August 8, 2014 nº 1,528 - Vol. 12

"Attendre d'en savoir assez pour agir en toute lumière, c'est se condamner a l'inaction."
"To wait until you know enough to act in full light, is to condemn yourself to inaction."

Jean Rostang (*)

In today's Law Firm Marketing, What you think clients want vs their expectations

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  • Top News

NEW 

'A Bela Viagem' by Synésio Sampio Goes Filho, published by Editora Migalhas, invites us to wonder about love, work, friendship, beliefs and disbeliefs man ever; and many other topics that get forgotten in the whirlwind of life. Drawing on his tremendous cultural baggage, packed around the world, Goes Filho presents a collection of indispensable quotes by Shakespeare, Millôr Fernandes, Drummond, Montaigne, Pascal, Nietzsche, Fernando Pessoa ... , and also de Gaulle, Churchill and Pope Benedict XVI, along with his unique insight, humor and gentleness of spirit. This diary of sentences, phrases and aphorisms is surely to make you think and feel, maybe even cry and laugh! Migalhas, the editor, is launching the book on August 11 at 11AM at the Circolo Italiano, Sao Paolo in Brazil. (Click here)

* quoted in 'A Bela Viagem' by Synésio Sampio Goes Filho, Editora Migalhas, 2014

How Obama can stop corporate expatriations, for now

The Obama administration has broad legal authority to stop corporate inversions. It can take unilateral action to impede the surge of tax-motivated corporate expatriations without waiting for Congress to pass new legislation. The administration, which had previously suggested that there was little that it could do on its own, was now rushing to assemble an array of options that would change the economic incentives for companies to give up citizenship. The Treasury Department has the legal authority to reduce the incentives to give up United States citizenship. This could be done, he said, by limiting the deductions for interest payments that an American subsidiary pays its foreign parent company, and by ensuring that profits of overseas subsidiaries will continue to be subject to American taxes. It's going to be a busy autumn of law-writing for the Obama Administration. The President has said he plans to act unilaterally to reinterpret the immigration statutes, and now the Treasury Department says Secretary Jack Lew is looking for heretofore undiscovered legal ways to block corporate overseas tax inversions. The not-so-minor detail missing here is any legal justification. Let's focus on tax inversions, which allow corporations to relocate overseas in a way that reduces their tax liability. Obama has conceded these are legal, and Jack Lew said that "we have looked at the tax code. There are a lot of obscure provisions that we do not believe we have the authority to address this inversion question through administrative action. If we did, we would be doing more." The Treasury "is reviewing a broad range of authorities for possible administrative actions" to limit inversions "as well as approaches that could meaningfully reduce the tax benefits after inversions take place." That sure sounds like rewriting tax law by executive fiat, which violates the Constitution's separation of powers. The rewrite is all the more legally suspicious since no one at Treasury or the Justice Department seems to have been aware of this power before Obama began denouncing the "unpatriotic tax loophole." From where does Lew derive this power to act like a one-man Ways and Means Committee? This Administration doesn't seem to care if it has a legal explanation for its unilateral actions. That stands in marked contrast to other recent Administrations, which typically consulted the Justice Department's Office of Legal Counsel (OLC) for advice on controversial legal issues. The CIA insisted on such advice for its enhanced interrogation program after 9/11, for example. So now we have a President in an election year looking for a way to raise taxes on corporations after he couldn't get Congress to agree. Has anyone asked Treasury's career lawyers or the Office of Legal Counsel? Someone should. And when the next President arrives in 2017, one of his first acts should be to release publicly all of the OLC memos making the legal case for Obama's many illegal acts, assuming there are any.

Bank of America offers US biggest settlement in history over toxic mortgage loans

After months of lowball offers and heels dug in, it took only 24 hours for Bank of America to suddenly cave in to the government, agreeing to the largest single federal settlement in the history of corporate America. The tentative deal — which people briefed on the matter said would cost Bank of America more than $16 billion to settle investigations into its sale of toxic mortgage securities — started to take shape last week after the Justice Department rejected yet another settlement offer from the bank. Then, a wild card entered the fray. Judge Jed S. Rakoff, of Federal District Court in Manhattan, issued an unexpected ruling in another Bank of America case that eroded what was left of the bank's negotiating leverage. He ordered the bank to pay nearly $1.3 billion for selling 17,600 loans, many of which were defective. Bank of America had previously lost that case, which involved its Countrywide Financial unit, at a jury trial. The bank's top lawyers and executives, who made the ill-fated decision to fight that case in Rakoff's court rather than settle, appeared to recognize that another courtroom battle would not only be futile but extremely expensive, according to two of the people briefed on the matter. The remaining cases, which by contrast would involve billions of dollars in securities backed by home loans, could have cost the bank multiples more than Rakoff's penalty, perhaps even more than a settlement with the Justice Department. (Click here)

