November 4, 2016 nº 1,808 - Vol. 13

"Often the difference between a successful person and a failure is not one has better abilities or ideas, but the courage that one has to bet on one's ideas, to take a calculated risk - and to act."

Andre Malraux

In today's Law Firm Marketing, How to give advice when your client hasn't asked for it


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  • Top News

'Brexit' will require a vote in Parliament, UK court rules

The UK High Court of Justice ruled Wednesday that the UK government cannot make the decision to enact Article 50 to leave the EU without the approval of Parliament, although the court did not give an opinion on the merits of leaving the EU. Article 50 of the Treaty on the EU governs the process for a nation to withdraw from the EU. The government cannot legally override Parliamentary legislation that affects domestic law. It is, however, up to the government to enact laws and treaties concerning international relations, but this does not extend to issues that can affect domestic law. All the parties agreed that the decision to leave the EU would have significant effects on domestic law. The court ruled that constitutionally, the crown government cannot make the decision alone to withdrawal from the EU, and the Parliament must be involved in the decision. The government said it will appeal the decision to the UK Supreme Court. (Click here)

What will the UK Supreme Court say about Brexit?

The UK Supreme Court was founded seven years ago to ensure that politics and the judiciary never mix. That balance faces an unprecedented test as early as Dec. 5, when lawsuits seeking to delay Prime Minister Theresa May's plan for exiting the European Union are heard. "It will be the most important constitutional case that court will have heard," said Robert Thomas, a professor of public law at the University of Manchester. "It's such a big constitutional issue, testing the relationship between parliament, the courts and the government in the light of the referendum." A panel of three senior judges said Thursday that Parliament must hold a vote before starting a two-year countdown to Brexit, in a ruling that sidestepped political allegiances to focus on constitutional law. "Nothing we say has any bearing on the question of the merits or demerits of withdrawal by the United Kingdom from the European Union: nor does it have any bearing on government policy because government policy is not law," the judges said in the ruling. No matter how hard they tried, though, the decision was seized upon by politicians who campaigned to leave the EU.

Supreme Court hears arguments on applying federal jurisdiction over foreign governments

The US Supreme Court on Wednesday heard oral arguments in the case of Venezuela v. Helmerich & Payne International. The court granted certiorari in June to determine whether the pleading standard for alleging that a case falls under the expropriation exception of the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act (FSIA) is more stringent than the "insubstantial and frivolous" standard for pleading jurisdiction in a federal-question statute. Under FSIA, foreign governments normally cannot be sued in US courts, but the two companies in the case relied on the act's "expropriation" exception against Venezuela, which allows lawsuits against foreign governments to go forward in US courts when "rights in property taken in violation of international law are in issue" and there is a commercial connection to the US.

EB-5 visa

In this new article, Reza Rahbaran, lawyer at Rahbaran & Associates, talks about the evolution of US permanent residency through investment according to EB-5 visa program. (Click here)

  • Crumbs

1 - Dalian Wanda buys Golden Globes firm - click here.

2 - Uber sued by San Francisco cab company - click here.

3 - U.S. appeals court hears arguments on scope of Petrobras class action - click here.

4 - Lawyer rebuked for gloating at 'win' over parents seeking special needs support - click here.


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  • MiMIC Journal

Starbucks looks for China caffeine hit

Starbucks boss Howard Schultz has said expansion in China will secure its future for "decades to come". While Starbucks still makes most of its profit in the US, Mr Schultz said its Chinese stores were the most efficient and lucrative. It comes as the world's largest coffee shop chain said it posted its "most profitable quarter - capping off the most profitable year". Operating profit rose 16% to $4.2bn for the year.

Hong Kong's parliament: chaotic show reveals deeper concerns

When is an oath an oath, and when is a law the law? Right now, in Hong Kong, even such seemingly straightforward questions are subject to heated debate. There's been three weeks of chaos in Hong Kong's legislative council (LegCo), the territory's parliament, ever since five lawmakers had their oaths rejected last month - for adding or subtracting words, reading too slowly, or using derogatory language. Three of them have since been able to retake their oaths, and take their seats in parliament. But the Hong Kong government (and, possibly the Beijing government) seems determined to stop two of the most controversial lawmakers, Yau Wai-ching and Sixtus Leung, from joining parliament.

  • Law Firm Marketing

How to give advice when your client hasn't asked for it
By Trey Ryder

On one of my trips to Alaska, I went to the post office for mailing supplies and information about insuring parcels I wanted to ship home.

As I packed box after box, I went back to the post office to buy more tape, bubble padding and boxes -- a total of three trips!

