November 5, 2010 Nº 976 - Vol. 8


"Friends are helpful not only because they will listen to us, but because they will laugh at us; Through them we learn a little objectivity, a little modesty, a little courtesy; We learn the rules of life and become better players of the game"

Will Durant


In today's Law Firm Marketing, Use this emergency marketing strategy to get more qualified inquiries.

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  • MiMIC Journal

China and France sign deals as Hu Jintao visits Paris

China's President Hu Jintao has signed billions of euros' worth of business deals during a state visit to France. They included spending 10bn euros ($14bn) on 102 Airbus planes, as well as telecoms and nuclear deals. Sarkozy received his guest with full military honors, and has laid on an extravagant program of events and ceremonies. But activists complain that China's human rights record is being ignored in the rush to sign lucrative contracts.

China internet users forced to choose in software row

Hundreds of millions of internet users must choose between China's top internet chat program and its best selling internet security tool. They have been told they cannot have both, as a dispute between the two internet giants has escalated. The dispute has led to allegations of theft, involvement with pornography sites and even "doing evil". China has the world's biggest - and fastest growing - online population with more than 400m users.

  • Law Firm Marketing

Use this emergency marketing strategy to get more qualified inquiries

by Tom Trush

Including today, there are 39 business days remaining in 2010.

If this year started like most, you probably had high hopes for your marketing efforts.

Maybe you wanted to revamp your website ... get a blog up and running .. dive into social media ... start a direct-mail program ... organize a client reactivation plan ... or just maintain better contact with your current clients.

Regardless of your initial plan, now is when you should evaluate your efforts because you can still make adjustments. If changes are in order, here's a strategy to help you replace lost time:

This approach involves attracting and engaging your target audience by delivering knowledge. Instead of offering your services, you're about to get a step-by-step approach to delivering high-quality, valuable content your prospects crave.

Your first step is to determine a common problem your prospects have related to your services. This can be done by compiling the questions people frequently ask you.

For example, let's say you offer family law services. Now I know nothing about family law, but I realize prospects and clients face a myriad of issues: divorce, custody, alimony, child support, visitation, property division, and many more.

I'm sure others share my confusion. In fact, a Google search for "family law divorce" reveals 8,670,000 results. That tells me there's demand for this information.

So now that we have a topic, we can create content by simply compiling tips.

6 Important Steps When Preparing to Divorce ... 9 Thoughtful Ways to Help Your Children During Your Divorce ... 5 Divorce Mistakes to Avoid ... Smart Ways to Reduce the Expense of Divorce ...

Someone knowledgeable in family law and divorce could provide information that fits any of these titles. You could do the same thing if you brainstormed titles about topics you're an authority in.

Once your content is written, the hard part is done. Now you make your tips article available to as many qualified prospects as possible.

The Internet makes this task easy and cost-effective.

Start by putting your tips article on your website and blog (yes, you should have a blog). This step is a no-brainer because you want your information available to prospects who visit your website directly or use the search engines.

(IMPORTANT: As you post more tips articles on your website or blog, prospects will want more information. So feed that hunger for knowledge by delivering insight in exchange for a name and e-mail address. That way you can maintain contact with your visitors using e-mail.)

Next, submit your tips article to free directories such as EzineArticles.com (Click here). Not only does EzineArticles.com get tremendous traffic (which results in more eyeballs on your information), but posting your tips article here makes it available for others to use in their newsletters, websites, e-mails, and so on.

When you create quality content, your tips article will get picked up by information publishers. This is a big benefit because your knowledge gets shared with new audiences without you spending additional time, money or resources. And, because there's always a link to your website at the bottom of your tips article, you'll drive more traffic to your online home.

After this step, consider people who prefer viewing video -- rather than reading text Since YouTube is now the #2 search engine in the world, there's a good chance your prospects use it.

You can read your tips article as a video script. But if you don't feel comfortable in front of a camera, use Camtasia or Screenflow (for a Mac) to make a video from content you record off your computer screen.

Once you have your video, you can post it on YouTube. Or, for an even greater reach, use a free service such as TubeMogul (Click here) to post on numerous video sites at the same time. Of course, include a link to your website at the beginning of your video description.

