January 16, 2015 nº 1,583 - Vol. 12

"In the End, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends."

Martin Luther King, Jr. 

In today's Law Firm Marketing, How to avoid marketing for failure

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  • Top News

Charlie Hebdo proves just how broken human rights law is

The massacre of the Charlie Hebdo staff in Paris last week has created a conundrum for the West. Should the press republish the satirical images of the Prophet Mohammad in solidarity with the slain cartoonists? Or should they refrain, because the comics are offensive to Muslims? You might think our international human rights treaties would guide us to the answer. But in reality, these treaties are broad and do not resolve conflicting sets of values. For example, Article 19 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights says that the right to freedom of expression is "subject to certain restrictions as are necessary for the protection of national security or of public order … or of public health or morals." But countries interpret these restrictions for public order and morals in greatly different ways. In the United States, we hardly ban any offensive speech or images. But child pornography is forbidden, as is offensive language on public broadcasts. In Europe, many countries ban various forms of hate speech, but not images of Mohammad. In many Islamic countries, a wider range of images and text deemed offensive or blasphemous are banned. Who's to stay which country correctly balances the public's interest in verbal and artistic expression and the need to respect others and their beliefs? The debate about freedom of expression reflects larger debates about the role of human rights law in the affairs of countries. Treaties like the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, and the Convention Against Torture (all of which nearly every country has ratified) govern a vast range of government behavior—not just speech and religion, but also the treatment of criminal suspects, the rights of workers, health care, and pensions.

UN aid chief warns of increasingly hostile environment for humanitarian workers

UN Emergency Relief Coordinator Valerie Amos said Wednesday that humanitarian workers are increasingly being called on to deal with the consequences of crises that arise out of complex situations, including poor governance, political paralysis, underdevelopment, poverty and inequality. Amos, who also heads the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, delivered a lecture on the subject at the Council of Foreign Relations. Significant pressure has been placed on humanitarian workers who are working in politically hostile and often dangerous environments to protect innocent civilians caught in the middle of conflict.

Supreme Court rules on appellate procedure for habeas corpus petitions

The US Supreme Court ruled Wednesday that a habeas petitioner who receives a favorable ruling at the district court level does not have to take a cross-appeal or obtain a certificate of appealability to defend the judgment in his favor on appeal. In 1989 Robert Mitchell Jennings was convicted of capital murder and sentenced to death. In his 2009 federal habeas petition, filed following the failure of his direct appeals and state habeas petitions, Jennings argued that his counsel was ineffective at trial based on three different theories, and the US District Court for the Southern District of Texas granted the petition based on two of the grounds. On appeal before the US Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, Jennings argued that the lower court reached the correct decision, again basing his arguments on all three theories. The Fifth Circuit reversed the grant of habeas corpus under the two theories that the district court had ruled on, and determined it lacked jurisdiction to hear the third claim because Jennings failed to cross-appeal or obtain a certificate of appealability. In its majority opinion, written by Justice Antonin Scalia, the Supreme Court held that because Jennings' remedy—that he be granted a new sentencing hearing—would have been the same under each of his three theories, there was no risk that arguing the third ground would enlarge his rights or lessen the state's rights under the district court's judgment, and so he was not required to take a cross-appeal or obtain a certificate of appealability.

Need some espionage done? Hackers are for hire online

No longer just the domain of intelligence agencies, "hacktivists" or criminal gangs, there is a growing cottage industry of ordinary people hiring hackers for much smaller acts of espionage. Read more…

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  • Crumbs

1 - Silk Road Trial Begins in New York - click here.

2 - Mutual Fund Billionaire Accused of Fraud in Suit - click here.

3 - Detained Washington Post journalist indicted in Iran - click here.

4 - Mexican billionaire more than doubles New York Times stake - click here.

5 - Samsung's reported offer of up to US$ 7.5 billion for BlackBerry - click here.

6 - Austria lifts adoption restrictions for gay couples - click here.

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  • MiMIC Journal

China investigating spy chief Ma Jian

China has confirmed it is investigating a powerful intelligence chief, Ma Jian, for corruption. The Communist Party's discipline watchdog said Mr Ma was suspected of "serious violations" of the law. Ma is the latest high-ranking figure to be targeted in an ongoing crackdown on corruption among party officials. He is vice-minister in the Ministry of State Security, which oversees foreign and counterintelligence operations. The wording used in the announcement typically applies to a corruption probe.

Hong Kong's CY Leung warns of 'anarchy'

Hong Kong's leader CY Leung has said the need for economic growth outweighs calls for greater democracy, in his first annual policy address since last year's pro-democracy protests. Leung said Hong Kong would "degenerate into anarchy" if it gave in to demands for universal suffrage. The speech was delayed as several pro-democracy members staged a protest in the legislature urging him to resign. Hong Kong's pro-democracy street protests came to an end in December.

