October 14, 2016 nº 1,802 - Vol. 13

"Less judgment than wit is more sail than ballast."

William Penn

In today's Law Firm Marketing, 6 mistakes that cause prospects to ignore your marketing


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  • Top News

Uber drivers ruled eligible for jobless payments in New York State

Two former drivers for Uber are eligible for unemployment payments, New York State regulators have ruled, finding that they should be treated as employees rather than independent contractors, as the company has maintained. Unlike contractors, employees are entitled to a variety of rights and protections, including a minimum wage and workers' compensation insurance, and are typically more costly for companies to rely on. The decision could make it more difficult for Uber, its rival Lyft and other new businesses operating in what is known as the gig economy by raising their costs and challenging their business model. The rulings by the New York State Department of Labor were sent to the two Uber drivers (one also worked for Lyft) in August and September but have not previously been reported. They apply only to their unemployment insurance claims and do not directly affect other drivers or extend to other protections normally accorded employees. But worker advocates say they plan to pressure the state to extend the logic of the unemployment rulings to other areas. (Click here)

Donald Trump's media threats are why a free speech protection law is needed

Donald Trump is spending the waning days of his buckling presidential campaign complaining about unfairness in the media. On Wednesday, he took it up a notch by circulating word that he was drafting a lawsuit against The New York Times and Palm Beach Post for detailing the allegations of women who have come forward to accuse Trump of sexual aggression. The Republican could soon be set to shrug off a half century of jurisprudence that makes it extremely difficult, if not impossible, for a public figure to win a libel claim over stories built on the back of multiple non-anonymous sources. Trump looks to use courts as a glorified public relations vehicle to punctuate his denials and lay shade on the media. It is now time to meet Trump's gambit with a legal reform that would forever make it more difficult for those in the midst of a hissy fit to punish free speech. Trump is no stranger to the libel laws of this country, having complained about them upon the 2009 defeat in a $5 billion lawsuit about his net worth and this year, having promised to "open up" libel laws should he emerge victorious in his bid for the highest office in the land.

Safety regulators fine Amazon again over hazardous air shipments

For the fourth time in as many months, US aviation safety regulators have proposed a fine on Amazon.com Inc. for allegedly shipping hazardous materials by aircraft. According to the Federal Aviation Administration, in August 2015 FedEx Corp. workers at a sorting facility in Cary, Ill., discovered a leaking package that held two 14-ounce bottles of a flammable, ethanol-based hair tonic. The shipment, which was flown from Ruskin, Fla., to Algonquin, Ill., wasn't packaged or marked properly to show it contained hazardous material, the FAA alleges, and shipping papers didn’t provide required details, including emergency response information. The agency proposed a $78,000 civil penalty against Amazon for the incident, adding to three other fines of $350,000, $78,000 and $52,000 that regulators proposed in June for similar violations. Regulators in the UK have also charged Amazon this year with similar violations, including an attempt to ship lithium–ion batteries on passenger aircraft that are barred from carrying the batteries.

  • Crumbs

1 - Uber drivers await tribunal verdict on employment status - click here.

2 - Apple-Samsung iPhone patent feud leaves U.S. top court struggling - click here.

3 - McDonald's has a graffiti problem: graffiti artists and their lawyers - click here.

4 - Germany investigates couple trying to sell baby girl on eBay - click here.


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  • MiMIC Journal

China tops US in numbers of billionaires

China's annual rich list has indicated that, once again, the country has more dollar billionaires than the US, and the gap is widening. However, none of China's super-rich make it into the global top 20.

Hong Kong rebel lawmakers protest China at oath-taking

Hong Kong pro-democracy lawmakers have caused chaos at the city's Legislative Council by using their oaths to stage boisterous anti-China protests. Secretary General Kenneth Chen said the oaths of Sixtus Leung, Yau Wai-ching and Edward Yiu were invalid. Leung and Yau, members of the pro-independence Youngspiration party, swore while saying their oaths and mispronounced "China".

Xi Jinping reminds China's state companies of who's the boss

In an unusual meeting, the Chinese president said the Communist Party must take a greater role in the boardroom — despite earlier pledges toward reform.

  • Law Firm Marketing

6 mistakes that cause prospects to ignore your marketing
By Tom Trush

A never-ending barrage of items appealing for attention causes your prospects' minds to sort marketing messages like a blue whale filters seawater for plankton...

Only a small sample gets consumed, while most are ignored.

