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New DOJ Picks Hail from MoFo, Covington, Hogan & Hartson

Posted Jan 23, 2009 6:58 AM CDT
By Debra Cassens Weiss

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President Barack Obama has named four lawyers to Justice Department posts, and three of them come from large law firms.

They are:

• Christine Varney of Hogan & Hartson, to head the Justice Department’s antitrust division. Varney is a former member of the Federal Trade Commission who often voted to allow mergers if companies agreed to pro-competitive concessions, Bloomberg reports. But she often voted to approve antitrust and consumer-protection complaints, including one claiming Toys ‘R’ Us acted to keep toys out of discount stores. Varney heads the Internet practice at Hogan & Hartson, the Wall Street Journal reports (sub. req.).

Lanny Breuer of Covington & Burling, to head the criminal division. Breuer represented Bill Clinton during impeachment proceedings and baseball star Roger Clemens before a congressional committee probing steroid use, the Associated Press reports.

• David Kris, deputy counsel for Time Warner Inc. and an adjunct law professor at Georgetown, to head the national security division. Kris is a former Justice Department official who has since criticized the legal rationale for warrantless wiretaps, the New York Times reports.

• Tony West, a former prosecutor and Justice Department lawyer now at Morrison & Foerster, to head the civil division. West is a personal friend of Obama’s and is described as a problem solver with a pragmatic approach, the Daily Journal reports (sub. req.).

The BLT: The Blog of Legal Times has a list with the latest appointments and former Justice Department picks.


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