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    January 5, 2009  
More Predictions
for ‘09!


The soothsayers who last issue gave us their sports predictions are 0 for 2, so it’s a good thing our final prognostications stay off the football field (though Dick Wiley of Wiley Rein nearly saw his Northwestern Wildcats upset Mizzou).


First up: Sterne Kessler founder Rob Sterne (left), here with colleague Jorge Goldstein at the firm’s 30th anniversary blow-out in November. Ugly prediction: No pay raises, no billing rate increases, and greater billable-hour expectations. Judicial prediction: In the next two years the greatest increase in active judges at the Federal Circuit since it was created in 1982. Heart-warming prediction: Amid the economic downturn, firms will reach out to the region’s youth more than ever. (Rob does a huge annual event for the Boy Scouts.)


Tom Mounteer, real estate and environmental expert at Paul Hastings, went Hollywood on us. Josh Breslin, he says, will take Best Supporting Actor for his portrayal of Dan White in Milk. (We also loved him as W.)


Tony Lupo, Arent Fox’s IP counselor to Pixar and other entertainment clients, believes his niche will stay busy: Companies “will increase their legal spending for intellectual property matters. When things go bad, they want to protect their assets and are more willing to bring litigation to stop third parties from using their IP.” Prediction 2: “More lawyers will lose their hair from stressing out about whether clients will pay.”


Duane Morris managing partner Doug Woloshin made a fashion prediction:Michele Obama's foray into Washington society will be hailed as the reinvention of Jackie Kennedy, but in more sensible clothing.” Prediction 2: “The Obama girls' first misstep at Sidwell will be treated as an international incident.”  


Ken Salomon (standing at right), here with members of the Dow Lohnes Government Strategies group that he chairs, sees Congress doing all it can for the economy: “I predict that 2009 will be known as the year of the mother of all stimulus packages!”


Liz Stern, head of Baker & McKenzie’s business immigration practice, chimed in with thoughts on doing business in Latin America. (Reminder: Ecuador’s President Rafael Correa has threatened to default on the country’s foreign debt.) Prediction: “While Correa will remain focused on populist policies and greet US outreach with skepticism, a creative approach by the US to help boost commodities values will help restore a more positive business partnership between the two nations.” (We have to read some back issues of The Economist to formulate a snappy response.) 


John Hellerman, legal PR expert at Hellerman Baretz, with thoughts on media. Prediction 1: “A major newspaper will shut down its print operations and move 100% online.” Prediction 2: “A tabloid-style, gossip-oriented online publication will change the way law firms pursue business development.” (Ah, we like that one, though for the record we would never gossip.)


Our favorite is last, from. Jay Freedman, managing partner at Foley & Lardner: “Whatever befalls the economy in 2009, there will still be some lawyers for John Ford to target with his pithy and chuckle-inducing barbs.”

If your New Year’s resolution is to be targeted with “pithy and chuckle-inducing barbs” in ‘09, get your story ideas to Bisnow Legal Editor John Ford at john@bisnow.com.

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