September 16, 2016 nº 1,791 - Vol. 13

"Fights would not last, if only one side was wrong."

François de la Rochefoucauld

In today's Law Firm Marketing, 28 ways to maintain your sanity

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  • Top News

Congress on the cusp of national review protection law

Two years ago, California signed into law what was popularly called the "Yelp bill." It prohibited use of "non-disparagement" clauses in consumer contracts. Now, Congress appears on the cusp doing something similar. Earlier this week, the US House of Representatives passed the Consumer Review Fairness Act (HR 5111). Like the California law, it prevents businesses from inserting non-disparagement language into terms or contracts with customers and consumers. The purpose of the Act is stated as follows: "To prohibit the use of certain clauses in form contracts that restrict the ability of a consumer to communicate regarding the goods or services offered in interstate commerce that were the subject of the contract, and for other purposes." The Senate already passed a similar bill, which now needs to be reconciled with the House bill. It's likely that will happen. The FTC would enforce the Act if it does become law. The Congressional action responds to the increase in efforts by businesses and corporations to prevent consumers from writing critical reviews. Some businesses in the health and hospitality industries have tried to preemptively silence potential criticism with non-disparagement clauses in their contracts or boilerplate terms. While sites such as Yelp, AngiesList, TripAdvisor, Google and other publishers are not liable for the content of consumers' reviews, individual reviewers have been sued for defamation.

Rights groups: UN summit falling short on refugee issues

Human Rights Watch (HRW) and Amnesty International (AI) on Tuesday said that the draft of the final outcome document for the upcoming UN summit on refugees falls short of dealing with the issue effectively. According to the rights groups, the UN is missing an opportunity by not proposing anything of substance. Salil Shetty, Secretary General of AI, stated, "[f]aced with the worst refugee crisis in 70 years, world leaders have shown a shocking disregard for the human rights of people who have been forced to leave their homes due to conflict or persecution." Originally, the outcome document included a proposal that would require member states to annually be open to 10 percent of the world's refugee population. However, these proposals were removed from the final draft, leaving no concrete obligations regarding how member states must handle refugees. US President Barack Obama will host a meeting of world leaders in New York after the summit to discuss refugee initiatives.

  • Crumbs

1- After Bar Exam scoring mishap in Georgia, a class-action lawsuit - click here.

2 - Indonesia to investigate Google for possible unpaid taxes - click here.

3 - EU court backs Wi-Fi providers in German copyright case - click here.

4 - FBI agent who posed as AP Reporter broke no rules - click here.

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  • MiMIC Journal

Chinese tycoon behind Grindr will pay $1.14 billion in divorce

Divorce can take a toll. For the Chinese tycoon behind the gay dating app Grindr, that toll comes to $1.14 billion. Zhou Yahui, a Chinese internet mogul and billionaire, will have to transfer nearly 300 million shares of his company to his wife, Li Qiong, according to a statement from the company. The document does not say why, but China's news media is widely abuzz with articles saying the two are getting a divorce. That apparent split is the latest to show how divorces can have a significant impact on the commercial ventures of some of China's wealthiest business leaders.

China launches second trial space station

China has launched a second experimental space station, as it looks to have a crewed outpost by 2022. The Tiangong 2 blasted off just after 22:00 local time on Thursday from the Gobi desert. Next month, two astronauts will go to the station to conduct research. Beijing has made space exploration a national priority and is the third country, after the Soviet Union and the US, to launch people into space.

  • Law Firm Marketing

28 ways to maintain your sanity
By Trey Ryder

I found these tips in a file I saved some years ago. I am not the source of these tips. Many of these things I've learned the hard way. Some are lessons I hope to learn. If you care to add anything to this list, drop me an email and I'll publish an update in the future.

1. Do a good job. You'll be happier.

2. Be honest. You'll stand out from the crowd.

3. Give good service. You'll find yourself far ahead of competitors.

4. Deliver more than you promise. Then everyone wins.

5. Help your competitors. There's plenty of business for everyone.

6. Just do it. Doing something is infinitely more valuable than doing nothing.

7. Do it now! It takes as much energy to avoid a task as it does to do it. Procrastination saps power; completion gives relief.

