September 12, 2014 nº 1,542 - Vol. 12

"In all matters of opinion, our adversaries are insane."

Oscar Wilde

In today's Law Firm Marketing, 11 publicity misconceptions that cost lawyers a fortune


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  • Top News

Yahoo 'threatened' by US government, faces big us fines over user data

Yahoo said the US government threatened to fine it $250,000 a day if the search giant failed to hand over user data. According to court documents, the National Security Agency (NSA) had demanded that Yahoo comply with new surveillance rules, something the company said was unconstitutional. Yahoo failed in a court challenge on the constitutionality of the order. But the details emerged on Thursday when a federal judge ordered the unsealing of some material about case. Yahoo's general counsel Ron Bell said publication of the material was "an important win for transparency". Yahoo said that the government amended a law to demand user information from online services, prompting a court challenge. Former NSA contractor Edward Snowden disclosed the program last year. But the court documents reveal that the battle over surveillance between technology firms and the US government stretched back years before the Snowden revelations.

Cities compete to be the arena for global legal disputes

In an effort to avoid protracted courtroom battles, most business contracts these days specify that disputes will be settled by binding arbitration done outside the public spotlight. But choosing an impartial location can be just as important. Arbitration has grown steadily because it provides a forum for the selection of neutral decision makers attuned to cultural and legal differences. Local courts often make a venue important because parties look to the readiness and training of judges to apply arbitration law while proceedings are underway and enforce any big-dollar awards that result. Details of commercial arbitrations are often murky because private investors want to keep them confidential. But filings against governments usually become public because they involve taxpayer money, thus offering a window into the global arbitration system. International locales like London and Paris traditionally have been favored — as well as centers of commerce like Hong Kong and Singapore for Asian disputes — but parties can agree to settle matters elsewhere. New York has long been a major site for global arbitration proceedings because its contract law is predictable and does not allow for appeals on specious grounds. The opening of an International Chamber of Commerce office in Manhattan this year is also likely to help funnel more cases to New York. An increase of 10 to 20 percent in such proceedings in the city could add as much as $400 million annually to law firm coffers.

Arbitrary application of law in a global economy

There are more than 3,000 drug trials being conducted in China. Indeed, data from these trials is almost certain to find its way into applications filed back in the United States with the Food and Drug Administration. Do large drug companies – which trade on US domestic securities exchanges – accurately report complete information about drug trials conducted in China? Or do language barriers and cultural differences make it difficult – if not impossible – to secure unbiased results from these trials? Understanding that concepts imbedded in the western rule of law, including "conflict of interest," "kick back," and "independence," may have different meanings elsewhere is crucial to understanding the magnitude of the problem, and we have no way of answering these questions with complete certainty. The scary part is that our regulators – including the SEC, the FDA and the EPA – are so woefully understaffed that they lack the resources to fully enforce compliance in the United States, let alone on a global scale. In a global economy, understanding and investigating conduct abroad is essential to domestic compliance enforcement. But triple the staff of domestic compliance enforcement agencies, and there still would not be enough government officials to enforce compliance in a global economy. The truth is that since the founding of our republic, we have recognized that compliance enforcement cannot be left solely in the hands of government regulators. Compliance with our most fundamental constitutional protections, including the landmark decisions in Brown v Board of Education and New York Times v. Sullivan, have been accomplished through private party litigation — not government enforcement actions.

Source: Reuben Guttman in The Hill

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  • Crumbs

1 -US fines HP $108 mn for bribery in Russia, Poland, Mexico - click here.

2 - Turkey's chief EU negotiator left out of loop in Internet bill - click here.

3 - Judge: Oscar Pistorius ‘negligent,’ but not guilty of premeditated murder - click here.

4 - North Korea Bans Wi-Fi for Foreigners - click here.

5 - China fines Audi and Chrysler for price-fixing - click here.


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  • MiMIC Journal

China promises much but it won't be easy

In China, anything is possible, but everything is difficult. That is how one participant at Summer Davos, the annual meeting of the World Economic Forum in China, described doing business in China

China steps up defense of probes as foreign businesses complain

China stepped up its defense of recent antitrust probes into companies including Microsoft Corp. and Volkswagen AG after US and European trade groups said investigators were unfairly targeting foreign businesses.

