March 6, 2015 nº 1,601 - Vol. 11

"Scratch a pessimist and you find often a defender of privilege."

William Beveridge

In today's Law Firm Marketing, Moments of truth in the client lifecycle

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  • Top News

Justices Roberts and Kennedy hold key votes in health law case

With yet another do-or-die test of Obamacare before the US Supreme Court on Wednesday, the justices were sharply divided. By the end of the argument, it was clear that the outcome will be determined by Chief Justice John Roberts and Justice Anthony Kennedy. The chief justice said almost nothing during the argument, and Kennedy sent mixed signals, seeming to give a slight edge to the administration's interpretation of the law. Judging by the comments from the remaining justices, the challengers would need the votes of both Roberts and Kennedy to win. The challengers hinge their argument on six words in the 1,000-plus-page law. Those words stipulate that for people who cannot afford health insurance, subsidies are available through "an exchange established by the state." Only 16 states run their own exchanges. The federal government runs the exchanges for the remaining 34 states that opted out of running their own.

EU Court rules e-books are services, not goods

Electronic books cannot share the same reduced rate of value-added tax as paper books, the top EU court ruled, because e-books are 'electronically supplied services,' not goods.

Top US lawmakers urge Obama to send weapons to Ukraine

Leading Republicans and Democrats have urged President Barack Obama to provide lethal defensive weapons to Ukraine in its fight against pro-Russian rebels. In a letter, House Speaker John Boehner and other lawmakers said Russia's actions in Ukraine were a "grotesque violation of international law". They said that a recent truce had only consolidated rebel gains in the east. Ukraine and the West accuse Russia of helping the rebels with weapons and soldiers - a claim Moscow denies. Independent experts echo that accusation, but Russia insists that any Russians serving with the rebels are "volunteers".

US airlines see 'extreme' aid to Gulf rivals as feud escalates

US airlines called subsidies granted to Persian Gulf airlines "extreme," and said they're confident the Obama administration would take action to address what they see as unfair competition threatening the domestic industry. Executives of Delta Air Lines Inc., American Airlines Group Inc. and United Continental Holdings Inc. laid out their case for the first time publicly that the Gulf carriers are arms of their governments more than free-market airlines. The United Arab Emirates and Qatar have provided their state carriers with more than $42 billion in subsidies and other benefits since 2004. The airlines want the administration to keep the Gulf carriers from adding flights into the US pending a review of the Open Skies air treaties among the nations.

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Crumbs

1 - Immigrants entering Europe tripled in 2014 - click here.

2 - Egypt court delays parliamentary elections - click here.

3 - California Supreme Court finds blanket sex offender residential limits unconstitutional - click here.

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  • MiMIC Journal

China sets 2015 growth target at 7%

China, the world's second-largest economy, has set its growth target at about 7% for this year, the government said. The announcement was made by Premier Li Keqiang at the start of the National People's Congress on Thursday. The target is lower than 7.5% set last year, which was missed after China grew at its slowest pace in 24 years. The new target is in line with China's plan to guide the economy towards slower and more sustainable growth.

China loses millionaires as wealthiest tempted overseas

More than 76,000 Chinese millionaires emigrated or acquired citizenship of another country in the decade through 2013 amid global expansion by the nation's companies. Australia was among the most favored destinations. They also make the most applications for high-net-worth visas in the UK and the US.

  • Law Firm Marketing

Moments of truth in the client lifecycle
By Linda Julian

When Jan Carlzon wrote Moments of Truth back in 1985, he gave a name to a phenomenon we've all observed. Every moment and every client interaction matters, but some matter more than most.

In our work with law firms throughout Australia, New Zealand, and in Asia, we've investigated the moments that matter most in establishing and maintaining client relationships, and explored correlations between doing well at moments of truth and profiting from enduring client relationships.

Here are a few tips shared from our experience.

Because research about you and what you do often happens without any direct input from you, mostly before you're even aware, make certain that your web profile and information in circulation about you correctly depicts your skills and knowledge, and positions you for your target markets.

