the more new business you will likely attract.  The frequency with which you deliver your newsletter is much more important than its size.

Make sure the title you choose will seize your prospects' attention.  Then offer your new educational handout so you attract inquiries from the target prospects you want to reach.

Summary:  When you clear up common misconceptions, your credibility increases and you attract prospects who, without this information, might never have understood their problem and the solutions you can provide.

© 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


Los gobernadores opositores al presidente de Bolivia, Evo Morales, aceptaron ayer someterse a un referendo revocatorio propuesto por el mandatario, pero pusieron reparos a las reglas de la consulta popular y a la supuesta intención de convocarla para desactivar la crisis política que afecta a este país.

Asunción en Argentina

Cristina Fernández asumirá el lunes el mando de Argentina de manos de su esposo Néstor Kirchner. El acto de trasmisión argentino será escenario de encuentro de varios mandatarios invitados.

Colombia - Francia

El gobierno de Francia, esta semana, radicalizó su presencia en Sudamérica, tras un insistente pedido de mediación de los gobiernos de la región – de Venezuela, Brasil y Argentina – en el proceso de intercambio de rehenes con la guerrilla colombiana. A través de una carta el presidente Sarkozy pidió recientemente a Néstor Kirchner respaldar su reclamo por la libertad de la dirigente Ingrid Betancourt y otros. El lunes llega a Argentina el primer ministro francés.


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  • Brief News

CIA 'wiped' interrogation tapes

The CIA has confirmed that it destroyed at least two video tapes showing the interrogation of terror suspects. According to the intelligence agency, the tapes were destroyed to protect the identity of CIA agents and because they no longer had intelligence value. But the New York Times says that they were wiped because they showed severe interrogation methods being used. The tapes were destroyed in part over concern that severe interrogation methods could lead to legal jeopardy.

Deadly parcel bomb blast in Paris

A parcel bomb blast has killed one person and injured several others at law offices in Paris, police say. A secretary in the Gouet-Jenselme law firm was killed after she opened the package, which contained two explosive devices. A lawyer nearby was injured. The former law firm of Sarkozy is located in the same building in central Paris, but there was no suggestion of a link. The building also houses The Foundation for the Memory of the Holocaust.

Lula may lack Brazil Senate support for tax renewal

Lula may lack the support needed for the renewal of a tax on financial transactions that accounts for about 10 percent of government revenue. The tax accounts for about 40 billion reais ($22.5 billion), in government revenue and is set to expire in December. The so-called CPMF, first enacted in 1996, is a 0.38 percent levy on financial transactions such as bank withdrawals. The government, which is seeking to renew the tax for another four years, needs the support of at least 49 of 81 senators in two rounds of voting. 

Carrefour to invest $565 mln per year in Brazil

France-headquartered hypermarket chain Carrefour announced Thursday that it would invest one billion reais ($565 million) each year in Brazil in the 2008-2010 period. The company's sales in the country would amount to 20 billion reais ($11.3 billion) in 2007, up from 12.9 billion reais ($7.3 billion) in 2006. Last week, US-headquartered retailer Wal-Mart announced investment of 1.2 billion reais ($678 million) in Brazil next year, including setting up 36 stores and a distribution center.

Kraft, Brazil's Perdigao deny buyout talk

Kraft Foods Inc and Brazil's largest poultry and pork processor Perdigao denied on Wednesday that they were in buyout talks.

Reports say that the takeover talks were "amicable" and Perdigao's controlling shareholders -- which include large Brazilian state-run pension funds -- wanted to sell. Perdigao is worth about 7.2 billion reais ($4 billion). It is preparing an offering of additional shares that could raise its value by an additional 830 million reais. Earlier this year, Perdigao fended off an unsolicited bid made by rival Brazilian food maker Sadia. Last month, Perdigao bought smaller local rival Eleva Alimentos SA for about 600 million reais ($333.3 million).

Canada signs Inuit autonomy plan

Canadian officials have signed an agreement-in-principle which should lead to semi-autonomous status for a mainly-Inuit region of Quebec. The deal would create a regional assembly and government with responsibility for education, health and transport. The agreement was struck last year and should come into force by 2009. It was signed by the governments of Canada and Quebec and by Inuit representatives.

