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White House names new solicitor general

President Barack Obama has named White House attorney Don Verrilli as the next solicitor general of the United States.

The job of the government's top lawyer has been vacant since Elena Kagan departed the post to become a Supreme Court justice. Kagan's former deputy, Neal Katyal, has been serving as the acting solicitor general since her departure.

Verrilli is best known for his work on intellectual property and telecommunications cases during his 20 years in private practice at the Jenner & Block law firm. He was the lead attorney representing major entertainment companies in the 2005 Supreme Court ruling that peer-to-peer file-sharing websites like Grokster could be sued for copyright infringement for material swapped on their sites.

Verrilli has participated in more than 100 cases before the high court, according to the White House, and has argued twelve. He also served for over a decade as a constitutional law professor at Georgetown University.

He must be confirmed by the Senate.

NBC's Athena Jones contributed to this report.