May 28, 2010 Nº 912 - Vol. 8

"Every scientific truth goes through three states: first, people say it conflicts with the Bible; next, they say it has been discovered before; lastly, they say they always believed it."

Louis Agassiz

In today's Law Firm Marketing, educational message increases confidence in you, skepticism in competing lawyers

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

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  • Top News

US lawmakers mull bill to increase scrutiny of Guantanamo lawyers

US lawmakers are currently considering a Department of Defense (DOD) appropriations bill containing a section that would allow increased investigation by the Pentagon into the practices of lawyers representing Guantanamo Bay detainees. Section 1037 of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2011 would allow the Pentagon's inspector general to conduct investigations if there is reasonable suspicion that a Guantanamo lawyer is interfering with DOD detention facility operations, violating DOD policy, violating any law that is within the exclusive jurisdiction of the inspector general, or generating a "material risk" to a member of the armed forces. Results from these investigations are reported back to Congress. The American Bar Association opposes the provision, with President Carolyn Lamm stating Wednesday that the Department of Justice is the appropriate agency to investigate and prosecute lawyers for misconduct, not the DOD

Powerful states 'acting above the law'

Millions of people are suffering fear, hunger and human rights abuses because governments put their political interests above international law, Amnesty International has said. It found people endured torture or ill-treatment in 111 countries, freedom of expression was restricted in at least 96 countries, unfair trials were held in 55 countries and 81 countries had not signed up to the International Criminal Court. Prisoners of conscience were held in at least 48 countries and human rights abusers acted with impunity in 61 countries. Progress had, however, been made in a number of areas. The International Criminal Court prosecutor had opened investigations of three cases where the crimes had been referred by the state in which they occurred, these were in Uganda, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and the Central African Republic. It also began in investigation into the situation in Darfur, Sudan, which had been referred by the UN Security Council. Landmark judgments in national courts in 2009 included the conviction of former president of Peru Alberto Fujimori for crimes against humanity in relation to three cases of extra-judicial military execution in the early 1990s. Argentina's last military president, Reynaldo Bignone, was convicted of kidnapping and torture. In Cambodia former Khmer Rouge commander Kaing Guek Eav faced trial for war crimes against humanity. However, against these successes there remained two main obstacles to the prosecution of governments and former governments and leaders, Amnesty said. The first was that powerful states continued to stand above the law and outside international scrutiny. The second was that states manipulated the law to shield their allies.

Before you open the door to the boardroom, peek through the keyhole!

Michael Page specializes in the placement of candidates in permanent, contract, temporary and interim positions within client companies around the world. Have a look at the new section of the Migalhas website and discover the professional development opportunities with large corporations, in legal and business fields, presented by Michael Page International. Click here to peep through the hole!

  • Crumbs

1 - German appeals court to rule on private prayer in public schools (Click here)

2 - The Crimes of Children (Click here)

3 - Smoker wins $8 million verdict (Click here)

4 - Argentine bond awards to be recalculated, Court rules (Click here)

5 - Rich countries pledge $4B to stop deforestation in developing world (Click here)

6 - Guilty pleas in Landrieu incident (Click here)

7 - Yahoo, Facebook, EBay urge end to Viacom YouTube suit (Click here)

8 - Apple passes Microsoft to be biggest tech company (Click here)

9 - Spanish politicians approve 15bn-euro austerity plan (Click here)

10 - Mexican president says visa requirement costing Canada (Click here)

11 - What recession? Mining equipment is sold out until next year(Click here)

12 - China support for Europe bolsters markets(Click here)

13 - Despite resource tax, China still a viable customer (Click here)

14 - Survey shows law firms charging different rates for the same work(Click here)

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MiMIC Journal

China IPOs post world's biggest gains of 2010 as stocks suffer bear market

China has the world's worst performing equity market this year and the best returns on initial public offerings.

Markets rise as China comments support the euro

World stock markets put in some strong rises on Thursday, boosted by supportive comments from China on the strength of the euro. The agency that manages the country's huge foreign assets said it was not rethinking its holdings in euros. That led to a positive day's trading and left shares in all key markets with good gains.

  • Law Firm Marketing

Educational message increases confidence in you, skepticism in competing lawyers

by Trey Ryder

When you provide information to prospects -- and other lawyers don't -- prospects immediately have more confidence in you than in them.

Why?

Because the more information you provide, the higher your credibility -- the more comfortable prospects feel with you -- and, subconsciously, the more skepticism prospects feel toward lawyers who have not provided these facts. As a result, information you provide creates positive feelings toward you -- and negative feelings toward other lawyers.

