Richard Pettet

  • What is more frustrating that buying a new video game for $70 and finding that someone has scratched it? Finding a scratched $70 game that has been ruined by the very thing that you are supposed to play it on.

    Falling on deaf ears, gamers around the globe have been saying that their games have been ruined by their Microsoft game consoles, but for the first time, Microsoft may have to answer to the allegations being thrown at them by immigration attorneys.

    A lawsuit that was waged over ten years ago is finally getting its turn on the Supreme Court docket as it prepares to hear the case against the Microsoft Xbox 360 game owners. The disc-scratching class action lawsuit is finally being heard. A case brought against Microsoft has been stalled and put to the side since 2007, which has angered Xbox owners across the nation.

    Xbox 360 owners brought to the attention of Microsoft that the games Halo and Gears of War were scratched by the Xbox 360 console. Microsoft at the time admitted that the games could, in fact, be scratched, but only if the console was moved around while the game was being played. If the disc was spinning while it was hit or moved, it would cause the game to be ruined and unplayable.

    That was the finding through the admission of Microsoft itself. That, however, was not enough for Xbox to stop the sale and make corrections. Knowing that the potential existed, they continued to sell the games choosing to put a warning label on the discs instead of correcting the problem.

    Gamers insist that even after being warned, and taking special care to ensure the consoles were not moved during play, the discs still got scratched. That is when lawyers got together to bring about a class action lawsuit against the company. Over nine years ago, the lawyers insisted that if the console was scratching discs, then it was the responsibility of the company to fix the problem and to reimburse the gamers for their scratched games.

    That has not been on the only suit involved in the disc scratching scandal. Since the first class action lawsuit was brought, there have been several other allegations made, but they have all been thrown out of court without even being heard. Winning the suit, at first, it has since been overturned.

    Finally, the Supreme Court has agreed to put the lawsuit to rest and make a final decision on the case. According to allegations, over 55,000 disc owners have insisted that their games were damaged due to the console that was supposed to play it, in just one year’s time. Four years after, judges insisted that there were not enough defendant’s available with proof to bring about a class action suit. Likely, the same will result this time.

    The question then remains how over 55,000 people could have the same thing happen to their game without any other insult, and not be heard. What could be causing the ruined discs if it wasn’t the console itself. Is it really legal that they could admit fault, not fix the console to stop it, and just put a disclaimer on the game saying that it may be scratched?

    If the purchaser is responsible for the scratches due to moving the game around, how do you explain that it continued to happen even after gamers were warned? The console is not something that is typically shifted around during gameplay. In fact, the console itself is not generally touched at all during play. It would appear to be a bogus claim, and one that if Microsoft is unable to prove through evidence, they should be held responsible for the scratched games.

    For the twenty cents that it takes to make the games, and the seventy dollars plus that it costs to buy them, there is no wonder that Xbox game owners are upset about what was done to their game. At least, they should be reimbursed the money that they spent on the game. The least that Microsoft could do is to replace their scratched games if they are ready to admit fault in the case.

    The Supreme Court will be the ultimate word on who is responsible, and whether tens of thousands of gamers will get their money returned on games, they invested in and were ruined by their expensive consoles. We will all have to stay tuned to see what happens.


  • Senator Harry Reid’s local slip and fall attorney recently filed a personal injury lawsuit, and for many, it’s no big surprise. He was injured early in 2015, and has been working remotely quite a bit since the event. However, reports of what has happened, and what the expected outcome is, vary greatly depending on the source. Here’s a quick explanation of what really happened to the Senate minority leader, why it’s caused so much buzz, and what will come out of the lawsuit.

