April 10, 2015 nº 1,614 - Vol. 11

"The digital revolution is far more significant than the invention of writing or even of printing."

  Douglas Engelbart

In today's Law Firm Marketing, Hire an experienced law firm marketing specialist to kick your marketing program into high gear

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  • Top News

US and Cuba hold highest-level meeting in over 50 years

US Secretary of State John Kerry and Cuban Foreign Minister Bruno Rodriguez have held talks, in the highest level meeting between the two countries in more than half a century. The two held closed-door discussions after arriving in Panama for a summit. Meanwhile, the US state department has reportedly recommended that Cuba be removed from its list of states said to sponsor terrorism. Removing Cuba from the list could lead to the easing of financial restrictions on Cuba's access to loans and aid. Such a move could pave the way for the two countries re-opening embassies. Obama and Cuban leader Raul Castro are also due to hold their first formal meeting at the Summit of the Americas in Panama over the coming days. The move was "the result of a months-long technical review" and would be "an important step forward in our efforts to forge a more fruitful relationship with Cuba."

Corporate cash cows drive out investment bulls

Concern grows at lack of corporate capital expenditure in QE era. What keeps central bankers awake at night? Maybe it is the fear that company chief executives are ignoring their extraordinary efforts to kick-start economies. Low levels of business investment since the collapse of Lehman Brothers are a growing concern in 2015. For central bankers, the worry is that rather than reviving Keynesian “animal spirits”, exceptional monetary policy actions have actually hampered markets’ basic function of financing the expansion of economies. For equity investors, the danger is that surging stock markets have been far too optimistic about growth prospects — and reward those chief executives who hand money back to shareholders rather than those with ambitious, job-creating expansion plans. This week the International Monetary Fund warned that the post-2007 financial crises could have permanently lowered the rate at which economies can expand. Yet on the same day, the IMF provided some comfort for insomniac policymakers and nervous investors in a separate analysis of why private investment fell 25 per cent in advanced economies during 2008 to 2014, compared with forecasts made in early 2007. Rather than suggesting something had gone profoundly wrong with financial markets, the IMF argued the fall could be explained simply as the result of exceptionally weak economic growth. Some negative effects were identified as resulting from high economic uncertainty and weakened banking systems, for instance in southern Europe. Even then, however, the behavior of companies was not particularly abnormal.

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  • Crumbs

1 - Man shoots judge, lawyer, co-defendant in Milan courthouse - click here.

2 - Tsarnaev found guilty on all counts in Boston Marathon bombing trial - click here.

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  • MiMIC Journal

China 'using sheer size' in sea row

The US is concerned China is using "sheer size and muscle" to strong-arm smaller nations in the row over the South China Sea. The comments came amid heightened focus on Beijing's construction of artificial islands in disputed areas of the sea. A US think tank released images showing land reclamation work on a reef claimed by the Philippines. China says the work is needed to safeguard its sovereignty. China claims almost the whole of the South China Sea, resulting in overlapping claims with several other Asian nations including Vietnam and the Philippines. They say China is illegally reclaiming land in contested areas to create artificial islands with facilities that could potentially be for military use.

  • Law Firm Marketing

Hire an experienced law firm marketing specialist to kick your marketing program into high gear
By Trey Ryder

Lawyers often ask me if they can hire someone in-house to conduct their marketing program. And, of course, you can. But whether you hire someone in-house or an outside consultant, the most important considerations are the person's knowledge, skill, judgment and experience.

Over the years, I've watched lawyers hire recent marketing graduates from business schools. The results a recent graduate can generate are similar to the legal skills of a new law school graduate who, likewise, has little if any hands-on experience in the real world.

Equally as sad, I've seen lawyers delegate the marketing function to their secretary. The result is a secretary who doesn't have time to do her secretarial work -- nor does she have the knowledge, skill or experience to conduct the marketing program. A lose-lose situation.

ADVICE: When you hire or contract with a marketing person, invest the dollars necessary to get a marketing specialist with a proven track record of success. And a competent marketing person -- like a competent lawyer -- doesn't come cheap. Still, the marketing professional should generate results that far exceed his fee. But those results won't appear overnight, so allow time to build your marketing momentum.

I invite you to go to my website www.treyryder.com and familiarize yourself with The Ryder Method™ of Education-Based Marketing. You'll also find detailed articles about how to choose a marketing program and marketing specialist.

BOTTOM LINE: A competent marketing program is every bit as complex as a murder trial or brain surgery. And because the future of your law practice depends on it, you don't want to hire the cheapest marketing person you can find -- or dump this important responsibility on your busy legal secretary.

