Gaming Laptops for 2014

Posted by on May 10, 2014 in Games | 0 comments

It is only in recent times that gamers have considered using laptops to play their…well, games. Laptops are designed primarily for mobility, not power, and a true gamer needs epic hardware to keep the game going smoothly. That kind of power used to be associated with desktop computers, and later gaming consoles.

But gamers today are a far cry from the stereotypical geeks who hardly left their rooms and when they did looked like candidates for a zombie apocalypse (although there are some that still are). Gamers are generally hip and happening, and they want to be just as mobile as anyone else. And so the demand for more powerful laptops grew.

Today, there are a few brands competing for custom from gamers by stacking on the goodies for a truly epic gaming experience on the go. But because the requirements are pretty steep, so are the prices. A true gamer can expect to spend upwards of $1,000 for an entry level gaming laptop and more than thrice that for advanced gaming models.

At a minimum, today’s best games require a processor that is at least the speed of an Intel Core i5, and since it is largely a visual medium, a kickass graphics processor such as an AMD Radeon HD 8870M or Nvidia GeForce GTX 780M. Anything over that is gravy, but the more bells and whistles, the better.

Among the top of the class in 2014 are Alienware 18, Origin EON17-SLX, CyberPower FangBook X7-200, MSI GX60 1AC-021US, and MSI GX70 3Be-007US. Check out the specifics and decide what you need. Woot!

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Issues in International Divorce

Posted by on Apr 3, 2014 in Divorce Topics | 0 comments

Divorce is difficult enough when the spouses are citizens of the same country. Even if they are both Americans, each state has different laws that can significantly affect the terms of the final decree. Throw into the mix the laws of a different country, and you have a recipe for complexity that even an experienced divorce lawyer would have a hard time unraveling. Issues in international divorce should really be handled by lawyers who specialize in it.

It is quite common nowadays to have married couples who are from different countries, or American couples who are married outside the US. Unfortunately, this increase in interracial and international marriages is matched by an increase in divorce rates. However, the dissolution of a marriage that was not legalized in the US or in cases where one or both spouses are from different countries, unique issues come up that may impact on the major aspects of divorce: property division, child custody, and financial support.

Property division in international divorces may include assets that are outside the country which would be outside the jurisdiction of an American court. Moreover, it is much easier to conceal assets which cannot be easily traced, which can prolong the process of discovery, and chances are any assets that were never documented in the US will never be traced.

In the case of child custody, many problems can arise if the primary caregiver parent wants to relocate outside the US and bring the children. Depending on the circumstances, determining what is in the best interests of the child may not be so easy. In general, the loss of association with one parent can be highly detrimental; on the other hand, refusing to grant the request of the petitioning parent can foster resentment or other negative emotions, which can also affect the child.

In the case of financial support, it is a matter of enforcement that presents the most difficulty. If either spouse moves away from American jurisdiction, it can be very difficult if not impossible for the obligee to compel the obligor court-ordered child and spousal support.

When considering an international divorce, keep in mind that there are a number of legal issues that a regular divorce attorney will not be able to address. Find a law firm that specializes in international divorce to make the process go as smoothly as possible.

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Calculating Compensation for the Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill 

Posted by on Apr 2, 2014 in Oil Claims | 0 comments

The legal tango in which BP Plc is engaged in regarding its settlement plan for individuals and businesses affected by the Gulf of Mexico oil spill may be ending soon. The courts have so far rejected each motion filed by BP lawyers that would effectively restructure the plan that had initially been agreed upon. Until such time as the wrangling ends, however, claimants are forced to wait for their compensation.

Notwithstanding the courtroom drama, legitimate claims for the BP oil spill can still be filed. According to the website of MySpillClaim.com, the claims will still be assessed based on the V-shaped revenue test that was described in the original settlement agreement. The test is a standard tool for establishing causation in business economic losses.

In estimating the probable compensation for each claim using the V-shaped revenue test, there is some information that has to be put in. Particularly, the test will require the gross monthly revenue for the six-month period between May and December of the three years previous to the oil rig explosion, the 6 months immediately after and for the year after. From this, the online calculator on the website will be able to determine the aggregate decline in income immediately following the explosion compared to the previous three years and the increase in income in the following year. These are the downturn and upturn steps that determine whether the business losses experienced in 2010 was directly caused by the oil rig explosion.

If you have suffered economic losses due to the BP oil spill but declined to participate in the settlement program or have yet to make a claim, it is important to understand that the time to act is now. Find a qualified lawyer in the area with experience in handling BP oil spill claims to make your own as soon as possible. If you wait too long, you risk not getting any compensation.

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Defective Helmets in Motorcycle Accidents

Posted by on Apr 1, 2014 in Product Defects | 0 comments

A motorcycle rider is about 30 times more likely to sustain severe injury or death than a car passenger in an accident, mostly because of the speed of travel and the lack of protection. To mitigate the dangers associated with motorcycle accidents, riders are required by law to use protective gear, most particularly a well-built sturdy helmet to prevent traumatic brain injury that can too easily result from flying head over keyster over the handlebars to impact with steel, concrete, or wood.

And it is true that helmets save lives. According to the website of law firm Patino & Associates P.L.L.C. in McAllen, motorcycle accidents usually result in serious injury or death. It is estimated that helmets save an average of 1,500 lives every year by preventing head injuries, which is a serious injury in itself that may also lead to death. However, when the motorcycle helmet is defective in some way, it has effectively removed any chance of the wearer from surviving a bad tumble.

