Justice Department officials are worried about the growing tendency of defense attorneys to try to use the Freedom of Information Act to gain insights into the government's case and to delay a trial.

Answering the FOI requests ties up prosecuters and investigators to the point where they cannot prepare their cases, said Robert Saloschin, head of the Justice Department's newly created Office of Information, Law and Policy.

"Attorneys know if they can stop a case long enough they may win it. Maybe some witnesses will die, or their memories will get fuzzy. If a lawyer for a criminal defendant can't think of anything else to do, he tries to delay the trial."

Short takes: Barry J. Cutler, former assistant general counsel of the Federal Trade Commission and an assistant U.S. attorney fo the District of Columbia, has become a partner in the Washington office of O'Connor & Hannan. Also joining that office as associates are Charles W. Garrison and Gordon K. Gayer . . . Burton L. Raimi, former deputy general counsel and counsel to the president of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp., has joined Lawler, Kent & Eisenberg as a partner . . . San Francisco attorney Robert D. Raven has been named chairman of the American Bar Association committee that screens potential nominees to the U.S. Supreme Court and other U.S. courts. He succeeds R. Harvey Chappell Jr. of Richmond, who has become a member of the ABA's Board of Governors.