Word of mouth about you is another powerful touch-point -- it's not yours to control, but you can be pretty certain that over the long-term it will come close to the truth in terms of how others see you and what you do.

A prospective client's first personal encounter is probably the moment that matters most. Doing your best at these moments is crucially important.

Making the decision to go ahead -- the first purchase decision which crosses the line from being a prospective client to a client is another moment of truth. Make this a comfortable and easy journey, best accomplished with some "blurring" of the boundary by treating a prospective client as a client prior to the fact.

The time from commencement of work to the first bill is the next in the sequence of moments of truth. Any nervousness, uncertainty, concern or gap between the promise and the reality is likely to come to light at this point.

In most professional service relationships, the first three months or so is another moment of truth when you may find that you have a client whose eyes are bigger than their tummy or is numbered among the small group of perennially dissatisfied.

A service problem or billing problem is another moment of truth in the client lifecycle. Your behaviour and actions at these moments are exquisitely important.

The times when you seek to expand your business relationship with a client by cross selling or upselling, are moments of truth when you'll discover how you're seen, where you're pigeonholed, how far you've progressed along the trusted adviser continuum, and whether it's possible to break the bounds into a larger, longer-term and more strategically important relationship.

Frequency, extent, and strength of connection when projects are in train and complete are difficult to measure, but are telling signs of the quality and truth of your professional relationship.

Another moment of truth is when client retention is at risk for a plethora of reasons including major changes in the client's business or service needs, new management, changes to procurement processes, activities of your competitors, and changes in your own firm.

Perhaps the toughest moment of truth is when you're tasked to win back a client who has chosen a competitor.

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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 Verdadeira

Acuerdo

Pobladores indígenas en Perú llegaron a un acuerdo con la petrolera estadounidense Occidental Petroleum Corp, que fue demandada por supuestamente contaminar sus tierras en la Amazonía durante tres décadas. (Presione aquí)

Inversiones

Mineras canadienses confirman inversiones por US$4.000M en Argentina. Yamana Gold Inc y First Quantum Minerals desenvolsarán esa suma para el desarrollo de los proyectos mineros Cerro Moro, en Santa Cruz, y Taca Taca, en Salta, para la producción de oro y cobre respectivamente.

Costos

El costo de remediación de los daños ambientales provocados por el consorcio Pluspetrol en la amazonía peruana asciende a entre US$70 a US$90 mlls, anunció el presidente del directorio de Perupetro, Luis Ortigas. (Presione aquí)

Disputa

El Gobierno de Guyana informó que la petrolera estadounidense Exxon Mobil iniciará este viernes labores de perforación en el yacimiento Stabroek Block, ubicado en aguas en disputa territorial con Venezuela. (Presione aquí)

  • Brief News

ECB raises eurozone growth forecast to 1.5% for 2015

The European Central Bank has raised this year's eurozone growth forecast to 1.5%, up from 1% previously. It also said it would start its quantitative easing programme, first announced in January, next week. Mario Draghi said economic growth in the eurozone would strengthen slowly to reach 2.1% by 2017. He also said there would be low negative inflation in the months ahead before prices began to rise in late 2015, with 1.8% inflation in 2017. Earlier, the bank kept the eurozone's key interest rate unchanged at 0.05%, as expected.

Argentina prosecutor 'was murdered'

Independent tests show that Argentine prosecutor Alberto Nisman was deliberately killed, his family says, ruling out accident or suicide.

Egypt approves law aimed at improving investment interests

Egypt's cabinet and the Ministry of Investment approved an investment law Wednesday aimed at protecting business deals from legal disputes or political changes and addressing investor complaints about bureaucracy. The new law unifies the investment requirements and affects various industries, including mining and local producers. Supporters of the bill hope the new legislation will boost investment activity in economically deprived regions throughout Egypt.

EU in new pledge to cut red tape

A top Brussels official in charge of reducing the burden of EU regulations says he is determined to keep the EU focused on priority areas. "What we need is sensible, realistic rules that do their job - no more, no less", said EU Commission First Vice-President Frans Timmermans. Critics accuse the Commission of over-legislating, increasing business costs across the 28-nation bloc. "Sometimes there's a tendency in Brussels to think 'I legislate therefore I am'.

