February 13, 2015 nº 1,594 -  Vol. 11

"Speech was given to man to disguise his thoughts."

Charles M. de Talleyrand

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In today's Law Firm Marketing, A complete marketing message screens prospects, makes better use of your time

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  • Top News

EU draft deal proposes carbon-market fix by end of 2018

The European Union should start a mechanism to curb oversupply in the carbon market by the end of 2018, sooner than 2021 as proposed by the bloc's regulator, under a compromise plan proposed today in the European Parliament. The draft measure to introduce the emissions market stability reserve through the legislature is an attempt to bridge differences between political groups on the design of the reserve, which would absorb carbon allowances if the surplus exceeds a fixed limit and release them to the market in the event of a shortage. The 28-nation EU is seeking to strengthen its cap-and-trade emissions program after the price of permits plunged almost 70 percent since 2008 to levels that fail to deter industry from burning coal, the most-polluting fossil fuel. Carbon allowances for delivery in December rose as much as 2.5 percent to a three-week high of 7.49 euros a metric ton on ICE Futures Europe in London.

Secret service's duties scrutinized by congressional panel

The Secret Service's dual mission of investigating financial crime and protecting dignitaries came under scrutiny at a congressional hearing, the latest sign that more changes could be coming to the beleaguered agency. In questioning before the House Oversight committee, members of an expert panel, which evaluated the agency last year after high-profile breaches, suggested the Secret Service should consider whether to jettison certain responsibilities. Protecting the financial system of the United States is a massive endeavor if there aren't bounds and limits put on it. There has to be a very good-faith look at whether or not investigative functions enhance the ability to protect. In recent years, the Secret Service has sought to establish itself as the lead player in investigating data breaches that involve payment information. That is a logical extension, officials say, of its historical role as the primary enforcer of anti-counterfeiting laws. But a series of incidents have raised questions about the agency's ability to protect the president, the first family and other dignitaries.

Better times for law firms, with more on the horizon

Citi Private Bank Law Firm Group has some very welcome news to report to the nation's largest law firms and the people who run them: things are looking up. The bank, which has access to the financials for a number of large law firms, issued its Full Year 2014 Legal Industry Results on Thursday. The results were mostly positive. According to the report, net income was up 6.0% over that of 2013, and profits-per-partner were up 5.7%. Firms across the board are doing better. The biggest of the big — the so-called AmLaw 50 — had the best year. In 2014, the profits-per-equity-partner for these firms were up 7.2% over the 2013 numbers. The figure had risen 5.6% from 2012-2013. The rest of the industry seemed to "narrow the gap" a bit. The second 50 largest firms experienced a 3.2% growth in profits-per-equity-partner, as compared to 2.3% in 2013. And the second 100 firms had "PEP" growth of 4.1%, as compared to a 1.4% dip in 2013. Firms with strong transactional practices tended to outpace the rest. It was a very strong year for M&A. In regard to the other broad category of legal services, litigation, things weren't quite as good. Companies are increasingly choosing to settle their disputes rather than fight them all the way to trial. Companies are also "disaggregating" their litigation work, sending some of the more mundane work to third-party outsourcing firms. They're also keeping more work in-house. Heading into 2015, things could look even stronger. Inventories are up more than any period since 2007, right before the financial crisis hit and dragged the legal industry down alongside it.

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  • Crumbs

1 - Yemen crisis: US, UK and France close Sanaa embassies - click here.

2 - Paris to ban the most polluting diesel vehicles by 2020 to lower air pollution - click here.

3 - Gay Marriage in Alabama Begins, but Only in Parts - click here.

4 - Costa Concordia captain sentenced to 16 years jail for disaster - click here.

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  • MiMIC Journal

Qualcomm to pay record $975m in China antitrust case

US chipmaker Qualcomm will pay $975m to Chinese authorities to end a 14 month anti-trust investigation into its patent licensing practices. The fine is the largest in China's corporate history and will require the firm to lower royalty rates on patents used in China's mobile phone market. The move could help Chinese smartphone makers Xiaomi and Huawei. Qualcomm said on Monday it would not contest the ruling that it violated China's anti-monopoly law. (Click here)

Baidu shares plunge after revenue miss

Shares in China's biggest online search engine, Baidu, fall nearly 10% after disappointing results as users switch to mobiles.

Tesla losses mount over China woes

Electric car maker Tesla reports a fourth-quarter loss of $108m (£71m), compared to a loss of just $16m during the same period a year ago, as investments ramp up and China sales disappoint.

