March 20, 2015 nº 1,607 - Vol. 11

"Destiny is no matter of chance. It is a matter of choice: It is not a thing to be waited for, it is a thing to be achieved."

William Jennings Bryan

In today's Law Firm Marketing, How to interview prospective clients: focus on their problems and your credibility for success


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  • Top News

Key FTC staff sought Google antitrust suit

Officials at the Federal Trade Commission concluded in 2012 that Google Inc. used anticompetitive tactics and abused its monopoly power in ways that harmed Internet users and rivals, a far harsher analysis of Google's business than was previously known. The staff report from the agency's bureau of competition recommended the commission bring a lawsuit challenging three Google practices. The move would have triggered one of the highest-profile antitrust cases since the Justice Department sued Microsoft Corp. in the 1990s. The 160-page critique, which was supposed to remain private but was inadvertently disclosed in an open-records request, concluded that Google's "conduct has resulted—and will result—in real harm to consumers and to innovation in the online search and advertising markets."

Ireland sells bills at negative yields

Ireland, once the epicentre of a banking crisis so severe it required a multi-billion euro bailout, has become the latest country to sell public debt at a negative yield in a sign of how far markets are operating in unknown territory. Dublin's €500m sale attracted bids of almost €2bn in spite of offering investors a guaranteed loss if they hold the debt until it matures in six months. Economic recovery in Ireland has been reflected in rising growth forecasts and stock prices this year but investors say the country would not be able to borrow at a sub-zero yield were it not for wider abnormalities in debt markets. Low interest rates, central bank bond buying programs designed to kick start growth and uncertain outlooks for the global economy have pushed up prices for the safest and most liquid assets, sending yields on government debt to record lows and in some cases below zero. Across Europe, negative yielding debt accounts for about a quarter of the sovereign bond market and in Switzerland investors accept negative yields to lend money to the government for more than a decade.

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  • Crumbs

1 - Indiana Senate approves proposal for terminally ill patients to access experimental drugs - click here.

2 - Gates and Bloomberg create $4 million fund to fight Big Tobacco - click here.


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  • MiMIC Journal

Anti-censorship China activists 'under DDoS attack'

A campaign organization that circumvents Chinese website blocks has said it has come under distributed denial of service attack (DDoS). Greatfire called the attack, which aimed to take sites offline, an attempt to enforce censorship. It said it did not know who was behind it, but pointed out that it coincided with pressure from Chinese authorities.

Yahoo pulls the plug on China office

Internet giant Yahoo is closing its China office and laying off "around 350" employees as part of a worldwide consolidation aimed at cutting costs.

  • Law Firm Marketing

How to interview prospective clients: focus on their problems and your credibility for success
By Trey Ryder

If you spend most of the interview telling prospects about your services, you're going about it all wrong. Your prospect's first priority is to understand his problem.

Successful lawyers spend up to 70 percent of interview time educating prospects about the magnitude of their problem and the risks of allowing it to persist. You win more new clients when you focus on their problems and follow these 17 steps:

Step #1: Give your prospect your undivided attention. This means no interruptions of any kind. If you can't give your prospect your full attention, then delay the appointment until you can. You must be a good listener and make your prospect feel as if he is the most important person in the world.

Step #2: Build rapport with your prospect. Try to sense your prospect's mood and respond in a helpful, caring manner. This lowers your prospect's resistance and forms an emotional bond that brings you closer together. One of my clients begins his interviews by saying, "Tell me about yourself." This gets the prospect talking and takes the focus off the attorney.

Step #3: Put yourself in your prospect's position. The best way to understand what your prospect feels is to imagine yourself in his shoes. Then make your presentation from your prospect's point of view.

Step #4: Identify the result your prospect wants. Ask what problem he wants to solve or what goal he wants to achieve. Then ask questions to determine the specific service you can offer. Listen carefully so you know which points your prospect considers most important.

Step #5: Educate your prospect about the seriousness of his problem. The more your prospect understands about the gravity of his dilemma, the more likely he is to hire you to correct it. Use supporting documents and articles as proof. At this point, however, don't offer solutions because your prospect first needs a clear understanding of his problem.

Tell your entire story in words your prospect understands. And don't fall into the trap of hitting only the high points of your presentation. Remember, this information is new to your prospect so explain everything slowly and clearly. You must present information so you cannot be misunderstood because many prospects won't admit they don't understand.