EU 'wasting' cash on lobby groups

The European Commission is giving millions of pounds of taxpayers' money to environmental campaigners to run lobbying operations in Brussels. Among the organizations to benefit is Friends of the Earth Europe (FoE), which received almost half of its funding from the EU in 2007.

Some airlines to offer in-flight Internet service

Passengers may soon hear a new in-flight announcement: “You can now log on.” Starting next week and over the next few months, several American airlines will test Internet service on their planes. On Tuesday, JetBlue Airways will begin offering a free e-mail and instant messaging service on one aircraft, while American Airlines, Virgin America and Alaska Airlines plan to offer a broader Web experience in the coming months, probably priced at about $10 a flight.

McGuire gives back $620 Million

In the largest executive-pay giveback in history, former UnitedHealth CEO William McGuire has agreed to forfeit about $620 million in stock-option gains and retirement pay to settle civil and federal-government claims related to stock-option backdating.

Facebook founder apology over ads

The founder of social networking site Facebook Mark Zuckerberg has apologised to users for the way it launched a social advertising system.

Called Beacon, the system tracks web shopping on partner sites outside Facebook and then sells adverts to the social network based on purchases. After complaints the site was invading privacy, Facebook changed Beacon from an opt-out system to opt in. Zuckerberg has said users can now switch off Beacon completely.

Alitalia sale attracts three bids

Three bidders, including Air France KLM, have made offers for the troubled Italian carrier Alitalia. The Franco-Dutch airline will face competition from Italian airline Air One and a consortium led by Italian lawyer Antonio Baldassarre. Alitalia initially identified six possible bidders for the government's 49% stake, which ministers want to sell. High costs, tough competition and frequent strikes have plunged Alitalia into a precarious financial position.

Senate panel adopts plan to cut emissions

A key U.S. Senate panel has adopted a wide-ranging plan to reduce the U.S. contribution to global warming. The bill's fate in the full Senate is far from certain, but backers say the action marks an extraordinary step on the part of lawmakers to deal with the issue of climate change.

Bolsa de Mercadorias e Futuros to seek to list ADRs on NYSE

Bolsa de Mercadorias y Futuros (BM&F) is likely to seek to list its ADRs on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE). No timeframe was given and the current volatility in U.S. markets could delay these efforts. No public information of a BM&F ADR listing is available at this time. In order to list ADRs on the NYSE, BM&F would have to file documentation and disclosures with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Then, the exchange must meet NYSE listing requirements. BM&F could choose to have a public offering in New York, or opt for a strategic ADR listing where no money is raised. 

Chad completes probe into 'Darfur orphan' airlift, case goes to prosecutor 

Investigators in Chad Tuesday completed a criminal probe into French charity Zoe's Ark for its involvement in an October attempt to airlift 103 alleged Darfur orphans  from Chad to Europe, and transferred the case to Chadian prosecutors. According to a Chadian court official, prosecutors will now determine whether the case should proceed on misdemeanor charges to a correctional court, as the defendants have requested, or on more serious charges to a criminal court. The official said that a decision should be made by next week.

New oil law needed in Iraq

The Iraqi legislature's failure to pass an oil law , rather than the security situation in the country, is preventing international oil corporations from investing in Iraq, US Deputy Treasury Secretary Robert Kimmitt  said Tuesday. Kimmitt explained that companies are looking for the law to establish a firm investment framework with clear regulations before moving into Iraq, and are less concerned with security issues, with which the companies are used to dealing. Negotiations on a controversial Iraqi oil bill on regulation and revenue-sharing collapsed in September because of Kurdish opposition on the issue of control over oil fields in Kurdish-ruled areas. The oil law is one of 18 benchmarks established by Public Law 110-28 to measure US success in Iraq.

