September 22, 2017 nº 1,908 - Vol. 14

"If it is important to you, you will find a way. If not, you will find an excuse."

In today's Law Firm Marketing, what happens when you don't know your prospects' problems?


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


  • Top News

UN opens treaty prohibiting nuclear weapons for signature

The UN opened a treaty for signature on Wednesday prohibiting a wide range of nuclear weapon-related actions. The Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons was adopted during a UN conference in July by a vote of 122 to 1. The treaty acknowledges the risks of nuclear warfare and calls for the total elimination of nuclear weapons or nuclear explosive devices, explicitly prohibiting activities such as the development, transfer, receipt, use, threatening of use, or stockpiling of such weapons. According to UN Secretary-General António Guterres, 15,000 nuclear weapons remain in existence, and many nuclear-armed member nations such as the US, UK and France have refused to agree to the treaty. Nevertheless, the treaty will become effective 90 days after being ratified by at least 50 countries, and 42 have already signed the treaty during Wednesday's UN ceremony. Supporters of the treaty hope that the treaty's ratification will raise awareness regarding the risks of nuclear weapons and move the world closer to an arsenal-free future.

Right to work isn't theft

Twenty-eight states have passed right-to-work legislation, and the latest union legal pushback has been unintentionally revealing. Organized labor has argued that a portion of workers’ paychecks really belongs to them. That is, by allowing wage-earners to withhold dues money for representation the workers don't want, states are actually "taking" union property "without just compensation" in violation of the Fifth Amendment. In the last week, two more courts have struck down this argument. In a 3-2 ruling Friday, the West Virginia Supreme Court overturned a circuit court's preliminary injunction against the state's 2016 right-to-work legislation. In his concurring opinion, Chief Justice Allen Loughry slammed the union arguments as "fatally unsupported and lacking in merit" and said the lower court’s actions were "not merely imprudent, but profoundly legally incorrect.” On Tuesday, Wisconsin’s District Three Court of Appeals upheld the state's 2015 right-to-work law, overturning a 2016 Dane County Circuit Court ruling. “Unions have no constitutional entitlement to the fees of non-member employees," wrote Judge Mark Seidl. Union political power has long been bought from compulsory dues. But in state after state, workers have elected lawmakers willing to stop labor's efforts to transform its political agenda into sanctioned theft. The courts are right to reject Big Labor's "takings" claim.


The law firm De Vivo, Whitaker e Castro Advogados was once again appointed by Legal 500 Latin America 2017's Editorial as one of the most admired and recognized law firms in Latin America in the law practices: Dispute resolution (Gustavo Lorenzi de Castro) and Tax (Fernando Brandão Whitaker and Vanessa lnhasz Cardoso).

  • Crumbs

1 - California cities sue big oil firms over climate change. (Click here)

2 - Google signs $1.1bn HTC smartphone deal. (Click here)


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  • MiMIC Journal

China's credit rating downgraded by S&P

China's credit rating has been downgraded by Standard & Poor's because of worries over the rapid build up of debt in the country. S&P cut China's rating by one notch from AA- to A+, saying its debts had raised "economic and financial risks". The International Monetary Fund warned in August that China's credit growth was on a "dangerous trajectory". S&P's move puts its rating for China on a par with the two other major credit rating agencies, Moody's and Fitch.

  • Law Firm Marketing

What happens when you don't know your prospects' problems?
By Tom Trush

You already understand the importance of immediately capturing attention when persuading prospects to take action on your marketing materials

After all, until you have eyeballs glued to your copy, anything you write is essentially invisible

The way you attract attention comes down to two choices -- you can write something your prospects know is true (but won't necessarily admit) or you can write something that worries them.

But here's the catch...

You can't write anything relevant unless you know your prospects' problems. Before you sit in front of your keyword or put pen to paper, you need a vivid picture of what keeps your target audience awake at night.

Once you have this knowledge, you can create copy that speaks directly to them. What you write then becomes more believable because your message isn't just words on a page. Instead, it becomes a one-on-one conversation with a real human being.

The payoff comes when you zero in on something that resonates with a high percentage of your audience.

When I begin working with a new client, I use a questionnaire to help determine the copy's direction. The overall theme almost always comes from my fourth question:

What are your prospects' biggest concerns, emotions and needs? What information or help does he/she need to deal with them?

