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Lawyer Watch

By Dan Froomkin
11:47 AM ET, 01/30/2009

Dan Eggen writes in The Washington Post: "Washington lawyer Norman L. Eisen made his name in politics as a regular Democratic contributor and co-founder of Citizens for Ethics and Responsibility in Washington, a liberal-leaning watchdog group that, among other things, sued then-President George W. Bush over missing White House e-mails.

"Now Eisen is part of the White House, named by President Obama this week as his special counsel for ethics and government reform.

"Eisen is one of several dozen prominent lawyers who will help formulate and interpret legal policy in the new administration, signaling a dramatic departure from the legal approach and policies of Bush and his aides. The list includes heavy-hitters educated at some of the nation's most prestigious law schools, and many who were sharply critical of Bush administration policies on detention, prisoner treatment, surveillance and other issues....

"Many attorneys from both parties also marvel at the sheer number of lawyers Obama has appointed or nominated so far, particularly at the White House counsel's office, which will have at least 22 attorneys working under counsel Greg Craig. That's more than twice as large as the office was under Bush, with three deputy counsels, the special ethics counsel and 18 associate and deputy associate counsels."

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