  • Daily Press Review

Mugabe arrives at EU-Africa talks
BBC News, Centrist newscaster, London, England

Kabila: 'We must finish the war (in North Kivu), whatever the cost', Independent online news aggregator

NDC congratulates farmers
GhanaWeb, Online news portal, Amsterdam, Netherlands

EU-Africa: Summit Should Take Concrete Steps to Tackle Rights Abuses
Human Rights Watch (Africa), International news press releases

Will Selebi be charged next week?
iafrica, Online news portal, Cape Town, South Africa

Clock ticks for Selebi - report
Independent Online, News portal, Cape Town, South Africa

Dept says klebsiella death toll has not risen
Mail & Guardian Online, Liberal, Johannesburg, South Africa

Yengeni cop faces criminal probe, Online news portal, Cape Town, South Africa

Sarkozy urges Colombian rebels to free hostage
Brazil Sun, Independent online news aggregator

Mavado Birthday Bash halted by Jamaica Police
Caribbean News Portal, Online news aggregator

Venezuela: Proposed Amendments Threaten Basic Rights
Human Rights Watch (Americas), International news press releases

Bolivia: Governors Accept President's Referendum Challenge
IPS Latin America, International cooperative of journalists, Rome, Italy

Who wants Hylton dead? - Men in masks lurking around banker's home
Jamaica Gleaner, Independent daily, Kingston, Jamaica

5.4 Magnitude Quake Shakes Peru, Epicenter Near Ica
Living in Peru, News portal, Lima, Peru

Don't go soft on Iran - it hardly deserves the benefit of the doubt
The Globe and Mail, Centrist daily, Toronto, Canada

Error shakes Pickton trial
Toronto Star, Liberal daily, Toronto, Canada

IFRC to present 19,000 shelters to tsunami survivors in Aceh
Antara News, News agency, Jakarta, Indonesia

State-Run Developers Profit as the Poor Weep
Chosun Ilbo, Conservative daily, Seoul, South Korea

Lord Ram born in imagination of poets: Buddha
India Express, News portal, Mumbai, India

Video: Rift in Pak team ahead of Test?
India Times, Conservative daily, New Delhi, India

Hugo Chavez, democrat
Japan Times, Independent centrist, Tokyo, Japan

Illegal dish seized from house
Malaysian Star, Online news portal,  Selangor Darul Ehsan, Malaysia

Bill Gates gives away US$34m
New Zealand Herald, Conservative daily, Auckland, New Zealand

Afghan, Coalition forces foil Taliban ambush in Afghanistan
People's Daily Online, English-language, Beijing, China

Chrissy Amphlett has multiple sclerosis
Sydney Morning Herald, Centrist daily, Sydney, Australia

Notice issued to Narendra Modi
The Hindu, Left-leaning daily, Chennai, India

Canoeist's wife 'to be arrested'
BBC News, Centrist newscaster, London, England

JC Flowers pulls out of Northern Rock deal, Online news portal, Cork, Ireland

Wife flies home to reveal all
Daily Express, Conservative tabloid, London, England

Vodafone supports SMS blood donor initiative
DMeurope, Online news portal, Amsterdam, Netherlands

Austria part of push against cluster munitions
International Herald Tribune, Independent daily, Paris, France

CIA destroyed video of 'waterboarding' detainees
The Guardian, Liberal daily, London, England

Aer Lingus passengers rise 17%
The Irish Times, Centrist daily, Dublin, Ireland

Pakistani opposition disagree on election demands
The Scotsman, Moderate daily, Edinburgh, Scotland

Wife of canoeist  'to be arrested'
The Telegraph, Conservative daily, London, England

One killed by Paris parcel bomb
Times Online, Conservative daily, London, England

Hamas Considering Giving Gaza Back to Fatah
Arutz Sheva, Online, right-wing, Tel Aviv, Israel

Nine killed in attack on Iraq checkpoint - police
Asharq Al-Awsat, Pan-Arab daily, London, England

Prisoner helped Bin Laden elude capture, says FBI
Gulf News, Independent daily, Dubai, United Arab Emirates

Deputy Defense Min.: Israel not ruling out strike against Iran
Haaretz, Liberal daily, Tel Aviv, Israel

Politics: Is Iran NIE a Blessing in Disguise for Israel?
IPS Middle East, International cooperative of journalists, Rome, Italy

CGC, Saudi Airlines sign contract for TETRA radio sets
Middle East North African Network, Online financial portal, Amman, Jordan

ICRC Seeks Record Budget for 2008
Nahamet, Online news portal, Beirut, Lebanon

Too early to celebrate in Iraq despite progress - Petraeus
The Daily Star, Independent daily, Beirut, Lebanon

Aden to be slum-free by 2020 
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.