August 11, 2017 nº 1,894 - Vol. 14

"What counts is not necessarily the size of the dog in the fight - it’s the size of the fight in the dog."

Dwight D. Eisenhower

In today's Law Firm Marketing, an overlooked marketing strategy for increasing your fees.


Read Migalhas LatinoAmérica in Spanish every Tuesday and Thursday. Visit the website at


  • Top News

EU confronts limits to its power in disputes with members

Europe's latest crisis, over rule of law, is a slow-burning one that could play out over years. But it may prove as corrosive as the sudden shocks from the eurozone debt blowup or the 2015 migration wave. The European Union is grappling with challenges from members including Poland, Hungary and Greece to what had widely been deemed basic legal and political norms. That presents Brussels with two dilemmas. The EU, which is a voluntary club of democracies, has never fully resolved how to respond if members' elected governments stray from democratic norms to tighten their grip on power. Second, what happens to the EU's single market, its currency union and border-free zone if EU governments simply stop following the EU’s rules and laws? Countries have always griped about forking over cash, surrendering their national currencies or opening their markets and borders. But ultimately, they have either accepted the consensus or, in a few cases, struck special deals with the rest to opt-out of common projects. Now, in an unprecedented cavalcade of rejections, members are flouting pronouncements of EU institutions, including its courts.

Trump to North Korea: Be very, very nervous

Trump has warned North Korea it should be "very, very nervous" if it does anything to the US. He said the regime would be in trouble "like few nations have ever been" if they do not "get their act together". His comments came after Pyongyang announced it had a plan to fire four missiles near the US territory of Guam. US Defence Secretary James Mattis warned that armed conflict with North Korea would be "catastrophic" and said diplomacy was bearing fruit. Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has said his country is fully prepared to join a war against North Korea, were it to launch an attack on the US.

New partner

Luciana Martorano joined Licks Attorneys as a new partner, effective August, 2017. Luciana has been active for a decade as an antitrust specialist and has gathered significant experience representing domestic and multinational companies in high profile cases related to all aspects of antitrust law, including leniencies and complex merger reviews. She has vast experience in preparing antitrust risk analysis on M&A transactions and vertical restraints practices and participated in more than 70 Merger Review Proceedings before CADE, including multijurisdictional transactions.

  • Crumbs

1- Petrobras fuel distribution IPO may come this year. (Click here)

2- Transgender military personnel sue Trump over service ban. (Click here)

3- Uber's Travis Kalanick sued for fraud. (Click here)


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  • MiMIC Journal

Chinese satellite sends 'hack-proof' message

China has successfully sent "hack-proof" messages from a satellite to Earth for the first time. The Micius satellite beamed messages to two mountain-top receiving stations 645 km (400 miles) and 1,200 km away. The message was protected by exploiting quantum physics, which says any attempt to eavesdrop on it would make detectable changes. Using satellites avoids some limitations that ground-based systems introduce into quantum communication.

  • Law Firm Marketing

An overlooked marketing strategy for increasing your fees
By Tom Trush

What makes someone eagerly buy a product or service that's priced at least two times more than comparable options?

You might be surprised to know that, in certain cases, the decision comes down to something as simple as a piece of paper.

Let me explain...

My wife, Michelle, and I recently stopped at Bed, Bath & Beyond for new bed pillows. She replaced the last set without me. So I went into the store not really knowing what to expect.

I groaned the instant we set foot in the pillow section. The price range was ridiculous -- and all the items looked the same!

Prices for the puffy white rectangles started at $19.99 and went as high as $159.99.

Confused, I immediately grabbed a "middle-of-the-road" option. After all, my only buying criteria was avoiding the cheapest, low-quality choices.

Michelle, on the other hand, zeroed in on a high-end model that was at least twice as much as my pillow. When I asked about her preference, Michelle explained she wasn't sleeping well and believed the pillow she picked would solve the problem.

I rested my head on her pillow. It felt the same as mine and, of course, looked identical.

The only difference?

The label showed Michelle's pillow was recommend by sleep expert and New York Times best-selling author Dr. James B. Maas. What's more, the packaging included Dr. Maas' sleep tips booklet, which is an excerpt from his book Sleep for Success! Everything You Must Know About Sleep But Are Too Tired To Ask.

