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Siegel Sez

November 04, 2016

Siegel Sez

by: Richard Siegel

I was at the HFTP Annual Conference in Las Vegas recently. During lunch the first full day, sponsors were invited to visit all the tables and pitch their products with the 500 attendees. Hospitality Upgrade was a sponsor so I took advantage of the opportunity. We are not your typical sponsor so I didn’t do any “pitching” but enjoyed meeting all the attendees. We had six minutes at each table. I bring this up because one table stood out to me. There were 10 people at the table, six technology and senior financial professionals and four students from the University of South Florida. They were all fans of Hospitality Upgrade and I enjoyed hearing their feedback on our magazine. I then impulsively asked them all if they preferred it in print or digitally since we offer both. I smiled while waiting for the students to respond since I knew what they were going to say. To my surprise all four emphatically said they preferred it in print. In fact, eight of the 10 at the table said the same. I focused on the students because we all know millennials think differently than those of us who are older. Or do they? It was an interesting conversation all around the table but the students who said when they are reading something they enjoy and learn from, it is much easier to read in print. It was a great lunch and a fun conference especially closing night when Lyle Worthington was inducted as the new president of HFTP at the President’s Dinner (if you want to see an extremely rare picture of me in a tuxedo, look to the right). But when it was all said and done I kept thinking of those students and their comments. Maybe we all generalize segments of our population based on what we read or hear too quickly. Or maybe these four students were the exception to the rule? Who can be sure, right? The HFTP Conference was a great event that we were glad to be a part.

Print or digitally, our fall issue has been hitting mailboxes and we have gotten more feedback than usual. When in a period of 20 minutes you get feedback from a director of security at a hotel in Syracuse, N.Y., thanking us for making technology so understandable and then a CIO at a major hotel company sharing how much they enjoyed the survey results and article showing the trends and investments being made today in all different segments of the industry, it just makes you feel great. We thank all who have shared their thoughts.

There are many reasons why people pursue careers in the hospitality industry and more importantly stay in it forever. For me and many others it is because of the people you meet. When you have been doing it as long as I have you sometimes get news that you wish you didn’t. Mark Ozawa passed away this weekend. Mark’s career included Westin Hotels, Sceptre Hospitality, a well-respected industry consultant and for the last six years as the managing director at the beautiful Windjammer Resort in Saint Lucia. For those of us who knew him, and many in the industry did, he was the definition of class and just an amazing guy. The Windjammer Resort shared their pain in this release that was also posted on Mark’s Facebook page. Here is a copy of the release: http://www.stlucianewsonline.com/windjammer-landings-mourns-the-loss-of-md-mark-ozawa/. Mark will be missed, but he will always be remembered. This was a big loss for the industry.

I hope that everybody in the United States has voted or will be voting on Tuesday. This is definitely an election for the ages. I will be flying to London for HOSPACE on Tuesday night and I hope the plane has Wi-Fi to see the results, though truthfully I’d prefer to sleep. I will be one of the few from the states at the event so I am sure the election results will be a hot topic of conversation. After HOSPACE it is directly to New York City for HX: The Hotel Experience Powered by AAHOA which is still one of the largest shows in North America (http://thehotelexperience.com/hx2016/Public/Enter.aspx). We will again be sponsoring the Technology Innovation Center so if you will be there, please come by and say hello. We’ll be in booth 3132. This is one event that I have attended every year since college and something I absolutely look forward to. Who doesn’t love going to New York in the fall?

Here now is the real reason we are here, Dan Phillips’ review of the technology happenings in the industry. I will see you at the end with this week’s attempt at you-know-what.


Technology NEWSSTAND

by: Dan Phillips



I remember as a kid, when I wasn’t feeling well, my mother would break out a can of Campbell’s Tomato Rice Soup, butter one side each of two pieces of Wonder Bread, slice off a couple hunks from a chunk of Velveeta cheese, slap the bread and cheese onto a skillet, and serve me up a comforting grilled cheese sandwich with a bowl of soup. The other night, my wife and I had a version of this same meal.  However, the soup was homemade with tomato, onion, celery, carrot, okra, cabbage, peas, kidney beans, corn, herbs and beef tips. And, the grilled cheese sandwich was on five-grain, marble bread with combined slices of Muenster, Swiss and cheddar melted together.