Now that your information is available online in several places, it's time to use social media. My two favorite tools are Twitter (Click here) and Facebook (Click here). After spending some time building followers/friends and developing relationships on these social networks, post a link to your tips article.

This simple step will result in instant traffic to your website -- and you can do it repeatedly for the same article.

By now, you can understand how just one tips article can get you extensive exposure. But the best part is the knowledge you share acts as an online marketing piece that works 24 hours a day, 7 days week.

Imagine what happens when you duplicate this marketing strategy.

And these steps are just a small sample of what you can do with tips articles. You can also use them in your newsletters ... autoresponder series (one of my personal favorites) ... direct-mail efforts ... eBooks ... podcasts ... e-courses ... brochures ... news releases ... webinars ... teleseminars ... and more.

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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 Verdadera

Constructora

La brasileña Rossi Residencial que su accionista, la estadounidense BlackRock, adquirió títulos ordinarios de la compañía hasta totalizar 13,3 millones, 5,01% de sus acciones comunes. El administrador de fondos dijo que el objetivo de las participaciones es "estrictamente de inversión", sin alterar el control accionario de la firma sudamericana. Rossi es una de las principales incorporadoras y constructoras de Brasil.

Inversiones

La dominicana Desarrollos y Propiedades North Land invertirá US$120 mlls., en la construcción del resort de lujo Amber Dune Resort & Spa en el país caribeño. El complejo se localizará en Cabarete, la provincia de Puerto Plata, y será el primer condo-hotel de lujo en la costa norte de la República Dominicana, su apertura está prevista para fines de 2012.

Vale

La minera Vale busca mayor participación en los fertilizantes. Los ejecutivos aseguran que están haciendo énfasis en la compra de más activos en Brasil y otros países. Planea invertir US$ 2.500 millones en 2011, o 10,4% de su presupuesto anual, en proyectos de desarrollo de fertilizantes en Norteamérica, Sudamérica y África.

  • Brief News

E.U. pushes for stronger Internet privacy laws

The European Union announced recommendations to update privacy laws that could make it easier for consumers to delete information about them on the Internet and beef up enforcement for Web sites that violate laws. In its paper, the E.U.'s data protection authorities said its recommendations are aimed to creating new privacy laws in 2011. After a review of its more than 15-year-old privacy laws, regulators said new laws have to take into account questions about how data is protected on social networks such as Facebook and cloud computing applications such as Google's e-mail and documents.

Australia: consumer law decisions due by Christmas

The government's sweeping consumer law reforms are on track to be introduced to Parliament early next year. The reforms will affect nine pieces of legislation, including the Fair Trading Act, Consumer Guarantees Act, and Weights and Measures Act. Proposals include the prohibition of 'unfair' terms in consumer contracts, 'unconscionable' conduct, and 'unsubstantiated' claims, and changes to account for the increasing popularity of online auctions. Consumer groups strongly support the introduction of 'unfair' contract term provisions, as used in Australia. Business and legal submitters were less keen.

Brazil: continuity is not enough

Continuity was the watchword of the Brazilian election that Dilma Rousseff won. She takes over from her mentor, who presided over eight years of growth and investment success. But more of the same policies may not be enough: Rousseff is already facing tougher challenges. In particular with investments. She should devise new ways of handle hot money capital controls, and the challenge of attracting corporate investment. Attracting too much flight capital, too quickly has negative consequences: the value of the currency appreciates against the dollar, fueling the currency war, and the raise in bond tax, which leads to the weakening of the real. Is Brazil overheating, with a looming bubbling-economy risk. The concerns is really that Foreign Direct Investment is declining but is crucial to building a sustainable economy.

Once on a sleepy beat, regulator is suddenly busy

Maybe too hot. At a time when prices of many commodities are soaring — cotton has jumped 95 percent in the last 12 months, silver 43 percent — alarms are going off inside the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) in Washington. Long dismissed as a lackadaisical regulator, the commission led by Gary Gensler, is suddenly on the move. Indeed, it is busier than ever: It opened a record 419 investigations over the last year, into things as diverse as small-time Ponzi schemes and claims of market manipulation

Global shares jump on US Fed move

Shares hit two-year highs as global stock markets reacted positively to the decision by the Federal Reserve to pump $600bn into the US economy to try to boost its recovery. Both the FTSE and Dow Jones indexes closed up 2%, while leading indexes in France and Germany rose sharply. The price of oil also jumped, while the dollar fell against major currencies. Although the Fed's move was widely expected, most analysts had predicted a lower figure of $500bn to be injected.