  • Law Firm Marketing

A complete marketing message screens prospects, makes better use of your time
By Trey Ryder

I don't use the word "sell" because I dislike everything selling-based marketing stands for. Still, I want to relate an old adage that contains this distasteful term. So please forgive the verbiage and absorb the message. The old adage says, "The more you tell 'em, the more you sell 'em."

What it means is this: The more information you give prospects, the more likely you are to win new clients.

Here's an example: One prospect comes into your office and says he can give you five minutes to explain how you can help him. Another prospect says he can spend half an hour with you.

Which of these two prospects is more likely to hire your services?

No doubt, the one who gave you more time. Why? Because you were able to tell him more about his problem, about your background and experience, and about the solutions you can provide.

Now take the same principle and apply it to your marketing message. It makes no difference whether we're referring to your educational packet, seminar, newsletter, web site, or anywhere else you deliver your marketing message. Your information should be complete. You should discuss everything you would discuss in a personal meeting with your prospect. The only thing that's missing is the actual one-on-one personal contact.

A complete, competent marketing message should include (1) a detailed explanation of your prospect's problem, (2) proof that the problem is so important that it should be solved now, without delay, (3) an in-depth discussion of your background and qualifications, (4) examples of other clients you have helped with similar problems, (5) comments from past clients and colleagues attesting to your skill and experience, and (6) a detailed discussion about fees and payment terms.

Some lawyers hesitate to discuss fees or other subjects they believe prospects might view in a negative way. The lawyers figure it's better to wait until the prospect is in the lawyer's office, when personal contact is at its highest and the strength of the relationship at its strongest.

But waiting for the one-on-one meeting isn't always best because it may not be an efficient use of your time. How often have you spent considerable time with a prospect only to later learn that the prospect (1) doesn't fit your client profile, (2) doesn't need exactly the service you offer, or (3) can't afford your fees?

Had you explained your client parameters to your prospect before your appointment, you would not have wasted your time.

Still, I understand that some cases are complex and require that you ask in-depth questions before you determine whether to accept a client. So I'm not ruling out the value of meetings. Even so, the more information you provide before the appointment, the fewer appointments you'll waste with prospects who fall outside your client parameters.

When you offer complete details in your written materials, seminars, and web site, you'll find that prospects who don't meet your requirements (and, therefore, aren't really your prospects), usually won't call you. In this way, your marketing message screens out people who aren't your prospects simply because you described your client parameters in your marketing message.

In fact, if you wish, you can go one step further and insert a message for prospects who are not within your target audience. You might say something like, "If you do not fall within the group of clients I serve, you're invited to call (someone else)."

Or, if you don't want to make a blanket referral, you can invite them to call your secretary who can make a referral privately. In this way, you build goodwill with lawyers to whom you make referrals, but still don't personally get involved in what could be a time-consuming screening process.

The prospect wants help. So even if that help doesn't come from you, the prospect will feel grateful if you can point him in the right direction.

Don't overlook this important point: Prospects often know very little about your knowledge, skill, judgment or experience. But one thing they can and do judge, almost immediately, is the degree to which you're willing to help them.

You build a great deal of goodwill, even among non-prospects, when you help them find the help they need. Then, one day when their needs fit the profile of the clients you serve, they'll remember how much you helped them and may ask again for your help. They may also send you referrals.

So, don't hesitate to explain all the details about your services in your marketing message. You can say just about anything in ways that appear positive, qualify your prospects, and help you invest your time efficiently.

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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

China - Brasil

China pone fin al bloqueo de atraque de buques de carga de minera brasileña Vale . (Presione aquí)

Créditos

Uruguay tendrá a su disposición créditos de organismos multilaterales por un mínimo de US$ 3,600 mlls. hasta el 2020, tanto para financiamiento contingente como para mejorar infraestructura, educación y productividad, dijeron ejecutivos de las entidades. El BID, el BM y la Corporación Andina de Fomento se reunieron con el gabinete del Gobierno que asumirá el 1 de marzo Tabaré Vázquez.

De salida

La petrolera argentina Pluspetrol anunció el retiro de sus equipos en Perú, tras una petición del Gobierno para evaluar su operación en la zona de Pichanki, en la región amazonica, donde fue acusada por indígenas de provocar daños ambientales por sus operaciones petroleras. (Presione aquí)

  • Brief News

Law students leave torts behind (for a bit) and tackle accounting

Law schools are adding business-oriented offerings to better equip students to compete in a redefined job market. They spent "boot camp" sessions learning about accounting principles, reading financial statements, valuing assets and other basics of the business world — subjects that not long ago were thought to have no place in classic law school education.