This is our metaphor for hotel apps! At the beginning, hotel apps were very simple, straight forward with one or two features. However, our ever-growing in savviness guests soon became complacent with just an app that really only pushed the hotel branding with no real functionality. And, as with our mother’s plate, we simply outgrew it and looked for other alternatives.

Today, many will say that the day of the hotel app has passed. But I wonder… Like a chef orchestrating a new meal, one that entices his frequent patrons with new tastes and experience, can hotel companies put more ingredients into their apps too? Could those ingredients include artificial intelligence, messaging platforms, new touch points in the guest life cycle, personalization and location-based marketing and services? Are Google, IBM and Amazon the only culinary artists in this space?

Look to the articles in the Piqued Dan’s Interest section below. There you will find just a few recipe enhancers for those of you contemplating or creating new hotel apps. Sticky = relevantly feature full and functional. Experience = personalized and location aware. Service = anticipating needs and delivering on them before asked. The thoughts expressed in these articles may provide you with superlative stock to be mixed in your bowl.

I look forward to serving you,

Dan Phillips
Dare to Imagine


- HFTP’s 2016–2017 Global Executive Committee and Board of Directors Begin Term
- $1.8 Million Awarded to Hospitality Sector to Create New Career Opportunities Through Registered Apprenticeship
HFTP’s 2016–2017 Global Executive Committee and Board of Directors Begin Term
The 2016-2017 Global Executive Committee and Board of Directors for Hospitality Financial and Technology Professionals (HFTP®) have officially begun their term. The association leaders represent a wide variety of segments within the hospitality industry, including: clubs, consulting, hotels, finance, technology and more. The HFTP Global Executive Committee and Board of Directors volunteer their time and professional expertise to help guide and progress the association to the forefront of the industry as it carries out its strategic plan. Under the vision of its Board of Directors, HFTP is able to expand its global reach and address the needs of the hospitality industry at large.
$1.8 Million Awarded to Hospitality Sector to Create New Career Opportunities Through Registered Apprenticeship
The National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation (NRAEF), in partnership with the American Hotel & Lodging Association (AHLA) and Jobs for the Future (JFF), will create and implement a national Hospitality Sector Registered Apprenticeship (HSRA) initiative for the restaurant, foodservice and hotel and lodging industries. To support the work of this collaborative, NRAEF recently received an award of $1.8 million from the U.S. Department of Labor’s Employment & Training Administration, with an option to renew funding for a total of five years. The U.S. Department of Labor awarded more than $20.4 million in contracts to 14 national industry intermediaries to expand apprenticeship opportunities throughout the U.S. The contracts, part of a historic investment in apprenticeship through the Department’s ApprenticeshipUSA Initiative, will support the growth of apprenticeship programs in high-growth industry sectors including hospitality, health care, energy, construction, transportation and logistics and manufacturing.


- Best Western® Hotels & Resorts Announces Launch of New Global Responsive Website
- InterContinental David Tel Aviv Launches New Technology that Enables Two-way, Real-time  Communication Between Guests and Staff
- ADB's vuTyme Delivers What Guests Want and Hoteliers Need
- Bulk TV & Internet Named to 2016 Grant Thornton North Carolina 100
- Hotel Internet Services to Showcase Next-generation Guestroom Television Streaming and Wi-Fi Network Technology at TribalNet 2016
- Providence Marriott Downtown Elevates Service with Trendsetting Kube 5 Portable Mobile Charging System
- HX Attendees Can Power Up Mobile Devices at Kube Systems’ Quick Recharge Stations
- Bartech to Showcase Latest Innovations in Hotel Minibar Design and Technology at BDNY 2016
- Milestone’s Galexi™ is the First CMS in Hospitality to Launch Google’s AMP Website
- MyCheck Helping Restaurateurs & Hoteliers Meet Mobile Payment Demand in 2017
- Skoosh Selects TrustYou to Provide Meta-Reviews for Its Travelers
- Ramler to Unveil Innovative Banquet Chair with Mobile Charging Tray at HX: The Hotel Experience Powered by AAHOA in New York
- TAC Wins World User Experience Award PEGASUS
For more information on Guest Services for 11/04/16