    Senator Reid was injured by an exercise band. The court documents, as provided by NPR News, indicate that on January 1, 2015, Reid was using elastic exercise bands in his Nevada home, when they either slipped out if his hand or broke. This caused him to spin, and fall into his bathroom cabinets, resulting in serious injury. According to Reid, he had been using the exercise bands as part of his fitness routine for about four years. It’s also worth noting that although Reid is 75-years-old, he is a lifelong athlete.
    The senator suffered from several broken bones, and was treated right away. His injuries include broken bones around his eye, a rib fracture, concussion, and bruising. The damage around his eye is so severe, that it has caused potentially permanent vision loss.
    Conspiracy theories began circulating by major media outlets in March 2015. Two of the most well-known entities are Rush Limbaugh and Limbaugh has been outright announcing that it looks more like the senator was beat up, and draws upon stories of mob ties from decades ago. Breitbart has been mostly examining “evidence” they’ve been able to collect. Some of this includes photos of the home taken before the senator moved in, as well as layouts and measurements. By their latest assumptions, the incident could not have happened as the lawsuit alleges.
    He will not be running for reelection. Reid said in a March address that although the injury is not the reason why he has chosen not to run for reelection, it kicked off a series of events that contributed to his decision. Prior to this speech, he had been consistently saying that he would run again, and would continue to serve for as long as he was able.
    He filed the lawsuit October 6, 2015, in Clark County Nevada. Hygenic Intangible Property Holding Company, the Hygenic Corporation, and Performance Health LLC, the exercise band maker and two related companies, are listed as defendants. Though a specific amount of damages was not listed, the lawsuit does state they will be seeking an amount in excess of $50,000.
    The suit is based on the exercise device being dangerous, especially for the elderly. While it’s unclear whether the band broke, or Reid’s hands slipped, documents indicate that the product was poorly made, and that handles could have possibly prevented the injury.
    The senator’s wife is listed as a plaintiff in the suit, alleging “loss of consortium.” While this, too, has become quite a tabloid topic, many people are overlooking the fact that this claim is wide-reaching, and may simply mean that Reid has been unable to take part in family activities and maintain relationships as a result of his injuries or mental anguish.
    It’s unclear how the accident happened, and that will play a role in the case. Anyone who has been involved in a similar incident, especially where concussions occur, understands that it can be difficult to provide details of the order of events. Although Reid’s wife was with him at the time of the incident, it appears as if she doesn’t know what the catalyst was either. Because Reid will have to prove that he was using the exercise band in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions, the lack of details may become an issue. At the same time, if he is seeking damages for the injury ending his political career, his video statement will likely nullify the claim.

    The lawsuit may allow the defendants access to all sorts of things, including Reid’s personal history, medical history, and financial documents. Given his status, and inability to prove how events unfolded, it’s possible he will attempt to settle, rather than going for an all-out court battle. For the sake of public relations, it’s quite likely that the defendants will be amicable in a settlement agreement.

  • With so much going on around the globe, it is difficult to remain prejudicial-free. We, as human beings, are conditioned to stereotype people. It is an evolutionary tool that is supposed to help keep us safe and to protect us.

    The brain was created with the capacity to remember and categorize things to quickly form decisions when we need to. Is there any wonder that over the past several years, some people have formed anti-Muslim sentiment?

    Lawyer Lorne Waldman could have never anticipated the firestorm that would result from simply doing his job and defending his client. It has brought to the forefront the question about who we are as Canadians and what we value about human rights. The Niqab case has made all of us take a closer look at our beliefs and prejudices.

    When Prime Minister Harper proposed the Niqab ban, there were those who flooded in defiance of it and those who marched in opposition. Harper’s argument was that the Niqab is a national security issue.

    If a Muslim woman can shield her face, then there was no way to ensure that you have the right individual. If there is no way to gain a picture for identification, then things such as a driver’s licenses have no validity.

    Those who stood against the ban argued that it was anti-religion and went against everything that a free-Canada stands for. If a Niqab is a signal of a woman’s lack of right not to choose in a Muslim country, not being able to wear one in Canada is against her right in just the same manner. In both instances, she is being oppressed against her wishes.

    Lawyer Lorne Waldman had no idea what he was getting himself into when he proclaimed on live television that people should live in harmony with one another and accept their differences.

    That included living with the right for Muslims to go along with certain components of their faith, and for the rest of us to be tolerant. Insisting that, part of being a free country means allowing citizens the freedom to wear what they want, his statement did not go over well in certain political circles.

    There are some that insist that if Canada is to be free, they can’t accept people into the country who will only live outside of the laws that are agreed upon. The ruling that resulted in the victory of Justin Trudeau, Lorne’s client who opposed the ban, seems to have only added fuel to the building anti-Muslim fire.

    Canada had, up until this point, believed that they were different from their European cohorts who are caught up in immigration problems and anti-immigration sentiment. Hard to stomach, Canadian citizens didn’t enjoy the unwillingness of immigrants not to want to assimilate. Many think that granting only a segment specific rights, against the potential safety of the majority, is not good policy.

    The whole world seems to be on edge as terrorist acts plague both Muslim dominated and non-dominated world. The ban on Niqab became a major political issue in Canada as well as The United States as Seattle Criminal Lawyer, Robert Rhodes will attest. Quite arguably one of the biggest reasons for the liberal party’s success this past election. The platform of the Conservative party seemed to be too stringent, too hard-lined, and too anti-immigration for most Canadian voters.

    That doesn’t mean that everyone is on board with the reversal of the Niqab ban. In fact, it is an issue that seems to be dividing a nation along party lines. As fears heat up around the globe, and catastrophes such as what recently happened in Paris are witnessed in the eyes’ of Canadians, it will be interesting to see how many people change their positions both one way or the other.