A closely watched metric that can be more art than math

As investors engage in an increasingly desperate global competition for higher-yielding securities, debt issuers appear to be taking advantage of the extraordinary demand by manipulating one of Wall Street's favorite metrics of profitability. The measure is known as Ebitda — earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization — and Wall Street bankers, traders and research analysts use it as a way to discuss whether a company or its stock is overvalued or undervalued because it ostensibly provides a picture of "normal" operating earnings. Creditors use the growth or decline of Ebitda to determine debtors' ability to pay back their loans. Lately, though, debt issuers are taking unusual license in how they calculate their Ebitda. Companies can include items like projected savings to tailor Ebitda even if there's a chance those savings will never be realized. On the other side of the equation, investors are being less than vigilant in questioning what goes into the Ebitda calculation. The combination of the two trends can lead to turmoil in the proper functioning of the credit markets, which in turn could choke off the country's nascent economic recovery. "Market participants use Ebitda as a proxy for normalized pretax unlevered operating earnings.” "But what constitutes 'normal' is subjective, and we find that in periods of low risk tolerance, issuers more aggressively calculate Ebitda to improve their credit metrics and facilitate market access."

Federal judge strikes down ban on interstate handgun sales

A judge for the US District Court for the Northern District of Texas ruled Wednesday that the ban on interstate handgun sales by federal firearm dealers is unconstitutional. Mance, a Texas federal firearms dealer, and the Hansons, residents of Washington, DC, who tried to purchase a handgun from Mance, brought this lawsuit with the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms challenging the federal ban. Section 922 of the Gun Control Act of 1968 states that individuals can only purchase out-of-state firearms when the guns have been transferred to an in-state federal dealer, with the exception of rifles and shotguns. The court ruled that the government failed to show how this ban "alleviates, in a material way, the problem of prohibited persons obtaining handguns" by traveling to another state and found the law unconstitutional on Second and Fifth Amendment grounds.

Turkey challenges Obama on murders

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan criticises Obama for his silence over the murder of three Muslim students in the US. He said politicians were responsible for events in their countries and had to clarify their stance over them. More than 5,000 people attended the funeral of the students who were shot dead in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. With a suspect in custody, police are still investigating the motive, amid family claims it was a hate crime. A district prosecutor said there was no evidence that the victims had been targeted because of their faith.

Greek compromise is possible

German Chancellor Angela Merkel has said a compromise is possible in the stand-off with Greece over its bailout terms. But Merkel said that "Europe's credibility depends on us sticking to rules". Greece opposes extending its bailout deal, saying it is damaging their economy. On Wednesday, talks with other eurozone members failed to reach an agreement. If there is not an agreement within two weeks to extend the current bailout then Greece will not be eligible for a €7bn loan and shortly after will run out of money.

Saudi women drivers 'freed from jail'

Two Saudi women who were detained for defying the kingdom's ban on female drivers have been freed after more than 70 days in custody. Loujain al-Hathloul, 25, was arrested while campaigning for the ban to be eased. Her friend Maysa al-Amoudi, 33, was detained when she went to help her. Concerns for the women were heightened after reports that their case was being transferred to a terrorism court. Saudi Arabia is the world's only country to forbid women from driving.

Obama to discuss cyber security with tech bosses

A meeting at Stanford University in California will bring together industry and law enforcement. It follows Obama's launch of an intelligence unit to co-ordinate analysis of cyber-threats. Obama, Apple's Tim Cook, a senior member of Britain's National Crime along with executives from Microsoft, Facebook and Google will appear at the cyber security summit on Friday. Obama "wants to build support for efforts to better protect against cyber-threats and share more information about cyber-attacks", the White House said. Obama is planning to call on private tech firms to share more information with law enforcement, potentially placing him at odds with the companies.

HSBC whistleblower's email uncovered

An email which Herve Falciani, the whistleblower at the centre of the HSBC tax row, says that he sent to HM Revenue and Customs in 2008 has been uncovered by a French newspaper. HMRC said it had no record of the email. Falciani said he had offered it information on clients from one of the five biggest private banks "in the world" that is "based in Switzerland".

Pizzolato faces extradition

Italy's highest court has ruled that fugitive Brazilian banker Henrique Pizzolato should be extradited to Brazil. Pizzolato, who has dual Brazilian and Italian citizenship, had fled to Italy to avoid a 12-year jail sentence.In October after a court in Bologna decided he should not be extradited to Brazil because his safety could not be guaranteed in a Brazilian prison. The appeals court in Rome overturned that decision on Thursday, in a decision seen as a victory for the Brazilian government.

HRW: Burundi forces committing extrajudicial executions

Burundian National Defense Forces and police have committed at least 47 extrajudicial executions following a confrontation with an armed group in Cibitoke, Human Rights Watch (HRW) said Thursday.