Mexico's auto industry overtakes Brazil's

Bolstered by a recovering North American market, the output of Mexico's booming automotive industry is cementing a slight lead over Brazil, its stumbling regional rival. Mexico's export-driven production of cars and light trucks jumped 7.5% in the first seven months of 2014 to nearly 1.86 million vehicles, compared to the same period a year earlier. The AMIA, Mexico's auto makers association, expects output to reach 3.2 million vehicles this year. "The panorama is favorable in the international markets." In contrast, Brazilian output of cars and light trucks, primarily for an internal market currently suffering from a severe economic slowdown, declined more than 17% during the same comparative period to 1.7 million units. The automotive industries of the two countries, Latin America's largest economies as well as its premiere vehicle producers, are mirror opposites that underscore different economic policies implemented over the past decades, analysts say. Girded by scores of free-trade treaties—including the 20-year-old North American Free Trade Agreement—Mexico's vehicle industry has become a stellar export platform. In contrast, Brazil sells a fraction of the cars it makes abroad and keeps its domestic market tightly protected. Now, with Argentina's economy in chaos, Brazil's vehicle exports have plummeted by more than a third over the first seven months of 2014.

Argentina sues US in International Court of Justice over debt dispute

Argentina has filed suit against the US at the International Court of Justice in a high-stakes debt dispute between the South American nation and some of its creditors. Argentina's lawsuit contends that decisions by US courts in the dispute have violated its sovereignty, The Hague-based court said Thursday.

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  • Crumbs

1 - Edward Snowden Gets Permission To Stay In Russia For 3 More Years - click here.

2 - Apple and Samsung agree to drop patent lawsuits outside US - click here.

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  • MiMIC Journal

China tightens control on instant messaging services

Chinese users of instant messaging apps will have to register their real names, and seek approval before publishing political news, under new regulations. Public users of popular services such as WeChat will also have to sign agreements promising to uphold "the socialist system", state media say. It comes as South Korean officials said access to foreign messaging apps such as KakaoTalk and Line had been blocked. China has imposed similar restrictions on microblogs over the past two years. China's internet is tightly restricted, with social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter blocked.

Chinese dissident Gao Zhisheng released from prison

One of China's most prominent dissidents, Gao Zhisheng, has been released after three years in jail. Gao, a prominent human rights lawyer, was arrested in early 2009. He was accused of inciting subversion. He was released briefly in 2010, and claimed he was tortured while in detention. Shortly after that he disappeared again. State media subsequently said in 2011 he would be jailed for three years for violating probation rules.

Priceline Group in $500m Ctrip investment

Priceline Group, owner of travel websites including Booking.com and Agoda, has agreed to invest $500m in China's biggest online travel company Ctrip. Priceline has also gained rights to buy Ctrip shares over the next 12 months and take its holding to up to 10%. The two companies also agreed to expand a deal, struck two years ago, to cross-promote their hotel room inventory. The move comes as demand for travel to and from China has been growing.

  • Law Firm Marketing

EXPECTATION GAPS
by Linda Julian
 
Professional service firms tell us they know their clients, understand what they want, and that some end clients are just permanently dissatisfied. Those same end clients tell us that they say what they want, are clear about what they expect, but that too often their professional advisers miss the point or just don't "get it". 
 
If there's a gap between your perception about what clients want and their expectations, try:

• Talking with your client and really listening

• Talking to a range of client contact personnel -- not just your usual channels

• Client surveys -- well designed and on-point

• Independent client research and feedback

• Eliminating any hierarchy and bureaucracy in your own client relationship management protocol 

If there's a gap between what you know clients want and your ability to meet their expectations, try:

• Getting more in-firm management commitment -- more or better resources, support from internal marketing, cross-team involvement

• Deploying better technology and new procedures

• Change your procedures to accommodate your client

• Shift or better manage demand for what you do.

Put it to the test:

• Is meeting client expectations financially feasible?

• When there's a gap between the service you expect your team members to give and their performance, look at:

• Is it an attitudinal or motivational problem, or is it a capability or training problem ?

• Recruiting for attitude and motivation ahead of other attributes, then train for skills

• Allocating staff resources to meet demand.

Whenever the gap is between what you promise, and what you deliver, address it by:

• Promising only what can be delivered

• Articulating what you can promise clearly and persuasively

• Documenting your reasonable promises in positive terms

• Changing your delivery to meet the promises.