Where information does the most good

Prospects look for cues about whether to hire your services. Initially, those cues relate to your knowledge, skill, judgment and experience.

1.Solution. When you explain the steps you will take to solve your prospect's problem or achieve his goal, your prospect concludes that you have the knowledge and experience to handle his legal matter. Since your prospect does not know whether other lawyers could solve his problem, your explanation pre-empts other lawyers from consideration -- unless he goes to the trouble of seeking out information from other attorneys.

2. Services. When you explain in detail the services you offer, prospects have a clear picture of how you can help them. On the other hand, when other lawyers don't provide a list of services, prospects can't be sure whether those lawyers offer the services they need.

3. Biography. When you give information about your education and experience, prospects feel comfortable because they know something about your background. The more biographical information you provide, the more comfortable your prospects feel with you -- and the more uncertain they grow of other lawyers, since your prospects may know nothing about them at all.

4. Testimonials. When you offer comments from clients, colleagues and other professionals, your prospects conclude that you are respected by all who know you. When other lawyers don't provide this information, prospects can't be sure what their clients and colleagues think about them. (A few jurisdictions do not allow lawyers to use testimonials, so make sure you check your rules of professional conduct.)

5. Reprints. When you provide prospects with copies of articles you've written that have appeared in print -- or articles in which you've been quoted -- they grow to respect you as an authority in your field. When prospects have not received reprints from other lawyers, prospects assume those lawyers have never had articles in print, which reinforces their perception that you're the expert.

6. Fees. When you provide information about fees or fee ranges, prospects have an idea of how deep the well is. Prospects feel better when they have information about fees, even if the fees are higher than the prospects want. And when other lawyers provide no information about fees, prospects often assume their fees are higher than they really are. I encourage you to present fees or fee ranges as part of your marketing message.

7. Photo. Even your photo has pre-emptive value. When prospects know what you look like, they feel more at ease. It's that simple. In most cases, prospects don't care how you look, as long as you fall within their "accepted range" of how a lawyer should look. (If your appearance is extreme, you're still OK if your prospects share your extreme look.) A closely cropped photo with good eye contact and a warm, engaging smile is best.

8. Important Information. When you provide any information that your prospects want, you increase your credibility and overcome prospects' fears and concerns.

How to deliver your information

Once you have good, helpful information, your next challenge is to deliver it to your prospects. The most effective ways to deliver information are ways that your prospects find comfortable and convenient. Comfortable means prospects want to receive information at arm's length, so neither you nor anyone else can apply sales pressure. Convenient means prospects want to receive information with the smallest amount of hassle and effort, and with the least interruption in their schedule.

Comfortable, convenient ways to deliver your marketing message include:

1. Posting your information on your web site.

2. Sending your information by mail or e-mail.

3. Presenting your information at a seminar or roundtable.

4. Featuring your information in a newspaper article or broadcast interview.

5. Including your information in a newspaper or magazine column.

6. Highlighting your information in your firm's newsletter.

The least comfortable and convenient way to deliver information is in person, such as when you require your prospect to come to your office. (Less-sophisticated prospects often fear that you'll try to pressure them into hiring you.) In most cases, the more sophisticated your prospect, the less he feels intimidated by you -- and the less time he has to meet with you. Many prospects want to learn about you and your background before they decide whether to meet you in person.

When you provide an educational message that contains facts your prospects want, you increase your credibility, you overcome prospects' fears, and you gain a major competitive advantage over lawyers who have not provided this information.

Bottom Line: The easiest way to gain a major competitive advantage is to provide information to your prospects. And when you put your information in writing, it's even more persuasive because it's right there in black and white, less likely to be misunderstood and not affected by a lapse in memory.

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© Trey Ryder

FREE LAWYER MARKETING ALERT: If you'd like to receive Trey Ryder's weekly Lawyer Marketing Alert, send an e-mail to Trey@TreyRyder.com. 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 Verdadeira

Importaciones

En oportunidad del III Foro anual de la Alianza de Civilizaciones que se inicia hoy en Rio de Janeiro, se reunirán los presidentes de Argentina y Brasil para hablar sobre las restricciones a la importación de alimentos. Los empresarios brasileros dicen estar fastidiados por la falta de seriedad del vecino país con los compromisos bilaterales.

Banca

Luego de un largo proceso de reorganización del que fuera Stanford Bank - Panamá, finalmente este lunes 31 de mayo los clientes de este banco, ahora se llamado Balboa Bank & Trust, tendrán acceso a sus fondos.

