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Last year was quite a year. Junior associate salaries surged skyward, while senior litigators decided the presidency. M&A attorneys uncorked a thousand IPOs until the party ended, when securities counsel cleaned up. And the Supreme Court interrupted its federalism march to meddle in state election law. So what can we expect for 2001? Jan. 26 On his chair in the Oval Office, George W. Bush finds a stack of papers with yellow Post-Its reading, “Dick says sign here.” The new president complies. A few hours later, White House staffers are horrified to discover that Bush unwittingly has pardoned Hillary, Socks, Buddy, and — of course — Bill himself for all offenses “past, present, and future.” Jan. 29 Caught up in Ford administration nostalgia, Bush names Elliot Richardson as U.N. ambassador. A half-hour later, a White House spokesman sheepishly announces that the deceased former attorney general is not available to serve. Undeterred, Bush nominates Gerald Ford. Feb. 14 Plaintiffs’ lawyer Stanley Rosenblatt celebrates Valentine’s Day by filing a class action against Hershey and other chocolate-makers on behalf of overweight Floridians. The suit accuses the companies of failing to warn about chocolate’s “addictive” properties and refusing to offer less fattening “but still yummy” alternatives. Feb. 23 Just days before the D.C. Circuit is to hear the case, the Justice Department withdraws from United States v. Microsoft, issuing a two-word statement: “Never mind.” March 9 Attorney General John Ashcroft proposes abolishing the Antitrust, Environmental, and Civil Rights divisions and redirecting attorneys, led by Deputy AG Larry Klayman, to ferret out “judicial activism.” April 2 Stanford is leading Duke by one point with 30 seconds left in the NCAA men’s basketball championship, when Justice Antonin Scalia steps onto center court. He explains to the stunned crowd that the justices have stopped the game because the NCAA’s tournament selection process violates equal protection. Ten minutes later, the Court, in a per curiam opinion apparently written by Justice Sandra Day O’Connor, declares her alma mater, Stanford, the winner. May 1 “Entertainment Tonight” reports that former president Clinton has landed a $50 million deal with Simon & Schuster to pen a five-volume memoir. Film rights are snapped up for another $10 million by DreamWorks SKG. May 3 Clinton announces a deal with Hachette-Filipacchi to launch a new magazine focusing on politics, culture, and half-naked women. It will be called “Jefferson.” June 5 The justices throw out disabled golfer Casey Martin’s suit to force the PGA to let him use a cart in competition. In a footnote, O’Connor observes that here the justices need no amicus expertise: “We take judicial notice of the fact that at least one member of this Court, e.g., myself, regularly walks the golf course.” June 29 After announcing their retirements, Chief Justice William Rehnquist and Justice O’Connor march out arm-in-arm, chanting, “Free at last. Free at last. Thank George Almighty, we’re free at last.” July 3 Bush names Theodore Olson to the Supreme Court and nominates Scalia as chief justice. July 11 To compete with “Survivor 3: The Bronx,” UPN debuts a new reality show in which contestants guess which of three potential papas is really their father. Hosted by the Rev. Jesse Jackson, each episode of “Who’s Your Daddy?” concludes with an audience vote and DNA test results. Aug. 14 Encouraged by the response to its TV advertising campaign, Brobeck buys the naming rights to the Rose Bowl, henceforth to be dubbed the Brobeck Bowl. Aug. 28 Monica Lewinsky enrolls as an evening student at Georgetown Law, saying that she misses “her friends” in the Washington legal community. Sept. 4 As first-year salaries in San Francisco and New York climb toward $200,000, more than 20 large firms cancel their summer programs. Cravath quietly announces a 15-year partnership track. Sept. 20 After a testy week of confirmation hearings, Scalia stuns the Senate Judiciary Committee when he abruptly walks out, shouting, “Who needs this? I won’t be Borked for a lousy $181,400!” The next day, he resigns to join Gibson Dunn. Sept. 24 Sen. Orrin Hatch is nominated as chief justice. Sept. 26 Peter Angelos sues Kellogg’s and General Mills on behalf of a nationwide class of hyperactive children. The suit contends that the companies hook kids on sugar-saturated cereals through their aggressive advertising. “Tragically, more kids know Toucan Sam than Cal Ripken,” says Angelos. “And what child could resist the ‘magically delicious’ Lucky Charms?” Oct. 11 Bush is all smiles as he shows off his new mechanical bull, recently installed in the White House press room, which is now known as the Rodeo Room. Oct. 12 White House Counsel Alberto Gonzales explains to the president that he cannot sue the bull’s manufacturer for his fractured arm — thanks to the sweeping tort reform bill he signed in July. Oct. 22 To commemorate Bush v. Gore, Congress declares Dec. 12 a national holiday, Restoration Day. A chad parade is planned for New York — and then hastily moved to Houston when Sen. Clinton states her intention of riding in the lead car. Oct. 29 After the Nasdaq plunges below 1,000, hundreds of laid-off lawyers flee the abandoned office parks of Silicon Valley. They straggle east in their dented S-Class Mercedes sedans, carrying handwritten signs, “Will do DUI/ motor torts for food.” Nov. 1 Fox debuts a new reality show, “Live From Death Row.” To ensure an adequate supply of executions, Texas, Oklahoma, and Virginia further streamline their capital appeals process. Nov. 13 Congress authorizes drilling for oil in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, the La Brea Tar Pits, and the Tidal Basin. Bush stands teary-eyed as the first derrick is erected in front of the Jefferson Memorial. Dec. 3 Inspired by wrongful death suits against the Klan and the North American Man/Boy Love Association, Attorney General Ashcroft sues NARAL, alleging that expression of its views has led thousands of women to abort unborn children. Dec. 5 PricewaterhouseCoopers announces that it will acquire Baker & McKenzie. The combined firm will be known simply as Leviathan. Dec. 11 During the last oral argument of the year, Justice Clarence Thomas stuns his colleagues by peppering counsel with questions. Apparently inspired by Restoration Day festivities, he then stands and leads the Court in “God Bless America.” Jan. 1, 2002 Northwestern defeats Stanford, 31-28, in the first Brobeck Bowl. At halftime, associates entertain with skits and show tunes. Bonuses are apparently tied to the length and volume of the applause. Of course, none of this could ever happen. Or could it? Ted Allen is a legal news editor with Bloomberg News in Washington, D.C. His column, “Every 6 Minutes,” appears regularly in Legal Times.

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