April 29, 2016 nº 1,737 - Vol. 13

"Jealousy is a dog's bark which attracts thieves."

Karl Kraus

In today's Law Firm Marketing, How to avoid creating a terrible tagline


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  • Top News

US House approves e-mail privacy bill

The US House of Representatives voted unanimously [bill history] Wednesday to pass the Email Privacy Act" [HR 699, PDF]. The purpose of the bill is to protect the e-mail correspondence of American citizens, as under the current Electronic Communications Privacy Act, passed in 1986, local and federal police agencies have the ability to read e-mails at will that are at least six months old. The amendment has been part of an attempt to move privacy legislation into the 21st Century and to update electronic information laws to reflect current usage and technology. The bill, introduced by Rep. Kevin Yoder (R-KS) in 2015, must be sent to the Senate and pass other legislative hurdles before it becomes law. HR 699 has been supported by those with diverse backgrounds and political ideologies who have come together to reform expansive governmental surveillance power.

Brazil's leader-in-waiting sees no quick fix for economy

Vice President Michel Temer is playing down expectations that he can achieve a quick fix for Brazil’s economic troubles should his boss, Dilma Rousseff, be impeached. Temer, 75, would only achieve gradual improvements of fiscal accounts, is in no rush to raise the retirement age and has ruled out giving the central bank full independence. He spoke in a 30-minute interview from his offices on the top floor of the congressional building that towers over downtown Brasilia. Brazilian assets for months have rallied on expectations that the vice president could revive economic growth and renew confidence in a country that has been battered by a widening budget deficit, near double-digit inflation and rising unemployment. Now one of his closest advisers says there’s no room for the kind of dramatic austerity measures investors crave in light of the country’s crushing recession.

  • Crumbs

1 - Amazon found liable for charges incurred by kids using apps - click here.

2 - Getty Images files antitrust complaint against Google - click here.

3 - U.S. top court poised to overturn Virginia ex-governor's bribery conviction - click here.

4 - Transgender woman facing military service as a man can stay in UK - click here.

5 - Girl, aged 12, forced to wait weeks for Australian court to approve abortion - click here.


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  • MiMIC Journal

China passes new laws on foreign NGOs

China has passed new laws on foreign non-governmental organizations (NGOs) state media said, amid criticism. The full text was not immediately available, but previous drafts stated that NGOs would have to submit to police supervision and declare sources of funding. Critics say the laws amount to a crackdown, but China has argued that such regulation is long overdue. There are currently more than 7,000 foreign NGOs operating in China.

  • Law Firm Marketing

How to avoid creating a terrible tagline
By Tom Trush

Let's play a quick game of tagline trivia ...

Read the following taglines and match each one with the correct business:

1. We want to help you.
2. The lowest prices around.
3. The best quality and service.

a. 1st Choice Bail Bonds
b. Livery Distribution
c. Big Al's

I collected these taglines this morning while driving my son to school. You probably see similar marketing messages in your neighborhood.

The problem most taglines share is they lack meaning. Besides a release from behind bars, do you understand what the above businesses offer?

I don't. In fact, I'd argue the three taglines could apply to just about any company.

Like any weapon in your marketing arsenal, taglines must deliver a beneficial message to your prospects. If you use a tagline and it doesn't state in a handful of words the solution delivered by your product/service, you're wasting valuable space on your marketing materials.

Your prospects don't have the time or interest to figure out what you can do for them. They have pressing problems that require immediate solutions.

Sure, you see well-known companies use vague taglines all the time. Coke .. McDonalds ... Nike ... Apple ... Chevrolet ... Prudential ...

But these are deep-pocketed corporations that can repeatedly force-feed you marketing messages until your mind can't resist them anymore. You don't have this financial luxury!

See how your tagline matches up against this checklist:

> Can your text stand alone? If you remove your company name and other surrounding words, is your message still effective?

> Does your text only apply to your business -- not your competitors? Do you have a distinctive message?

> Is the outcome clear? Can everyone understand what they get by doing business with you?

> Does your text avoid worn-out clichés? Haven't you seen enough "outside-the-box" promises with words such as "quality," "value," "best," "satisfaction," "leading," and "maximize"?

> Would your words attract you as a prospect? Does your message focus on your target audience, instead of your business?