Step #6: Answer common questions before your prospect asks them. If your prospect raises a number of concerns, your discussion could seem adversarial. After you answer the questions, ask for your prospect's agreement to make sure he understood what you said. This way, he won't likely raise the concern again later.

Step #7: Emphasize the reasons your prospect should hire you. Explain how your knowledge, skill, judgment and experience give you special insights that you'll use to bring your prospect the results he wants. Talk about your education and qualifications. Give examples of other people you've helped in similar situations. Give your prospect copies of newspaper articles in which you were the featured expert. Show your prospect testimonial letters that prove how pleased clients are with your services. (Make sure you check your bar's ethics rules relating to testimonials because some jurisdictions do not allow lawyers to use testimonials.)

Step #8: Check for understanding after each point in your discussion. Watch for red flags that identify something your prospect didn't grasp. Remember, prospects won't buy what they don't understand. Make sure your prospect understands what you tell him.

Step #9: Offer specific solutions and discuss the pros and cons of each. If you offer only one solution, your prospect's choice is either yes or no. But when you present three positive options, he can select from three yes choices before he gets to no.

Step #10: Provide both logical and emotional reasons to hire you. Often, prospects retain your services for emotional reasons, such as whether they like you and whether they feel you truly want to help them. Then they use logic to defend their decision to their spouses and colleagues. When you provide both, you help your prospect justify his decision to engage your services.

Step #11: Quote a fee for each service. Use the contrast principle so your prospect views your fee in the proper perspective. Before quoting your fee, mention a larger number; then by contrast your fee won't seem so high. After you quote your fee, restate one or two major benefits your prospect will gain from hiring you.

For example: "Right now, Mr. Jones, your estate tax liability is over $200,000. After I set up your asset protection plan, your tax liability will be zero. My fee to draft your plan is just $7,500. When your plan is in place, it will save your family over $200,000 in estate taxes, eliminate at least $25,000 in probate costs and prevent lengthy court proceedings." In contrast to these other numbers, $7,500 seems like peanuts.

Step #12: Recommend a solution from your prospect's point of view. Your prospect is more receptive to your direction when you speak from your prospect's position. Instead of saying "This is what you should do," explain "If I were in your place, here's what I would do" -- and then explain why.

Step #13: Invite any remaining questions. Acknowledge each question as a "good point" or "valid concern". Don't view the question as an objection. Your prospect may simply want you to repeat something you discussed earlier. Or he may want more information. Offer your explanation calmly and with confidence. Your prospect wants you to assure him that hiring you is the right decision.

Step #14: Summarize the risks and benefits. Point out to your prospect the risks of allowing the problem to continue (what he may lose) -- and the benefits of solving the problem now (what he will gain).

Step #15: Tell your prospect how much you want to help him. Use collective words like "we" and "let's" to show that you and your prospect are working together.

Step #16: Allow your prospect to make his own decision without pressure from you. If you push your prospect, he will resist. So, instead, remind your prospect that the choice is his -- and that you will gladly answer his questions and provide whatever information he needs to make an informed decision.

If your prospect hires you, reassure him that he has made a wise choice. If your prospect is not ready to proceed, make sure he knows you're ready and willing to help him whenever he thinks the time is right.

Step #17: Follow up with a letter. If your prospect hired your services, thank him and reassure him in writing that he made a wise decision. If your prospect is not ready to proceed, encourage prompt action, point out the risks of waiting, and offer to answer any questions, now and in the future.

© Trey Ryder
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  • Historia verdadera


La canadiense Magna International Inc inicio de la construcción de una planta de autopartes valorada en unos US$ 135 mlls. en el estado de Querétaro, en el centro de México. En comunicado, la empresa informó que la planta producirá fascias, paneles y otras autopartes exteriores que venderá a fabricantes de vehículos globales. La compañía dijo que espera que la planta, que empleará a unos 600 trabajadores en el primer año de operación, abra en el primer trimestre del 2016.

Demanda colectiva

Los estudios norteamericanos Rosen Law, Peiff Rosca Wolf y Pomerant están preparando demandas colectivas - class actions - en EE.UU. contra la compañía minera SQM de Chile por daño a los inversionistas que compraron acciones de la empresa y posible violación a la ley de Valores del país. (Presione aquí)


El Gobierno de Venezuela espera rebajar los US$ 46 mlls. que el tribunal arbitral del Banco Mundial le ordenó pagar a la estadounidense Tidewater en compensación por la expropiación de sus activos en el país. (Presione aquí)

  • Brief News

Obama urges 'historic' Iran deal

US President Barack Obama tells the Iranian people a nuclear deal presents a rare chance to transform the two countries' relationship. "We have the best opportunity in decades to pursue a different future between our countries," he said. If Iran's leaders agreed to a reasonable deal, then the country would be on a path to prosperity, he said. "This moment may not come again soon."

