O'Brien, appointed by President Bush and confirmed in Oct. 2007 as the United States Attorney for the Central District of California, meaning Los Angeles, will join the L.A. office of Paul, Hastings, Janofsky & Walker as a partner, the Daily Journal's Gabe Friedman reported on the web this afternoon. The story in tomorrow's paper says that O'Brien, who announced the move to his staff, begins Sept. 1 and will practice white collar defense.
The announcement came after the Daily Journal began preparing a story on the move. As of mid-day Monday, he had not informed the White House of his intentions, according to sources familiar with the matter, who spoke on the condition they not be identified.
O'Brien's resignation will end his aggressive but controversial reign as the top federal prosecutor in the Central District of California.
The move also provides Paul Hastings - one of the last big firms without a white-collar criminal practice group in Los Angeles - with a seasoned criminal practitioner. The firm has other lawyers who work on civil securities fraud matters, but until now has resisted picking up a white-collar criminal lawyer in its local office.