Alibaba is bringing luxury, fast, to China's middle class

Making global e-commerce available to Chinese shoppers is a key aim of the Internet giant, and the degree to which Alibaba can deliver on this strategy will help determine how much the company is ultimately worth and to what extent it can open up the Chinese market.

  • Law Firm Marketing

11 publicity misconceptions that cost lawyers a fortune
By Trey Ryder

MISCONCEPTION #1: You have to know someone at the media to get publicity. Not true. Whether you get publicity depends almost exclusively on the strength of your news release or story idea. It has almost nothing to do with who you know. As a rule, editors don't go out on limbs, even for their friends. Editors want good stories. You give them a good story idea and you've got a good shot at getting it in print. You give them a bad story idea and your chances fall like a rock.

MISCONCEPTION #2: You must pay for publicity. No. Print articles and broadcast interviews are almost always free. Some small publications, to assure their survival, give preference for articles to advertisers. Also, some publications offer special sections where, if you buy an ad, you get an article of equal size. But, for the most part, articles are written free by the major newspapers and magazines. Interviews are broadcast free by radio and TV stations. All you have to do is provide them with a good idea they want to use. If they believe your idea will interest their audience, they will likely print or broadcast your story.

MISCONCEPTION #3: You get publicity only if you're a big advertiser. No. Advertising sales reps are quick to point out that -- other than advertising -- they have nothing to do with what goes in print or over the airwaves. It makes sense that big advertisers would have an open door to big articles. Yet when questioned, editors deny it. And, from my experience, you don't have to be an advertiser to get articles. In fact, many of my clients have not been advertisers, yet we still have done quite well getting articles and interviews.

MISCONCEPTION #4: Editors rely only on well-known authorities. No. True, a story may have more credibility if the source person is an authority. But editors do not insist on an "authority" threshold to conclude you are reliable. In most cases, the fact that you are a lawyer is enough. Many of my clients have been new in law and short on experience. Still, the fact that they were lawyers was enough for editors to see them as reliable sources.

MISCONCEPTION #5: Publicity is really hard to get. No, it isn't You simply have to know how to communicate with editors -- and how to give them what they want. Many lawyers and law firms hire public relations firms and pay them outrageous fees each month with the hope of getting articles in print and interviews on radio and TV. From my experience, you get more publicity when you handle your own publicity effort, rather than working with a p.r. firm.

MISCONCEPTION #6: Media exposure will bring you new clients. Usually not. In most cases, the fact that you've been quoted in the media does nothing to attract clients. Exposure can establish credibility, but exposure alone won't attract new business unless (1) what you offer is unique and your prospects have no place else to turn but to you, (2) you use publicity to deliver a competent marketing message, (3) your publicity explains your competitive advantages so prospects know how you differ from other lawyers, and (4) it causes you to interact with members of your target audience.

MISCONCEPTION #7: Publicity alone can be your entire marketing program. No. This is where many lawyers waste thousands of dollars. If you use publicity by itself, you're doomed to failure because publicity does not complete all the steps in the marketing process. But when you build your publicity program on marketing principles, and use it along with other methods, it can play an important, powerful role in your marketing effort.

MISCONCEPTION #8: The key to publicity is the number of articles you get in print. No. The key to publicity is how well the articles deliver your marketing message. That's why you must start with a competent marketing message. If your message is incomplete or confusing, it makes no difference how many people receive it.

MISCONCEPTION #9: For best results, call the editor on the telephone. No. Most editors don't like telephone calls because they interrupt work flow and interfere with deadlines. Many editors now screen calls through voice mail. When I carry out publicity programs, I never initiate a call to an editor. Well-written materials don't need a verbal explanation.

MISCONCEPTION #10: You increase your chances for success with an elaborate press kit. No. Many editors have told me they throw press kits into the trash, unopened, because they don't have time to wade through all the materials. Public relations firms often promote the use of press kits because they can charge clients tens of thousands of dollars to prepare them. I have conducted my most effective publicity programs with nothing more than simple query letters and news releases.