If the rider had chosen a poor quality helmet that did not meet the federal standards imposed by the Department of Trade (DOT) because it was cheap, then the rider has no one else to blame. One should never stint on safety gear, especially when on a motorcycle. But if the rider had purchased in good faith what was represented to be a helmet that met DOT safety standards, he or she has a right to expect that the helmet will perform as expected. A design or manufacturing defect in the helmet itself or the strap can cause the helmet to fail in protecting the head in an accident. This can render the manufacturer liable for any injuries, and perhaps the distributor if the helmet was known to be defective but was still sold without disclosing this knowledge to the purchaser.

If you or a close family member sustained injury in a motorcycle accident because the helmet was defective, you should contact a product liability lawyer in your area. You may be eligible to file a lawsuit to demand compensation for costs and losses associated with the injuries sustained.

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Understanding NuvaRing Dangers

Posted by on Mar 31, 2014 in Pharmaceutical Defects | 0 comments

There is something to be said for a medical device that one can set and forget, at least for a while. This is the main attraction of NuvaRing, a contraceptive ring designed to be placed in the vagina to inhibit penetration of sperm as well as ovulation. Introduced to the market by Merck and Co., NuvaRing is characterized by the slow release of contraceptive hormones ethinyl estradiol and etonogesrel over three weeks after insertion, at which time it needs to be removed, usually coinciding with the user’s menstrual period.

For contraception to be effective, the user has to be diligent. This is the main problem with contraceptive pills, which need to be taken daily and in sequence. NuvaRing made it easier for women to ensure perfect use without having to include it in the daily routine. The problem with NuvaRing was that aside from being convenient, it also proved to cause serious injury. This, according to the website of personal injury law firm Williams Kherkher, should not have happened if the drug manufacturer had observed their duty of care.

NuvaRing needs to be obtained via a doctor’s prescription, but there was nothing in the literature about serious side effects of the device. It was only after 8 years and millions of women prescribed with it later that it was figured out that the hormones released by NuvaRing increased the risk of abnormal blood clot formation in users 6.5 times compared to non-users. A blood clot can travel in the blood stream and lodge in critical areas which can cause stroke, deep vein thrombosis, pulmonary embolism, and other life-threatening conditions.

About 3,800 injured women or their families are eligible to file a case against Merck for failure to test the product properly and failure to warn doctors and patients. The plaintiffs allege that Merck knew of the NuvaRing dangers as early as 2002, but it was only because a lawsuit was filed against them in 2008 that it became widely known.

Merck had recently announced a settlement of $100 million for all current and pending NuvaRing cases, and for some the statute of limitations has run out. Nevertheless, if you or a family member has suffered injury from using NuvaRing, you may still qualify to file a personal injury lawsuit. Consult with a lawyer in your area with experience in handling NuvaRing cases.

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Driver Error in Car Accidents

Posted by on Mar 29, 2014 in Automotive Dangers | 0 comments

Car accidents can be extremely annoying or alarming. It can be annoying when you get a scratch on a newly-painted door because some driver didn’t know to how park properly. It can be alarming when someone gets seriously injured, which reportedly happens in 1 out of 67 instances of vehicular accidents.

The most common of the causes of car accidents is driver error, estimated at 90% as the cause for all vehicular accidents. This means that the driver made a mistake such as turning a corner too fast, failing to brake on time, or following another vehicle too closely. As pointed out in an article on the website of law firm Crowe & Mulvey, LLP in Massachusetts, these are all types of negligence, and even if it only causes minor damage, the at-fault driver should still be held accountable.

A lot of attention has been focused on drunk driving and texting while driving, and while these certainly increases the risk of causing an accident, they are not the end all and be all of accidents. It would be fair to say that while serious accidents often result when a driver does not give full attention to the road, it does not have to be because of intoxication or distraction. It is often just bad judgment.

A lot can be said about proper driver education. A surprising number of licensed drivers in the U.S. between the age of 16 and 19 are more likely to be involved in a car crash than any other age group, and injuries sustained are mostly due to the failure to use seat belts. There have been recent initiatives to provide teenaged drivers with the tools to drive more safely, which do include the risks associated with drunk driving and texting while driving. Hopefully, this will decrease the incidence of injuries and fatalities from car crashes caused by bad driving.

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FLSA and Workers’ Rights

Posted by on Mar 28, 2014 in Workers' Rights | 0 comments

It may be difficult to believe now, but the principles behind the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 were against the prevailing custom of protecting industrialists in those days. Before enactment of the FLSA, employers who paid their workers less than the minimum wage, did not give overtime pay, and used child labor were generally confident that they would not be brought to book, even when federal statutes expressly forbade it.

These laws were promulgated New Deal program advisers to then-President Franklin Roosevelt under the National Industrial Recovery Act (NRA). Despite its popularity with the general public, the NRA was disarmed because at that time the nine judges of the Supreme Court deemed these laws on wages and child labor was an unconstitutional intrusion of the government into private enterprise. The Supreme Court also vetoed the idea of mandating a minimum wage for women.

It seemed that fair labor would continue to be merely a theory until President Roosevelt proposed a reorganization of the Supreme Court after his landslide victory in the presidential election of 1936. Apparently in an unrelated move, the Supreme Court upheld the minimum wage law in a Washington case being held at that time, in direct contrast to their ruling in the New York earlier that year. When one judge was questioned about this apparent about face, the judge stated the cases were legally distinct from each other. Whatever the reason, this signaled the beginning of the end to pro-employer laws and paved the way for the FLSA, which to this day plays a major part in employment issues and cases.

The FLSA has undergone frequent and significant amendments since it was first enacted, including the Equal Pay Act of 1963 and Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) of 1967. While workers’ compensation benefits are not federally mandated (except for federal employees) like the FLSA, it follows the trend of safeguarding the well-being of workers that started more than 75 years ago.

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