May 6, 2016 nº 1,740 - Vol. 13

"You can't cross the sea merely by standing and staring at the water."

Rabindranath Tagore

In today's Law Firm Marketing, Hidden persuaders: keep these documents close at hand for when your presentation needs a boost


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  • Top News

Brazil court suspends Lower House Speaker Eduardo Cunha

Brazil's top court has suspended Lower House Speaker Eduardo Cunha from his mandate, following a request by the country's attorney general. He has been accused of trying to obstruct a corruption investigation against him and intimidating lawmakers. Cunha is an outspoken critic of President Dilma Rousseff and has led an impeachment drive against her. Next week, Brazil's Senate is due to vote on whether to launch an impeachment trial against her. If a simple majority votes in favor, she will be suspended from office for 180 days while Vice-President Michel Temer takes over as interim president. The dramatic suspension of Eduardo Cunha from the lower house of Congress may come too late to save Dilma Rousseff but, be in no doubt, he played a critical role in the process which now sees Brazil's first woman president on the verge of suspension from office. Dilma Rousseff and her supporters in Congress say it was her government's decision not to give in to the Speaker's demands, specifically over an ethics committee investigation into Cunha, that triggered his subsequent move to begin the impeachment process against the president. In an interview, while declaring her own innocence, Rousseff was scathing about the man who has emerged as her nemesis. Cunha is suspected of obstructing an investigation into allegations he took $5m in bribes from companies seeking to secure contracts with state-oil giant Petrobras, which he denies.

Brazil infrastructure law

For international lawyers, investors, and scholars, the recently published "Brazil Infrastructure Law", edited by Marçal Justen Filho, Cesar Pereira and Maria Augusta Rost, of Justen, Pereira, Oliveira & Talamini - Advogados Associados, is a comprehensive view of Brazilian infrastructure law from the standpoint of key local practitioners. Until May 22, Migalhas International's readers get a 20% discount on the book, just filling out the form (click here for the coupon). You can also read a sample chapter (click here for the chapter).

  • Crumbs

1 - Florida Supreme Court weighs unconstitutional death sentences - click here.

2 - UK courts chief to leave job after just over a year - click here.

3 - Antidiscrimination Rule for Lawyers Faces Backlash - click here.


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  • MiMIC Journal

China airports segregate security lanes

An airport in central China has become the latest to create women-only security lanes in an effort to improve the flow of passengers. Wuhan Tianhe airport, a busy international hub in central Hubei province, has introduced the single-sex checks because it says women usually take longer going through security. Gender-segregated lanes will shorten waiting times for male travellers, and give women more privacy if they're asked to remove shoes or layers of clothing, the airport says.

Alibaba profits triple as mobile sales soar

Profits almost tripled last year at the world's biggest e-commerce company, Alibaba. The Chinese firm, which handles more transactions than Amazon and eBay combined, reported a net income of 71bn yuan ($11bn) for the year to 31 March, up 193% on the previous year. Sales rose by a third to 101bn yuan, with sales on mobile devices up 182%.

  • Law Firm Marketing

Hidden persuaders: keep these documents close at hand for when your presentation needs a boost
By Trey Ryder

Your prospect is in your office. You've explained everything in detail. Yet for some unknown reason, he hasn't agreed to move forward. Here are tools you can use to turn your prospect's hesitation into an enthusiastic Yes!

CREDIBILITY. These tools help overcome your prospect's hesitancy if it is due to his lack of trust in you or your ability to solve his problem or achieve his goal.

Written Schedule of Fees. Prospects feel more comfortable when they see your fees in writing. Some prospects assume lawyers set their fees based on what they think the prospect can afford. Handing your prospect a schedule of fees on paper helps overcome this skepticism.

Reprints of Articles You Wrote. Few things boost credibility as quickly as seeing published articles with your name in the by-line. Prospects immediately conclude you're an expert when they see that editors have published your writings. And the more well known the publication, the more credibility they attach to it.

Testimonials From Past Clients. Like published articles, comments from clients, colleagues and referral sources cause your credibility to soar. The more testimonials you have, the better. If a prospect is in doubt about hiring you, showing him 10, 20 or 50 testimonials melts away skepticism. (Check your rules of professional conduct. Not all bar associations allow lawyers to use testimonials.)

Client Service Guarantee. Show your client the guarantees you make in writing. You might guarantee the quality of your services, the highest level of personal attention, to return phone calls promptly, to meet all deadlines, to always have a lawyer available, to not exceed the quoted fee, and so forth.

Overview of Services. In some cases, prospects aren't entirely sure what you plan to do for them. By having a written overview of what you do for clients -- and a breakdown of the major steps under each service, you help your prospects see on paper what you will do. Also, by having these services in writing, you reinforce that what your prospect is asking you to do is consistent with what you do for many clients.

URGENCY. These tools help overcome your prospect's hesitancy if he knows he should take action, but his desire to delay outweighs his desire to move forward.