Terra Firma loses EMI court battle over takeover

A US jury has ruled that investment bank Citigroup did not trick UK private equity firm Terra Firma into paying an inflated price for music group EMI. Terra Firma, led by Guy Hands, paid £$6.7bn for EMI in 2007. Hands argued Citi led him to believe other parties were interested in EMI, and that the company is worth only three-quarters of what he paid for it. Citi provided £2.6bn in loans for the deal, and analysts suggested prior to the case that Terra Firma may be forced to hand ownership over to the US bank if it lost. Following the New York jury's decision, Terra Firma said it was disappointed the jury found "that we did not prove that we relied on misrepresentations from Citi which caused a loss to our investors.

UK copyright laws to be reviewed

UK Prime Minister David Cameron announced Thursday that Britain's intellectual property laws will undergo a review with an eye towards modernization, in an effort to encourage innovation and small business. Cameron suggested that the law may be reformed in order to allow for increased use of copyright material without the owner's permission. The review is set to take place over six months and will examine the interaction between intellectual property and competition law, how to remove barriers for small businesses, and how to help small businesses protect and exploit their intellectual property, and it will take into account more relaxed US rules on copyright material, including rules on the use of copyright material without the owner's permission. The announcement was welcomed by internet campaigners who say it will boost small business. But any changes could be resisted by the music and film industries who have campaigned against copyright reform.

3 strange things about the GM IPO

This doesn't normally happen: The U.S. government doesn't sell shares on the stock market. But two weeks from now, when General Motors has its initial public offering, the U.S. government will sell a third of the GM shares it received as part of the bailout of the company. There are at least three strange things about the IPO, which is described in a prospectus GM filed with the SEC.

1. The U.S. government is going to sell at a loss.

GM expects to sell its stock at around $27 a share, roughly half what the government needs to make a profit. That's partly to get out of the business as fast as possible; the government doesn't want to be in the car business. And the government hopes that by selling a third of its stock at a loss, it will encourage people to buy more stock. Strong demand for GM stock could eventually allow the government to sell the rest of its GM shares for a profit.

2. Having the U.S. government as part owner might be bad for business

That's according to GM. In its prospectus, the company says the government might do all sorts of things for political reasons that don't make business sense. For example: Telling the company what kinds of cars to make and where to make them. Or forcing the company to cut the pay of key executives, which could cause them to leave the company.

3. GM has no confidence in its own financial reports.

The company says that "our disclosure controls and procedures and our internal control over financial reporting are currently not effective." In other words, GM isn't confident in its ability to understand its own financial condition. That could "adversely affect our financial condition and ability to carry out our business plan," the company says.

London tells Israel it will amend war crimes law

Foreign Secretary William Hague pledged on Thursday that Britain would act fast to amend a law that puts visiting Israeli officials at risk of arrest for alleged war crimes. Israel had postponed all strategic dialogue with Britain in protest at its law on "universal jurisdiction," which empowers courts to issue warrants against people accused of war crimes, including visiting foreign politicians. Hamas criticized the British government's "intent to limit the British court's ability to prosecute Zionist war criminals who broke the international law in conquered Palestine". Hamas demanded London reconsider the decision.

Law firm of BP claims czar paid $3.3M so far

The law firm of Kenneth Feinberg, the man in charge of BP's $20 billion compensation fund for Gulf oil spill victims, has so far been paid about $3.35 million from BP PLC. The Gulf Coast Claims Facility, which was set up to compensate fishermen, business owners and other Gulf Coast victims of the April 20 BP well blowout, said Thursday that BP agreed to pay Feinberg's firm $850,000 a month starting in mid-June. The firm will continue to receive the fee monthly from BP through the end of the year, after which the contract will be reviewed. Obama tapped Feinberg, who previously oversaw 9/11 victim payments, to run the BP claims fund, which the London-based company created under government pressure.