    With so many refugees fleeing Syria and looking for refuge in other countries, it struck a national nerve when Canada recently changed their offer to take them in. Harper has offered to donate a considerable sum to help out those displaced. Pledging over $100 million to help, Harper has been resolved not to take any more refugees on Canadian soil.

    There are some around the world who have scoffed at the measly 2,500 that Canada has taken in since 2014, but Harper seems unfeigned by the criticism. Insisting that his first commitment is to the safety of his country and the people he rules, he is willing to take the criticism.

    Mr. Lorne, the lawyer responsible for the overturn of the ban, is taking it all in stride. Simply defending his client, he is beginning to recognize that it isn’t just about the Niqab debate, it is about an entire generation and how they are going to handle the crisis of Muslims around the world.

    Can the liberals and the conservatives find a happy medium to the problems that will most likely only get worse before they get better? Only time will tell

  • Family law solicitor Andrew Woolley explains some of the common myths and misunderstandings in the world of family law.

    Andrew says that one of the things that a lot of people think is that you can divorce simply by saying “hey look my marriage has irretrievably broken down” but without getting too technical that is not actually really correct.

    There are, Andrew says,  five different reasons that you can choose from to get a divorce which proves that the marriage has irretrievably broken down. Only five? I can think of hundreds. Watch what they are below:

  • JMW Solicitors have recently launched this animated promo for their HR365 service, a Cloud-based HR Management Tool that is both flexible and compliant with current employment law.

    JMW Solicitors reckon that HR365 provides systems and support for all a business’ HR needs. Their promo for the product is short and sweet and well animated, and proves once again that when you can avoid having lawyers in front of the camera, you should.

  • Legal industry behemoth Irwin Mitchell have just released a promo on YouTube detailing the several companies, products and brands that make up the group structure at Irwin Mitchell.

    Lots of talking heads and […]

  • In this case study from Slater & Gordon Lawyers, Joy tells the story of her husband David who from the age of 15-29 was exposed to vast quantities of asbestos. Sadly, David developed mesothelioma and died.

    This, frankly pretty emotional, video details the journey that Joy went on with Slater & Gordan to secure compensation.

  • This short video from Michael Lewin Solicitors tells you about and your rights for Statutory Maternity Pay in the UK.

    Statutory Maternity Pay ( SMP ) SMP for eligible employees can be paid for up to 39 weeks, usually as follows: the first 6 weeks: 90% of their average weekly earnings ( AWE ) before tax. the remaining 33 weeks: £139.58 or 90% of their AWE (whichever is lower).

  • Driving offences are not always committed by goofed-up potheads or drunk binge drinkers. So seems to be the message in Simpson Millar’s new Driving Offence promo.

    No, it’s the small things that might land in you a spot of bother with the rozzers when it comes to driving. Hangover-curing tablets, phones falling on the floor, general stress – yup, all these things get a mention in this video about an average Joe on an average journey to work.

    It’s a professionally shot solicitor advert, and is probably one of the better motoring offence videos we’ve seen here on Defero Law. There are, of course, some cliches: the blue flashing lights, the overly-earnest testimonial for Simpson Millar, but it’s a decent effort. Good work, team SM.

  • Irwin Mitchell have never shied away from spending good money on quality TV adverts. You know they’re serious about this kind of thing by the time of day you see their ads and the channels you see them on. We’re talking ITV 2 at prime time rather than Dave at 3pm in the afternoon.

    Their latest offering is short and sweet and sound-tracked by the late Ben E King classic “Stand by Me”.

    “We all need help sometimes” intones the voiceover guy, before going on to claim that “Irwin Mitchell are widely regarded by experts as the UK’s leading personal injury firm. To back this up? A nod to Chambers UK and the Legal500!! Wowzers, this has to be the first time that either has been cited on a TV advert, right?

  • Back from the hols. Let’s see how this week pans out 🙁

  • Richard Pettet posted a new activity comment 2 years ago

    Hi Ruth, thanks for posting. I just noticed your job title as Community Manager and so took a look at the site you manage. I actually build and design community websites for a number of clients so if you ever need help with the site please do let me know. Rich

    • Thank you, Rich. Ian Rispin, who owns Wikivorce is a technical wizard and does all the techy stuff for the site. I will let you know if we do ever require some additional wizardry from yourself .

  • The centerpiece to Thrings Solicitors website is this nicely produced video hosted on Vimeo. It features lawyers with no ties, perched at jaunty angles on bar stools, saying things like “clients expect lawyers to be able to do their job and know the law”.

    All this takes place with behind the scenes shots of the video being made, giving the impression that this is a slick and professional outfit rather than the cowboy efforts at law firm video production occasionally featured on this site.

