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Firms that armed themselves to the teeth to combat an onslaught of Y2K litigation are finding instead that the work is coming in at a trickle — or not at all. While the arrival of Jan. 1 could usher in a new round of litigation, California firms say they have so far failed to see the predicted tidal wave of lawsuits materialize. Federal legislation, coupled with early settlements of the initial round of suits, curtailed all but a handful of Y2K cases. “My advice to Y2K lawyers is don’t quit your day job,” says Brobeck, Phleger & Harrison partner David Furbush, a securities litigator. “You could have a pretty short day job if you dedicate yourself to Y2K work.” Members of Y2K practice groups at some of the San Francisco Bay Area’s largest firms corroborate Furbush’s assessment. “I wouldn’t say [Y2K litigation] is red hot, but I wouldn’t expect it to be. Most companies got their act together early on,” says Thelen Reid & Priest partner Wynne Carvill. Eighteen months ago, says Carvill, there was a widespread fear that “even your best efforts as a corporation could not prevent you from being caught up in a tidal wave of litigation.” As a result, companies directed their resources toward heading off potential problems — a strategy that has largely paid off.

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