New laws pertaining to 'green' issues are predicted to be the fourth most important legal trend in 2009. That's what the experts at the legal site Findlaw.com recently announced. The consultancy, owned by Reuters, released a top ten of legal hot topics for 2009 which also lists urban living, employee rights, military rights and legal issues impacting small business as hotly pursued.
Green legal issues, which dominated early in 2008 because of the high price of fuel, a rising awareness of environment issues like climate change, and the election campaign, are set to become much more important during 2009, the lawyers say. They predict that their clients will especially seek advice about legislative issues supporting the creation and growth of "green" industries such as alternative energy, climate and automobiles. The growth is spurred by President elect Barack Obama's call for the rise of a green collar sector. Mr. Obama singled out a goal to create a Roosevelt-style public works program which will result in many unprecedented issues and situations.
FindLaw experts say that 2009 will be the year of many controversies. Hotly contested and integral consumer issues centering on green laws and employee rights, military rights and internet privacy laws are going to be standard routine, the lawyers believe. All the elements leading to precarious situations are already emerging. For instance, joblessness is climbing, which means that job seekers increasingly are going to rely on online social networks. That in turn may call for legislative action to further protect individual rights and secure personal information.
"In addition, with the new administration taking office in January, returning military personnel will continue to drive demand for information around military rights", the lawyers predict.