Obama Makes Four Justice Department Appointments

Include media and new media law practice veterans as well as staff from Clinton years

President-elect Barack Obama has made four Justice Department appointments, including veterans of media and new media law practice and a bunch of familiar faces from the Clinton years.
David Ogden, partner at Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale & Dorr, who has been heading up the Justice review team for the transition, has been named deputy attorney general. He served in the Justice Department during the Clinton administration and since joining WilmerHale has represented several media clients, including defending a U.S. Media company employee from prosecution by the U.S. and Iraqi governments and successfully injoining a state statute regulating Internet speech.

Elena Kagan, dean of Harvard Law School (Obama's alma mater), will become solicitor general, the office that handles government arguments before the Supreme Court and other federal appeals courts. The office has gotten a lot of media work lately with the appeals of the FCC's indecency enforcement crackdown.
Tom Perrelli, managing partner of Jenner & Block in Washington and co-chair of its entertainment and new media practice, has been named associate attorney general. Like Ogden, he served in the Clinton Justice Department under Attorney General Janet Reno.

Perrelli focuses on copyright and media issues and has represented recording companies in piracy and intellectual property cases, among others.
Dawn Johnsen, a law professor at Indiana University, has been named assistant attorney general for the office of legal counsel. If her past writings are any gauge, she will be a friend to journalists seeking more access to government information. Among her recent publications, cited by the Obama transition team, was: "Interpreting the Constitution in the Wake of the Bush Administration's Abuses."

Johnsen was acting assistant attorney general in charge of the office of legal counsel under President Clinton. She was also with the American Civil Liberties Union.