The brain's reticular activating system determines what deserves attention. It manages consciousness and blocks unwanted stimuli, such as ambient noises and other distractions that hinder concentration.

If your brain didn't have this ability, you could never ignore noises or sights around you. Can you imagine the sensory overload? Functioning on a normal level would be impossible.

Researchers estimate we experience 1,500-3,500 appeals for attention every day. Of course, your marketing gets mixed among these messages. So breaking through the chaos is no easy task.

The fact is most marketing gets ignored. Here are 6 common reasons why:

1. You or your company is your marketing's star. Shine the spotlight on the only people your prospects care about -- themselves. Address their situation and deliver information that helps them solve their problems.

2. Your marketing message is focused on products or services. Your prospects have little need for any product or service. What they want is the outcome or the benefits of using your product or service.

3. Your marketing looks like marketing. When your marketing's appearance matches what prospects see from others in your industry, it becomes clear you're trying to sell something.

4. You communicate to a mass audience. Engage your prospects as if you're communicating to them on a one-on-one level. Successful marketing comes down to relationships -- it's not a numbers game.

5. You emphasize a sale on the first communication. You have a better chance of influencing your audience when you begin by delivering compelling content that interests them.

6. Your marketing gets presented in a manner that doesn't match your prospects' preferences. The most common mediums aren't always the most effective. For example, Snapple famously advertised one of its fruit drink flavors by placing stickers on mangos, which proved to be a brilliant marketing move.

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


© Trey Ryder
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  • Brief News

German top court backs EU-Canada trade deal Ceta

Germany's Constitutional Court has rejected a legal challenge to the EU-Canada free trade deal (Ceta) from campaigners who call it undemocratic. The campaigners object to the fact that parts of Ceta will be implemented before all national parliaments in the EU have voted on it. EU trade ministers are to decide on Ceta next Tuesday. If they all approve it, the deal can be signed with Canada on 27 October. Ceta would remove many trade barriers. It would be the EU's most comprehensive trade deal to date, and the negotiations have taken seven years. (Click here)

'Hard Brexit' or 'no Brexit' for Britain

Britain's only real alternative to a "hard Brexit" is "no Brexit", European Council President Donald Tusk has said. Speaking in Brussels, he warned that the EU would not compromise on its insistence that freedom of movement will be a condition for Britain's access to the single market. Prime Minister Theresa May said last week that the government would trigger Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty - beginning formal negotiations between the UK and EU - by the end of March next year. The process will take up to two years, involving complex debates about issues such as immigration and access to the European single market.

Brexit case 'of fundamental constitutional importance'

The need for Parliament to give its approval before the Brexit process starts is of huge "constitutional importance", the High Court has heard. QC Lord Pannick said the case "raises an issue... concerning the limits of the power of the executive". The High Court is considering whether ministers can invoke Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty, the trigger for formal talks, without MPs passing a new law. But the government said the EU would not be rejoined via "the back door". Ministers argue they are entitled to act under ancient powers of Royal Prerogative.

Federal appeals court rules structure of consumer protection agency unconstitutional

The US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit ruled Tuesday that the structure of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) is unconstitutional, holding that too much power is vested in its director, Richard Cordray. The ruling came in a suit brought by the PHH Corporation (PHH) in 2015, seeking to vacate a $109 million order imposed upon it by CFPB. The court invalidated the penalty and held that the CFPB's status as a single-director independent agency was unconstitutional. The court will allow the agency to continue operation as long as the director is removable by the president without cause. Prior to this ruling the bureau's director was only removable by the president with cause. The court also held that CFPB violated due process by imposing a provision that allowed no statute of limitations for enforcement against violations on PHH.

Churches file motion in federal court to enjoin transgender law

Multiple churches in the state of Massachusetts on Tuesday filed a motion in the United States District Court for the District of Massachusetts for a preliminary injunction due to their express religious objection to recent non-discrimination policies. At issue are Massachusetts Law 92A and 98 that prohibit distinction, discrimination or restriction based on gender identity. The churches hold that their sincerely held religious beliefs are being infringed upon by the current law, which makes bathrooms and other facilities inclusive to transgender identified individuals by allowing entry based on gender identity and not biological sex. The churches are also concerned about the wording of the statute that prevents incitement and discrimination.

Australian students to be taught about 'male privilege'

A state in Australia has launched an education program designed to smash gender stereotypes and tackle the root causes of domestic violence. The "respectful relationship" curriculum will be mandatory in all schools in Victoria from next year. Students will explore issues around social inequality, gender-based violence and male privilege.

