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    December 29, 2008  


We’ve got lots of good memories from 2008, but being forward-thinking, we’re wrapping 2008 with a gaze into the future. We called on a smattering of our interviewees from the last year to tell us their predictions for 2009. The oracles spoke thusly:


DLA Piper co-managing partner Ann Ford sent in this pic of the Magic 8 Ball she keeps on her desk via camera-phone. She asked it when the business climate would improve, and it replied “ask again later.” Ann insists her 8 Ball usually beats the experts, though we’re sure it’s just a rumor she also consults it for policy decisions.


Patricia Mallett, who along with Tom Goldstein headlines the Supreme Court practice at Akin Gump, had clearer thoughts. Resolution: “Honestly, I would like my college savings plan to increase and my waist to decrease; the exact opposite of what happened this year.” We’ll give Patricia the first one, but since she’s obviously fit, we’ll note that even people who’ve argued 25 cases before the Supreme Court can sometimes be off the mark.


Dick Wiley of Wiley Rein, which celebrated its 25th year in 2008, had sports predictions both positive and negative. Prediction 1: “I predict (sadly) that the Redskins, Nationals, Orioles, Wizards and Mystics will not do it in 2009. “ Prediction 2:  “But watch those Ovech-Caps!  And also the Northwestern Wildcats against Missouri.” (Dick went to law school at Northwestern; tune in to the Valero Alamo Bowl tonight at 8 to see how badly his prediction fails.) 


Howard Gutman of Williams & Connolly (who played Tim Robbins’s lawyer in Noise, a movie out on video this fall), left no room for error. “Prediction: As a litigator, I cannot afford to be wrong.  So I predict that Barack Obama will be President, Michael Phelps will hold the Olympic record with eight gold medals and the Red Sox and Manny will have parted company.”  (We’re stunned at the bravery.)


David DiBari, newly installed DC managing partner at Clifford Chance and inveterate Washington Nations fan. Prediction: the Nats will sign free agent slugger Mark Teixeira. Okay, this one goes on our blooper reel (Teixeira signed with the Yankees before we went to press), but we love that somebody thought something good might happen to the Nationals in ’09.


Brent Gurney of WilmerHale, came through with three bold predictions from the world of politics, celebrity, and sports. Political prediction: one administration scandal. Celebrity prediction: Katie and Tom split. Futile prediction: “my hometown football team, the Detroit Lions, wins at least one game.” Ouch.  Sorry.


Matt Medlin, financial investigation and accounting valuation expert with Huron Consulting, borrowed a line from classic cinema (Rocky III) to sum up his economic visions. (“To quote Clubber Lang, ‘My prediction: pain.’”) He also had more specific thoughts. Prediction: “I expect to see a big increase in financial fraud and resulting enforcement actions. I predict we’ll learn the Madoff issue is less than 10% of the problem.” Bonus wild sports prediction: Utah 24 – Alabama 21 in the Jan. 2 Sugar Bowl.


Melissa Arbus is a Latham associate, former clerk to Justice Stevens and a Bisnow 30 Under 30 star. Prediction 1: “We will see the first formal appointment of a female solicitor general.” Prediction 2: “Brad and Angelina will adopt another child.” (One of these could happen any moment now, and the other occurs with extreme frequency, so both could be true by the time we go to press.)

John Ford is Bisnow’s Legal Editor. Send him your visions for 2009 at john@bisnow.com.

Andrews Kurth
Silver Companies

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