January 27, 2017 nº 1,832 - Vol. 14

"Age wrinkles the body. Quitting wrinkles the soul."

  Douglas MacArthur

In today's Law Firm Marketing, The surprisingly easy way to reach and influence key prospects


Read Migalhas LatinoAmérica in Spanish every Tuesday and Thursday. Visit the website at www.migalhas.com/latinoamerica


  • Top News

Can groups sue over Trump's business conflicts even if they weren't harmed ?

Trump's continued business dealings have generated plenty of teeth-gnashing about whether the occupant of the White House will be profiting off his new role. The question is who has the "standing" to do anything about it? This week a group of legal scholars and former government ethics officials teamed up to file a lawsuit in federal court alleging that Trump's overseas commercial activities violate the Constitution's Emoluments Clause, which bars presidents from taking gifts from foreign governments. The suit faces some significant legal hurdles, among them the question of whether Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) , the advocacy group behind the lawsuit, actually has the standing to sue the president. Standing is a basic doctrine of the federal courts. No one has the right to go into court and get a judgment unless they've been injured by the action they're complaining about, so we don't just have miscellaneous busybodies filing lawsuits. CREW argues that, as a government ethics watchdog, it should be looked at like a business whose main "product" is ethics advocacy and commentary. "Because of Donald Trump's unprecedented conflicts of interest, the cost to produce that product has gone up. The resources have had to shift away from the business they engage in typically, and that affects them. It affects them directly. It affects the way they spend money," says Deepak Gupta, a Supreme Court litigator who is representing CREW. If CREW doesn't have the legal standing to challenge Trump, who does? One possibility is Trump's business competitors. For example, a hotel could argue that it's facing unfair competition because its customers are switching to Trump properties in an effort to curry favor with the president. Something like that is actually happening, Gupta says. The courts could also decide that no one really has the standing to sue the president over his conflicts of interest, and that Congress will ultimately have to decide whether Trump's business dealings are a problem. The impeachment clause of the Constitution specifically mentions bribery as an impeachable offense. So, if we believe that the president is violating the Emoluments Clause or is otherwise so enmeshed in conflicts of interest that they are tantamount to bribery or that they prevent him from being able to discharge his responsibilities, the primary mechanism for dealing with that is the impeachment clause.

UK Parliament begins official process triggering Brexi

The House of Commons of the UK Parliament completed its first reading of HC Bill 132 on Thursday in accordance with Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty, which would empower the prime minister to trigger Brexit. This development follows the UK Supreme Court's ruling on Tuesday that the parliament must vote before the Brexit process can begin. Prime Minister Theresa May has further promised that she will begin the process of removing UK from the EU by March. The bill has the backing of Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn, who stated that he will "force his colleagues to vote for the Article 50 bill through a strict “three-line whip." The bill is scheduled to go before the House of Lords by the week beginning February 20, following which, it will be submitted for royal assent assuming that the upper house approves the bill. The targeted date of submission for royal assent is March 13. (Click here)

  • Crumbs

1 - VW set to plead guilty in U.S. diesel emissions case - click here.

2 - U.S. judge approves Braskem $633 mln fine in record corruption case - click here.

3 - RBS puts aside further £3.1bn for US mortgages fine - click here.

4 - Johnson & Johnson buy Swiss biotech company Actelion for $30bn - click here.


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  • MiMIC Journal

Alibaba's Ant Financial buys MoneyGram for $880m

Ant Financial, the digital payments arm of e-commerce giant Alibaba, is buying US-based MoneyGram for $880m. MoneyGram has about 350,000 outlets in nearly 200 countries. Ant Financial has more than 630 million users. The takeover by the Chinese group will need regulatory approval from the US Committee on Foreign Investment. The inter-agency committee reviews foreign acquisitions of domestic American assets on grounds of national security. (Click here)

  • Law Firm Marketing

The surprisingly easy way to reach and influence key prospects
By Trey Ryder

If you have a blue-ribbon list of potential clients you'd like to represent, add their names to your mailing list.

In my CLE seminars, I've found that many lawyers think it's unethical to add names to their mailing list without the prospect's permission. But the bar counsel whom I've heard address this subject say it's fine. (Ethics rules vary from state to state, so to be sure, check with your local bar counsel.)

