2011 Prognostications
California Lawyer

2011 Prognostications

What legal trends can we expect to see in 2011? Here's what some of California Lawyer's editorial advisory board members predict for the coming year.

December 2010

Clyde D. Leland
Leland Communications
Recognizing the no-win situation he's gotten himself into, Governor-elect Jerry Brown will sell the state's executive office to Meg Whitman for a gazillion dollars. Oracle CEO Larry Ellison will outbid her, but too late.

Maria E. Stratton
Judge, Los Angeles Superior Court
Having lost her bid to become California's governor, Meg Whitman will join the 2012 Republican presidential ticket as former Alaska governor Sarah Palin's running mate.

Ronald M. George
Chief Justice, California Supreme Court
My end-of-year voyage to Antarctica will facilitate a unification of penguin colonies, accomplished with greater ease and acceptance than that achieved by their black-robed colleagues on the California bench.

Jonathan S. Shapiro
Writer, producer
Members of the State Bar, finally acknowledging that the cost of law school is keeping many from becoming attorneys, will voluntarily agree to an enormous increase of their dues to offset shamefully high tuition in California. On that same day, Ninth Circuit Chief Judge Alex Kozinski will appear in a stage production of Love Letters opposite Ramona Ripston, head of the ACLU in Southern California. And Fresno freezes over.

Gerald F. Uelmen
Santa Clara University School of Law
California will finally solve its budget crisis by listing all elective and judicial offices on eBay and auctioning them off to the highest bidders.

Daniel Cooperman
Former general counsel, Apple Corp.
Alternative fee arrangements will come into vogue as the governor and Legislature balance the state's budget by mandating that California pay its service providers based on "value received."

Gregory M. Gallo
DLA Piper
In a surprise move, the People's Republic of China will offer to buy California from the U.S. government in exchange for forgiving all of the federal debt owed to China. The United States accepts the offer.

Daniel Grunfeld
Kaye Scholer
The number of lists that rank California lawyers will grow to exceed the number of California lawyers.

Colette Vogele
Microsoft Corp.
The attorneys who filed thousands of copyright troll cases in 2010 will discover the meaning of karma: They will end their careers Bluebooking and cite-checking briefs by the Recording Industry Association of America and the Motion Picture Association of America.

Antonia Hernández
California Community Foundation
California will become the first state to officially register as a charitable organization, so it can hold a PBS-style fund-raising drive.

David Balabanian
Bingham McCutchen

California ballot propositions will include measures that would:
• Round the constant value pi to 3.0 to facilitate calculation and thereby improve California students' test scores.
• Mandate the humane treatment of vegetables.
• Adopt Ungrammatical English as the state's official language.
Noteworthy court decisions will:
• Confirm the inalienable right of Americans to agree with the majority.
• Find that the phrase "In God We Trust" does not actually refer to God, and hence does not violate the Establishment Clause.
• Strictly limit Miranda to its facts, i.e. cases involving people named Miranda.

Bill Lockyer
California State Treasurer
The Roberts Court will expand its application of strict scrutiny to challenges of government restrictions on corporations, but at the same time establish a new "laugh test" for restrictions on individual privacy: Such limits are deemed constitutional unless they make a reasonable person laugh harder than a Jim Carrey movie.

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