Clinton 'cannot recall' email server details

US Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton has said she cannot recall key details about using a private email server while secretary of state, documents show. She had been asked to give sworn responses to 25 written questions from a conservative legal group. At least 21 responses used variations of "does not recall", the documents, provided by her lawyer, show. Clinton denies handling classified information in her private emails. Questions over her use of a private email server while secretary of state have dogged her presidential campaign.

Study: marijuana arrests outnumber those for violent crimes

A study released Wednesday by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and Human Rights Watch (HRW) found that arrests for possessing marijuana exceeded arrests for violent crimes. Law enforcement agencies made roughly 13.6 percent more arrests for possession of marijuana, reportedly for personal use, than arrests for violent crimes. The report noted that those charged with possession tend to have a more difficult time finding work. The report found that while there is a steep decline in crime rates and arrests in most areas, arrests for drug possessions has increased by 13 percent. The report also notes that there seems to be a disparate impact on minorities who tend to be more likely to be arrested for drug possession.

Burundi votes to withdraw from the ICC

The National Assembly of Burundi on Wednesday voted to withdraw from the International Criminal Court (ICC) amid criticism the court only prosecutes African nationals. Lawmakers voted 94 in favor, with two against, and fourteen abstaining. The move to withdraw comes on the heels of an investigation by the ICC into how the government interacts with those who are in political opposition to President Pierre Nkurunziza. Despite withdrawing from the ICC, the measure does not prohibit the ICC from continuing their investigation into the country's alleged human rights abuses. The law will now go before the President and, once signed, the country will become the first to leave the ICC.

Wells Fargo boss John Stumpf steps down

Wells Fargo's chief executive, John Stumpf, is to resign immediately in the wake of a scandal over its sales practices, the bank has announced. The bank is investigating how two million accounts were opened without customers' permission. Last month, it said Stumpf, who was paid $19.3m last year, would not receive a salary during the inquiry. He will be succeeded by the bank's current president and chief operating officer, Timothy Sloan.

Uzbek Senate approves mass amnesty for prisoners

The Uzbek Senate on Wednesday passed mass amnesty for prisoners ahead of their December 8th celebration of their constitution's adoption. The acting president, Shavkat Mirziyaev, proposed the amnesty two days ago as a part of the celebration. The clemency will free prisoners over the age of 60, under 18, those with disabilities, and others who the state feels no longer pose a threat to the public.

DOJ and Deutsche Bank continue talk

Deutsche Bank's stock continues to try to find a way to lower the $14 billion fine levied against the bank by the US Department of Justice. The multi-billion dollar fine would penalize the bank for its role in issuing risky mortgage back securities from 2005 to 2007.

How to fix the tax code and close Donald Trump's loopholes

Though the Republican nominee agrees the tax code is unfair, he has proposed nothing to eliminate any of the rules that allowed him to amass a fortune.

A 44% pay divide for female and male law partners

At big American law firms, there is a 44 percent difference in pay between female partners and their male colleagues, largely because men bring in more big-ticket legal cases, or are better at getting credit for doing so.

Dutch law would allow assisted suicide for healthy older people

In the Netherlands, a country vaunted for its liberalism, a proposal to legalize assisted suicide for older people who are generally healthy but feel they have led a full life has stirred up an ethical storm in some quarters. In 2001, the Netherlands became the first country in the world to legalize euthanasia for patients who were suffering unbearable pain and had no prospects of a cure. Now, some critics say the country has gone too far with a proposed law that would allow people who are not suffering from a medical condition to seek assisted suicide if they feel they have "completed life." Proponents of the law counter that limiting assisted death to patients with terminal illnesses is no longer enough, and that older people have the right to end their lives with dignity, and when they so choose. (Click here)

France passes legislation scrapping transgender sterilization law

Transgender people celebrate a win in France amid the country passing legislation Thursday that allows the transgender community to not have to undergo sterilization. France's new legal gender recognition law without the requirements of sterilization or undergoing medical procedures comes at a time when a group of European nations strengthened transgender people's rights.

Deere rebuts Justice Department challenge to Monsanto deal

Deere & Co. said the Justice Department is unfairly accusing the company of trying to monopolize a market that doesn’t exist with its challenge to the planned purchase of Monsanto’s seed-planting equipment line.


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