Tom Trush is available at https://www.writewaysolutions.com.

© Trey Ryder
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  • Historia Verdadera


Italba Corporation, empresa de telecomunicaciones de los EE.UU. lleva a Uruguay a un juicio de arbitraje por cancelar su licencia de operaciones en 2011. La operadora de telecomunicaciones, con sede en Miami, reclama una indemnización de US$ 100 mlls. (Presione aquí)


Tribunal de Justicia de España admitió un recurso contencioso administrativo contra la decisión del Ministerio de Industria de autorizar la instalación del polémico proyecto de una mina de uranio en Salamanca, en una región fronteriza con Portugual.

(Presione aquí)


Venezuela recibirá financiamiento adicional por unos US$ 1.500 mlls. de la banca japonesa para un proyecto que busca permitir la conversión de crudo extra pesado en la Refinería de Puerto La Cruz. Con este acuerdo, Caracas ha encontrado apoyo en países de Asia por un total de US$ 5.300 mlls.

  • Brief News

Germany begins reforming sex crime law after Cologne

The German parliament is debating draft laws to give women more protection in sexual violence cases. Dozens of sexual assaults in Cologne on New Year's Eve shocked Germany, increasing the pressure to pass tougher laws on rape and molestation. The new legislation could make groping punishable in more cases. Campaigners for women's rights want the "No means No" principle enshrined in law. They say a woman should not have to prove that she resisted physically. Justice Minister Heiko Maas wants courts to be able to punish sexual violence in cases where a woman felt unable to resist physically. It is argued that current German law does not adequately protect victims who come under sexual pressure, who lack any means to defend themselves or who are subject to a surprise attack.

Brazilian president's campaign strategist arrested

Brazilian prosecutors have filed corruption charges against Dilma Rousseff's electoral strategist. Joao Santana was widely seen as the architect of Rousseff's 2010 and 2014 election victories. He has denied receiving bribes in a scheme to divert funds from the state-run oil company Petrobras. About 50 Brazilian politicians, including the leader of the lower house of Congress, are under investigation in the Petrobras corruption scandal.

Colombia legalizes gay marriage

Colombia's top court has legalized same-sex marriage, making the country the fourth in Latin America to do so. Gay couples were already allowed to form civil partnerships, but Thursday's ruling extends them the same marriage rights as heterosexual couples. Earlier this month the constitutional court dismissed a judge's petition against equal marriage rights for heterosexual and homosexual couples. Argentina, Brazil and Uruguay have previously legalized same-sex marriage.

AG candidate on verge of bringing ‘shoot first’ law to Missouri

In July 2013, George Zimmerman was acquitted for fatally shooting Trayvon Martin, an unarmed black teenager, thanks in part to Florida’s controversial “Stand Your Ground” law. In the wake of that decision, the U.S. attorney general, an American Bar Association task force, and numerous state legislators have urged states to rethink such laws, which permit citizens to use deadly force with no duty to retreat. But thanks to a highly controversial legislator and candidate for state attorney general, Missouri may be on the verge of becoming the first state to enact such a law since that time. State Sen. Kurt Schaefer (R) successfully attached an amendment on Wednesday night onto S.B. 663, a crime bill, that would allow deadly force to be used against trespassers on one’s private property if a person “reasonably believes” it is “necessary to protect himself, or herself or her unborn child, or another against death, serious physical injury, or any forcible felony.”

Muslim world sharply divided on Koran's influence on government law, poll finds

As the Middle East seethes in turmoil and violence, a new study shows that the Muslim world is sharply divided over the fundamental relationship between the laws of government and the religious teachings of the Koran. In places such as Pakistan, Jordan and the Palestinian territories, more than half of the people believe that their government laws should strictly follow the tenets of Islam, according to Pew Research Center. By contrast, people in Burkina Faso, Lebanon and Indonesia feel that the law of the land should not be influenced at all by the Koran or should be shaped only by the value of its teachings, the study found.

UN 'preparing response' to North Korea missile tests

The UN Security Council is preparing a response to North Korea after it test-launched two mid-range missiles. The two launches on Thursday came after a similar test on 15 April. Observers say all the tests appear to have failed, but a UN spokesman said such actions, which violate sanctions, were "deeply troubling". It comes amid a recent ramp-up in weapons activity as the North prepares for a rare party congress. There are also indications it is planning to carry out its fifth nuclear test, despite condemnation of its last test in January.