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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

Cyber acuerdo

El fundador de Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg, lanzó junto al presidente panameño Juan Carlos Varela, una iniciativa para que la población de Panamá tenga acceso gratuito a la red a través de la plataforma Internet.org. (Presione aquí)

Citi - Cuba

El grupo financiero estadounidense Citigroup está evaluando su regreso a Cuba, confirmó el presidente ejecutivo para Latinoamérica, Francisco Aristeguieta, en un foro empresarial que se cumplió en Panamá a propósito de la Cumbre de las Américas. (Presione aquí)

Malvinas

Argentina denunció ante la justicia local a cinco petroleras, tres de ellas británicas, que exploran y explotan hidrocarburos cerca de las Islas Malvinas, archipiélago austral cuya soberanía es reivindicada por Buenos Aires, informó este jueves la cancillería. (Presione aquí)

Arbitraje

Suez Environment dijo que un tribunal de arbitraje internacional ordenó a Argentina pagarle US$ 405 mlls en daños relacionados con la finalización de una concesión de contrato de agua y tratamiento de desechos en Buenos Aires. (Presione aquí)

  • Brief News

Oklahoma may approve gas executions

Oklahoma is set to become the first state in the US to allow the use of nitrogen gas as a method of execution. The state legislature has passed a bill, which now awaits the governor's signature to become law. Several US states are considering alternative execution methods as they struggle to obtain lethal injection drugs amid a nationwide shortage. Inventories dwindled after European manufacturers opposed to capital punishment refused to sell the drugs. Under the new law, nitrogen gas chambers will become Oklahoma's primary backup method of execution if lethal injection drugs are unavailable or ruled unconstitutional by the Supreme Court. Electrocution and firing squad are the backup methods currently available to the state.

Eurozone: Six days for Greece to offer new reforms

The eurozone has said only six working days are left for Greece to come up with a revised list of reforms to seal a deal on its next rescue bailout. Eurozone deputy finance ministers want an agreement on the €7.2bn loan in time for a Eurogroup meeting on 24 April. Greece has fulfilled its financial commitments by meeting Thursday's deadline to repay €460m to the International Monetary Fund, but the situation is becoming rather desperate. There is precious little cash left in the national coffers, and if the government fails to procure further funding soon, it will be in trouble. Without new money it will struggle to renew €2.4bn in treasury bonds due to mature in the middle of April, or pay back another €0.8m to the IMF on 12 May.

Austria court considers Facebook privacy case

A court in Austria will rule in the next few weeks whether it has the jurisdiction to hear a class action lawsuit brought against Facebook. Some 25,000 users - led by Austrian law graduate Max Schrems - accuse Facebook of violating European privacy laws in the way it collects and forwards data. The case has been brought against Facebook's European HQ in Dublin, which handles accounts outside US and Canada. Facebook's lawyers have argued for the case to be dismissed. They presented a list of procedural objections at a court hearing in Vienna on Thursday. Schrems - a campaigner for data protection - said he brought the claim to stop what he calls mass surveillance by the social networking site. The legal action claims privacy laws are breached in the way Facebook monitors users when they activate the site's "like" buttons. (Click here)

Obama calls for end to 'gay conversion therapies'

Obama has condemned psychiatric therapies designed to "repair" gay, lesbian and transgender youth. Obama's statement was in response to an online petition calling for a ban on conversion therapies. It gained over 120,000 signatures in three months. The petition was inspired by Leelah Alcorn, a 17-year-old transgender youth who committed suicide in December. Some conservative groups and religious doctors support conversion therapy.

HSBC faces French criminal tax probe

HSBC says it has been placed under formal criminal investigation by French magistrates over alleged past tax-related offences at its Swiss private bank. It added that bail of €1bn ($1.075bn) has been imposed. HSBC said it believed the French magistrates' decision was "without legal basis and the bail is unwarranted and excessive". It added that it would appeal and "defend itself vigorously". The French claims relate to the conduct of HSBC's Swiss private bank in 2006 and 2007. HSBC has come under fire over what it knew about some clients' tax affairs.

Tentative nuclear deal in hand, Iran says all sanctions must be lifted

Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei says that any arrangements must respect Iran's interests and dignity. And he questioned the need for talks, if they don't trigger the sanctions' removal.

Weighing privacy vs. rewards of letting insurers track your fitness

John Hancock, a US-based insurer, hopes that fit and active people will exchange activity data for lower life insurance premiums and other perks. Those who sign up for this optional program, the first of its kind in the United States, will receive a free Fitbit device to track their activity levels. But privacy advocates fear that programs like these will result in auto, health and life insurers hedging their risks by monitoring your every move. "This is essentially a medical surveillance system," said Jamie Court of Consumer Watchdog, a nonprofit that advocates for taxpayer and consumer interests. "This may look like a carrot to lure new customers, but it's ultimately a stick," he said. Court fears that John Hancock's program will slowly gain acceptance among young and affluent people, but over time insurers will build tools that will be used to deny people coverage.