Petrobras

La brasileña Petrobras acordó la compra del 100% de Gas Brasiliano Distribuidora a la italiana ENI por el valor aproximado de US$ 250 mlls. (Presione aquí)

Licitación

El consorcio formado por las mexicanas Televisa, Megacable y la española Telefónica desembolsará unos US$ 186 mlls., para poner en funcionamiento una red de fibra óptica en México si gana una próxima licitación. El monto incluye el precio que pagará por la concesión de la red e inversiones adicionales para ponerla en operación. (Presione aquí)

Elecciones

Un político con trayectoria, el economista Juan Manuel Santos y el extrovertido profesor de Física, Antanas Mockus, están entre los favoritos de las elecciones presidenciales de Colombia que se cumple este domingo.

  • Brief News

Lehman sues JP Morgan for damages

Lehman Brothers Holdings is suing JP Morgan Chase to recover tens of billions of dollars in "lost value". Lehman claims JP Morgan "siphoned off" billions of dollars of assets in the days leading up to its bankruptcy. JP Morgan was Lehman's main short-term lender before its September 2008 collapse. It is accused of contributing to the failure by demanding $8.6bn of collateral as credit markets tightened. JP Morgan has called the lawsuit "ill-conceived".

BP credibility questions grow as U.S. lawmakers press gulf spill inquiry

BP Plc faces growing questions about its account of the explosion that set off a record oil spill as lawmakers said the company may not be telling all it knows about how the disaster happened. Pressed at a congressional hearing to say what kind of claims the company will pay from the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, a top BP PLC executive declined to define "legitimate" claim.

On doomed rig, 'nobody in charge'

A Wall Street Journal examination of what happened aboard the Deepwater Horizon just before and after the explosions suggests the rig was unprepared for that kind of disaster and was overwhelmed when it occurred. The events on the bridge raise questions about whether the U.S. has sufficient safety rules for such complex drilling operations in very deep water.

Clinton says U.S. has 'very serious disagreements' with Brazil over Iran

The U.S. has "very serious disagreements" with Brazil over how to deal with Iran's nuclear program, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said.

Slovaks retaliate over Hungarian citizenship law

Hungary's decision to allow ethnic Hungarians living abroad to apply for dual citizenship has sparked an angry response from neighbouring Slovakia. Slovakia has voted to amend its own citizenship law, stripping anyone of their Slovak citizenship if they apply for a second nationality. Southern Slovakia is home to roughly 500,000 ethnic Hungarians, about a tenth of the country's population. Slovak leader Robert Fico has called Hungary's move a "security threat".

House votes to end 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell'

The U.S. House of Representatives voted Thursday to repeal the 1993 law known as "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" and allow gays to serve openly in the military. In the House, debate on "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" dominated an all-day session on a bill that approves more than $700 billion for military operations.

Scotland votes on alternative business structures for the legal profession

Solicitors in Scotland will vote to revise their formal policy on the introduction of alternative business structures (ABSs) for law firms. The long-running debate on ABSs in Scotland dates back to the Clementi review of the regulation of the legal profession in England and Wales and subsequent decision to introduce the Legal Services Act at Westminster to open up firms to external capital and ownership.

Mladic family seeks official death declaration

The family of war crimes suspect Ratko Mladic will file a claim in the Belgrade District Court seeking to have the former military leader declared officially dead, according to Serbian media reports Tuesday. This declaration would allow Mladic's family to collect his state pension and sell his property. Under Serbian law, an individual can be officially declared dead when he is over the age of 70 and no reliable information on his whereabouts has been discovered for five years. Mladic is 68, but his family is convinced he is no longer alive, as they have not heard from him in over seven years and he was in poor health at that time. A lawyer for the family stated that they will still file the claim and ask the court for leniency so the family can put Mladic's prosecution behind them. Deputy Serbian War Crimes Prosecutor Bruno Vekaric has dismissed the family's request, calling it "speculation," and stressed that the investigation into the war crimes suspect's location will continue.

DOJ drafts challenge to Arizona immigration law

The Justice Department has drafted a legal challenge of Arizona's SB 1070 immigration law on grounds of its being unconstitutional. Additionally, the DOJ's civil rights section is reportedly considering taking legal action against the new law because it could lead to racial profiling and discrimination against Latinos who are in the country legally.

Iraq vote results face another possible delay

Iraq's Supreme Court asked election officials on Thursday to clear up legal issues surrounding an appeal against a candidate, a move that could further delay the certification of March 7 election results.

Federal Circuit: patent claims were frivolous

A federal appeals court has ruled that former patent boutique lawyers now working at Philadelphia-based Woodcock Washburn crossed into frivolous territory in pursuing an inventor's lawsuit. But whether the lower court's sanctions against their old firm will stick remains uncertain.