    Towards the end, each of the featured Thring lawyers is asked to sum up Thrings in three words. Words like “brilliant”, “pragmatic” and “honest” crop up. Three words to sum up this video might be similar, although the temptation would be to replace “brilliant” with “very good”. Which I appreciate would be four words, but “average” seemed unfair.

    Check it out below:

  • UK-legal-sector-value

    The UK legal services market is valued at an estimated £29.3bn.

    Research and Markets Ltd has just released a report highlighting that in 2013, annual growth was the highest recorded for many years.

    Numerically, the sector may be dominated by small firms but, in revenue terms, power is heavily concentrated amongst the top players. The top 200 law firms account for 55% of private practice revenues generated in the UK. By far the largest segment in the UK market is legal work for business and commercial affairs accounting for an estimated 34% of annual UK legal market revenue.

    The second largest segments are personal injury/accident/medical negligence work, and legal work associated with commercial property, both contributing an estimated 11% of UK market revenue. As competition grows in the legal services market, and consolidation in certain segments increases, the number of private practice law firms in England and Wales has started to fall.

    Since the start of 2013 and up to the end of 2014, around 500 law firms have exited the market. Some segments are starting to polarise, led by conveyancing and personal injury: larger firms and new players joining the market are using M&A to grow their market share while smaller law firms often see M&A as a defensive measure to join forces and deal more effectively with the challenges of the new legal market. The larger firms are also starting to make more use of main media advertising and Internet marketing techniques to boost brand awareness and use.

    However, the large UK law firms will not be immune from increased competitive pressures, particularly from the growing number of overseas law firms, especially US firms, moving into London and the expansion plans of the big accountancy firms in the UK legal market.

    In 2014, revenue growth in the UK legal services market overall is likely to be around 6% and growth of around 5-6% per year can be expected in 2015 and 2016. In the next 2 years, IRN Research expects competition in the legal services market to intensify.

    For more information please click here.

  • If you’ve ever worked in a noisy environment and now struggle with you hearing in crowded places, then you might be able to claim with the help of an industrial deafness expert lawyer.

    In this short video, Michael Lewin Solicitors tell the tale of John. John’s a deaf old so-and-so. He can’t even hear the barman, God bless him. Must have worked someone real noisy, like. Luckily, no win no fee solicitors Michael Lewin might be able to help.

    Check out the video below.

  • Paul Hajek’s firm of conveyancing solicitors have been long-time faves here on Defero Law. Paul himself was bestowed the prestigious honour of being named a Defero Law ‘Star Blogger‘ back in 2012 so when I was alerted to his firm’s new website I kinda new it was going to be on the money.

    Before we look at Clutton Cox’s new site I want to draw your attention to something Paul said back in 2012’s ‘Star Blogger’ post:

    “The recession gave me the time to work on my practice rather than just in it. What evolved has taken me and my law firm to the cutting edge of internet marketing”

    A lawyer prepared to change, learn and adapt? Send that round the office all you forlorn marketing managers and execs. Next time your senior partner tells you the firm doesn’t need to blog, or Tweet, or do videos, hold up a picture of Paul.

    Which brings us to the new Clutton Cox website because pictures of Paul do feature quite heavily.  As do videos of Paul. And blog posts by Paul. Clutton Cox has for a long-time had a content rich site, a clearly defined SEO and marketing strategy that many firms who outsource this kind of stuff would probably kill for. With so much content, it’s testament to the firm that the new site seems so uncluttered. Content might be king but it’s the calls-to-action that standout. It’s such a simple thing but a message that simply says “Thank you for visiting the home of Conveyancing, Wills & Probate. How can we help you today?” is friendly and confident and will yield far greater results than a flashy rotating banner with meaningless stats about partner numbers and 230 years of history etc.

    Clutton Cox Website

    Confident and friendly. Clutton Cox’s new website.

    Obvious calls-to-action continue throughout the site with links to a wealth of conveyancing information – jargon-busters, for example – and more general house-buying information, like 10 Property Websites You Must Visit Before You Buy.

    I found the new site particularly easy to navigate and it’s now optimised for mobile (as all law firm website should be) so looked great on my iPad and HTC One.

    The site is also not without humour. Let’s leave the final few words to others, as quoted by the post here:

    ‘If new websites be the food of love, click on’ – William Shakespeare
     ‘This website makes me completely and perfectly and incandescently happy’ – Jane Austen
     ‘You’re off to great places. Today is your day. This website is waiting, so get on your way! – Dr Seuss
     ‘This website could be the greatest on the planet if mine didn’t already exist’ – Kanye West
     ‘I don’t like it…I love it’ – The head judge of shows X-Factor and Britain’s Got Talent…you know who – his name escapes me.


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