California Bar Journal
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California Bar Journal

The State Bar of California


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Front Page - September 1998
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Need info about bar members? Look on the net
Western State law school wins provisional approval for ABA accreditation
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You Need to Know
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From the President - A privilege gone awry
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In defense of opinion
Thomas can think as he chooses
Time to drain the 'BOG'
Let's build a stronger forum
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Letters to the Editor
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Trials Digest
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Legal Tech - 10 reasons to ignore 2000 problem
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New Products & Services
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Law Practice - When mediating, let your imagination run loose
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MCLE Self-Study
The Internet and Global Implications
Self-Assessment Test
MCLE Calendar of Events
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Ethics Byte - 'He said, she said' rule for sex
Attorney disbarred after investing client's assets
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Annual Meeting
Did you know these Monterey Peninsula facts?
Scenic, legal visions on the menu
Four vie to lead embattled State Bar
11 seek five seats on bar board
District 2: Three-way race in capital and environs
District 4: Unopposed in San Francisco, Albers is ready
District 7, Office 1: 3 seek southern seat...
District 7, Office 2: ...and also in Los Angeles...
District 3: Two-way race develops in South, East Bay region


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10 reasons to ignore 2000 problem
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Dana ShultzDo you take all the hype about the Y2K problem at face value? Does anyone really believe airplanes will fall out of the sky and the worldwide banking system will collapse when 2000 arrives?

Of course not. So if you are naturally inclined toward skepticism, here are ten ways you can justify ignoring the Y2K problem.

1. Your motto is, "What--me worry?"

Many professionals consider Alfred E. Newman ( their hero.

2. You believe this is just a consultant-created conspiracy.

Hey, everyone has to make a living.

3. Crises help build team spirit.

Remember: Every problem is an opportunity!

4. Your partners have always enjoyed surprises.

Right. Like the time the unplanned network upgrade ate up all the profits for the quarter.

5. You need extra time to deal with the Year 3000 problem.

There’s a lot to be said for a long-range, strategic point of view.

6. You would rather address the Year 2000 tombstone problem.

Some people have already purchased their tombstones with "19" carved as the beginning of their year of death. If they die in 2000 or later, not only must there be some grinding and filling, but "20" takes up more space than "19," so the text will be unbalanced.

7. By 2001, people will have more time to help you.

By then, the Y2K feeding frenzy will have become no more than a fond memory for thousands of mainframe COBOL programmers.

8. You like typewriters and carbon paper.

Simple is good. Your bottle of Wite-Out didn’t require five minutes to boot up and never crashed.

9. If your network is stuck at 12/31/99, no one will notice.

And your past-due receivables balance will never increase.

10. You plan to retire in 1999.

As the song says, don’t worry--be happy!

Follow-up: In a recent article, I mentioned that users of WordPerfect 5.X and 6.X will likely find that once the Year 2000 arrives, file management will not work properly because the software was not programmed to know whether the year "00" means 1900 or 2000. Reader Gregg Martin of Hamburg, Hanover, Edwards & Martin LLP in Los Angeles reports a more severe problem:

"I have had the occasion where the date on a computer in our office has been changed so that it is beyond the year 2000. When that happens, try to run WP 6.1. My experience is that it won’t run at all."

I discovered that this problem is not limited to WordPerfect 6.1. For many programs, because of the way dates are represented in the computer, the latest date that can be processed is Jan. 17, 2038. If the system date is set to Jan. 18, 2038, or later, the program will not even load properly.

The bad news: To the best of my knowledge, there is no work-around for the Year 2038 problem. The good news: We have another 38 years to come up with Y2038-compliant software.

Dana H. Shultz is an Oakland-based lawyer, certified management consultant and speaker specializing in office technology and online marketing. He may be reached by e-mail at and on the World Wide Web at