Actual Case Histories: Prospects are persuaded when they see that you have helped other clients who have situations similar to theirs. The more similar the case history is to your prospect's situation, the more persuasive it will be. Also, the more similar the client is to your prospect, the more your prospect will be swayed.

What Your Prospect Gains From Acting Now: List the many ways your prospect benefits from hiring your services today. You might call the document: How you benefit from retaining (your name) (or your firm name). Recite a case history about someone who took action immediately -- and the ways he and his family (or firm) benefited.

What Your Prospect Risks or Loses by Not Hiring You Today: List the many ways your prospect's situation can deteriorate and what he loses by not acting now. Recite a case history about someone who chose not to act -- and the terrible consequences that person paid. Emphasize the unpredictability of your prospect's situation and your sincere desire to minimize or eliminate his risk.

UNDERSTANDING. These tools help overcome your prospect's hesitancy if his reluctance is due to his lack of understanding about what you'll do or what outcome you can achieve.

Frequently Asked Questions. You help your client when you have a document that answers most questions prospects ask. The more questions you answer -- before your prospect raises the issues -- the more your prospect trusts that you are forthcoming with information. If your prospect has to draw information from you, you risk his concluding that you would not have disclosed these facts had he not asked.

Glossary. If your prospect doesn't understand the terms you use to describe what you'll do, your prospect might be happy to receive a glossary of relevant terms. Often, prospects won't admit when they don't understand. The more you do to help, the better they feel.

Outcomes. List on a sheet the various outcomes that could result from your efforts. Ask your prospect to assume that you will get a positive result, and then ask your prospect to identify whatever choices he will make at that point. By helping your prospect see past your efforts to future decisions he will face, he assumes you have already succeeded and is thinking far into the future.

UNINVOLVED. These tools help overcome your prospect's hesitancy if he feels distant or uninvolved in the process. In some cases, getting your prospect involved or making small decisions calms his nerves and helps him move forward.

Objectives. Hand your prospect a form that includes a list of the many objectives typical prospects want to achieve. Ask him to identify the objectives that are most important to him. This helps clarify to him what you'll do -- and helps him conclude that you understand what he wants to achieve.

Contact Information. Asking your prospect to provide you with his contact information gives his something easy to write down.

Other Facts You Need. Regardless of your area of law, you probably need some type of information from your prospect before you proceed. The easier it is for your prospect to provide this information, the more helpful it will be in calming his nerves and helping him move forward.

Minor Decisions. If you've read sales books, you may know the story of the car buyer who was afraid to make the expensive decision to buy a Mercedes. The salesperson asked, "What initials do you want me to mount on the driver's door?" The man responded by giving his initials and, at that point, agreed to the major purchase. By asking the buyer to make a minor decision, which he perceived as no big deal, the salesperson effectively sold the car.

When you educate your prospect -- when he understands what you'll do -- when he understands what you'll charge -- and when he trusts you, your prospect has no reason not to move forward.

When you use Education-Based Marketing, you don't need to "close the sale." The "sale" closes itself through your process of answering your prospect's questions.

Eventually, your prospect says, "What do I need to do to hire you?" You show your prospect where to sign and ask for a check, which by this time are the only logical steps to take.

And you've won a new client.


© Trey Ryder
FREE LAWYER MARKETING ALERT: If you'd like to receive Trey Ryder's weekly Lawyer Marketing Alert, send an e-mail to 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


El colombiano Grupo Sura logró concretar la adquisición de la filial local de Royal & Sun Alliance Seguros Argentina, tras concluir los trámites legales ante la Superintendencia de Seguros de la Nación de ese país. Así, tomó el control de la total de la operación local y comenzará a operar como “Seguros SURA S.A”. A partir de ahí, la compañía realizará una inversión de US$ 15 mlls. para actualizar sus sistemas de tecnología y lanzará una campaña publicitaria con la nueva marca.


El fabricante francés de automóviles Renault invertirá más de US$ 684.18 mlls. en un nuevo proyecto en España que incluye la fabricación de un nuevo auto y un nuevo motor en su planta de Valladolid, en el norte del país. El proyecto 2017-2020 superaría los dos planes de inversión anteriores de Renault en España.

  • Brief News

Fitch downgrades Brazil

Fitch Ratings downgraded Brazil's sovereign debt further into junk territory on Thursday, citing a deeper-than-expected economic contraction and changing fiscal targets that have undermined credibility. Fitch downgraded Brazil to BB from BB+ with a negative outlook a week before a Senate vote that is expected to lead to the ouster of unpopular leftist Rousseff. Henrique Meirelles, a likely finance minister if Vice President Michel Temer becomes president, said the first step Brazil must take is to establish realistic targets. "Everyone increasingly needs to know that what is signaled, what is declared a goal or a target, will be achieved," he said.

