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By Marisa Iati | December 17, 2014

The Senate confirmed John Cruden as Assistant Attorney General for the Environment and Natural Resources Division. His non-controversial nomination languished for a year, thanks to partisan rancor.

Vermont U.S. Attorney Tristram Coffin Steps Down

After more than five years as the state’s chief federal prosecutor, Coffin will join Vermont law firm Downs Rachlin Martin PLLC.

Lavish Travel May Be Subsiding as Foreign Bribery Tactic, While Risks Rise for Smaller Companies

ANALYSIS: Vacation travel and books and records charges are characteristics of the Bruker settlement that highlight recent FCPA enforcement trends, according to James G. Tillen and David Resnicoff of Miller & Chevalier Chartered.

Argentina Great Place To Be Foreign Briber, According to New OECD Report

Latin America’s third largest economy still has no law to punish companies or individuals who pay bribes to foreign officials, and the country’s bribery investigations are fraught with procedural delays that often preclude results.

Avon Settles Six-Year Bribery Probe for $135 Million

After spending some $300 million on an internal investigation, the cosmetics company gets a discount on its criminal fine and a break on the term of an independent compliance monitor. UPDATED Dec. 19 with comment from Sean Hecker of Debevoise & Plimpton

Direct Access Partner Executives Plead Guilty to Bribing Venezuelan Bank Official

Former CEO and co-founder Benito Chinea and former managing partner Joseph DeMeneses pled guilty to conspiring to violate the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act and agreed to forfeit $3.6 million and $2.67 million respectively.

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UPDATED: Friday, Dec. 19

Pitman, Bentley and Rivera Confirmed, But Other DOJ-Related Nominees Slip Through the Cracks

Robert Pitman, Lee Bentley III and David Rivera were confirmed on Tuesday; but other long-pending Justice-related nominees were left unaddressed as the 113th Senate adjourned. UPDATED Dec. 19

Second Circuit’s Newman Decision: Key Implications for the Defense Bar

Newman is the most important insider trading ruling in recent years. It arms remote tippees with a greater ability to argue that they that did not know what personal benefit the original insider gained by leaking confidential information

Justice Department’s Criminal Division Holds 2014 Awards Ceremony

One hundred and thirty six members of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division received recognition for outstanding service at an awards ceremony on Wednesday.

Justice Dept. Extends Standard Chartered Deferred Prosecution Agreement by 3 Years

The British bank may have committed additional violations since settling charges of prohibited transactions with Iran in 2012, the Justice Department said.

Congressional Staffers Hear Criticism of DPAs from Pro-Business Think Tank

The panel discussion (and free lunch) for about 60 young Capitol Hill staffers was part of an apparently coordinated recent campaign to reach those who influence law and policy in Washington.

DOJ Criminal Division’s Computer Crime Section Reorganizes for Cyberthreat

With cybercrime at the top of the nation’s law enforcement agenda, the Criminal Division’s venerable CCIPS is jockeying with the National Security Division for resources and turf.

Pemex Files RICO Suit Against HP Alleging Harm from Bribery Scheme

The civil complaint from Mexico’s state-owned oil company is its second attempt to recoup damages from a company that settled U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act allegations.

Senate Confirms Louisville U.S. Attorney David Hale to Kentucky District Court

Although he had no opposition, the U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Kentucky had to wait six months for his confirmation vote.

Former DOJ Prosecutor Bill Pericak Joins Jenner & Block

A veteran of the Justice Department’s criminal Fraud Section entered private practice on Dec. 1 after more than two decades as a federal prosecutor.

GlaxoSmithKline Hires Powerhouse U.S. Firms to Assist in Global Investigations

After its Chinese bribery settlement, whistleblowers have emerged all over the world, requiring the British pharmaceutical giant to bring on five new outside firms, according to knowledgeable people.

Foreign Bribery Enforcement in Decline, According to First-Ever OECD Report

A first-ever report by the OECD released Tuesday summarizes 427 foreign bribery cases concluded in 17 different countries since the creation of the OECD Anti-Bribery Convention on Feb. 15, 1999.

FOIA Hypocrites

How the DOJ helped kill bipartisan reform based on its own policy.

Legal Pot on Indian Reservations?

A recent memo from the DOJ to U.S. Attorneys suggests so.

Transgender Workers

Get civil rights protections, Justice Dept. now says.

Sarah Saldaña Confirmed

The U.S. Attorney in Dallas will now head Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

Ted Cruz Maneuver Backfires

Helps Sarah Saldana, other Dem nominees, get confirmed.

‘I Can’t Breathe’

Holder applauds basketball stars wearing t-shirts to make a “social and political point.”

No Charges

For Virginia state senator who resigned abruptly, throwing legislature to the GOP.

Spinning Fast and Furious

Emails lay bare press manipulation by Schmaler, Miller, former CBS News reporter says.

Siegelman Probe

Justice Department downplays evidence of politics.

Bridge Scandal

Prosecutors may use obscure fraud law to charge Christie associates.

Federal Autopsy of Michael Brown

Reached similar conclusions as local officials.

FOIA Bill Passes in Senate

House expected to follow suit before the end of the session on Thursday.

Mourning a Colleague

Denver AUSA Dave Conner battled cancer for 15 years.

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Attorney General Eric Holder announces new guide to law enforcement for First Amendment-protected demonstrations. Comes in advance of expected announcement that Officer Darren Wilson won't be indicted in Ferguson, Mo.

President Obama announces Loretta Lynch as nominee for Attorney General.