Tani Cantil-Sakauye, Chief Justice of California
The state taps into court construction and maintenance funds to finance K-12 education. Following the money, courts around California start holding sessions in local school gymnasiums. And when fall wrestling season starts, Court TV (a.k.a. True TV) and UFC sign a memorandum of understanding to present a simulcast of the events.
Antonia Hernández, California Community Foundation
The courts are saved after Chief Justice Cantil-Sakauye strikes it rich in the Powerball Lottery Jackpot and graciously donates all her winnings!
Luz E. Herrera, Community Lawyers
In an effort to cover its budget shortfall, the Administrative Office of the Courts announces a strategic alliance with Starbucks: The retail coffee maker agrees to hawk Impartial'ccinos and cups of Slow-Drip Justice outside of each courthouse clerk's office in exchange for 20 percent of the proceeds.
Ben Pesta, Criminal defense attorney
Strapped for money, the Legislature adopts a novel approach: Running California's courts as a franchise. In 2012, scores of courts were closing. In 2013, plans abound for 11,310 new courts across the state, with preference given to experienced franchisees of Subway, Yogurtland, and especially Burger King. (Rumors persist that the more aggressive courts are attracting litigants by promising they can "Have it your way.")
Follow the Leader
Bill Lockyer, California State Treasurer
Two days after California launches its cap-and-trade program, Attorney General Kamala Harris moves to investigate unlawful manipulation of the emissions credit market. The alleged price- gouging schemes take on Enron-style names like Get Kermit, Break Wind, and Emit This.
Drucilla Stender Ramey, Golden Gate University School of Law
Learning belatedly that he was a legacy admission to Yale Law School, Justice Alito eloquently concurs in the Supreme Court's endorsement of the Texas Plan for affirmative action.
Russell C. Swartz, Southern California Edison Company
U.S. Chief Justice Roberts, having broken with his conservative brethren in a landmark decision upholding Obamacare, agrees to engage with Justice Kennedy in a raucous game of rock-paper-scissors to settle whether the high court will henceforth be referred to as the "Roberts Court" or the "Kennedy Court."
Bonnie M. Dumanis, San Diego County District Attorney
To handle the influx of inmates from the Criminal Justice Realignment Act, the governor's mansion and the state capitol building are converted to jails. Luckily, the Legislature finds plenty of space to meet in all the courtrooms emptied by budgetary cuts.
Clyde D. Leland, Leland Communications
The Alliance of California Judges sponsors a bill to abolish all laws, arguing that statutes amount to government intrusion into individual liberties.
Gerald F. Uelmen, Santa Clara University School of Law
Congress finally sees the light and moves marijuana to Schedule II of the federal Controlled Substances Act. Now Californians need a federal permit to grow it, and a prescription - which cannot be refilled - to use it. Income for doctors and revenues for drug-store dispensers such as CVS soar.
David M. Balabanian, Bingham McCutchen
A programming error at LinkedIn - confusing barristers with baristas - reduces the pressure on California courts by diverting the resolution of many disputes to Peet's and Starbucks.
Daniel Grunfeld, Kaye Scholer
In a breathtaking moment of communal lucidity, 83 percent of California Lawyer
readers recognize that these predictions are tongue-in-cheek exercises designed to amuse. The remaining 17 percent continue to bombard contributing board members with emails expressing outrage, dismay, and perhaps most alarmingly, exclamations of, "I too think this will happen next year!"