MISCONCEPTION #11: Your chances for publicity improve when your information comes from a p.r. person. No. Many editors don't like p.r. people. They see p.r. people as highly paid telemarketers, always trying to push something on the editor. Editors and reporters like working directly with the authority quoted in the news release or article because that person has the knowledge to provide the information the editor wants.

© 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


El grupo energético italiano Enel ofreció comprar el 60,62 % de participación que su unidad española Endesa posee en la chilena Enersis por US$ 10.660 mlls., en un intento por simplificar sus operaciones. La reorganización está enfocada en quitar los activos latinoamericanos de Endesa para darle a Enel un control más directo sobre ellos, en momentos en que busca reducir su endeudamiento. Enel posee el 92,06 %to de la compañía española.


Puerto Rico organizará el próximo 4 de noviembre una cumbre dedicada a inversionistas de América Latina interesados en invertir en la isla caribeña bajo el programa EB-5, que otorga visas de entrada a EE.UU. a quienes inviertan entre medio y un millón de dólares para la creación de empleos.

Daño ambiental

El gigante Grupo México creará un fideicomiso de US$ 151.4 mlls. para remediar los daños causados por el derrame de 40,000 metros cúbicos de sulfato de cobre acidulado, dijeron autoridades que han calificado el hecho como el peor desastre ambiental de la minería moderna del país. (Presione aquí)

  • Brief News
Argentina defies US court in dispute with creditors

Argentina's Congress has passed a bill designed to defy a US court ruling that pushed the country into default in July. It relates to a protracted dispute with hedge funds demanding payment of $1.3bn on bonds they hold from a default 13 years ago. The hedge funds had won a ruling in the US preventing Argentina distributing interest payments to all bondholders. The court barred some banks from making payments on $29bn of bonds. But the bill is designed to side-step this. It would allow Argentina to make payments locally or in jurisdictions beyond the reach of the US courts.

Catalans rally for independence referendum from Spain

Thousands of Catalans have rallied in Barcelona, Spain, demanding the right to hold a referendum on independence. Protesters were energized by Scotland's forthcoming independence referendum - and many also waved the Scottish flag. Catalonia is one of Spain's richest and most highly industrialized regions, and also one of the most independent-minded. Until recently, few Catalans had wanted full independence, but Spain's painful economic crisis has seen a surge in support for separation. The regional government has called a referendum for 9 November. The Spanish government says the vote is illegal. The national government is opposed to any move towards independence. According to the Spanish constitution, the central government's blessing is required to make a referendum legal.

New EU sanctions hit Russia

New EU sanctions against Russia will take effect on Friday, blocking loans for five big state banks and curbing EU business with oil and defense firms. The aim is to keep pressure on Russia over its role in the Ukraine crisis. But the measures could be eased or lifted if a ceasefire in Ukraine holds. Russia says it is preparing a response, and imported from the EU could be targeted. Nato says Russia still has about 1,000 heavily armed troops in east Ukraine. Obama said his country would join the EU in imposing tougher sanctions on Russia, targeting the defense, finance and energy sectors. (Click here)

HIV-positive man ordered to stop virus by Seattle court

A Seattle judge has ordered an HIV-positive man to stop spreading the disease and to seek treatment after he infected eight people in four years. The man, known only as "AO" in court documents, is required to show up for counseling and to protect future sexual partners. Officials maintain they are not trying to criminalize sexual activity but to protect public health. The man could face fines or jail time if he does not comply.

Some things you can do in your sleep, literally

For those who think there are not enough hours in the day, researchers may have just offered you a solution. The brain can continue tasks even while asleep, a study finds. Texting not included, alas. People who are fast asleep can correctly respond to simple verbal instructions, according to a study by researchers in France. They think this may help explain why you might wake if someone calls your name or why your alarm clock is more likely to rouse you than any other noise. After people learned to sort words while awake, their brains were able to do the same task while asleep. The connections between sleep, memory and learning aren't new — but the research is notable for its examination of automatic tasks.