- Epteca Provides a Personalized Customer Journey on Ground and at 33,000 Feet
- Denihan Hospitality Group Selects KEYPR as Exclusive Guest Experience Technology Partner
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- SOFO Hotel Group Selects KEYPR as Exclusive Guest Experience Technology Partner
- KNOWCROSS Brings Innovative Hospitality Solutions to Luxury Hotels in New York City
- Sonesta St. Maarten Resorts Offers Custom Monscierge Connect Technology to Enhance Guest Experience and Increase Staff Engagement
- Mammoth Mountain Cracks the Code on Digital Incentives with Wonder Technologies
For more information on Personalization/Guest Experience for 11/04/16


- Eight Companies Sign to Implement Aptech's Hotel Software Solutions
Eight Companies Sign to Implement Aptech's Hotel Software Solutions
Aptech Computer Systems, a leading provider of hotel software for business intelligence, budgeting and enterprise financial accounting, announced it signed agreements with eight hotel companies with more than 175 properties in the past six months. Six companies integrated and centralized multibrand data collection and analysis with Aptech’s Execuvue business intelligence hotel software. Other operators installed Profitvue® enterprise back office and Targetvue budgeting and forecasting for faster response to market and business fluctuations. Aptech’s PVNG browser-based back office system is in use by several companies and will be released in the coming months.


- Commerce Casino CFO and Purchasing Foresee Breakthrough Efficiency Gains with BirchStreet
- Outrigger Hotels & Resorts Selects BirchStreet for Comprehensive Procure-to-Pay Automation
Commerce Casino CFO and Purchasing Foresee Breakthrough Efficiency Gains with BirchStreet
Commerce Casino recently selected BirchStreet's procure-to-pay automation platform to improve efficiency in its operations. Commerce Casino selected BirchStreet’s comprehensive product suite to use e-procurement, AP three-way auto-matching, inventory control and recipe management in its casino, restaurants and bars. The casino has six outlets (restaurants and bars) so managing and streamlining the food and beverage spend and quality was an important part of selecting the software. The casino averages about $20 million in food and beverage spend each year, which is significant in terms of being able to track and manage that level of purchasing, receiving, invoicing and inventory.
Outrigger Hotels & Resorts Selects BirchStreet for Comprehensive Procure-to-Pay Automation
BirchStreet announced that Outrigger selected it to implement a comprehensive cloud procure-to-pay automation system for all of its 31 locations, including eProcurement, AP 3-Way Auto-Matching, Inventory Control and Recipe Management modules. Outrigger Hotels & Resorts are located in Hawaii, Guam, Fiji, Thailand, Mauritius and the Maldives. With BirchStreet, accounts payable integrations into its back-office system and into its POS system will further contribute to gaining spend visibility. Together, the entire solution will increase efficiency, compliance and profitability. Automating all of its back-office processes will also reduce costs and save time with elimination of manual activities.


- The Hotel at Oberlin: Paying-it-Forward with Green Meetings
- Marriott International to Debut Eco-conscious Element Brand in Egypt
The Hotel at Oberlin: Paying-it-Forward with Green Meetings
The Hotel at Oberlin is one of the most environmentally sustainable hotels in the world and features meeting spaces that were designed and purpose-built for today’s most discerning meeting planners and their attendees. The hotel incorporates green technology and sustainability into every aspect of the building’s design and construction. Fifty percent of the building materials were sourced from within 500 miles, including reclaimed wood from a historic Ohio farm. From the geothermal HVAC systems and solar power to rainwater harvesting and the use of recycled materials, the hotel is considered among the greenest in the United States. Beyond its green hospitality mission, The Hotel at Oberlin donates all of its net profits back to the community by providing scholarships for selected Oberlin College students. Owned by Oberlin College, The Hotel at Oberlin is a 70-room property that opened in September 2016. It is the first hotel in the United States to incorporate solar, geothermal and radiant heating and cooling, and is on track to qualify for the rigorous LEED Platinum certification from the U.S. Green Building Council. The Hotel at Oberlin was developed by SMART Hotels and is managed by The Olympia Companies, which have created a new breed of sustainable, environmental and philanthropic boutique hotels that they manage, develop and/or own.
Marriott International to Debut Eco-conscious Element Brand in Egypt
Marriott International announced plans to debut Element Hotels, a stylish eco-incubator brand in Egypt in early 2019. Located in Cairo’s upscale Heliopolis district and slated to be the largest Element Hotel in the Middle East and Africa, Element Cairo is being developed by Abraj Misr Urban Development and is owned by Middle East Real Estate for Development (MERED), an Egyptian limited liability company. Element Cairo will be part of The Gate Project, the new iconic ecofriendly development, featuring the largest housing, administrative, commercial facility in Egypt and the Middle East.