Learn more at www.julianmidwinter.com.au
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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

Argentina x EE.UU.

Argentina presentó una demanda contra Estados Unidos ante la Corte Internacional de Justicia de La Haya, por considerar que las decisiones adoptadas por los tribunales estadounidenses en el conflicto por la deuda con los fondos buitre violan su inmunidad soberana. (Presione aqui)

Comercio exterior

Brasil pretende adelantar a 2016 el acuerdo de libre comercio con Colombia, Chile y Perú previsto para 2019. El ministro brasileño de Desarrollo, Industria y Comercio Exterior, Mauro Borges, durante la XXXIII edición del Encuentro Nacional de Comercio Exterior que se realiza en Río de Janeiro, dijo que la estrategia comercial del país pasa por realizar un proceso de integración productivo con América Latina así como por acuerdos multilaterales con la Unión Europea, Estados Unidos y China.

Convocatoria

El presidente de la Cámara Chileno Rusa de Comercio A.G., Fernando Belloni, convocó a los empresarios y productores para aprovechar las oportunidades comerciales que ofrece Rusia, tras la prohibición de las importaciones desde países de la Unión Europea y Estados Unidos. El Gobierno ruso comenzó reuniones con embajadores de diferentes países latinoamericanos, entre ellos el chileno, para ver las reales posibilidades de aumentar las exportaciones hacia Moscú. Carne de cerdo, pollo, pescados, verduras, frutas y lácteos, figuran como los potenciales productos para exportar en grandes niveles hacia Rusia.

  • Brief News
In retaliation, Russia bans some food imports from US, Europe

Russia is imposing a "full embargo" on food imports from the EU, US and some other Western countries, in response to sanctions over Ukraine. In a decree, Putin ordered the measures, which also apply to food imports, to be introduced for one year.
Medvedev said it would include fruit, vegetables, meat, fish, milk and dairy imports. The latest developments come during heightened tensions between Russia and the West over Ukraine, where heavy shelling was reported in the eastern rebel stronghold of Donetsk on Thursday.
(Click here)

Russia food ban offers big opportunity for Brazil

Russia's ban on many western food products presents a massive opportunity for meat and grain exports from agricultural powerhouse Brazil and a smaller one for its Latin American neighbors. Around 90 new meat plants in Brazil were immediately approved to export beef, chicken and pork to Russia and the South American nation is already working to increase its exports of corn and soybeans sales to Russian buyers. Brazil's enthusiasm for Russia comes as Moscow's relations with the rest of the West are at Cold War-era lows. "Russia has huge potential as a consumer of agricultural commodities," Seneri Paludo said, comparing the "window" opened by the embargo to the "revolution" that Brazil's exports experienced when China's commodities market opened a decade ago.

Obama defends unilateral action

"I won't twiddle my thumbs' if Congress won't act,” Obama said as he defended his right to act without Congress' approval in order to address the pressing issues facing America. The president said he was acting within the limits of his powers to circumvent inaction in the Republican-led House of Representatives to make progress. But last month, the House authorized its lawyers to sue Obama, accusing him of violating the constitution. Immigration, transportation and infrastructure funding, and changes in corporate tax policy are on the agenda.

Developer who sued Zuckerberg cites e-mail showing offer

A property developer who sued billionaire Mark Zuckerberg for allegedly failing to assist him with business networking as part of a real estate deal produced an e-mail mentioning that Facebook founder offered to help him in a "light" way. The e-mail and others filed in a lawsuit against Zuckerberg show the executive knew he made the promise and reneged on it, David Draper, the attorney for developer Mircea Voskerician, said in court filings. Voskerician says he gave the Facebook chief executive officer a 40 percent discount in 2012 on a $4.3 million property located behind Zuckerberg's Palo Alto, California, home because he was promised introductions and referrals to boost his business. After trying and failing to reach Zuckerberg, Voskerician sued in state court in San Jose, California, to get the house back, claiming fraud, breach of contract and misrepresentation, according to the complaint. The e-mails disclosed yesterday, some of which were copied to a Facebook vice president of marketing, show an associate of Zuckerberg feared the developer was becoming a security or public relations risk.

Pistorius told 'snowball of lies,' says prosecution

The main prosecutor in the trial of Oscar Pistorius has argued that the South African athlete cannot avoid a conviction for murdering his girlfriend. Gerrie Nel accused the athlete of being a "deceitful witness" who told the court a "snowball of lies". Known as the "Pitbull" prosecutor, Nel said that even if Pistorius' account of events were true, "he cannot escape" a conviction for murdering with intent.

