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Verrilli begins, Katyal to depart

Donald B. Verrilli, Jr., former longtime Washington attorney, and most recently a high-ranking legal official in the Justice Department and the White House, officially began his service as U.S. Solicitor General after taking the formal oath of office on Thursday.  The principal deputy in the SG’s office, Neal K. Katyal, will remain on duty through the end of the current Supreme Court Term, likely late this month.

Verrilli was nominated by President Obama in January to succeed Elena Kagan, now on the Supreme Court, but the new SG actually will be replacing Katyal.  A former Georgetown law professor, Katyal has been serving as Acting Solicitor General since soon after Kagan left the post, leading a Supreme Court advocacy team that is staffed with widely experienced and highly regarded attorneys.

Katyal apparently could have remained as the principal deputy Solicitor General, but has opted to leave the post and to seek to join a law firm, with the aim of beginning an appellate practice there.  He reportedly began interviewing with firms on Friday.

Katyal has informed Attorney General Eric Holder of his plan to conclude his service when the Court concludes the work of October Term 2010.  No specific date for the beginning of the Court’s summer recess has been set yet, but in recent years the Court has customarily been finishing its term before the end of June.

Recommended Citation: Lyle Denniston, Verrilli begins, Katyal to depart, SCOTUSblog (Jun. 10, 2011, 6:22 PM),