At 4:50 p.m. on my last day in town (I left at night by ferry), I carried three big, heavy boxes -- one at a time -- into the post office. Then I rang the bell for service, which eventually brought a clerk to the window

He weighed the boxes, insured them as I requested, and asked me for $134.

Then he spoke these words: "You could have saved money if you had sent these by registered mail. You would have saved around $20 per box."

Thanks a bunch!

I explained I had been in the post office three times buying supplies and asking about insuring boxes for shipment to Arizona. I asked why no one had told me this before now, when the post office was only minutes from closing.

In an effort to duck responsibility and confirm that any mistake was my fault, he said...

"You didn't talk to me. You obviously weren't asking the right questions."

In fact, I was hardly asking questions at all. Had I realized that I had options, I would have asked the best way to ship the boxes. I assumed I had only one choice, so all I cared about was, How do I ship insured boxes to Arizona?

Earlier in the process, I wish any window clerk would have offered advice, even though I had not asked for it. In the alternative, I wish the post office put out an educational handout called, "How to save money when you ship insured boxes to Arizona."

Bottom line: I left the post office knowing that any window clerk could have told me how to save $60 -- yet none said a word, until it was too late.

MORAL OF THE STORY: If you see a client preparing to take action -- and this person has not asked for your advice -- here's how to approach the subject:

STEP #1: SUMMARIZE. Summarize what you're hearing your client say about his situation and ask if what you're hearing is correct. Here's what I might say, relating to lawyer marketing.

TREY: "From what you're saying, it sounds like you're thinking about running radio commercials to attract new clients. Is that right?" (If that isn't correct, your client will explain what he wants to do.)

STEP #2: CONFIRM THE PURPOSE. Ask what your client wants to accomplish so you know whether you can offer alternatives or advice. Here you're simply asking questions, without any indication that you might offer suggestions.

TREY: "Is your primary goal to attract new clients -- or do you have other things you'd like to accomplish?" (Again, your client elaborates.)

STEP #3: ASK IF HE WANTS INPUT. The most effective way to give advice is to first ask if your client wants it. If your client says yes, it's no longer unsolicited advice because your client has accepted your offer.

When you offer to help, don't call it advice. Instead, call it your input, point of view or suggestions. Emphasize that you have helped other clients in similar situations -- and that you think you could help him save money (or benefit in some other way, such as save time or get a better result).

TREY: "I've had experience helping lawyers use radio commercials to attract new clients. Would you like suggestions that might help you save money and get a higher response?"

If your client says no, move on. If your client says yes, he opened the door and he then welcomes your suggestions.

In the end, most clients will be glad that you helped them. You'll be happier knowing that your client can benefit from your experience and will likely get a better result. And by asking permission, you don't risk giving advice that your client doesn't want.


© 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


Cintra, filial de Ferrovial, en consorcio con el fondo de infraestructuras Meridiam, fue seleccionada por el Departamento de Transporte de Virginia para el diseño, construcción, financiación, operación y mantenimiento del proyecto de transformación de la autopista I-66, por un valor superior a los 3.000 mlls. de euros. El proyecto comprende la construcción de 35 kilómetros a lo largo del corredor de la I-66 entre la Ruta 29, en las proximidades de Gainesville, y la circunvalación de la ciudad de Washington, la I-495, en el Condado de Fairfax. La construcción del proyecto tiene un plazo de ejecución hasta el año 2022, mientras que la concesión alcanza los 50 años.


Las empresas suizas Novartis, Roche, Syngenta, Autoneum, Givaudan y ABB anunciaron inversiones conjuntas por unos US$ 100 mlls en México. El mayor monto individual será invertido por Novartis, alrededor de US$ 50 mlls, principalmente para el desarrollo de nuevos medicamentos, un rubro al que también hará una partida Roche, quien ejercerá su mayor gasto a la producción de medicamentos. En tanto Novartis canalizará US$ mlls. a investigaciones clínicas en México, que es una etapa de la investigación farmacológica donde se prueba la sustancia en estudio en sujetos humanos experimentales.

  • Brief News

US election 2016: Battlegrounds targeted as polls tighten

Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton have made renewed attacks on each other's fitness for office as polls suggest the race for the White House is tightening. Clinton - who has seen her national opinion poll lead shrink in recent days - targeted her Republican rival's temperament and attitude to women. Trump claimed she would be followed into the White House by criminal investigations. He was boosted by a rare campaign appearance by his wife Melania.