Facebook must face privacy claims over photo-tagging feature

Facebook Inc. users who say the social network’s facial scanning flouts their privacy rights won the first round of a court fight. A federal judge in San Francisco on Thursday rejected Facebook’s request to throw out a lawsuit alleging the company “secretly amassed the world’s largest privately held database of consumer biometric data.” The dispute is over technology introduced in 2010 that allows users to identify people they recognize in photos using a tool that automatically matches names to faces on pictures uploaded to the social media site. Citing an Illinois law, subscribers alleged they never gave Facebook permission to use their faces as biometric identifiers, while the company countered that all users could opt out at any time. Facebook also argued that information derived from photographs wasn’t covered by the law. Facebook had no immediate comment on Thursday’s ruling.

120 nations accuse US top Court of violating law over Iran

The 120-nation Nonaligned Movement headed by Iran accused the US Supreme Court on Thursday of violating international law by ruling that nearly $2 billion in frozen Iranian assets can be paid to victims of attacks linked to the country. A communique issued by the NAM's Coordinating Bureau follows an Iranian appeal to the United Nations last week to intervene with the US government to prevent the loss of their funds. Iran's Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif called the ruling an "outrageous robbery, disguised under a court order." The NAM, comprising mainly developing countries, called the US waiver of "the sovereign immunity of states and their institutions" a violation of US international and treaty obligations. It called on the US government "to respect the principle of state immunity" and warned that failing to do so will have "adverse implications, including uncertainty and chaos in international relations." It also warned that a failure would also undermine the international rule of law "and would constitute an international wrongful act, which entails international responsibility."

Rule on arbitration would restore right to sue banks

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is proposing a rule that would limit clauses forcing customers to agree to arbitration instead of pursuing class-action suits. (Click here)

US House Speaker Paul Ryan 'not ready to back Trump'

US House Speaker Paul Ryan has said he cannot currently support Donald Trump as Republican presidential nominee. Ryan, who is the highest-ranked elected Republican, said: "I'm just not ready to do that at this point. I'm not there right now." He called for Trump to unite the party and do more to adhere to conservative principles. An hour later, the New York businessman responded by saying: "I am not ready to support Speaker Ryan's agenda." “Perhaps in the future we can work together," he added. Trump said he hoped he and Ryan could come to an agreement about what was best for the American people. "They have been treated so badly for so long that it is about time for politicians to put them first!"

US busts “huge money laundering scheme”

A prominent family in Panama has been running businesses as a front for a major drug money-laundering operation, according to the US authorities. Businessman Nidal Waked and his father Abdul are accused of running an organization that laundered money through a luxury mall, a bank and duty-free shops. The family's holding company says the accusations "are false and unfounded". A statement by the US Treasury said the money-laundering operation run by Nidal Waked and his father "uses trade-based money laundering schemes, such as false commercial invoicing; bulk cash smuggling; and other money laundering methods, to launder drug proceeds on behalf of multiple international drug traffickers and their organizations". The family runs Panama's oldest newspaper, the Estrella de Panama, and led a consortium that took control of the duty-free zone at Panama International Airport in 2007. The Treasury's move saw 68 companies linked to the family having their assets frozen, and being prevented from dealing with US companies. Among those blacklisted is the Panama-based Balboa Bank.

Australian ends attempt to prove he founded Bitcoin

Craig Steven Wright has claimed to be the creator of the online currency, but on Thursday withdrew an offer to provide more evidence.

Law school’s acceptance of GRE test scores provokes tussle

The legal profession's gatekeepers engaged in a fierce debate this week after an Arizona law school began accepting applicants who had taken only the more general GRE graduate admissions exam instead of the traditional Law School Admissions Test.

FDA finalizes new rule to extend regulatory power over all tobacco products

The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on Thursday announced the finalization of a new rule that extends its regulatory power to all tobacco products, including e-cigarettes, cigars and more. The US government introduced new federal rules that include a ban on the sale of e-cigarettes to people aged under 18. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) will also require manufacturers to submit products to the agency for review. Cigars, pipe tobacco and hookah tobacco are also subject to the new rules. The FDA said the new rules, which come into effect in 90 days, will require retailers to ask buyers for proof of age and will ban the sale of the products in vending machines. Free samples will also be barred.

New law makes 'upskirting' a crime in New Jersey

The "upskirting" law makes it a crime to photograph, video, or record photos of clothed intimate parts of another person without consent and under circumstances in which a reasonable person would not expect to have his or her private body parts observed.

Georgia governor vetoes campus concealed carry bill

Georgia Governor Nathan Deal on Tuesday vetoed a bill that would have allowed the concealed carrying of handguns on college campuses. The bill, if approved, would have allowed anyone 21 or older with a concealed carry permit to have a concealed handgun on a college campus, adding an exception to the prohibition of possessing a weapon in a school zone. The governor in his statement said that it would be wrong to conclude that applying certain restrictions to the Second Amendment right to bear arms was unconstitutional, citing Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia's opinion in District of Columbia v. Heller recognizing schools and government buildings as "sensitive places." He further stated that the concept of college campuses being gun free zones was a deep rooted one within the state. The governor had previously requested follow up bills regarding concerns related to HB 859, such as access to day care centers, after HB 859 was passed in the legislature, but members denied the request.


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