What I've discovered is most people don't do enough to learn about their prospects and customers. As a result, their copy becomes force-fed, self-serving information that offers little benefit to readers.

Your own e-mail list (which you should be actively building on your website) makes gathering knowledge about your prospects quick and easy. You can send out a survey and get direct feedback. Also, if you frequently communicate with your list and share knowledge, your subscribers will tell you what's causing them trouble.

Another option is my go-to tool for gathering insight about prospects -- When you visit the site, scan the reviews of popular books related to your area of law. You'll find word-for-word explanations of your prospects' most pressing problems.


Tom Trush is available at


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  • Historias Verdaderas


Un tribunal de Justicia de Chile ordenó a la minera SQM, el mayor productor mundial de litio, entregar información sobre despachos del mineral solicitados a través de un organismo gubernamental. (Presione aquí)


Braskem puso fin a un contrato para comprar nafta virgen ligera y gasolina natural a la petrolera estatal venezolana PDVSA que expiraría este mes. La compañía brasileña declinó hacer comentarios sobre el motivo por el cual terminó el contrato.


La embajadora de Canadá en Perú, Gwyneth Kutz, informó que empresas mineras en el país andino, tienen acumulada una inversión de US$ 9,300 mlls., tanto en explotación como exploración en la mediana y gran minería. Agregó que su gobierno tiene previsto invertir US$ US$ 950 mlls. en los próximos 5 años, en la conformación de los “súper clúster mineros” en Canadá, consorcios integrados por las empresas mineras, centros tecnológicos, universidades y el Estado, con la finalidad de promover la innovación tecnológica.

  • Brief News

May 'to offer 20bn euros transitional deal'

Theresa May is set to propose a transitional deal with the EU of up to two years in a speech on Friday. The PM is also expected to make an "open and generous" offer, potentially worth 20bn euros over the two years. It would mean the EU does not have to unpick its current budget - so no other EU member loses out from Brexit. No 10 hopes the speech, which has been agreed by the cabinet but could yet be revised, will speed up Brexit talks.

North Korea: Trump signs new order to widen sanctions

Trump has signed a new order that boosts sanctions against North Korea over its nuclear weapons program. The US treasury has been authorized to target firms and financial institutions conducting business with the North. The president also said China's Central Bank had instructed other Chinese banks to stop doing business with Pyongyang. (Click here)

Kim: 'Deranged' Trump will pay for speech

North Korea's leader says the president's threats have convinced him developing weapons is "correct". Trump said on Tuesday that if America was forced to defend itself it would "totally destroy" North Korea. Trump also mockingly called Mr Kim a "rocket man" on a "suicide mission". The two countries have been engaging in increasingly heated rhetoric in recent months.

Madrid court fines Catalan officials

Spain's constitutional court has imposed daily fines of up to $14,300 on top Catalan officials for every day they continue organizing a banned referendum. Among those threatened is Josep Maria Jove, a top Catalan treasury official, who is being held on sedition charges. More than a dozen Catalan politicians arrested Wednesday are yet to appear in court in Barcelona. Separatist supporters have been protesting outside the court. The constitutional court says the vote is illegal but the region's vice-president said it would go ahead if possible. (Click here)

UK judge: court ruling not needed in life-support decisions

A judge for the UK's Court of Protection ruled Wednesday that there is no obligation for judicial consent to end care of patients in a permanent vegetative state. Justice Peter Jackson of the High Court Family Division oversaw proceedings on patient M, a woman who had been on an End of Life Care Plan since July 2016 and had been unresponsive for about eighteen months. For almost three decades, the UK has enacted a policy of directing end of life decisions to the Court of Protection, regardless if doctors and the family agree. A UK court of appeals has also recently declined a bid to create a legal "right to die" for a man who is still conscious and would be seeking his own death. (Click here)

SEC faces questions after cyber breach

The SEC provided few details about a 2016 cyberattack on its Edgar database, an awkward twist for an agency that has pushed companies to educate investors on cyberrisks and swiftly disclose breaches to the public. The Securities and Exchange Commission said a software vulnerability allowed access to private information and may have led to illicit trading. Federal inspectors have previously identified numerous gaps in the SEC's cyber security practices. The SEC is investigating the breach.