Google fights EU price comparison case

Google has again rejected the EU's objections to how it displays shopping links in its search results. It said the investigation following complaints from price comparison websites had failed to understand the "reality" of online shopping. It blamed a drop in traffic for price comparison sites on Amazon and others. Europe's competition commissioner first accused the firm of abusing its dominance in search in April 2015 and made further claims in July 2016. In 2015, the EU competition commissioner claimed these results gave prominence to Google's own services and advertisements, to the detriment of price comparison websites, which may have lost visitors. Google responded that the EU had failed to take into account the significance of online shopping giants such as Amazon, which it said also competed against price comparison websites. (Click here)

No return for Calais migrants

No-one will be allowed back in the dismantled "Jungle" camp at Calais, now that it has been cleared of thousands of migrants and refugees, says French President Francois Hollande.
The final shelters were destroyed on Monday, after an operation to move some 7,000 people to centers elsewhere in France. Hollande praised the operation as "dignified but firm and efficient". Some 1,500 unaccompanied minors were staying at a temporary center, waiting to be investigated individually by UK officials.

UN: France and UK failing to protect rights of children in Calais camp

The UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) said Tuesday that the governments of France and the UK are failing in their obligation to protect refugee children in the Calais "Jungle" refugee camp. The UNHCR accused the governments of failing to uphold the Convention on the Rights of the Child by destroying a refugee camp, which forced unaccompanied minors to seek refuge in shipping containers or become displaced. The committee was especially concerned because the governments were not only aware of the presence of children in the camp but also were given strong warnings to protect them. The UN accused the governments of succumbing to political pressures that subjected the children to trafficking, homelessness and other conditions

Venezuela's parliament delays trial of President Maduro

Venezuela's opposition-led parliament has delayed the symbolic trial of President Nicolas Maduro, which was due to take place on Tuesday. The speaker for the National Assembly said the decision was aimed at easing the country's political crisis. An opposition march on the presidential palace planned for Thursday has also been postponed. Maduro is accused of violating the constitution but claims MPs are attempting a "coup". The decision to delay the trial follows Vatican-sponsored talks between the two sides, and the release from prison of three anti-government activists.

YouTube's seven-year stand-off ends

YouTube has resolved a long-running dispute that prevented many of its clips being accessible in Germany. The Google-owned video service had been at odds with Gema - a German rights body representing musicians, composers and publishers - since 2009. The disagreement had affected clips in which the artists appeared as well as those that used their songs in the background. Payments will now be made, but neither side has disclosed the terms. Google's Content ID system means that clips flagged as containing Gema-protected tracks can now have adverts automatically added to them to recompense the songs' creators.

Facebook check-in's back pipeline protest

More than 1.4 million people have "checked in" on Facebook to support protesters fighting against a new oil pipeline in Standing Rock, a Sioux Native American reservation in North Dakota. Activists say the Sioux Indians are under threat as the pipeline could contaminate the tribe's water source. Protesters are worried police might be tracking them on social media, igniting concerns over digital privacy.

Ivory Coast: Yes campaign wins constitutional vote with 93%

Electoral officials in Ivory Coast say the yes campaign has won Sunday's referendum on a new constitution, with 93.42% of the votes. The turnout - 42.42% - is higher than an earlier 7% estimate by opposition parties that boycotted the polls. Backed by President Alassane Ouattara, the change scraps a requirement that both parents of presidential candidates must be native-born Ivorians. Opponents accuse Ouattara of using it as a way to hand-pick his successor. In the lead-up to the referendum, there were street protests by opposition supporters against the constitutional reforms.

Secret recordings fueled FBI feud in Clinton probe

Secret recordings of a suspect talking about the Clinton Foundation fueled an internal battle between FBI agents who wanted to pursue the case and corruption prosecutors who viewed the statements as worthless hearsay. Obama criticized the FBI's handling of the Hillary Clinton email probe, saying the government doesn't normally use "innuendo" or "incomplete information" when conducting investigations.

Spain's Mislata district collects dog DNA in anti-poo campaign

A municipality in eastern Spain is launching a dog DNA database in order to catch owners who allow their dogs to foul the pavements. Officials in Mislata, near Valencia, say police will take samples of dog excrement collected by street cleaners to a local lab for analysis. Owners have until 31 December to take their dogs to a vet so that a blood sample can be taken free of charge. Those who fail to register their dog's DNA will face fines of 300 euros. Similar, but more limited, schemes exist in the US and UK.