The sacred rule of law

In his new memoir, former President George W. Bush says he personally gave the order to waterboard Khalid Sheik Mohammed in 2003. According to the Washington Post, Bush writes that the CIA asked him if they could use the torture technique on Mohammed. "Damn right," he said. So what's going to happen now? Well, exactly nothing, in all likelihood. Except of course that if the day comes that Republicans now in control of the House discover through hearings that Barack Obama once gave a student his U of Chi parking permit, or forgot to declare some Bears tickets Andrew Rezko gave him, something tells me that the "rule of law" will suddenly become more sacred.

MGM files for bankruptcy protection

Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, the beleaguered film studio, filed for bankruptcy protection on Wednesday as part of a reorganization plan that would help it shed more than $4 billion in debt and hand control over to a group of hedge fund creditors. MGM, which filed in the Southern District of New York, is planning a prepackaged bankruptcy case, meant to shorten its stay in Chapter 11 protection. The film studio expects to win confirmation of its reorganization plan in about 30 days. MGM added that it and its largest creditors had reached a settlement with the investor Carl C. Icahn, in which the company would limit the role of the executives from Spyglass Entertainment who will run the studio. Icahn will have one seat on the board of a reorganized MGM.

Shell bribes part of `culture of corruption'

Bribes paid on behalf of Royal Dutch Shell Plc 's Nigerian unit came from "a culture of corruption" that Panalpina World Transport Holding Ltd. , a Swiss freight forwarder, admitted in a U.S. court yesterday.

ICTY delays Karadzic trial for one month

The Trial Chamber of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) on Wednesday suspended the trial of former Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic for a month. The postponement allows Karadzic to read 14,000 pages of evidence the prosecution sent to him in October. Karadzic faces 11 war crimes charges, including counts of genocide and murder, for alleged crimes he committed during the 1992-1995 war in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Karadzic is defending himself in court and has denied all of the charges against him. The court's decision to delay the trial is partially because of the prosecution's repeated violations of its obligation to disclose evidence to the accused.

Federal judge dismisses claims challenging drilling moratorium

A judge for the US District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana on Wednesday dismissed claims challenging the Obama Administration's moratorium on deepwater drilling, which was enacted following the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. US District Judge Martin Feldman said that the claims filed by drilling companies against US Interior Secretary Ken Salazar are no longer relevant because both moratoriums have been lifted. Salazar announced in October that the six-month moratorium on certain types of deepwater oil drilling would come to an end some seven weeks ahead of schedule. In announcing the lifting of the moratorium, Salazar said that new drilling regulations enacted in October and industry safety strategies developed in the wake of the oil spill have reduced the likelihood of future incidents such that the ban was no longer needed. Feldman did not rule on additional claims filed by against the government, which allege that federal regulators have delayed the granting of permits under the new regulations and that new regulations requiring permits exceed the authority of the administrators. The government has indicated that permits will be granted when drilling companies comply with the stated standards. The court is scheduled to address the remaining claims later this month.

Turkish court reinstates YouTube ban

A Turkish Magistrate Court in Ankara reinstated the nearly-three year ban on YouTube on Tuesday, just days after it was lifted. The court ordered access to YouTube blocked after video of former opposition leader Deniz Baykal in a bedroom with a female aide surfaced on the site. Baykal resigned in May following the exposure of video revealing his affair. The court ordered the Telecommunication Transmission Directorate (TIB), which controls Internet accessibility in Turkey, to direct YouTube to remove the video of Baykal and block access to the site if it failed to comply. On Saturday, the Chief Public Prosecutor's Office of Ankara lifted the nearly three-year ban on YouTube after videos allegedly insulting Turkey's founder Mustafa Kemal Ataturk were removed from the site's content. Insulting Ataturk is a criminal offense in Turkey, punishable by prison sentence. After confirming with the police department that the disputed content had been taken down, the prosecutor's office ordered the TIB to enable YouTube for Turkish Internet users.