Anger as Brazilian judge backs anti-gay 'therapy'

Brazilian activists and celebrities have condemned a court ruling that approves a "cure" for gay people. Waldemar de Carvalho, a federal judge in the capital Brasilia, backed a psychologist who had her licence revoked for offering so-called "conversion therapy". Critics have called the ruling regressive and medically unsound. Brazil's Federal Council of Psychology banned psychologists from offering treatments that claim to change people's sexuality in 1999. (Click here)

Facebook to turn over 3,000 ads to congress in Russian election interference probe

Facebook founder Zuckerberg says his company will share 3,000 Russia-linked political adverts with US investigators. He also pledged to make political advertising more transparent on his network in future. "We will work with others to create a new standard for transparency for online political ads," he said in a live address on his Facebook profile. He said political advertising will now carry disclaimers about which campaign or organization paid for it. He added that the company was continuing to investigate instances of foreign actors abusing its advertising platform, including Russia and other "former Soviet states". The move to share details with investigators comes after considerable public pressure for Facebook to be more transparent - and is being interpreted by some as an attempt to fend off any potential regulation from the US government.

Ryanair compensation info 'woefully short'

Ryanair's information to customers about compensation for cancelled flights is "woefully short", consumer group Which? has said. Ryanair has stepped up efforts to deal with the 2,100 flights it has cancelled during the next six weeks. But Which? said it should make its compensation obligations clear. Meanwhile, Italy's competition regulator has opened a probe into the cancellations which it said the low-cost airline could have prevented. Ryanair is the biggest carrier in Italy, outstripping even Alitalia, which it is trying to buy. The Irish airline could be fined as much as 5m euros. The cancellations may have been "largely due to foreseen organizational and management reasons... not random, external causes outside of the company's control", said the Italian Competition and Market Authority.

Federal appeals court blocks San Fransisco ordinance requiring soda health warnings

The US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit on Tuesday blocked a 2015 San Fransisco ordinance that mandated health warnings on advertisements for soda and other sugary drinks. The beverage industry sued San Francisco in July 2015, seeking injunctive relief to prevent the implementation of the ordinance, which was set to go into effect on July 25, 2016. The ordinance applied only to certain types of advertisements for sugar-sweetened beverages that contained one or more added sweeteners and more than 25 calories per 12 fluid ounces. These advertisers were required under the ordinance to include the following message: "WARNING: Drinking beverages with added sugar(s) contributes to obesity, diabetes, and tooth decay. This is a message from the City and County of San Francisco."

Tata Steel and ThyssenKrupp agree to create European steel giant

The two companies hope a joint venture would be better equipped to tackle chronic problems in the sector. But the deal faces major obstacles, ranging from union opposition to obtaining the approval of regulators.

Face ID can protect iPhone X from thieves, but not the law

Despite all the safeguards behind Face ID, the biometric tech will have a hard time providing privacy in the courts. For the police, unlocking your iPhone X could be the same as taking your mugshot, thanks to Face ID. One of the marquee features of Apple's latest flagship phone, Face ID uses multiple scanners for facial recognition. That's great for preventing people from snooping, but as its Touch ID counterpart has shown, biometric technology doesn't hold up in court as well as an old-fashioned password. In trials, judges have ruled that people need to give up their fingerprints to unlock their iPhones via Touch ID. Now Face ID will face the same legal vulnerability. So it's important to note that as secure as Apple has made Face ID, you'll want to consider a simple password to defend yourself against both hackers and the authorities. That's because unlike passwords, biometrics like facial and fingerprint recognition aren't protected by the US Constitution.

Protesters in Philippines slam martial law

Thousands of protesters marked Thursday's anniversary of the 1972 declaration of martial law by late Philippine dictator Ferdinand Marcos with an outcry against what they say are the current president's authoritarian tendencies and his bloody crackdown on illegal drugs. Hundreds of riot police were deployed to secure the marches and rallies, among the largest against President Rodrigo Duterte since he took power last year, although a new survey by the Washington-based Pew Research Center showed the president and his anti-drug campaign are widely popular in the Philippines. Pro-Duterte followers also staged rallies in Manila. The rival demonstrations reflected deepening divisions sparked largely by the president’s brutal anti-crime style.


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