Brazil raises rates to six-year high

Brazil's central bank lifts interest rates to a six-year high of 12.75% in an attempt to restrain inflation. Brazil's economy had been one of the world's fastest growing, but looks to have stalled in 2014. Economists are now predicting that the economy will contract by more than 0.5% this year.

Brazil lawmakers start Petrobras probe

Shouting and finger-pointing between lawmakers marked the opening of Congress's latest probe of corruption allegations at Brazil's state-controlled oil company. Lawmakers raised their voices and yelled accusations as they argued over the creation of subcomissions in the first day of the parliamentary investigation into Petroleo Brasileiro SA.. Some legislators argued that they weren't consulted in setting up the groups, leading to unbalanced political representation.

Facebook rant lands US man in UAE jail

An expat American has been arrested in the United Arab Emirates for comments he posted on Facebook while in the US. Helicopter mechanic Ryan Pate wrote the Facebook post while in Florida after arguing with employer Global Aerospace Logistics (Gal) over sick leave. On returning to Abu Dhabi from Florida, he was arrested for breaking the country's strict cyber-slander laws. His trial is due to start on 17 March and he could face up to five years in jail and a large fine if found guilty.

EU data roaming and net neutrality plans attacked

European regulators have dropped plans to ban roaming charges and have proposed net neutrality rules allowing privileged access in some cases. They called for an "intermediate step" that would still allow carriers to charge more to use mobiles abroad. And net neutrality rules would bar discrimination in internet access, but allow prioritization of some services. The proposals were a significant departure from those first floated in 2013.

Hey, can you 'Like' my lawsuit?

Traditionally, lawyers track down parties for class actions by mail, but young people working for no pay in New York are unlikely to have fixed addresses. In November, Judge Alison Nathan gave plaintiffs, Aulistar Mark and Andrew Hudson, permission to use social media, too. "This is a younger generation. They're more apt to use hashtags." "Federal rules of civil procedure require that members of a legal class be provided "the best notice that is practicable under the circumstances," including individual outreach where possible. Plaintiffs' attorneys aren't supposed to be intrusive or to actively solicit parties, and they're not supposed to imply that the court thinks they have a good case. Most judges see regular mail as the gold standard, thanks to a 1950 Supreme Court ruling that found no need for lawyers to turn to other means of finding plaintiffs "where the names and post office addresses of those affected by a proceeding are at hand." Some judges won't even let lawyers call potential class members on the phone. "The courts have been reluctant to give up on notice by mail," says Charles Silver, a law professor at the University of Texas at Austin. "1950—it might as well be hundreds of years ago, as far as the Internet is concerned. It just did not anticipate this means of communication." In the past decade, class-action lawyers have clashed over the merits of e-mail relative to old-fashioned postal mail. "Social media is sort of the next chapter of this."

No prosecution of Ferguson police officer

A US Department of Justice (DOJ) report released Wednesday says the department will not prosecute Darren Wilson, the former Ferguson police officer who shot and killed unarmed black teenager Michael Brown last August. According to the report, the DOJ found that there is "no evidence upon which prosecutors can rely to disprove Wilson's stated subjective belief that he feared for his safety." In a press release on the matter, US Attorney General Eric Holder indicated that this was not an absolution of the Ferguson police force, citing numerous constitutional violations uncovered during the six-month investigation, including a pattern of excessive force and arrests without probable cause. Ferguson is currently in negotiations with the DOJ to change police practices; failure to reach a settlement could lead to a civil lawsuit against Ferguson for the conduct of its law enforcement.

All US banks pass first phase of 'stress test'

All 31 US banks have passed the first hurdle in the Federal Reserve's latest round of annual "stress tests" to see how they would cope in the next economic crisis. The central bank said the banks had enough capital to keep lending during a severe global recession. This was the first time since the tests began in 2009 that all banks had a capital level above the minimum amount. But some Wall Street giants were among the worst performers. Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley and JP Morgan Chase were among the five banks with the lowest readings for a capital ratio of at least 5%. In the next round of tests, the Fed will determine whether the banks can maintain those capital levels and still return money to shareholders.