- Cendyn Hires Three Key Executives in Response to Rapid Global Expansion
- Gaining Momentum: Cloud5 Adds Key Industry Leaders to Team
- GuestTek Appoints Greg Beatty as New Managing Director, APAC
- CHMWarnick Names Jalil Mekouar Managing Director and Executive Vice President
- Extended Stay America Names Jim Alderman as Executive Vice President and Chief Asset Merchant
- Jim Abrahamson Named as Chairman of the Board for Interstate Hotels & Resorts
- Loews Hotels Announces Jonathan Tisch will Resume the Duties of CEO
- The Marcus Corporation Appoints Joseph Khairallah to President of Marcus Hotels & Resorts
- Millennium Hotels and Resorts Appoints Shaun Treacy President, North America
- Olshan Properties Appoints John G. Randall as Head of Hospitality
- Onyx CenterSource Names Bill Nicholson EVP & Chief Product Officer
- Rosewood Hotel Group Adds Hicham Hassouni as Vice President - Development, Middle East and Robby Qiu as Vice President - Development, China
For more information on People on the Move for 11/04/16


- GuestCentric Acquires Great Hotels of the World Corporate Business Division 
GuestCentric Acquires Great Hotels of the World Corporate Business Division 
GuestCentric, a leading provider of cloud-based digital marketing software for hotels, announced that it has entered into a definitive agreement with United Kingdom-based Big Worldwide Limited to acquire the corporate business division of Great Hotels of the World, a global representation organization for independent hotels and resorts, its associated GDS code, and its Evolution central reservations system deployed by numerous hotels in 42 countries and with a significant presence in EMEA. GuestCentric has been working with extraordinary hoteliers to redefine their digital strategy, to build their brands online and to grow their hotels’ digital revenue streams without increasing total online spend. Great Hotels of the World’s broad representation capabilities will allow GuestCentric to provide GDS services on top of its leading digital marketing platform, providing a turnkey solution for all digital revenue streams to hotels.


- Agilysys Recognized as a Champion in Info-Tech Research Group's Self-service Kiosks Vendor Landscape Report
- Maestro PMS Exhibits Latest Innovations for Independent Hotels and Resorts at HX and TribalNet Shows
- Tune Hotels Group Moves to the Cloud with ATRIO PMS from MSI
- Hotelogix and GuestCentric Join Hands to Offer Hoteliers Globally an Integrated, Cloud-based Solution
- RMS Bringing Email Marketing Manager to the Hospitality Cloud
For more information on Guest Management Systems for 11/04/16


- Amadeus and DerbySoft Partner to Give Hotel Customers Access to Metasearchers and OTAs to Boost Online Bookings
- SHR and Roomer Travel Announce Global Partnership to Drive Hotel Revenue and Enhance Guest Satisfaction Using Life Happens™ Cancellation Protection
- SiteMinder Celebrates a Decade of Serving the World's Hotels
- Hoteles Casas y Palacios de España Reveals Demand for Hotels and Personalization has Grown with SiteMinder
- DHISCO Expands Its Global Reach With Three New Partnerships
For more information on Reservations for 11/04/16


- Flip.to and b4checkin Partner to Help Hotels Convert Personal Introductions Into Future Guests
- Hotel Emperador Reaches More Than 200,000 Potential New Guests with Flip.to
- HeBS Digital Recognized with Eight Interactive Media Awards for Website Design and Digital Technology, Including Two Best-in-class Awards
- Lodging Interactive Offers Search Engine Marketing to BookingSuite Hotels
- Historic Hotels of America® Members Using NAVIS Narrowcast™ Average $1.4 Million Increase in Yearly Revenue and 14X ROI
For more information on Marketing/Management for 11/04/16


- Rainmaker's Tammy Farley Named Finalist by Stevie Awards for Women in Business
Rainmaker's Tammy Farley Named Finalist by Stevie Awards for Women in Business
As an internationally acclaimed organization that honors the positive contributions of organizations and business professionals around the world, the Stevie Awards has named Rainmaker co-founder and president, Tammy Farley, as a finalist in its 13th annual Women in Business competition. Nominated as female entrepreneur of the year for businesses that employ 11 to 2,500 individuals, Farley was among more than 1,500 entries in more than 90 categories, with finalists chosen by more than 110 business professionals. Members of five final judging committees will determine the Gold, Silver and Bronze Stevie Award placements among the finalists during final judging, which will take place October 17-26. 