Rome's plan for prostitutes upsets sex workers and the Catholic Church

One neighborhood is creating a "zone of tolerance" to confine prostitutes to certain areas. The community likes it and says it had to act because Italian society has failed to address the issue.

California senate committee advances bill banning child vaccine exemption

A California senate committee on Wednesday approved a bill that would prohibit parents of school children from citing their personal beliefs as a reason to let the children remain unvaccinated. The proposed legislation, introduced by Senators Dr. Richard Pan and Ben Allen, would continue to allow medical exemptions to vaccinations in certain circumstances.

Panama tribunal lifts ex-president Martinelli's immunity

The Panama Electoral Tribunal said Wednesday that former president Ricardo Martinelli will no longer be immune from prosecution, which allows investigations of corruption charges from Martinelli's time in office to begin. The Panama Supreme Court had requested the lifting of immunity after unanimously voting in January to appoint a special prosecutor and begin the corruption probe. The court will investigate Martinelli for suspected crimes against public administration. The supermarket magnate allegedly inflated contracts worth millions of dollars to purchase food for a government social program. Martinelli has not been in Panama since the court announced its investigation.

HRW sues DEA over mass surveillance program

Human Rights Watch (HRW) filed suit Tuesday accusing the US Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) of collecting records of the organization's telephone calls to foreign countries. The DEA attempted to make the existence of a mass surveillance program confidential until January, when a federal judge ordered the government to disclose additional information about the program. The purpose of the surveillance program is to collect telephone metadata, including data about the numbers people call and the time, date and duration of those calls. HRW, represented by the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), has filed a series of legal claims alleging unconstitutional government surveillance.

Ukraine bondholders seek painless restructuring

Investors holding $10 billion of Ukrainian debt have joined forces to develop a restructuring plan that won't involve a reduction in the principal value of the bonds.

  • Daily Press Review

Canadians didn't really know Mike Duffy
Al Jazeera, Doha, Qatar

The Israelis going in search of their Spanish roots
Haaretz, Liberal daily, Tel Aviv, Israel

Cricket legend Benaud dies aged 84
BBC News, Centrist newscaster, London, England

1 person dies as tornadoes rip up parts of Midwest
CNN International, London, England

Kim and Khloe Kardashian fawned over by Armenia's Prime Minister
Daily Mail, Conservative daily, London, England

Why 26 is the age when we have the most friends
Daily Mail, Conservative daily, London, England

Kerry and Rodriguez make 'progress' as US and Cuba prepare for historic reconciliation
EuroNews, International news, Ecully Cedex, France

Are UN drones the future of peacekeeping?
France 24, Issy-les-Moulineaux, France

Ertu?rul exhibition opens in Istanbul
Hurriyet Daily News, (Liberal, English-language), Istanbul, Turkey

Walter Scott shooting: Police dash-cam video of victim fleeing from officer Michael Slager revealed
Independent The, London, England

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

Obama and Castro arrive in Panama as historic ministers' talks raise hopes of deal
Telegraph The, Conservative daily, London, England

Daniel Radcliffe in pictures
Telegraph The, Celebrity news, London, England

Lao family apologizes over Apache scandal
China Post, English-language daily, Taipei, Taiwan

Draft-Dodgers to Be Named and Shamed Online
Chosun Ilbo, Conservative daily, Seoul, South Korea

Afghan official Attack in north kills policeman prosecutor
Hindustan Times, New Delhi, India

Farmer dies after setting himself afire
India Times, Conservative daily, New Delhi, India

Parents ruled not liable for accident caused by son's soccer ball
Japan Times, Independent centrist, Tokyo, Japan

Obama, Castro to come face to face amid bid to restore ties
New Zealand Herald, Conservative daily, Auckland, New Zealand

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

The Americas neighborhood: A look at summit players
Taiwan News, English-language daily, Taipei, Taiwan

Slovenia can expect two bids for Telekom: Source
The Economic Times, Business, Mumbai, India

Cuba, U.S. hold highest-level meeting in more than 50 years
Canadian Broadcasting Centre, Toronto, Ontario

Popular Chinese TV host apologizes for insulting comments about Mao Zedong
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

From Punta del Este to Panama, the End of Cuba's Isolation
IPS Latin America, International cooperative of journalists, Rome, Italy

Asian shares on track for weekly gain
Reuters, Business News, New York, U.S

North Korea seen intent on provocation but no sign of nuclear test
Reuters, World News, New York, U.S

Nurse charged after woman allegedly taken off life support without consent
Toronto Star, Toronto, Ontario

South African Rhodes statue removed
BBC News, Centrist newscaster, London, England

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