  • Law Firm Marketing

How to avoid marketing for failure
By Tom Trush

"Failure only happens when you stop trying."
 
No doubt, you've seen a version of this quote before. I bring it up again because I'm often reminded of how well the advice applies to marketing.
 
So often, business owners and entrepreneurs seek out the magic pill to marketing nirvana. They crave the secret to a single action that results in an instant stream of leads. 
 
One action ... one marketing medium ... one shot at opportunity ...
 
Well, the truth is this approach rarely returns results, especially when you're desperate for revenue. 
 
You see, business owners and entrepreneurs who aren't consistent marketers frequently need leads fast because revenue dries up. So they put all their efforts into one approach. When it doesn't work, they give up and stop marketing altogether. 
 
This is like the baseball player who steps up to the plate, swings and misses at the first pitch, and then stubbornly stands with his bat stuck on his shoulder. Of course, a hit in this situation can't happen.
 
Just like in baseball, you must keep swinging when marketing, regardless of what happens on your first attempts. Marketing is a process you refine over time. And let's be honest ... 
 
No one gets it right the first time around. 
 
Effective marketing is an evolving process -- the amount of change depends on how much work you put forth. 
 
So are you willing to keep swinging? 
 
Here are several tips to help you the next time you step up to the plate:
 
> The most important piece of the promotional puzzle is attention-grabbing, compelling copy that delivers value. 
 
> You can't create effective marketing if you rely on interrupting as many people as possible with a message they never asked for.
 
> Listen to your prospects' most pressing problems, fears, frustrations, desires and dreams -- then use those words to craft your messages.
 
> Instead of just talking about your product or service, explain to prospects what it will do for them.
 
And one final thought ...
 
If you compare your marketing efforts against results achieved by others, you will always fail -- at least in your mind. You come up short every time you determine your success by others' accomplishments. 
 
Tom Trush is available on his website at https://www.writewaysolutions.com.
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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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  • Brief News

EU readies for Amazon tax showdown

European Union regulators will explain Friday why they think Amazon.com Inc. in Luxembourg violated EU law. The move by the European Commission, the bloc's top antitrust regulator, marks the latest phase of a high-profile investigation into alleged sweetheart tax deals that has already ensnared Apple Inc., Fiat SpA and Starbucks Corp. and could run much wider. The investigation is part of a broader European clampdown on tax avoidance by multinationals that has been estimated to cost the bloc up to €70 billion ($82.5 billion) annually in lost revenue. Governments are under pressure to bolster revenues and address concerns that large international groups have an unfair advantage over local firms.

Google and Apple in settlement offer

Tech giants Apple, Google, Intel and Adobe agree to a settlement of $415m to resolve a class-action lawsuit over hiring practices. The US lawsuit alleged the firms agreed not to poach staff from each other. It claimed the alleged agreement prevented workers from getting better job offers elsewhere. The 2011 US case had claimed $3bn in damages on behalf of more than 64,000 workers at the four firms. (Click here)

'Cyber attack war games' to be staged by UK and US

The UK and US are to carry out "war game" cyber attacks on each other as part of a new joint defense against online criminals. The first exercise, a staged attack on the financial sector, will take place later this year, Downing Street said. Agents will also co-operate in "cyber cells" involving MI5 and the FBI on both sides of the Atlantic. Cameron said cyber attacks were "one of the big modern threats that we face".

EU legal advisor supports ECB's bond purchase plan

EU Advocate General Cruz Villalon on Wednesday gave legal support to the European Central Bank (ECB) plan to purchase government bonds as an attempt to remedy the financial crisis in the Eurozone. The Outright Monetary Transactions program sets economic standards for selecting which states qualify for government bond purchases. The legal legitimacy of the program and its compatibility with EU treaties are being challenged in the European Court of Justice (ECJ) by the German government following their citizens' call to action.

Merkel urges new EU law on data tracking

German Chancellor Angela Merkel says she will press for new EU rules soon on data retention, to help in the fight against terrorism. An EU directive on data retention was made invalid by a European Court of Justice (ECJ) ruling last April. That 2006 directive opened up private communications data to police, but message content was still protected. Merkel's statement contrasts with the uproar in Germany last year over US mass surveillance of internet traffic.

Judge puts BP's top fine at $13.7 bn for Gulf oil disaster; US sought $18 bn

BP Plc faces a maximum fine of $13.7 billion after a US judge ruled that the company dumped 3.2 million barrels of oil into the Gulf of Mexico in 2010 -- about a quarter less than the US had calculated.