- JMA Wireless Deploys the Largest In-building DAS in Mexico
- Teko DAS by JMA Wireless to Enable Mobile Communications at Copenhagen’s Axel Towers
JMA Wireless Deploys the Largest In-building DAS in Mexico
JMA Wireless, a global leader of wireless communications solutions, is enabling powerful cellular coverage throughout Pabellón M, a world class complex that houses extensive commercial office space, a spectacular shopping center, an amazing auditorium, a first-rate convention center and a luxury hotel in Monterrey, Mexico. As a pioneer offering ubiquitous high-capacity cellular coverage and fiber optic connectivity throughout its facility, Pabellón M considers telecommunications an integral component for ensuring visitors have an optimal experience. This superior wireless connectivity is made possible thanks to JMA Wireless’ Teko DAS (distributed antenna system). The deployment of the Teko DAS was a joint effort with neutral host, Neutral Host Solutions XX, telecommunications experts, CT Optics and system integrator, EVEN Telecom. The multiband, multicarrier Teko DAS configuration at Pabellón M is comprised of nine zones, which can support 42 sectors currently. The DAS supports 3G and 4G LTE signals at the PCS, AWS and AMPS bands. The more than 1,000 connectors, among other equipment. The cost efficient Teko DAS platform uses at least 50 percent less fiber than competitive offerings when it distributes the frequency bands to the remote units.
Teko DAS by JMA Wireless to Enable Mobile Communications at Copenhagen’s Axel Towers
JMA Wireless, a global innovator of wireless communications solutions, has been selected by Denmark’s largest technical installation company, Kemp & Lauritzen, to enable robust mobile communications for Axel Towers, a new venue consisting of five buildings, which will house high-end offices, restaurants and shops. The modular Teko DAS (distributed antenna system) platform from JMA Wireless will be deployed to ensure cellular coverage and capacity throughout. The popularity of the Teko DAS platform has soared in the commercial real estate market because it uniquely addresses numerous cost-of-ownership issues, and cost effectively enhances and protects the integrity of wireless signals.  This multiband, multicarrier solution will ensure cellular coverage and capacity for all four Danish mobile operators throughout this 23,000 square meter facility, which is slated to open at the end of 2016.


- Cendyn to Provide Cain Meetings & Incentives the MetronXpress Event Management and Registration Platform
- CIC Welcomes New Board and New Leadership Perspective
Cendyn to Provide Cain Meetings & Incentives the MetronXpress Event Management and Registration Platform
Cendyn announced that Cain Meetings & Incentives (CMI) will be adopting the MetronXpress™ application. A strategic leader in creating customized corporate meetings and incentive travel, CMI turned to Cendyn to enhance its events technology while strengthening operational intelligence. Cendyn is helping CMI implement MetronXpress, a Cendyn/EVENTS application which offers the powerful strategic meetings management components needed to effectively plan, source, manage and measure the event lifecycle, as well as achieve compliance and track spending.
CIC Welcomes New Board and New Leadership Perspective
A convergence of meetings association executives and thought leaders gathered in Las Vegas for the Convention Industry Council (CIC) Annual Meeting of Members on October 20, 2016. At the meeting, a new CIC Board of Directors was elected, welcoming a new leadership perspective for the trade association. Bonnie Fedchock, CAE, Executive Director of the National Association for Catering & Events (NACE) completed her term as CIC Board Chair and passed the torch onto Susan Robertson, CAE, Executive Vice President of ASAE and the Center for Association Leadership. In addition to growing its programs and services on a global level, CIC plans to continue its work toward advocating for the economic and social value of the meetings industry with an updated Economic Significance Study and through its participation in the Meetings Mean Business Coalition by activating industry professionals to participate in Global Meetings Industry Day.