Polish MPs offered military training

Parliamentarians in Poland will be offered military training because of fears that the war in Ukraine could spread to neighboring countries.

EU court annuls European Central Bank oversight requirement

The General Court of the European Union on Wednesday annulled a portion of the European Central Bank's (ECB) Eurosystem Oversight Policy Framework requiring financial institutions clearing trades in euros to be located in the Eurozone. The UK brought the action before the General Court, contending that the ECB lacked the authority to impose a location requirement on central counterparty clearing houses (CCPs). The General Court narrowly nullified Eurosystem Oversight Policy Framework Eurozone location finding that the "ECB lacks the competence necessary to regulate the activity of securities clearing systems as its competence is limited to payment systems alone by Article 127(2) of the FEU Treaty."

UK court extends smoking ban to prisons

Paul Black, a prisoner at HMP Wymott, won a contentious judgment in the UK High Court on Thursday banning smoking in prisons and all Crown premises.

  • Daily Press Review

Senior Nusra commander killed in Syria air strike
Al Jazeera, Doha, Qatar

French court bans DVD of controversial comedian Dieudonné
Haaretz, Liberal daily, Tel Aviv, Israel

Population 'rose 565,000 since 2011'
BBC News, Centrist newscaster, London, England

Father testifies he left dying son to save daughter
CNN International, London, England

BAZ BAMIGBOYE: Now Queen Helen is putting Blair in the hot seat
Daily Mail, Conservative daily, London, England

Lazy police let rapists off with slap on wrist: Tens of thousands of serious criminals only get caution†
Daily Mail, Conservative daily, London, England

Police arrest suspect in latest migrant tragedy in Italy
EuroNews, International news, Ecully Cedex, France

Archaeologists uncover royal Celtic burial site in small French town
France 24, Issy-les-Moulineaux, France

The rise of political Islam in Turkey
Hurriyet Daily News, (Liberal, English-language), Istanbul, Turkey

Cottage industry heads for the big time with US listing
Independent The, London, England

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

Harrison Ford's close shaves
Telegraph The, Conservative daily, London, England

Elle Macpherson poses in bikini for Harper's Bazaar in Bahamas
Telegraph The, Celebrity news, London, England

Lantern Festival attracts record visitor numbers
China Post, English-language daily, Taipei, Taiwan

Terror Attack Can't Shake S.Korea's Partnership with U.S.
Chosun Ilbo, Conservative daily, Seoul, South Korea

After Turkish Airlines plane skids off the runaway IAF helps clear runway
Hindustan Times, New Delhi, India

86 million-year-old oyster fossil found in Dhar, reaffirms presence of sea in central India
India Times, Conservative daily, New Delhi, India

U.S. ambassador slashed in face with razor in Seoul
Japan Times, Independent centrist, Tokyo, Japan

Police: Federal judge shot during robbery attempt in Detroit
New Zealand Herald, Conservative daily, Auckland, New Zealand

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

Parliament House opens its roof to the public for Enlighten 2015
Sydney Morning Herald, Centrist daily, Sydney, Australia

Anamul ruled out of Bangladesh World Cup squad; Imrul in
Taiwan News, English-language daily, Taipei, Taiwan

EU says U.S. policy change helps its own talks with Cuba
The Economic Times, Business, Mumbai, India

Delta plane skids off runway at LaGuardia Airport in New York
Canadian Broadcasting Centre, Toronto, Ontario

Knife attack on U.S. Ambassador symbolizes frustration in South Korea
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

Opinion: Eco-efficient Crop and Livestock Production for Nicaraguan Farmers
IPS Latin America, International cooperative of journalists, Rome, Italy

Apple lets companies fine-tune apps before watch debut: Bloomberg
Reuters, Business News, New York, U.S

Australia complains over Indonesia's treatment of death row prisoners
Reuters, World News, New York, U.S

Judge writes simple and 'inspiring' legal decision for repeat offender
Toronto Star, Toronto, Ontario

'Boko Haram' kill dozens in Nigeria
BBC News, Centrist newscaster, London, England

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