California judge combines state court claims against Toyota

A California judge on Wednesday consolidated more than 40 pending state court claims against Toyota relating to an alleged safety defect that caused cars to accelerate out of control. The claims include consumer-fraud class action and personal injury lawsuits. Judge Carl West of the Los Angeles County Superior Court recommended that the state court lawsuits be heard by a judge in Orange County. The final decision on whether to consolidate the claims will be made by state Supreme Court Chief Justice Ronald George, who is expected to announce his decision in two to three weeks. Toyota is also facing more than 100 federal lawsuits, which were consolidated last month. The state and federal claims will remain separate.

Google balks at turning over private internet data to regulators

Google has balked at requests from regulators to surrender Internet data and fragments of e-mail messages that it collected from unsecured home wireless networks, saying it needed time to resolve legal issues. In Germany, Google said it was not able to fully comply with the Hamburg data protection supervisor's deadline of Thursday to hand over data the company had collected — inadvertently, it said. The company implied that German privacy laws were preventing it from turning over the information, even to a government agency. Although the fines and administrative sanctions in privacy cases tend to be limited, one privacy expert said Google's lack of compliance with regulators' requests could damage its reputation.

"Pants Judge" Roy Pearson strikes out in court

Roy Pearson, the former D.C. judge who sued a dry cleaner for $54 million for losing his pants, is back in the news. Pearson claimed the suit was not strictly about his lost pants, but about whether the owners of the neighborhood business misled consumers with a sign that claimed "Satisfaction Guaranteed." Pearson called the sign "an unconditional guarantee." Pearson claimed that the dry cleaner, which later went out of business, owed him $18,000 for each day the pants were missing over a nearly four-year period. His demand later rose to $67 million. Pearson, suffice it to say, did not succeed in his suit. In 2007, Pearson was denied reappointment to his job as an administrative law judge. He sued for wrongful termination in federal district court, lost there, and then appealed to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit. Today, the appellate court also dismissed Pearson's wrongful termination case.

  • Daily Press Review

'Sabotage' behind India train crash
Al Jazeera, Doha, Qatar

Arab-Israeli Activist Charged with Spying
Asharq Al-Awsat, Pan-Arab daily, London, England

Power returns to Sharjah homes but residents still jittery
Gulf News, Independent daily, Dubai, United Arab Emirates

Israel opens key West Bank road to Palestinian traffic
Haaretz, Liberal daily, Tel Aviv, Israel

ECUADOR: Harsh Indigenous Justice Sparks Debate
IPS Middle East, International cooperative of journalists, Rome, Italy

Abbas invited to White House for June 9 talks
JPost, Conservative, Jerusalem, Israel

Still sleepless in Sharjah
Khaleej Times, English-language daily, Dubai, United Arab Emirates

King Abdullah meets France Telecom CEO
Middle East North African Network, Online financial portal, Amman, Jordan

65 Killed, 200 Wounded in Train Blast in India
Nahamet, Online news portal, Beirut, Lebanon

Panel formed on Lebanon poll law
Saudi Gazette, English-language daily, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia

Israel indicts two Arab citizens on charges of aiding Hizbullah
The Daily Star, Independent daily, Beirut, Lebanon

Obama, Netanyahu to meet next week
Times of Oman, English-language daily, Muscat, Oman

Aluminum spread all over 60th Street
Yemen Observer, Sana'a, Republic of Yemen

Bradford murders accused in court
BBC News, Centrist newscaster, London, England

Oil spill 'now worst in US history'
BreakingNews.ie, Online news portal, Cork, Ireland

Apple's iPad finally on sale in UK
Daily Express, Conservative tabloid, London, England

Police charge criminology student over murders of three prostitutes
Daily Mail, Conservative daily, London, England

Mobile VoIP users to surpass 100 million by 2012
DMeurope, Online news portal, Amsterdam, Netherlands

INDIA: Scores killed in suspected Maoist train attack
France 24, Issy-les-Moulineaux, France

Istanbul's AzzuR Restaurant hits the mark with Spanish feast
Hurriyet Daily News, (Liberal, English-language), Istanbul, Turkey

Oasis' Supercute Arm Candy
Look Magazine, London, England

Five jobs at new GBP 2 million green energy plant in Cumbria
News & Star, Independent daily, Carlisle, England

Man Due In Court Over Prostitute Murders
Sky News, Independent newscaster, Middlesex, England

Bohemian Rhapsody: The Prince Who Would Be Kingmaker
Spiegel International, Liberal newsmagazine, Hamburg, Germany

BP's 'top kill' mission tentatively halts oil gush
The Guardian, Liberal daily, London, England