West Africa erects Ebola blockades

Liberian soldiers set up an Ebola blockade for the capital as troops in Sierra Leone seal off two districts to stop the virus spreading

Top Khmer Rouge leaders guilty of crimes against humanity

The Trial Chamber of the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia (ECCC) found former Khmer Rouge leaders Nuon Chea and Khieu Samphan guilty of crimes against humanity committed between 17 April 1975 and December 1977. They were sentenced to life imprisonment. As the first top-level leaders to be held accountable for the regime's crimes, Chea served as Pol Pot's deputy, and Samphan was the head of state. Judge Nil Nonn found the men guilty of crimes against humanity of extermination (encompassing murder), political persecution and other inhumane acts (comprising forced transfer, enforced disappearances and attacks against human dignity). Lawyers for Chea and Samphan have stated their intent to appeal the ruling. Chea and Samphan maintain that they were unaware of the extent of the killings.

Google to prioritise secure websites

Google has said it will give preference to more secure websites in its search rankings from now on. The search engine has been testing highlighting pages that have HTTPS encryption by default, and will now roll out across its algorithms. "We've seen positive results, so we're starting to use HTTPS as a ranking signal," Google said. The decision could encourage more sites to turn on encryption, which makes them less vulnerable to hacking. Encryption is used to digitally scramble data as it passes between a user's device and an online service in order to prevent others eavesdropping on the information. For many firms across the web, adding encryption has to this point been an additional burden in terms of time and costs, and website response times.

Monte dei Paschi di Siena reports heavy loss

The world's oldest surviving bank, Monte dei Paschi di Siena (MPS), has reported a bigger-than-expected loss. The Italian bank, which has been in business since 1472, reported a second quarter loss of 179m euros, three times the loss analysts had been expecting. It was the bank's ninth consecutive quarterly loss. MPS, which was bailed out by the state last year, blamed the rising costs of bad loans.

Lloyds sued by 220 investors over HBOS takeover 'folly'

Lloyds Banking Group Plc was sued by 220 investors who said they were misled into supporting a 2008 takeover of HBOS Plc that prompted a 20 billion-pound ($34 billion) bailout from the UK government. Britain's biggest mortgage lender and its executives "knew or ought to have known that the acquisition of HBOS was not a good deal for shareholders of Lloyds and would not be in their best interests," the investors said in legal documents. It's the second group action brought by shareholders who lost out when the UK rescued its lenders during the financial crisis. Royal Bank of Scotland Group Plc is being sued by about 36,000 investors in a 2008 share sale to raise capital before its near collapse.

California prisons propose reform of use of force standards  

The California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) proposed new policies Friday for use of force against mentally ill inmates. The new regulations would require prison guards to consider the mental health status of inmates and their ability to understand commands before resorting to force. The changes have been proposed in the wake of a video surfacing that shows California Corrections officials dousing mentally ill inmates in pepper spray. Judge Lawrence Karlton for the District Court for the Eastern District of California required reforms of the use of force standards after calling the use of pepper spray in the video "horrific" in an April judgment against the CDCR. About 28% of California's 118,000 inmates suffer from mental illness.

Russia extends Snowden residency by three years

Russia has granted fugitive US whistleblower Edward Snowden permission to stay three more years with the right to travel abroad, his lawyer says. Snowden fled the US in 2013 after leaking details of the National Security Agency's surveillance and telephone-tapping operations. The US has charged him with theft of government property and communicating classified information. US leaders have accused Snowden of damaging national interests and harming the country's security.

Wine fraudster gets 10 years in jail

Wine fraudster Rudy Kurniawan, has been sentenced to 10 years in jail and ordered to pay $20m for his role in selling millions of dollars worth of fake wine. He has also been ordered to pay $28.4m in restitution to victims. Kurniawan is the first person ever to go to jail for selling fake wine in the US. He was found guilty of mixing old wine with newer vintages in his kitchen.

Facebook privacy challenge attracts 25,000 users

A data privacy campaigner has signed up 25,000 people to a "class action lawsuit" being taken against Facebook. Max Schrems alleges that the way the social network monitors its members' activity on and off the site puts it in breach of EU laws. As part of the claim, he also alleges that the company co-operated with Prism, a US surveillance scheme. Facebook has previously denied knowing about Prism before it was mentioned in leaked US government documents. The company has, however, acknowledged complying with national security requests from US government agencies. Facebook has not commented on the wider case being brought against it.