Oklahoma is sued over Shariah ban

The complaint challenges a voter-approved measure that bars state judges from considering Shariah, the Islamic religious code based on the Koran and the Prophet Mohammed's teachings, in formulating rulings

Hotness matters at Big Law

All other qualities being equal, beautiful people are far more likely to succeed in life and -- for the most part -- in Big Law. I feel fairly certain there is scientific research documenting this phenomenon, but my theory is based solely on what I have witnessed over the years. I honestly can't remember the last time my Firm hired an ugly duckling. Maybe a few plain-looking or average-looking attorneys here or there, but for the most part, the few attorney positions getting filled these days are filled by attractive people. Perhaps this is the modern slumping-economy equivalent of those Depression-era films where gorgeous, uber-thin women with Cupid's bow lips and marcel-waved hair slouched around in glossy satin evening dresses? Summation: When money's tight, we spend our pennies on eye candy. When I deal with Big Law lawyers at other Firms, they also tend to have above-average looks. Why is this? Is it a universal truth? Is this some sort of natural selection? Are you doomed to failure these days at Big Law if you are not hot? Let us ponder this conundrum together.

Beautiful big law?

Let me clarify -- not everyone working at Big Law is hot. There are plenty of folks who are just average, as well as a few unattractive people who were either attractive once upon a time or who have some other amazing gift that overrides their snaggle teeth. These less attractive folks are the Philip Seymour Hoffmans of Big Law. Hoffman is not hot, but he is super-talented and looks perfect for the parts he plays: creepy dude, sweaty dude, pained-artist dude. Similarly, the unattractive success stories at Big Law tend to involve lawyers with freakish intellects who specialize in some area that no one else wants to touch or has the time to figure out. Alternatively, some unattractive lawyers succeed at Big Law because something about them attracted actual clients -- maybe their membership in the Chess Club at law school made them fast friends with a nerdy young lady who would one day become general counsel at UberTechCorp? More than likely, the successful, less-attractive lawyer had more time to study in law school while the hotties were out partying. This dedication and hard work continued at Big Law, leading to serious billable hours and success. Top-of-the-class status plus a sense of humor can override even the shallowest recruiting partner's bias for hotness. "What?! We have no bias for hotness! We want the best and brightest." I can hear the protests now. Of course no one admits to this bias for hotness. We do not really even discuss it. There is no review box after interviews for good looks. It is not intentional -- we just can't help but select attractive people to work amongst. We claim we are looking for drive, leadership, commitment, intellect, blah, blah. Sure, all that is important, but once you have narrowed down the endless applicants to everyone who meets the standard criteria, the tipping factor seems to be the joy of getting the hot kid to be at your beck and call. High school never ends, people. Please, those of you working at Big Law, test my theory.

Now, if I might detour into a gender-bias discussion, let's just be honest here. It is pretty darn hard to name the female celebrity-equivalent of the Philip Seymour Hoffmans of the world. If Hollywood needs an actress to play a part of a person of average or above-average weight who is sweaty and creepy, they just ask Charlize Theron to put on some pounds, fake teeth, bad hair and make-up. Or they hire Kathy Bates. I challenge you to name a few unattractive, successful actresses or singers. Stop picking on Susan Boyle. She is in the freakishly talented category. This same pattern plays out at Big Law. If you look through the head shots on your Big Law website, you will also notice more average and below-average-looking dudes than ladies -- especially if you are looking at lawyers aged 40 or below. I'm not going to speculate about the causes of this phenomenon, but the hot factor seems to be more significant for the ladies. Bottom line, if you are freakin' hilarious or wickedly talented, you can overcome a lack of hotness in Hollywood or Big Law. Otherwise, you better keep working out and tending to your personal grooming, because hotness matters. Oh, the beautiful people.

Source: The Snark, Fulton County Daily Report, November 04, 2010

  • Daily Press Review

Hezbollah Boycotts Lebanese Talks over UN Tribunal
Asharq Al-Awsat, Pan-Arab daily, London, England

Judicial institute keen to meet today's business needs
Gulf News, Independent daily, Dubai, United Arab Emirates

BBC facing news blackout as journalists strike
The Guardian, Liberal daily, London, England

Blow for Guy Hands as long-odds lawsuit fails
The Independent, London, England

Khodorkovsky Says He's Ready to Die in Jail
The Moscow Times, Independent daily, Moscow, Russia

Finance minister attends APEC meeting
Taiwan Today, Government Information Office, Taipei, Taiwan

Unions open fire on Wal-Mart
Independent Online, News portal, Cape Town, South Africa

BBC apologises to Geldof, but maintains Ethiopia rebels diverted aid
Jimma Times, Online news portal, Jimma, Ethiopia

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