Federal appeals court upholds dismissal of suits against tobacco companies

The US Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit on Wednesday upheld the dismissal of a consolidated lawsuit brought against various tobacco companies. The 750 consolidated individual cases included: “588 personal injury cases filed on behalf of purportedly living cigarette smokers who, as it turns out, were dead at the time of filing (a group we shall call the "predeceased plaintiffs"), 160 loss of consortium cases filed on behalf of spouses and children of these predeceased plaintiffs, and two wrongful death cases filed more than two years after the decedent-smoker's death.” The cases, all filed by the same law firm, were consolidated by the courts due to "patent defects" resulting from "counsel's failure to obtain accurate information regarding whether or when certain smokers died." The consolidated cases before the Eleventh Circuit stem from the class action case R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co. v. Engle and subsequent decisions, including a 2006 decision by the Florida Supreme Court decertifying the class and vacating a $145 billion jury verdict against a group of cigarette manufacturers.

Mastercard fees were anti-competitive, court upholds

The European Court of Justice has upheld a ruling that fees charged by Mastercard were anti-competitive. The court said regulators were right to condemn the cost of its interchange fees - the fees retailers pay banks to process card payments - and has rejected an appeal. Mastercard was investigated last year for the amount it charged for card transactions in Europe. The company's president said the ruling was "disappointing". Javier Perez, president of MasterCard Europe said despite that, the ruling would have "little or no impact on how MasterCard operates". He said: "We will continue to comply with the decision as we have been doing for a number of years. This means we would maintain our European... cross-border consumer interchange fees at a weighted average of 0.2% for debit and 0.3% for credit." Mastercard is the second-largest credit and debit card company after Visa.

Wisconsin judge approves same-sex adoption

A judge for Wisconsin's Dane County Circuit Court on Wednesday ruled that the marriage of a lesbian couple who wed in Iowa was constitutionally valid and that such marriages must be recognized under state adoption laws, approving the couple's adoption of their two children.

Philippines draft law would create autonomous Muslim region

President Benigno Aquino III on Wednesday urged the Philippines Congress to enact a draft law that would create an autonomous Muslim region in the south of the country. The law is to serve an important role in the peace talks between the government and Muslim rebels, which are meant to end a conflict that has lasted for over four decades and left more than 120,000 dead. Leaders of Congress have said that they may pass the law as soon as March, well before Aquino is due to leave office in June 2016. Passage of the law will create the Bangsamoro region, an area that would have a local self-government with locally recruited law enforcement officials and a population of about four million and would retain the majority of the tax revenue it generates. Though the agreement is the result of 17 years of negotiations, those who fear that it threatens Philippine sovereignty remain opposed, and some organizations plan on challenging the constitutionality of the law.

Federal appeals court denies challenge to expired lethal injection drug in Texas

The US Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit on Tuesday denied a Texas death row inmate's challenge to the drugs that would be used in his lethal injection. Convicted killer Willie Trottie alleged in his appeal that the drugs to be used in his execution might be expired, which could result in torturous pain, in violation of the Eighth and Fourteenth Amendments. The court found that the question of the drugs' effectiveness amounted to mere speculation and affirmed the district court's denial of a preliminary injunction. Trottie is scheduled for execution Wednesday evening.

Greece parliament ratifies bill criminalizing Armenian genocide denial

The Parliament of Greece on Tuesday ratified a bill that criminalizes the denial of the Armenian genocide. The revised bill is titled "Fight Against Xenophobia," and it was adopted by a vote of 54-42, with 3 parliament members abstaining from the vote. With Thursday's vote, Greece joined Switzerland and Slovakia to become the third state to criminalize the denial of the World War I era Armenian genocide. A violation of the new bill is punishable by up to three years in prison and a fine not to exceed 30,000 Euros.

Scottish lawyers look to referendum to transform legal industry

More than 300 years ago, when the Act of Union between England and Scotland created Great Britain, most public and political powers were merged. Their legal systems remained distinct. Three centuries later, Scottish lawyers see an opportunity to take their rule of law to the world, transforming a distinctly local market into an international one should the country vote to secede on Sept. 18. An independent country would mean more work in cross-border trade, commercial arbitration, and the oil and gas industry, lawyers say.

Coinbase extends Bitcoin access to international customers

Coinbase, one of the most popular digital wallet providers, is expanding to 13 European countries by allowing those with authorized European bank accounts to buy and sell Bitcoins in exchange for euros.

