Happy New Year, NLJ readers.
Jenna Greene this week profiles Daniel Gordon, the newly confirmed head of the Office of Federal Procurement Policy. Gordon, who oversees government spending on the hiring of outside contractors, has a full plate. He's tasked with reducing procurement spending by 7 percent -- roughly $37 billion -- and with rallying an understaffed office tarnished by scandal. The Obama administration has made an overhaul of contracting policy a priority.
The U.S. Senate has been slow to confirm judicial and Justice Department nominees under the Obama administration, a challenge facing incoming White House counsel Robert Bauer, David Ingram and Mike Scarcella report. The Senate did not confirm three DOJ nominees -- Dawn Johnsen, Christopher Schroeder and Mary Smith. And the Senate ended the year having confirmed three nominees to federal circuit courts -- half as many as were confirmed during President George W. Bush's first year.
Jeff Jeffrey reports on a long-running dispute over lobbying for Rwanda that has since turned into a test of how the District of Columbia Bar handles lawyers in trouble. In November, the D.C. Court of Appeals agreed to a 30-day suspension of international relations lawyer Robert Johnson II. The case against Johnson marked the first time a disciplinary committee split over a negotiated discipline, compelling the appeals court to comment on the committee's role in the District's year-old negotiated discipline process.
The National Law Journal offers up its pro bono awards to recognize firms' commitment to access to justice. Among the highlights: a Jenner & Block associate, Lindsay Harrison, argued before the U.S. Supreme Court, Reed Smith is building an infrastructure for human rights and Munger Tolles rescued people cut off from Social Security benefits.