Many feared dead as trains collide after blast in India
The Independent, London, England

Pru seeks to renegotiate AIG deal
The Irish Times, Centrist daily, Dublin, Ireland

Saakashvili Targets Russia at First Post-War Military Parade
The Moscow Times, Independent daily, Moscow, Russia

I watched 'crossbow killer' eat live rat
The Sun, London, England

Sex and the City 2 London premiere
The Telegraph, London, England

BP's 'top kill' method stops flow of oil in Gulf of Mexico
The Telegraph, Conservative daily, London, England

Nintendo to investigate Foxconn deaths
Times Online, Conservative daily, London, England

Asia-europe Meeting Produces Yogyakarta Declaration
Antara News, News agency, Jakarta, Indonesia

South Korea flexes muscle
China Post, English-language daily, Taipei, Taiwan

10th Seoul International Financial Forum Kicks Off
Chosun Ilbo, Conservative daily, Seoul, South Korea

Pak nukes in safe hands; US, world satisfied: Mukhtar
Dawn, English-language daily, Karachi, Pakistan

Kazakhstan and China: A Two-Way Street
Gazeta.kz, Official online newspaper, Kazakhstan

13 bodies recovered from Peru shipwreck
Hindustan Times, New Delhi, India

Ahmd: Tension brews, violence spreads
India Times, Conservative daily, New Delhi, India

Henoko to be named base site
Japan Times, Independent centrist, Tokyo, Japan

PKR Wings concerned over voter allegiance shift
Malaysian Star, Online news portal, Selangor Darul Ehsan, Malaysia

Volcanic ash closes Guatemala airport
New Zealand Herald, Conservative daily, Auckland, New Zealand


Commander surrenders
Pajhwok Afghan News, (Independent news agency), Kabul, Afghanistan

PetroChina to team with Boeing to develop aviation biofuels
People's Daily Online, English-language, Beijing, China

Liz Hurley's son makes acting debut
Sify News, Chennai, India

A million loses its magic
Sydney Morning Herald, Centrist daily, Sydney, Australia

Indian president
Taiwan News, English-language daily, Taipei, Taiwan

MAC hits out at ECFA referendum
Taiwan Today, Government Information Office, Taipei, Taiwan

Birwa To Reveal The Dark Secret In ‘Bandini'
Thaindian News, Bangkok, Thailand

Air India sacks 41 more, derecognises two unions
The Hindu, Left-leaning daily, Chennai, India

BP resumes 'top kill' operation
Canadian Broadcasting Centre, Toronto, Ontario

Patrick Manning resigns from party leadership
Caribbean360, Online news portal, St. Michael, Barbados

Jamaica unrest
Cayman Net News, Online news portal, George Town, Cayman Islands

Girl becomes youngest drug ‘mule’ ever arrested
Dominican Today, Independent daily, Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic

PERU: Lori Berenson to Be Released on Parole After 15 Years
IPS Latin America, International cooperative of journalists, Rome, Italy

Let my people go!
Jamaica Gleaner, Independent daily, Kingston, Jamaica

More than 80 percent of businesses in Peru are family-run
Living in Peru, News portal, Lima, Peru

Budget watchdog probing summits' $1-billion price tag
The Globe and Mail, Centrist daily, Toronto, Canada

Two dead in Markham plane crash
Toronto Star, Toronto, Ontario

Shelly Dass signs off
Trinidad Guardian, Independent daily, Port-of-Spain, Trinidad

Gay rights pair freed in Zimbabwe
BBC News, Centrist newscaster, London, England

U.S. Official Sees Improvement in Africa's Great Lakes Region
CongoPlanet.com, Independent online news aggregator

I am not dead - Freddie Blay
GhanaWeb, Online news portal, Amsterdam, Netherlands

Montreal forest fires flare
iafrica, Online news portal, Cape Town, South Africa

Colombian soccer team robbed
Independent Online, News portal, Cape Town, South Africa

Hundreds of Oromo Medrek supporters being arrested nationwide
Jimma Times, Online news portal, Jimma, Ethiopia

In the spirit of ... the 1995 Cup final
Mail & Guardian Online, Liberal, Johannesburg, South Africa

US govt issues SA travel alert
News24.com, Online news portal, Cape Town, South Africa

Warri Catholic Diocese celebrates new bishop
Vanguard, Independent daily, Lagos, Nigeria

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Fair use notice

This newsletter contains copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available in our efforts to advance understanding of legal, environmental, political, human rights, economic, democracy, scientific, and social justice issues, etc. We believe this constitutes a 'fair use' of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material in this newsletter is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes.

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