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The Year in Review: #20. Benched

A life appointment to the federal judiciary is one of the most coveted jobs in the legal profession. In 2007 two members of the in-house bar achieved that distinction.

The Senate unanimously confirmed Richard J. Sullivan, former general counsel of the Marsh Inc. division of Marsh & McLennan, to the powerful U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York in July. Sullivan went in-house at Marsh in June 2005 after 11 years as a federal prosecutor in Manhattan.

"He is wise, witty and fair---qualities that will serve him well on the federal bench," said Peter J. Beshar, the general counsel of Marsh & McLennan.

President Bush also nominated Gus Puryear, former general counsel of Corrections Corp. of America, to the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Tennessee. Like Sullivan, Puryear worked for the federal government before going in-house in 2000. Puryear served as Sen. Bill Frist's legislative adviser and helped Vice President Dick Cheney prepare for his debate with Sen. Joe Lieberman in 2000. Those impeccable conservative credentials were no doubt helpful in placing the young attorney on President Bush's radar screen.

Adele Nicholas

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