Vatican finances: Sharp increase in suspicious activity reports

The Vatican's financial watchdog has revealed a sharp increase in the number of suspicious transactions reported last year. There were 544 reports in 2015, up from 147 the previous year. Vatican officials say this shows progress on financial transparency, as it tries to dispel suspicions it is being used as a tax haven. But critics point to the fact that only 17 of those cases have been passed on to Vatican courts for investigation. Last year, European evaluators criticized the Vatican for not indicting any of those accused of financial malpractice.

New York Times chief executive accused of discrimination

The chief executive of the New York Times is facing multi-million dollar legal action alleging he introduced an "environment rife with discrimination based on age, race and gender". Mark Thompson, a former director-general of the BBC, is named in the class-action case alongside another executive, Meredith Levien. The case was filed by two black female employees in their sixties. It alleges that paper's ideal employee is young and white, with no family. The two employees accuse the Times of "engaging in deplorable discrimination". Their deposition says: "Unbeknownst to the world at large, not only does the Times have an ideal customer (young, white, wealthy), but also an ideal staffer (young, white, unencumbered with a family) to draw that purported ideal customer."

Volkswagen bosses to be paid $71m despite record losses

Volkswagen is to pay a dozen current and former senior managers a total of about €63m ($71m) for 2015, despite reporting record annual losses following its emissions scandal. The carmaker said it would withhold a portion of bonus payments for now, but could award them at a later date. Last year VW admitted to cheating on diesel emissions tests, with net losses for 2015 reaching €5.5bn. Chief executive Matthias Mueller apologized for the firm's actions. At a press conference, he acknowledged that the carmaker "disappointed many people who trusted Volkswagen". Mueller has been promised a 2015 pay package of €4.76m, of which €880,000 has been postponed.

Tennessee law allows therapists to refuse patients on religious grounds

Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam [official website] on Wednesday announced that he signed into law a bill [HB 1840, text] allowing therapists to refuse to treat patients based on religious objections, when that patient's "goals, outcomes or behaviors" conflict with the counselor's "sincerely held principles." The bill permits therapists to refuse service only if the individual is not in imminent danger, and if the counselor provides a referral to another therapist for treatment.

Japan citizens sue over law allowing deployment of troops abroad

More than 700 citizens and residents of Japan filed lawsuits [Kyodo News report] against the government Tuesday over new security laws that would allow the deployment of troops abroad to defend allies. The measure, backed by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe [BBC profile], would allow for Japan to work with other international government entities in the fight against terrorism. Of concern for many plaintiffs is that the new laws could bring terrorism to the shores of Japan, destroying their traditional [Asahi Shinbun report] way of life. Furthermore some of the litigators are educators who believe that in order to teach the constitution to their pupils, they would have to include the security measures that are at odds with the principles in the document. The litigants are suing for compensation for the harm they have and will receive in the future.

Lawyers attack rivals in tv spots

When trial lawyer Geoffrey Fieger takes to the airwaves in Detroit, he doesn’t just tout his courtroom prowess, he also chides his competition. “Every day, people are forced to settle for less than they need or deserve. Why? Because their lawyer doesn’t really try cases; they only advertise on TV.” Another Fieger ad shows darkened silhouettes labeled with the names of competitors as a deep voice asks, “You think you know them, or do you?” TV viewers get their share of flashy trial lawyer ads. But lately, there have been a lot more, and they’re getting nasty. Ads for firms such as Fieger’s highlight a more recent trend: lawyers directly attacking their competitors, in a style similar to political ads. Money spent on such advertising by law firms could rise 300 percent this year from last year, says Kantar Media’s Campaign Media Analysis Group (CMAG), which tracks TV advertising in 210 markets.

Mexico's anti-corruption bill stalls amid silence from President

One year ago Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto, reeling from conflict of interest allegations over his family’s purchase of luxury homes, signed an anti-graft law before a packed audience at Mexico’s national palace and swore a "firm commitment" to fight corruption. A year later and the secondary bills to implement the measure are languishing in congress. After successfully championing energy and education overhauls earlier in his term, Pena Nieto has fallen silent in recent weeks amid accusations his own party in Congress is trying to water down the corruption bills.


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