Google Glass sales halted

Google is ending sales of its Google Glass eyewear, but firm says kit is not dead. The company insists it is still committed to launching the smart glasses as a consumer product, but will stop producing Glass in its present form. Instead it will focus on "future versions of Glass" with work carried out by a different division to before. Users soon tired of Glass, complaining that it was not evolving in the ways that had been promised. There were also concerns about privacy and safety, with some bars and restaurants banning the use of the smart glasses on their premises. Other companies have launched smart glasses and various other forms of wearable technology. But no single product has yet proved the major hit that technology companies are looking for as they seek out the next big thing.

JP Morgan Chase profits hit by legal costs

JP Morgan Chase, the US's largest bank, has reported a 6.6% fall in quarterly profits after being hit by legal costs. The bank paid almost $1bn in costs due to a range of investigations into alleged wrongdoing, and has set aside more money to cover bad debts. JP Morgan's net income was $4.93bn in the fourth quarter, down from $5.28bn for the same period a year ago. In New York, the bank's shares fell 3.5% in the wake of the results. The bank has faced both criminal and civil investigations over its currency trading.

European court rejects Stalin grandson complaint

The European Court of Human Rights has rejected a complaint brought by one of Joseph Stalin's grandsons over an article accusing the Soviet dictator of being a "bloodthirsty cannibal". The report, in Russian newspaper Novaya Gazeta, looked at the Soviet leader's role in the 1940 massacre of Polish prisoners at Katyn. The grandson, Yevgeny Dzhugashvili, said it violated his right to privacy. Dzhugashvili considered the article defamatory and sought damages in a Moscow court, which ruled against him. But the court said Stalin remained "inevitably" open to criticism.

Marriot hotels do U-turn over wi-fi hotspot blocks

Hotel group Marriott International has announced it will stop blocking guests from using personal wi-fi kits. The firm was fined $600,000 last year by a US watchdog after a complaint that it had jammed mobile hotspots at a hotel in Nashville. Marriott responded at the time saying it only wanted to block such devices in its conference and meeting spaces and believed it had the right to do so. But it has changed tack after facing a backlash from customers and the press.

Turkish court bans access to Charlie Hebdo cover

A Turkish court on Wednesday banned access to websites showing the new cover of the French magazine Charlie Hebdo, which features a caricature of the Prophet Muhammad. The court's prohibition of access to the sites is reportedly in response to a petition filed by a lawyer who said that the sites posed a danger to public order. The picture shows the Prophet Muhammad holding up a sign reading "Je suis Charlie" ("I am Charlie") with a headline that says "All is forgiven." The release of the cover was met by appeals for calm by French Muslim leaders. Turkish police have adhered to the order by inspecting newspapers to see if they have printed the cartoon. (Click here)

Swiss franc soars as euro cap ends

The Swiss franc soars and sends markets into turmoil as Switzerland abandons the cap on the currency's value against the euro.

Irish banking inquiry: Bailout 'cost 40bn euros'

Ireland's bank bailout has cost 40bn euros ($47bn) to date, its banking inquiry has heard. The parliamentary inquiry is trying to uncover why blanket security was given and what failings there were in the regulatory and political systems. The Central Bank governor said the actual cost would drop from the original 64bn euros pumped in. Patrick Honohan said this was because of bank fees and shares in rescued institutions sold by the government. With the benefit of hindsight, Anglo Irish Bank and Irish Nationwide should have been put into liquidation in September 2008, he said.

US loosens Cuba travel restrictions

New US trade and travel rules covering Cuba will take effect on Friday, allowing the use of credit cards and ending a ban on Cuban cigars. The regulations have been in place for decades. The new regulations, which let some Americans travel to the island without a license, go into effect Friday.

Senate Republicans move to block further transfers from Gitmo

As part of a renewed push by the Obama administration to empty the prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, the transfer of five more detainees to other countries was announced on Wednesday night. All five are citizens of Yemen, where the local branch of al-Qaida is claiming responsibility for last week's attacks in Paris. Senior Republican senators introduced legislation this week blocking such transfers. They say releasing the prisoners lets them return to the battlefield.

Argentina president accused of cover-up in terrorist attack

An Argentinian federal prosecutor on Wednesday accused Argentina's president, Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner, of being involved in covering up Iran's involvement in a 1994 terrorist attack. The bombing of the Argentinian Jewish Mutual Association is said to have been one of the country's worst attacks, resulting in 85 deaths. The prosecutor, Alberto Nisman, requested that Judge Ariel Lijo interrogate the president and the foreign minister for "being authors and accomplices of an aggravated cover-up and obstruction of justice regarding the Iranians accused of the Amia terrorist attack," and seizing 200 million pesos worth of assets.

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