Although the booklet was just a few saddle-stitched pieces of paper, the information inside represented tremendous value to Michelle. After all, the topic matched the thoughts in her mind (i.e., I need a pillow that helps me sleep better.).

Think about this for a minute ...

Knowledge shared on little pieces of paper caused my wife to spend twice the medium price for a commoditized product. And you know she's not the only one buying those pillows.

I often talk about how you writing a marketing piece from scratch is like an artist with a blank canvas. Your written words serve as the "paint" that determines what prospects are willing to pay for your product or service.

The closer you match their problems, the higher the price they'll pay.

Search for Dr. Maas' pillows on the Bed, Bath & Beyond website and you'll see another smart marketing move. All seven pillows (only one was available in the store) target a specific type of sleeper or problem.

For example, he offers options for people who sleep on their side, stomach and back, as well as those who feel stressed or enjoy reading in bed.

Dr. Maas doesn't offer pillows like everyone else. He delivers solutions to specific problems and uses his marketing to prove it. As a result, he can charge higher prices.

So how well do you target your prospects' problems in your marketing? Do you deliver solutions -- or only pitch what you offer and hope people buy?


Tom Trush is available at


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  • Historias Verdaderas

Buena conducta

Los candidatos de la oposición venezolana a las elecciones de gobernadores del próximo 10 de diciembre deberán tener "un certificado de buena conducta" emitido por la Asamblea Constituyente. El líder chavista Diosdado Cabello dio a conocer la medida dirigiéndose principalmente a opositores. (Presione aquí)


El Ministerio de Energía y Minería de Argentina recibió las ofertas técnicas y económicas de las empresas interesadas en instalar plantas de generación de energía eléctrica. En total, se recibieron 40 ofertas que, en caso de concretarse, representarían una inversión estimada en torno de US$ 3000 mlls.

  • Brief News

Big law firms are 'poorly run businesses'

There has been a lot of talk recently about the need for law firms to innovate and do work cheaper and faster. Big Law firms should be innovating but they are poorly run businesses when you compare them to anything else. And the reason is, until someone forces them to change, they’re making a lot of money. In his view, Big Law continues to be plagued by thinking it sells billable hours rather than quality legal results. And that thinking is reinforced by the pressure of law firms to keep their profits high so rainmakers don’t depart for better-paying firms. Firms constantly feel like they need to continue to be more profitable. iIf you think about what metrics such as profits per partner imply, the questions are: have you been able to work your lawyers harder? Have you been able to charge your clients higher rates? Firms never made more money by charging their clients less. But that’s what companies try to do: Create a cheaper product to make more money. The incentives for law firms are completely backwards.

Texas lawmakers approve bill restricting insurance coverage for abortions

The Texas House of Representatives on Wednesday approved a bill that would prohibit health insurance plans from providing coverage for elective abortions. An elective abortion is defined as one in which the mother is not in danger of death or serious injury if the abortion is not performed. Insurance for an elective abortion would only be allowed if the coverage is provided separately from the other health plan coverage and the enrollee pays a premium for the coverage separately from the other health plan premium. The health insurer is not allowed to decrease the elective abortion premium by taking into account any cost savings from the other health plan that would result from having the elective abortion insurance. The insurer also cannot discount or reduce the premium of the other health plan for enrolling in the elective abortion premium. (Click here)

Why Goldman Sachs seized a client's 217-foot yacht

Goldman Sachs Group Inc. GS -2.39% owns hundreds of billions of dollars of stocks, bonds and commodities. Add to its portfolio: a 217-foot luxury yacht called Natita. The story behind the boat begins with a 2014 loan to a prized Goldman client, billionaire Texas oilman William Kallop. It ends with Goldman suing its own client and the US Marshals last month swooping down on a West Palm Beach marina to impound the yacht—which boasts a movie theater, Jacuzzi and helipad. Goldman’s nautical trophy is a strange but inevitable outcome of Wall Street’s latest gold rush: lending to wealthy clients, the loans backed by everything from Warhols to wine. These loans, which are growing quickly at firms such as Goldman, Morgan Stanley and UBS Group AG, are an exotic spin on the most basic thing banks do: lending money to people. They have the added benefit of building loyalty among prized, ultra wealthy clientele. Like any loans, though, they can go bad and leave banks holding assets that aren’t easy to value or sell. Goldman will likely auction Natita, which already has been on the market for almost two years with no takers.

