Ignorance is not a defense

Throughout my decades of being a student of public education I have been taught that ignorance of the law is not a defense. It seems even some attorneys don't get it. Though I am not a legal scholar or expert in any way the logic of Russo & Hale's motion in a case against a former client is simply baffling. Perhaps the firm should change it's name to Bottom & Quince. Though it is hard to imagine even Shakespeare's most comical players playing this skit.

This drubbing of a customer makes me think of an experience we had a few days ago. We went to a nice, expensive restaurant for dinner. It was not as good as it had been about a year ago when we were last there but it was still good and fun. The trouble started for us when we ordered desert, the chocolate course. We each asked for coffee and placed the order. And we waited. And waited. And continued to wait. Finally a manager shows up, slings the chocolate on the table, drops off the fruit plates and says "is there anything else you need". We asked for the coffees we had ordered. It is then that the manager tells us that our server got a big table. At this point I'm thinking "here's a manager that doesn't get customer service".

A short time later the table next to us was seated. The couple sitting there was told that although they had been given a table they did not have a server. They asked to speak to a manager. When the manager arrived they politely explained that they waited an hour to be seated after being told that it would be a 20-minute wait and that once seated they learned they did not have a server. The manager unapologetically started explaining that they had a large table and so on. It was amazing as I sat wondering how this person ever navigated into the ranks of management.

At the time I wrote the manager's poor reaction off to the lack of ownership. How different the response would have been from an owner-manager. Russo & Hale are owner managers and are still making terrible decisions when it comes to their customers and more critically the future of their business.


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Our civil liberties and human

Our civil liberties and human rights have been dramatically affected by the digital age, and not for the better. A new European directive will force ISPs and telecos to retain data about your phone calls and web surfing habits; companies are routinely locking up content with insecure digital rights management software; and moves are afoot to make the infringement of copyright a criminal offence. Whilst the software patent battle was (temporarily) won last year, the threats to our digital rights continue to mount.

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