Americans give up passports as asset-disclosure rules start

The number of Americans renouncing US citizenship stayed near an all-time high in the first half of the year before rules that make it harder to hide assets from tax authorities came into force. Some 1,577 people gave up their nationality at US embassies in the six months through June, according to Federal Register data published yesterday. While that's a 13 percent decline from the year-earlier period, it's only the second time there's been a reading of more than 1,500. Tougher asset-disclosure rules effective as of July 1 under the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act, or Fatca, prompted 576 of the estimated 6 million Americans living overseas to give up their passports in the second quarter. The appeal of US citizenship for expatriates faded as more than 100 Swiss banks turn over data on American clients to avoid prosecution for helping tax evaders.

Costa Concordia captain's lecture sparks outrage

The captain of the sunken Italian cruise ship, the Costa Concordia, has sparked outrage after it emerged he delivered a lecture on criminal science to university students on best emergency practices. Italy's education minister said the decision by La Sapienza university in Rome university professor to invite Francesco Schettino to speak at a seminar was "disconcerting". Schettino is currently on trial for manslaughter and abandoning ship when the luxury liner sank in January 2012. "I was called to speak because I am an expert. I had to talk about panic management," Schettino said.

Waterboarding is torture, says International Red Cross

The International Committee of the Red Cross said waterboarding is torture, the first time the humanitarian organization has publicly declared that a specific interrogation technique violates the Geneva Conventions.

  • Daily Press Review

Last-ditch talks underway to save Gaza truce
Al Jazeera, Doha, Qatar

Hamas is drawing the maps
Haaretz, Liberal daily, Tel Aviv, Israel

Haredi daily calls for 'walls to sealed' against haredim recruitment
JPost, Conservative, Jerusalem, Israel

Obama authorises US Iraq air strikes
BBC News, Centrist newscaster, London, England

What's Putin's endgame in Ukraine?
CNN International, London, England

Jessie J dares to bare in a gold jacket and skimpy cullottes with a sheer black bra at Sandown Park gig
Daily Mail, Conservative daily, London, England

A cocaine padded wheelchair and iguanas stuffed in socks: Border officials release pictures of some of the most bizarre attempts to smuggle contraband into the UK
Daily Mail, Conservative daily, London, England

Ukraine: NATO calls on Russia to pull back from brink of war
EuroNews, International news, Ecully Cedex, France

UN condemns recent attacks on Iraqi minorities, calls for international action
France 24, Issy-les-Moulineaux, France

Boo! Door-knocking 'ghoul' scares Turkish locals
Hurriyet Daily News, (Liberal, English-language), Istanbul, Turkey

Iraq crisis: US moves closer to airstrikes on Isis fighters and aid drops to trapped minority groups
Independent The, London, England

Major Ukrainian TV provider drops Russian channels
Moscow News The, Independent, Moscow, Russia

Ebola's spread to US is 'inevitable' says health chief
Telegraph The, Conservative daily, London, England

Cuckoo, BBC Three, review: Taylor Lautner is 'very good indeed'
Telegraph The, Celebrity news, London, England

Premier reluctant to accept MOEA head's resignation
China Post, English-language daily, Taipei, Taiwan

2 Chinese on Death Row in Korea
Chosun Ilbo, Conservative daily, Seoul, South Korea

27 troops 11 jihadists killed in attack on Syria base NGO
Hindustan Times, New Delhi, India

Man kills daughter's kidnapper
India Times, Conservative daily, New Delhi, India

Obama authorises airstrikes in Iraq
New Zealand Herald, Conservative daily, Auckland, New Zealand

Ukraine President cancels trip over protests in eastern Ukraine
Straits Times, Pro-government, Singapore

Bondi v Manly - no contest
Sydney Morning Herald, Centrist daily, Sydney, Australia

Share trading in Malaysia Airlines suspended
Taiwan News, English-language daily, Taipei, Taiwan

An obscure biotech firm hurries Ebola treatment
The Economic Times, Business, Mumbai, India

Obama authorizes U.S. airstrikes in Iraq targeting ISIS
Canadian Broadcasting Centre, Toronto, Ontario

Son defends convicted pedophile ensnared in Thai surrogate-child scandal
Globe and Mail The, Centrist daily, Toronto, Canada

Liberty Reserve Brought Down By 'Joe Bogus': How The Feds Arrested Arthur Budovsky
International Business Times, Business news organization, New York, U.S

Cuba's Balsero Crisis Still an Open Wound, 20 Years On
IPS Latin America, International cooperative of journalists, Rome, Italy

Former Calpers board member charged with bribery in corruption case
Reuters, Business News, New York, U.S

Obama orders targeted air strikes, humanitarian aid drops in Iraq
Reuters, World News, New York, U.S

Universities, colleges hammer out deal on what programs they can expand
Toronto Star, Toronto, Ontario

Pistorius told 'snowball of lies'
BBC News, Centrist newscaster, London, England

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