8. Don't worry about making a mistake. Everybody makes them and most people never notice.

9. Learn how to say no. You're the only person who can make that decision.

10. Don't try to help everyone. You can't.

11. Return phone calls quickly. Most people don't.

12. Don't overlook small clients. Someday they'll be big clients.

13. Do what you love and the money will follow.

14. Don't be easily impressed. People who tell you how successful they are usually aren't.

15. Stay away from negative people. They drain your energy.

16. Don't discount your fees. You deserve the full value of what you charge.

17. If you charge a lot, make sure you're worth it.

18. When you charge too little, you undermine everything you do.

19. Accept rejection. When God closes one door He opens another

20. Typos are always bad. Proofread.

21. If you overlook a typo, don't worry. The person reading your material will likely miss it, too.

22. Take time for fun. It recharges your batteries.

23. Take a break.

24. Don't sweat the small stuff. It's all small stuff.

25. The shortest distance between two people is a smile.

26. Give people the benefit of the doubt. Like everyone else, they're pedaling as fast as they can.

27. Apologize.

28. Forgive

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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

De retorno

Vuelven a Argentina dos bancos que se habían ido, se trata de El Eximbank, de EE.UU. que reinicia sus actividades desde el 21/9 después de 15 años, y el Banco Europeo de Inversiones que paralizó sus actividades en 2002, ambas entidades financiarán a la actividad de préstamo a la pequeña y mediana empresa.

Hidroeléctrica

El Gobierno de Bolivia adjudicó la ejecución del Proyecto Hidroeléctrico Rositas a las empresas China Three Gorges y China International Water & Electric, con una inversión inicial de US$ 1.000 mlls. provenientes de un crédito del Eximbank. La adjudicación incluye las obras de ingeniería, construcción, montaje, suministro, pruebas y puesta en marcha de la central.

Sobre ruedas

Ford Motor Co. informó que moverá toda su producción de autos chicos de Estados Unidos a México donde comenzará la producción de autos pequeños a partir del 2018. Actualmente, Ford fabrica su subcompacto Fiesta en México, pero sus sedanes Focus y C-Max se producen en los suburbios de Detroit. Fabricarlos en México impulsaría las ganancias de la compañía debido a los bajos costos al sur de la frontera. Además la compañía construye una nueva planta de ensamblaje de US$ 1,600 mlls. en el estado de San Luis Potosí.

  • Brief News

Antitrust worries over Bayer deal

The $66 billion Bayer-Monsanto deal, which was formally announced on Wednesday, raises antitrust concerns. While the two companies' businesses do not overlap very much, the deal is another example of consolidation in the seed and chemical industry, which has raised questions from regulators in the US and Europe.

Brazil corruption: Ex-President Lula rejects 'prosecutors' lies'

Prosecutors on Wednesday filed charges against Lula and his wife, Marisa Leticia, over an alleged corruption scheme at state oil company Petrobras. In his first public comments, Lula accused prosecutors of lying. He said the charges were aimed at destroying his political ambitions. He said his case, and the unrelated campaign against his successor as president, Dilma Rousseff, were a conspiracy. "Prove anything against me and I will walk all the way to hand myself in and be arrested," he added. "No one is above the law in Brazil. Do investigate me and punish me if I have broken the law. But be honest and respect my family," said Lula.

European authorities expand regulations

Two issues are currently dominating the conversation in the European legal world: antitrust regulation and copyright protection. EU antitrust watchdogs have just released a new report that warns retailers that the regulators may probe online sales after finding that manufacturers impose limits on how websites sell products and how much they can charge. And, the European Court of Justice just decided that coffee shop owners can't be liable for the illegal activity of the people using their Internet connections, such as cafe goers downloading illegal songs of movies on the premises.

US asks Deutsche Bank for $14bn to settle mortgage investigation

The US Department of Justice is asking Deutsche Bank to pay $14bn to settle an investigation into mortgage-backed securities, the bank has said. Deutsche Bank said it "has no intention to settle these potential civil claims anywhere near the figure cited." The claim against Deutsche, which is likely to be negotiated for several months, far outstrips investor expectations. The bank's shares fell more than 1.6% in after-hours trading. "The negotiations are only just beginning. The bank expects that they will lead to an outcome similar to those of peer banks which have settled at materially lower amounts," Deutsche Bank said. Banks in the US have been subject to a number of investigations over allegations of giving mortgages to unqualified borrowers, then repackaging those loans as safe investments and selling the risk on to others. A number of banks have settled with US authorities over mis-selling of mortgage-backed securities. (Click here)

Lack of planning hampers Hanjin Shipping bankruptcy

The Hanjin Shipping Company filed for bankruptcy in South Korea on Aug. 31, and sought recognition of that bankruptcy in the United States under Chapter 15 of the bankruptcy code, which governs such matters. In the meantime, there has been apparent chaos as ships have been milling about off shore, stranding cargo and crew and even a filmmaker in a kind of insolvency limbo. Perhaps what is most surprising about this entire event is the apparent lack of planning that went into this bankruptcy case. It certainly does not reflect well on the company's board, which should have gotten bankruptcy professionals involved early to prepare the bankruptcy filing and account for the company's assets throughout the world.

