Given the layoffs at Big Law and the struggles of solos and small firm colleagues the past year, New Year’s Eve was well past the time for lawyers to have adopted the Latin American ritual tradition of welcoming the New Year by wearing brand new, lucky colored underwear.
In 1992, Windsor Castle burned and her 2 sons had publicly embarrassing marital troubles. So to borrow Queen Elizabeth’s phrase describing 1992, I will restate the blindingly obvious, 2009 was Annus horribilis.
On the legal front, more than one lawyer told me 2009 was a horrible year. And as a matter of fact, one said it was the worst economic year since starting the practice of law more than 40 years ago.
It’s too late now but for a better New Year, depending on their goals for 2010, lawyers woulda-coulda-shoulda broken out brand new red, green or yellow underwear. Even better would have been for the lawyer to wear the underwear inside out and to have received the underwear as gifts.
Now ritualistically wearing new colored underwear isn’t something necessarily prescribed for lawyers but merely my suggestion belatedly proffered to allay these economic times.
Interpreting underwear colors.
The holiday colored undie tradition is found among Spanish speaking countries. And depending on who you talk to and where they’re from, red underwear signals hopes for passionate love. Among superstitious Central Americans, Bolivians, Colombians, Peruvians, Puerto Ricans, Chileans and a few other nationalities, yellow underwear worn on New Year’s Eve brings the wearer happiness and money in the coming year. Green underwear brings prosperity. Friendship follows rose colored underwear and white underwear indicates hope for better days. See, for example, Rituales de Año Nuevo para atraer prosperidad – Bolivia.com.
Yes, I know, the rituals aren’t retroactive. So this advice comes proverbially a few days and dollars short of being useful to lawyers no longer desirous of being “Fortune’s fool” in 2010. If you’re not superstitious, there’s been no harm done by my tardy tidings.
But if on the other hand, like a retroactive statute that reaches back to attach new rights and duties to already completed transactions , you’re a superstitious lawyer still wanting ex post facto help, you could nevertheless ask a friend to gift you with underwear of different hues. And who knows? Perhaps after putting on all the colored undergarments, inside-out and matched to their ailment-appropriate and prognosticated color-cured aspiration, 2010 might yet be a banner year for you. But then, again, maybe not.
 See Forbes Pioneer Boat Line v. Board of Commissioners, 258 U.S. 338 (1922).