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WASHINGTON, D.C. - Attorney General John Ashcroft today welcomed President George W. Bush's nomination of Larry D. Thompson as Deputy Attorney General and Theodore B. Olson as Solicitor General-- two top positions at the Department of Justice. "These are two very outstanding individuals whose records of public service, including service with the Department of Justice, are exemplary," said Attorney General John Ashcroft.

Thompson, 55, is currently a partner with the Atlanta-based law firm of King & Spalding, where his practice involves white collar crime, complex civil litigation, corporate litigation and False Claims Act cases. He is an experienced litigator who has tried and argued civil fraud and criminal matters. He joined King & Spalding in 1977 and practiced in the firm's Antitrust and Litigation Departments until 1982.

From 1982-1986, he served as the United States Attorney for the Northern District of Georgia (Atlanta). As U.S. Attorney, he directed the Southeastern Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force and served on the Attorney General's Economic Crime Council.

In 1986, he returned to King & Spalding as a partner where he resumed his civil and criminal litigation practice.

Thompson graduated cum laude from Culver-Stockton College in 1967. He received his masters degree from Michigan State University in 1969, and his law degree from the University of Michigan in 1974.

"Larry is well-known in the legal community for his keen intellect, sound judgment and strong character," said Ashcroft. "His vast legal experience makes him uniquely qualified to help lead the Department's law enforcement efforts in the 21st century."

Olson, 60, is a partner with the Los Angeles-based law firm of Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher. He joined the firm in 1965 and became a partner in 1972. Currently, he is with the firm's Washington, D.C. office, where his practice concentrates on constitutional law, appellate litigation, federal legislation, and media and commercial disputes.

Previous to his work in Washington, D.C., Olson was a trial and appellate lawyer in the firm's Los Angeles office for 16 years.

In 1981, Olson was appointed by President Ronald Reagan, and served four years as the Assistant Attorney General for the Justice Department's Office of Legal Counsel.

He returned to Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher's Washington, D.C. office in 1984, where he is currently the co-chair of the firm's Appellate and Constitutional Law Practice Group.

Olson has handled numerous Supreme Court cases including the constitutionality of punitive damages, separation of powers, First Amendment issues, the Tenth and Eleventh Amendments, civil rights, affirmative action, antitrust, and the Equal Protection and Due Process Clauses.

Olson received his law degree in 1965 from the University of California at Berkeley (Boalt Hall). He received his bachelor's degree from the University of the Pacific.

"Ted is one of the premier Supreme Court litigators in the country," said Ashcroft. "The Department is fortunate to have someone with so much legal experience and talent dealing with the complex and significant issues of the Solicitor General's office. I feel confident I can trust him with the many important topics we will address over the next several years. His commitment to justice is unparalleled." Each nominee must be confirmed by the Senate.