- Merchant Link Provides Validated EMV Solution to Oracle Restaurants
- Shift4 and Maestro PMS Announce Joint EMV Solution for Hotels and Resorts
Merchant Link Provides Validated EMV Solution to Oracle Restaurants
Merchant Link, a provider of payment gateway and data security solutions,announced that its EMV solution has been validated by Oracle for 3700, 9700 and Simphony Restaurant Solutions. Merchant Link provides a comprehensive security suite of products, including tokenization, point-to-point encryption and EMV to Oracle point-of-sale merchants. Certified with Oracle Hospitality for point-of-sale, Merchant Link’s suite of products closes the loop on security by securing data in flight and data at rest, and by responding to card present fraud through its validated EMV solution. The validated solution expands Merchant Link’s suite, and includes Pay @ the Table support for the Ingenico iWL 252 and iWL 258 PIN Pads.
Shift4 and Maestro PMS Announce Joint EMV Solution for Hotels and Resorts
Shift4 Corporation, a payment gateway provider, and Maestro PMS, an enterprise property management hotel software suite,announced the general availability of their joint EMV-certified solution for hoteliers. The solution includes layered payment security to prevent instances of card-present fraud at physical points of sale; supports 12 EMV-capable terminals by Ingenico Group and Verifone, with options for USB, serial, Ethernet, Bluetooth and Wi-Fi connectivity; and supports bank and processor neutrality, allowing merchants the freedom to negotiate the best payment processing rates and make a switch if needed.
http://www.shift4.com, http://www.maestropms.com


- HFTP’s Annual Convention Delivers Thought-provoking Discussion for Hospitality, Finance and Technology Professionals
- HFTP’s Premier HITEC Amsterdam to Co-Locate with HTNG’s Insight Summit Europe in March 2017
HFTP’s Annual Convention Delivers Thought-provoking Discussion for Hospitality, Finance and Technology Professionals
More than 555 Hospitality Financial and Technology Professionals (HFTP®) members and hospitality industry professionals came together from around the globe for HFTP’s 64th Annual Convention. This year’s Annual Convention was revamped, with a completely new format, to progress the event and keep up with evolving business practices. The three-day event was held from October 19–21, 2016, at Caesars Palace Las Vegas Hotel & Casino. The event’s updated education schedule offered attendees the opportunity to choose from a variety of session formats: longer workshops, 20-minute fast track sessions, one-hour concurrent sessions and three keynote presentations.
HFTP’s Premier HITEC Amsterdam to Co-Locate with HTNG’s Insight Summit Europe in March 2017
Global hospitality association Hospitality Financial and Technology Professionals (HFTP®), producer of the Hospitality Industry Technology Exposition and Conference (HITEC®), is partnering with Hotel Technology Next Generation (HTNG) to co-locate the HTNG Insight Summit Europe with the premier HITEC Amsterdam. HTNG’s Insight Summit Europe will be held from March 27-28, 2017, while HFTP’s HITEC Amsterdam will take place March 28-30 at the RAI Convention Centre.
http://www.hftp.org, http://www.htng.org


- Is the Age of the Hotel App Over?
- 3 Operations Fixes to Run Your Hotel as a Platform
- How Marketers are Using AI to Improve the Brand Experience
- Guest Messaging is the New Normal
- Live Nation Uses Wi-Fi and Geofencing to Connect Sponsors with Fans
For more information on Piqued Dan's Interest for 11/04/16


And now for you-know-what…

A defendant was on trial for murder. There was strong evidence indicating guilt, but there was no corpse. In the defense's closing statement, the lawyer, knowing that his client would probably be convicted, resorted to a trick. "Ladies and gentlemen of the jury, I have a surprise for you all," the lawyer said as he looked at his watch. "Within one minute, the person presumed dead in this case will walk into this courtroom."

He looked toward the courtroom door. The jurors, somewhat stunned, all looked on eagerly. A minute passed and nothing happened. Finally the lawyer said, "Actually, I made up the previous statement. But you all looked on with anticipation. I therefore put to you that you have a reasonable doubt in this case as to whether anyone was killed and insist that you return a verdict of not guilty."

The jury, clearly confused, retired to deliberate. A few minutes later, the jury returned and pronounced a verdict of guilty.

"But how?" demanded the lawyer. "You must have had some doubt. I saw all of you stare at the door."

The jury foreman replied, "Oh, we did look, but your client didn't.”


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