Was Obama right to criticize Staples?

The president says "shame" on office supply store that is allegedly limiting the hours of part-time workers to avoid a healthcare mandate. Critics reply that the president doesn't understand how businesses work.

From Facebook to a virtual you: planning your digital afterlife

Social Media platforms are getting closer to answering the question: What happens to our online accounts after we die? Facebook, Google and other popular services are offering more control over how we are remembered online. Facebook announced Thursday that it is adding a new "legacy contact" feature — think of it as an emergency contact for your account in the case of death. As before, Facebook says the account of a deceased user will change to a "memorialized" status. Previously, Facebook has been strict on refusing account access to family members of the deceased.

US House passes Keystone XL pipeline bill

The US House of Representatives passed the Keystone XL Pipeline Approval Act Wednesday and sent the bill to President Barack Obama, who has vowed to veto the legislation. The bill passed the House by a vote of 270-152 and passed the Senate two weeks by a vote of 62-36, meaning neither chamber passed the legislation with a wide enough margin to override a presidential veto.

Myanmar president approves country's constitution referendum plan

Myanmar lawmakers on Wednesday said that the country's president has approved a law allowing a referendum on amendments to its constitution later this year. The referendum may include up to 95 proposed constitutional revisions and is tentatively scheduled for May 2015, before a general election in October or November.

EU travelers face stricter passport checks to halt terror

European travelers returning home from abroad may face longer waits at airports as governments sought tighter border controls in response to the Paris terror attacks. European Union leaders agreed at a meeting in Brussels on Thursday that last month's attacks showed the need to combat the flow of radicalized returnees into the continent's 26-nation border-free travel zone.

  • Daily Press Review

New shelling in eastern Ukraine after peace summit
Al Jazeera, Doha, Qatar

Amr Moussa Considers Election Boycott
Asharq Al-Awsat, Pan-Arab daily, London, England

After 40 years of decline, Israel defense burden still high
Haaretz, Liberal daily, Tel Aviv, Israel

Shelling follows Ukraine summit
BBC News, Centrist newscaster, London, England

Who is Chapel Hill shooting suspect Craig Hicks?
CNN International, London, England

Kenneth Branagh to set up his own theatre company
Daily Mail, Conservative daily, London, England

Thomson flight attendant disciplined for posting picture of passenger on Facebook
Daily Mail, Conservative daily, London, England

Ireland makes legal gender equality history
EuroNews, International news, Ecully Cedex, France

EU warns Russia over Ukraine peace deal
France 24, Issy-les-Moulineaux, France

Roma children in Turkish province to be trained as preachers, Ottoman army band members
Hurriyet Daily News, (Liberal, English-language), Istanbul, Turkey

Ukrainian crisis: Shelling continues as Russian tanks roll across the border a day before ceasefire starts
Independent The, London, England

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

Perilous journey through the reed-beds of Lake Chad to escape Boko Haram
Telegraph The, Conservative daily, London, England

Fifty Shades of Grey: Jamie Dornan on how he got comfortable in the Red Room
Telegraph The, Celebrity news, London, England

Kaohsiung inmates free hostages, kill selves
China Post, English-language daily, Taipei, Taiwan

Low Oil Prices Herald Change in Korean Car Market
Chosun Ilbo, Conservative daily, Seoul, South Korea

US lawmakers seek different approach on Pakistan
Hindustan Times, New Delhi, India

Principal booked for torturing girl student
India Times, Conservative daily, New Delhi, India

Japan adopts new aid policy, may aid foreign militaries
Japan Times, Independent centrist, Tokyo, Japan

Rapper Drake releases surprises album on iTunes
New Zealand Herald, Conservative daily, Auckland, New Zealand

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

Canberra's Treasury Building could be sold to balance budget
Sydney Morning Herald, Centrist daily, Sydney, Australia

Thai investors buy up more English clubs
Taiwan News, English-language daily, Taipei, Taiwan

Rolls-Royce downgrades 2015 profit forecasts
The Economic Times, Business, Mumbai, India

Mohamed Fahmy released on bail in Cairo
Canadian Broadcasting Centre, Toronto, Ontario

At least Obama's being somewhat truthful
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

Cuban Agriculture Needs Better Roads
IPS Latin America, International cooperative of journalists, Rome, Italy

Brent hovers near $60, up almost 4 percent on week
Reuters, Business News, New York, U.S

Myanmar says 47 soldiers killed in clashes with rebels near China border
Reuters, World News, New York, U.S

Mohamed Fahmy released from Cairo prison on bail
Toronto Star, Toronto, Ontario

Punches at South Africa parliament
BBC News, Centrist newscaster, London, England

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