Some state bar associations forbid direct contact with a person known to need legal services, such as the accident victim whose name you get from the police report. The distinction bar counsel make is that a person "known to need legal services" is different from a person "who might at some future time need legal services."

If you have key companies or prospects you'd like to represent, from what I've heard, you're free to add their names to your mailing list. Then you can send them your newsletter, invite them to seminars, offer to present seminars in-house, and so forth. The same holds true for sources of referrals.

If you're targeting companies in particular, don't limit yourself to adding just one person to your mailing list. Call the office and ask for the names and mailing addresses of key people you want on your list. Then send your communications to all of them.

Before you start communicating with prospects on your mailing list, make sure your marketing materials are designed to generate interactions with prospects. And make sure your materials contain a powerful educational message. This will increase the odds that your prospects will contact you to inquire about your seminars and services.


© 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

México x EE.UU.

Ante política beligerante del nuevo gobierno estadounidense, Donald Trump, especialistas en el área jurídica y financiera sugieren al gobierno de México acogerse a la OMC para evitar perjuicios comerciales con EE.UU. (Presione aquí)


La firma talilandesa Bangchak se suma al proyecto de la minera chilena SQM en la extracción de litio en Argentina, la empresa confirmó una inversión de US$ 112 mlls.


BM&FBovespa SA, la mayor plataforma de operaciones bursátiles de América Latina, acordó comprar un 8,59 % de la Bolsa de Valores de Lima por cerca de US$ 15 mlls, en un esfuerzo por mejorar las conexiones con sus pares en la región. En un documento presentado el jueves ante el regulador en Brasil, BM&FBovespa, dijo que Roberto Augusto Belchior da Silva, el jefe de su negocio en Latinoamérica, será designado como miembro del directorio de la bolsa de Lima.

  • Brief News

Federal judge refuses to enforce $80 million penalty in Wal-Mart minimum wage suit

A judge for the US District Court for the Northern District of California on Wednesday refused to force Wal-Mart to pay $80 million in a lawsuit where multiple former Wal-Mart truck drivers alleged the company owed them millions of dollars in back pay. Wal-Mart paid their drivers $42 for 10-hour "layover" shifts, time for which the drivers said they were entitled to at least the California minimum wage. A jury ruled for the drivers in November of last year, giving a nearly $55 million award. The drivers sought an additional $80 million in punitive damages, which was denied by Judge Susan Illston. Wal-Mart lawyers testified that Wal-Mart drivers make between $80,000 and $100,000 a year.

Trump issues executive orders on immigration

Trump on Wednesday signed two executive orders on immigration, marking the beginning of Trump's efforts to fulfill his controversial immigration policy. The first order, titled "Enhancing Public Safety in the Interior of the United States," calls for, among other things, withholding federal funding to cities that provide safe haven to immigrants who have illegally entered the US. The second order, titled "Border Security and Immigration Enforcement Improvements," directs the construction of a wall along the US and Mexican border and an increase in the number of enforcement officials to remove undocumented immigrants. Although the order calls for "immediate construction of a physical wall on the southern border," it does not address construction costs, which Trump has continually said would fall to the Mexican government. Trump intimated that Mexico would be willing to pay for the wall because it would lessen the number of people who travel through Mexico from more southern states to reach the US.

Trump's suggested import tax would mean Americans pay for that wall

The Trump administration is considering alternative ways to pay for the border wall, backtracking on the president's oft-repeated promise that Mexico would foot the bill. A White House spokesman said one idea taking shape is to apply a 20 percent tax on imports from Mexico, as well as other countries with which the US has a trade deficit. That would effectively saddle US consumers with a significant portion of the wall's cost, estimated at $15 billion or more. After the idea sparked controversy, Trump's spokesman Sean Spicer later walked back the idea, saying that "it could be a multitude of things." The tax could be 20 percent or 18 or 5, he said, adding that he wasn't trying to be "prescriptive." Even floating this idea amounts to a remarkable capitulation by the new president, who was insisting as late as Mexico's refusal has already created friction between the countries. Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto abruptly canceled a planned meeting with Trump next week, a decision that the US president tried to explain as mutual. House Speaker Paul Ryan's office contended the White House and Congress were on the "same page." Trump actually wants to increase spending on immigration enforcement. In addition to the wall, he has ordered the hiring of 15,000 new Border Patrol and immigration officers and the construction of new detention facilities.