EU links Russia sanctions to truce deal

European Union leaders have agreed to keep sanctions on Russia in place until the end of this year at the earliest. The sanctions, imposed because of Russia's alleged military intervention in Ukraine, are now linked to "complete implementation" of a ceasefire deal. The sanctions target major firms and political figures close to Putin.

Greece parliament passes anti-poverty bill

Greece's Hellenic Parliament passed an anti-poverty bill on Thursday, despite requests from international creditors to hold off on the vote until they had time to assess its budgetary impact. The anti-poverty bill is the first law passed since the leftist government was elected in January. The majority of lawmakers in Greece's 300 seat Parliament voted in favor of the bill. In an effort to offset austerity, the bill will provide free electricity and food stamps to low-income households. It is expected to cost around 200 million euro, which the government says will be offset by cutbacks in ministry spending and the adoption of a more transparent system for awarding state procurement contracts. In a speech before the vote, Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras acknowledged that the move was not approved by international creditors, but lauded it for offering something to the people.

France considers a ban on overly skinny models

Proposed legislation would criminalize the use of underweight models and ban online sites that glorify anorexia and other eating disorders.

ACLU sues TSA over controversial passenger screening program

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and the New York Civil Liberties Union filed a lawsuit in federal court on Thursday in an effort to obtain documents from the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) regarding their behavior detection program used in airports across the country to spot suspect travelers. TSA officers trained in behavior detection observe the behavior of airport passengers, screening for specific behaviors that the TSA associates with stress, fear or deception. When a passenger is flagged for exhibiting signs of such behavior, that passenger is subject to questioning and possibly detention or arrest. The ACLU, members of Congress, the government and independent experts have criticized the program, Screening Passengers by Observation Techniques (SPOT), for being ineffective, unscientific and wasteful. The program has reportedly cost taxpayers $1 billion since 2007 and has given rise to allegations of racial profiling.

Mexican man freed after 23 years

A Mexican-American man convicted for the 1992 murder of his sister and brother-in-law is freed after a court rules he confessed under torture. The court ruled that Mr Martin del Campo's confession had been extracted under torture and that there was no other evidence against him. He said police had placed a plastic bag over his head to make him confess to the double murder. According to a United Nations report, torture and ill treatment during detention are "generalized in Mexico, and occur in a context of impunity".

Amazon drone trial gets US regulator approval

The US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has approved Amazon's plans to begin testing drones for online deliveries. The FAA said it had granted Amazon a certificate for people with pilot's licenses to test the unmanned aircraft. The drones must be flown at 400 feet or below during daylight hours, and must remain within sight of the pilot. Under US law, operating drones for commercial purposes is illegal. However, those rules are under revision by the FAA, which is expected to issue new rules regarding the operation of unmanned aircraft for commercial and recreational purposes.

France presents data monitoring legalization bill

France's government on Thursday pushed a surveillance bill that would give French intelligence services the authority to monitor metadata. The government's hope is that such action would prevent an imminent terror attack. Parliamentary debate on the bill will begin next month. The measure has been criticized by privacy advocates, the Paris bar association and human rights groups such as Amnesty International (AI), which stated that the bill would lead to "extremely intrusive surveillance practices with no judicial preauthorization." If the bill passes, communications firms would be forced to give intelligence services access to connection data of people suspected of terrorist group involvement. French Prime Minister Manuel Valls clarified: "These are legal tools, but not tools of exception, nor of generalized surveillance of citizens. There will not be a French Patriot Act." The measure aims to give French intelligence services a legal framework to use high-technology tools such as location trackers for cars or devices that intercept mobile phones. France's previous surveillance law was passed in 1991, before much of today's mobile and internet technology.

AT&T loses $40m due to legal error

US technology giant AT&T loses $40m after its lawyers did not read key documents in time and subsequently failed to submit an appeal in a patent case.

Target to pay $10m to settle lawsuit over data breach

Target has agreed to pay out a total of $10m to people affected by a data breach in 2013. Each claimant will get up to $10,000 in damages under the proposed settlement of a class-action lawsuit, pending court approval. Consumers said that their credit card details were among the data leaked. The proposal also requires Target to adopt and implement data security measures. Target will deposit the settlement amount into an interest bearing escrow account under the settlement and claims will be submitted and processed primarily online through a dedicated website.