Trump declares US opioid pain drugs national emergency

The crisis over the US addiction to painkillers - opioids - is a national emergency, Trump says. "It's an emergency, it's a national emergency. We are going to spend a lot of time, a lot of effort and a lot of money on the opioid crisis," he said. The number of deaths from the drugs - prescribed to a third of Americans in 2015 - has quadrupled in 20 years. Opioids, according to the US National Institute of Drug Abuse, include the illegal drug heroin, synthetic medications such as fentanyl, or pain relievers that are available by prescription, such as oxycodone, morphine, codeine, and many others. Many of the victims of drug addiction were initially prescribed legal drugs by doctors to combat pain, but then later switched to the illegal version after their prescription expired. Patients who are no longer receiving opioids as medication sometimes turn to street drugs such as heroin, which in many cities is cheaper than beer.

Modern slavery and trafficking 'in every UK town and city'

Modern slavery and human trafficking in the UK is "far more prevalent than previously thought," the National Crime Agency has said. The NCA said there were more than 300 live policing operations currently, with cases affecting "every large town and city in the country". The agency estimated that there were tens of thousands of victims. It said previous estimates of 10,000-13,000 victims in the UK were found to be the "tip of the iceberg". "The more we look, the more we find," the NCA's vulnerabilities director Will Kerr said. The NCA said the growth in modern slavery was being driven by international gangs increasingly recognizing the amount of money they could make by controlling people within a huge range of economic sectors, rather than just dealing drugs. It warned that the key sectors for slavery now included food processing, fishing, agriculture, construction, domestic and care workers and car washes. Modern slaves in the UK, often said to be hiding in plain sight, are working in nail bars, construction sites, brothels, cannabis farms and in agriculture. Traffickers are using the internet to lure their victims with hollow promises of jobs, education and even love. Albania, Nigeria, Vietnam, Romania and Poland are the most likely countries of origin, but some victims are from the UK itself.

ACLU sues D.C. Metro after it rejects ad with text of 1st Amendment

Conservative provocateur Milo Yiannopoulos, a health care group called Carafem that provides abortions and PETA are also suing. They say the advertising guidelines violate free-speech rights.

Venezuela Constituent Assembly creates truth commission

Venezuela's National Constituent Assembly created a Commission for Truth, Justice and Public Legitimacy on Tuesday. The ANC is tasked with rewriting Venezuela's constitution. The ANC has previously passed a decree which declared that the national assembly and the supreme court could over rule the assembly. The commission will remove the legal immunity of the national assembly members. The national assembly has previously opposed Venezuela's president, Nicolás Maduro. Critics of the commission have claimed that the commission will be used to silence opposition to Maduro. The commission will be able to strip the public duties from those that are found to have acted against Venezuela. The creation of the commission comes after multiple mayors who have opposed Maduro have been sentenced to prison for failing to clear roadway blockades.

Federal judge strikes Louisiana law requiring foreign-born marriage applicants to present birth certificates

A federal judge in Louisiana ruled against the state on Tuesday in a constitutional challenge to a law that requires naturalized citizens who were born outside the US to present a valid birth certificate from their home country before they can obtain a marriage license. (Click here)

UK Police want to change the law to make Bitcoin seizures easier

A research office backed by a number of UK law enforcement groups has proposed changing the country's laws to make seizing bitcoin easier. Released last week by the N8 Policing Research Partnership, the report is largely an overview of cryptocurrencies and the challenges for law enforcement who encounter them. However, according to the authors, those challenges are largely driven by a lack of institutional knowledge among British police officials. It goes on to outline how this problem could be addressed, suggesting a broad training initiative and the wide deployment of tracing software to investigators. Perhaps most notably, though, the report states that the group asked the UK Home Office, which oversees the country's law enforcement agencies, to consider classifying bitcoin as a form of cash so that police can seize holdings more easily during investigations.


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