New law bans companies from punishing customers who write negative reviews

A new California law will outlaw "non-disparagement" clauses that prevent customers from posting negative reviews online. The law, which appears to be the first of its kind in the United States, prevents companies from including "non-disparagement" clauses in their contracts with customers. These clauses are often hidden in long user agreements that many consumers unwittingly agree to when using a service. From now on, California businesses that try to enforce such a provision will face a civil penalty of $2,500 for their first offense, $5,000 for each repeated infraction, and an additional $10,000 fine for "a willful, intentional, or reckless violation" of the statute. This type of legislation might seem unnecessary since forcefully silencing one's customers seems to be a clear violation of the First Amendment. However, that hasn't stopped a number of American companies from trying to mute criticism using just the type of contracts this bill seeks to outlaw.

Law firms take on exchanges over HFT

Three big law firms have joined forces to pursue legal action against major US stock exchanges, claiming the exchanges handed unfair advantages to high-frequency traders to the detriment of regular investors. The lawsuit, filed in the US District Court of the Southern District of New York, could test a cornerstone of US securities law: exchanges' immunity from lawsuits seeking damages. The judge overseeing the case hasn't ruled on whether to grant the lawsuit class-action status.

  • Daily Press Review

Is the PA stalling Gaza war crimes probe?
Al Jazeera, Doha, Qatar

Sen. Ted Cruz booed off stage in Christian gala for voicing support of Israel
Haaretz, Liberal daily, Tel Aviv, Israel

Pistorius awaits homicide verdict
BBC News, Centrist newscaster, London, England

Clooney to visit 'Downton Abbey'
CNN International, London, England

Imogen Thomas shows off her stunning slimmed-down figure in a tight red dress at Izabelle Hammon launch in London
Daily Mail, Conservative daily, London, England

Thousands rally in support of Catalan independence campaign
EuroNews, International news, Ecully Cedex, France

Football fairytale comes to sad end for tiny French village
France 24, Issy-les-Moulineaux, France

Kerry holds Iraq talks on US strategy against jihadists
Hurriyet Daily News, (Liberal, English-language), Istanbul, Turkey

Exeter College's rector is embarking on a journey to visit graves of Exonians killed in Great War
Independent The, London, England

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

Teenage killer escapes from jail in US - police describe him as dangerous
Telegraph The, Conservative daily, London, England

Judge in Arkansas fired for leaking details of adoption by actress Charlize Theron
Telegraph The, Celebrity news, London, England

Chen pitches perfectly to the sixth to clinch his 15th win
China Post, English-language daily, Taipei, Taiwan

Korean-Born Journalist Becomes CNN VP
Chosun Ilbo, Conservative daily, Seoul, South Korea

West hits Russia with new sanctions over Ukraine
Hindustan Times, New Delhi, India

Snatchings could rise as Haryana gangs shift base, Delhi cops worried
India Times, Conservative daily, New Delhi, India

IMF's Lagarde says women vital for global recovery
New Zealand Herald, Conservative daily, Auckland, New Zealand

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

9/11: The version you've never been told before
Sydney Morning Herald, Centrist daily, Sydney, Australia

Petraeus: Obama Iraq plan a good starting point
Taiwan News, English-language daily, Taipei, Taiwan

Barack Obama waits for Congress on Syria rebel aid
The Economic Times, Business, Mumbai, India

Oscar Pistorius trial verdict expected Friday
Canadian Broadcasting Centre, Toronto, Ontario

Australia elevates terrorism threat level to 'high'
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

Mexico's Cocopah People Refuse to Disappear
IPS Latin America, International cooperative of journalists, Rome, Italy

Nevada lawmakers approve $1.3 billion in tax breaks for electric car maker Tesla
Reuters, Business News, New York, U.S

Australia raises threat level to 'high' on Iraq, Syria
Reuters, World News, New York, U.S

Stephen Harper pledges Canada's ‘unblinking' support for Ukraine
Toronto Star, Toronto, Ontario

Pistorius awaits homicide verdict
BBC News, Centrist newscaster, London, England


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