Alarming number of women think spousal abuse is sometimes OK

Domestic violence is never OK. Yet in 29 countries around the world, one-third or more of men say it can be acceptable for a husband to "beat his wife." Perhaps more surprising: In 19 countries, one-third or more of women agree that a husband who beats his wife may be justified, at least some of the time. The findings point at just how culturally acceptable domestic violence remains in many countries. The cultural acceptance of spousal abuse can be so pervasive that in some countries, large majorities of women say it's acceptable. In Rwanda, 96 percent of women say the practice can be justified. The attitude is also held by large shares of women in countries across the religious and cultural spectra — China, Egypt, Iraq, Nigeria, Peru, the Philippines and Uzbekistan, to cite a few. Even in countries where the vast majority of women don't approve of spousal abuse, the share that do find it potentially acceptable isn't exactly tiny. It's about 1 in 10 in the US and about 1 in 5 in Germany.

A British proposal to help control bankruptcy costs

Beginning next October, corporate reorganization professionals in Britain are going to have do something quite amazing: At the start of a case, they are going to have to estimate what their total fees will be. And if they exceed that amount, they will have to go back to the creditors and obtain further approval. Given the decades of complaints about the costs of Chapter 11 cases in the United States, it's something that we might want to consider, too. Big cases can run into hundreds of million of dollars, with top partners who specialize in Chapter 11 cases charging $1,000 an hour.

  • Daily Press Review

Libya army chief warns of ISIL threat against Europe
Al Jazeera, Doha, Qatar

State may cancel plea deal with absent Rabbi Yoshiyahu Pinto
Haaretz, Liberal daily, Tel Aviv, Israel

Skywatchers await solar eclipse
BBC News, Centrist newscaster, London, England

Fetus cut from mother's womb
CNN International, London, England

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

How brainy is your child? The answer's in their hands
Daily Mail, Conservative daily, London, England

Tunisians take part in vigil to defy Bardo museum attackers
EuroNews, International news, Ecully Cedex, France

US 'to reevaluate' backing of Israel at UN
France 24, Issy-les-Moulineaux, France

German immigrant journalists fight racism with unusual show
Hurriyet Daily News, (Liberal, English-language), Istanbul, Turkey

Postcard from... La Trinidad
Independent The, London, England

NY school says sorry for reciting Pledge of Allegiance in Arabic
Telegraph The, Conservative daily, London, England

Joseph Gordon-Levitt to dance his cares away in Fraggle Rock film
Telegraph The, Celebrity news, London, England

Islamic State group claims Tunisia attack that killed 23
China Post, English-language daily, Taipei, Taiwan

China Sends Anti-Aircraft Weapons to South Sudan
Chosun Ilbo, Conservative daily, Seoul, South Korea

UN asks Pakistan to reinstate moratorium on death penalty
Hindustan Times, New Delhi, India

'I get strength from music'
India Times, Conservative daily, New Delhi, India

Three Japanese women killed in Tunisia museum attack
Japan Times, Independent centrist, Tokyo, Japan

Passenger train derails in north India, killing 6 people
New Zealand Herald, Conservative daily, Auckland, New Zealand

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

Malcolm Fraser was planning to start a new political party
Sydney Morning Herald, Centrist daily, Sydney, Australia

Police say militants storm Kashmir police station, kill 2
Taiwan News, English-language daily, Taipei, Taiwan

US President Barack Obama tells Iran to grasp 'historic' chance
The Economic Times, Business, Mumbai, India

Tourism backlash feared following Tunisia museum attack
Canadian Broadcasting Centre, Toronto, Ontario

Swatting escalates from rare prank to serious concern for police
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

Banana Workers' Strike Highlights Abuses by Corporations in Costa Rica
IPS Latin America, International cooperative of journalists, Rome, Italy

Asia stocks stall as Fed-inspired lift peters out, dollar steady
Reuters, Business News, New York, U.S

Thai military court sentences man to one-and-a-half years for anti-monarchy graffiti
Reuters, World News, New York, U.S

From Toronto's 'war on graffiti' to a dynamic collaboration
Toronto Star, Toronto, Ontario

Boko Haram 'defeated in a month'
BBC News, Centrist newscaster, London, England

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