Turkish anger as Greece rejects extradition of eight soldiers

Turkey has reacted with anger after a Greek court ruled against extraditing eight Turkish soldiers accused of involvement in an attempted coup. Turkey accused Greece of failing in the "fight against terrorism" and said the decision was "politically motivated". The eight men fled in a helicopter to Greece after last July's coup attempt but say they were not involved. Presiding judge Giorgos Sakkas said the men were unlikely to receive a fair trial in Turkey.

Republicans move to kill extractive anti-graft rule

Congressional Republicans are planning to kill a US Securities and Exchange Commission rule on oil, gas and mining companies that experts say prevents corruption in the resource sectors.

Eike Batista, once Brazil's richest man, is sought in corruption inquiry

The police are seeking the arrest of Batista, an oil and mining magnate, in connection with bribes paid to the former governor of Rio de Janeiro. (Click here)

UK court: Nigeria citizens cannot sue Shell for oil spill

The UK High Court ruled on Thursday that Nigerian citizens affected by Shell oil spills cannot sue for relief in the UK. Lawyers for the Nigeria residents promised to appeal the judgment immediately, claiming that the court made its judgment before relevant evidence and testimony could be introduced.

Netherlands government to counter Trump abortion funding ban

The Netherlands is to set up an international fund to support abortion services hit by Trump's order to cut US foreign aid. Lilianne Ploumen, a Dutch minister, said it would set up "a well-financed fund" to allow other governments, businesses and charities to donate. The Netherlands would do everything in its power to help women "remain in control of their own bodies", she said. Trump ordered a ban on US aid to support abortion services overseas. For decades, it has been the case that no US money can be spent on overseas abortions.

Italian court decision boosts Renzi's comeback bid

Italy moved a step closer to fresh elections this year after the Constitutional Court effectively devised a new voting system for the country, giving a boost to former Premier Matteo Renzi. The court had been asked to rule on Renzi's electoral reform, which was passed in 2015, and struck down a provision for a run-off vote for the lower house, saying it should be held in just one round. The rest of the law was left largely intact and the court ruled that it can be applied immediately. Italian politics have been in limbo since Renzi lost a referendum on a separate constitutional reform in December, with President Sergio Mattarella saying he was reluctant to call new elections until differences between the electoral systems for the lower house and the Senate were smoothed out.

Kenya court orders doctors to end strike

A Kenyan court on Thursday ordered doctors to end a strike or risk being sent to jail. The union protest has lasted for more than six weeks and has sent the hospital system into a crisis. Justice Helen Wasilwa had declared the strike illegal, but thousands of doctors, part of the Kenya Medical Practitioners Pharmacists and Dentists' Union, continued to defy the government.

Federal Judge blocks Ohio's lethal injection protocol

The judge rejected the state's use of midazolam, one of the drugs used in botched executions in Arizona, Ohio, Oklahoma and Alabama. The ruling puts Ohio's next three scheduled executions on hold.

The shaky state of the Islamic State

Trump says he wants a swift and complete victory over the Islamic State, and he inherits the battle at a moment when the extremist group is losing ground in Iraq and Syria. The group's self-declared caliphate is looking increasingly fragile. Progress is being made in the war against the Islamic State, according to analysts. But they caution that the US is likely to face a recurring challenge in the Middle East: how to turn battlefield gains into a comprehensive political solution.

Indonesia corruption group arrests constitutional judge

The Indonesian Corruption Eradication Commission confirmed Thursday that it had arrested a Constitutional Court judge in an investigation involving three other suspects and as many as 10 other detainments. The investigation surrounds allegations that the judge and another official accepted bribes from the two remaining suspects in return for favorable rulings. The KPK intends to request that the judge be removed from his position.

Student forced to urinate in bucket wins $1.3m lawsuit

A California school district has been ordered to pay $1.25m to a former student who urinated in a bucket after she was denied a toilet break. A Superior Court jury sided with the former student, who sued the district and a teacher over the 2012 incident. The district denied the student's initial $25,000 claim, in which she said the incident led to lewd texts, depression and a suicide attempt. The school said the teacher had never intended to embarrass the student. (Click here)


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