Oklahoma executions stayed until agreement reached on new procedures

Oklahoma will have a two-year delay in lethal injections after the government board of the prison system declined to consider new execution procedures on Tuesday. After a botched execution in 2014 and numerous drug mix-ups in 2015, Attorney General Scott Pruitt refuses to set execution dates until new protocols have been approved. After the botched execution, legislators approved the use of nitrogen gas an an alternative to lethal injection. There are currently five inmates who have exhausted all of their appeals and are awaiting an execution date. This November, a question will be placed on voting ballots asking whether or not Oklahomans want to incorporate the death penalty in their state constitution.

Snowden hits out at critical report into his activities

Edward Snowden has dismissed a report by the House of Representatives intelligence committee that heavily criticized his activities. It rejected his view of himself as a whistleblower, and said he was a disgruntled employee whose actions did nothing more than help US enemies. The report comes a day after two right groups launched a campaign for President Obama to pardon Snowden. The White House has rejected the possibility of a presidential pardon. The release of the report, two years in the making, also coincides with that of the film "Snowden", directed by Oliver Stone. In a series of tweets, Snowden dismissed the report's findings, writing: "Their report is so artlessly distorted that it would be amusing if it weren't such a serious act of bad faith."

US Appeals Court rules mental-health ban on gun ownership may violate rights

A divided federal appeals court ruled that a decades-old federal law indefinitely banning people committed to mental health treatment from owning a gun could violate the Second Amendment.

US regulators order recall of 1m Samsung Note 7 phones

US safety regulators have announced a formal recall of the Samsung Galaxy Note 7 after reports of fires caused by faulty batteries. The South Korean tech giant had already launched a voluntary recall after user complaints about 'exploding' phones. According to Samsung, the problem affects 2.5 million devices globally, including 1 million in the US. "Because this product presents such a serious fire hazard, I am urging all consumers... to take advantage of this recall right away,'' Elliot Kaye, chairman of the US Consumer Product Safety Commission said.

Kosovo war crimes prosecutor vows to fully investigate all suspects

Recently appointed Kosovo war crimes prosecutor David Schwendiman of the Special Investigative Task Force vowed to investigate all war crime suspects, "fairly, vigorously and without fear" on Thursday. Many of the suspected offenders are former members of the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) and now hold important political positions.

Chelsea Manning to undergo gender reassignment surgery following hunger strike

Chelsea Manning ended her five-day hunger strike Wednesday after the Army agreed to allow her to undergo gender reassignment surgery. Manning, a former military private serving a 35-year prison sentence on an espionage conviction after leaking classified files to Wikileaks, said in a statement to the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) that she is "unendingly relieved that the military is finally doing the right thing. I applaud them for that. This is all that I wanted—for them to let me be me."

Turkmenistan lawmakers amend constitution to extend president's rule

Legislators in Turkmenistan on Wednesday amended the nation's constitution to allow President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedow, to remain in power indefinitely. Berdimuhamedow praised the amendment, which not only extended the presidential term by two years, from five to seven, but also removed the 70-year age limit to be an eligible candidate. President Saparmurat Niyazov, Berdimuhamedow's predecessor remained in power until his death in 2006.

'Sister Wives' family appeals polygamy ruling to Supreme Court

A polygamous family on TLC's "Sister Wives" reality TV show filed a request on Monday with the US Supreme Court in an attempt to legalize polygamy. Kody Brown and his four wives filed the appeal after the US Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit threw out a constitutional challenge to Utah's anti-bigamy laws. They specifically want the Supreme Court to review a lower court decision upholding part of Utah's polygamy law banning cohabitation with other partners even when the man is only legally married to one woman.

Obama plans another appeal for Trans-Pacific Partnership Trade deal

Obama, beginning a final uphill push for a trade initiative that is opposed by both party’s presidential candidates, will host an Oval Office meeting on Friday to showcase support among public figures in both parties. He will convene a bipartisan group to discuss the benefits of the Trans-Pacific Partnership, the 12-nation Pacific trade agreement whose completion he has made a top priority.

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