The conflict between Airbnb and New York is only beginning

Airbnb Inc. is in talks with New York officials about potentially settling a lawsuit the company filed last month against the state and city governments. The company is challenging a new law that punishes people renting their homes. But regardless of the outcome of those talks, many rentals on Airbnb will remain illegal thanks to an older law, and officials must still figure out what to do about it, posing fundamental problems for both the startup and the government. A federal judge postponed a meeting scheduled for Monday to discuss Airbnb's suit, saying the two sides are talking about a potential resolution. They are set to update the court by the end of the week. The talks are intended to resolve questions about how the law would be enforced. A settlement isn't likely to be reached by this week's deadline. The suit has its origin in a law signed by Governor Andrew Cuomo on Oct. 21, which creates new fines for people who post advertisements on sites like Airbnb. While many kinds of short-term apartment rentals have been outlawed since New York passed a separate bill in 2010, the government's attempts to enforce the law have been largely unsuccessful.

African Union urged to draft statute for South Sudan hybrid court

Several South Sudanese organizations co-authored a letter to the African Union Commission (AUC) Tuesday concerning the creation of the Hybrid Court for South Sudan. The letter asked Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, Chairperson of the AUC, to draft a statute ensuring that the court is enacted through appropriate channels and also to establish a method to preserve evidence. The letter asked that the AUC gather input from experts in the field as a method to determine jurisdiction, witness protection programs, and public outreach among other things. The letter was signed by 34 organizations.

UK must retaliate against cyber-attacks says chancellor

The UK must be able to retaliate in kind against cyber-attacks, the chancellor has said. Philip Hammond added that hostile "foreign actors" were developing techniques that threaten the country's electrical grid and airports. The warning came within a speech describing how the government plans to spend a previously announced £1.9bn sum on cybersecurity. It also addressed ways to tackle cyber-scammers and defend businesses. "If we do not have the ability to respond in cyberspace to an attack which takes down our power network - leaving us in darkness or hits our air traffic control system grounding our planes - we would be left with the impossible choice of turning the other cheek, ignoring the devastating consequences, or resorting to a military response." Hammond said. "That is a choice we do not want to face and a choice we do not want to leave as a legacy to our successors."

Volkswagen appoints expert to examine Brazil torture claims

Volkswagen (VW) has commissioned an expert to examine if the German carmaker allowed the arrest and torture of employees in Brazil under the country's former military regime. Professor Christopher Kopper of Bielefeld University will research claims VW collaborated with the military government from 1964 to 1985. A group of former employees filed a law suit against the company last year. Some claim they were arrested and tortured at a VW plant in Brazil.

Air France-KLM to launch lower-cost airline

Air France-KLM is creating a more "competitive" long-haul airline to win back customers from Gulf carriers. Air France's new boss, Jean-Marc Janaillac, unveiled the plan, saying the firm is "battling on all fronts". The new brand does not have a name yet, but Air France plans for it to offer economy and business travel on new and reopened routes. To compete with lower-cost rivals, its pilots and cabin crew will be employed differently to the main company. "The status quo is not an option. We must launch a new dynamic to return to a leadership position in our markets," Janaillac said. The plan is a sign that Air France's new boss is determined to win back market share after years of painful job losses and clashes with trade unions.

Federal appeals court rejects challenge to Ohio execution secrecy law

The US Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit on Wednesday threw out a challenge to Ohio's execution secrecy law. Under HB 663, the identity of individuals and entities that participate in the lethal injection process is treated as confidential and privileged. The court held that the prisoners who brought the challenge lacked standing because they could not show that they had been denied information to which they had a public record right. The lawsuit had previously been dismissed by the lower court last year.

Why Washington needs Wall Street

The latest round of drumbeating has begun to prevent anyone with a Wall Street background from filling the top economic positions in the next administration. Not only is that not right, it hurts the American people by preventing those who have the best understanding of how financial markets work from taking a much-needed role in policing and fixing them. It is a form of discrimination. The time has come for it to stop. The chatter is coming from the usual suspects. "Personnel is policy," Robert Reich, a former secretary of labor in President Bill Clinton's administration, said. Discussions had already begun in the Hillary Clinton camp to ensure that no one with a Wall Street background gets to serve in any of the dozen or so cabinet positions or about 200 subcabinet positions that Clinton would have to fill if she wins the election. Senator Bernie Sanders wrote in an email, "We need a secretary of the Treasury who is prepared to take on the greed and recklessness of Wall Street, not someone who comes from Wall Street."

Firms face suits over website accessibility for blind users

More than 240 businesses nationwide have been sued in federal court since the start of 2015 concerning allegedly inaccessible websites for blind users. And lawyers expect claims against mobile applications could be on the horizon.


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