Dustin McDaniel

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Dustin McDaniel
Dustin McDaniel 2010.jpg
55th Attorney General of Arkansas
In office
January 9, 2007 – January 13, 2015
Governor Mike Beebe
Preceded by Mike Beebe
Succeeded by Leslie Rutledge
Personal details
Born Dustin Blake McDaniel
(1972-04-29) April 29, 1972 (age 44)
Fayetteville, Arkansas, U.S.
Political party Democratic
Spouse(s) Bobbi McDaniel
Alma mater University of Arkansas, Fayetteville
University of Arkansas, Little Rock
Religion Episcopalianism
Website Official website

Dustin Blake McDaniel (born April 29, 1972) is a former Arkansas Attorney General. A member of the Democratic Party, he assumed office on January 9, 2007, succeeding Mike Beebe, who became Governor of Arkansas. McDaniel was also a candidate for the Democratic nomination for Governor in 2014.


After attending public schools in Jonesboro, Arkansas throughout his childhood, Dustin McDaniel went on to attend and graduate from the University of Arkansas, where he was a member of Kappa Sigma Fraternity. Immediately after college, Dustin turned down admission to law school in order to become a uniformed patrol officer for the Jonesboro Police Department. He felt as though he needed to give something back to the community, and looking back says it is one of the most fulfilling and rewarding things he has ever done. After completing law school, McDaniel became a partner in the Jonesboro law firm of McDaniel and Wells, where he practiced law with his father, Bobby McDaniel. Prior to becoming the Attorney General, McDaniel served one term in the Arkansas House of Representatives, representing Jonesboro's District 75.

As an attorney, Dustin has enjoyed a successful and respected career. Some of his professional accomplishments include:

  • Appointed by Federal Judges of Arkansas’ Eastern District to serve on the Federal Practice Committee.
  • Received the Arkansas Bar Association’s “Golden Gavel” award for serving as Chair of the Consumer Law Handbook Committee.
  • Received the Arkansas Bar Association’s “Distinguished Service” award for having the Consumer Law Handbook translated into Spanish.
  • Chairman of the Arkansas Bar Association Civil Litigation Section (2002 & 2003).
  • Board of Governors – Arkansas Trial Lawyers Association
  • McDaniel served as legal counsel for the Craighead County Democratic Central Committee and is a former member of the Democratic Party of Arkansas State Committee

As Attorney General[edit]

McDaniel was elected Attorney General after winning a Democratic primary runoff over North Little Rock City Attorney and Iraq War Vet Paul Suskie by a few thousand votes. During the campaign, 16 former Presidents of the Arkansas Bar Association endorsed McDaniel, [1], as well as former State Treasurer and 2002 Democratic Candidate for Governor, Jimmie Lou Fisher. He then went on to easily beat State Senator Gunner DeLay in the general election, winning by almost twenty-one points [2]. When he was sworn in he became the youngest Attorney General in the country. [3]

As Attorney General he has been an active consumer advocate. He sued and got a settlement with Bayer Asprin over its marketing of Baycol, [4], and recently sued AstraZeneca over its marketing practices, [5]. He has demanded that payday lenders in Arkansas shut down or face legal action, ordering nearly 156 outlets shut down and stating: "In addition, I hereby demand you void any and all current and past-due obligations of your borrowers, and refrain from any collection activities related to these payday loans" [6] As Attorney General he institaged the "Be Street Smart Smart" Program to address the nearly 1.5 million dollars Arkansans lose a year to internet cyber scams. [7]

In March 2011, the Crime Victims Reparations Program recovered almost $272k for victims of crimes at this date, Dustin McDaniel also announced that the program that is administered by the Attorney General's office, had recovered nearly $3 million to crime victims in 2010. [8]

In the 2011 Legislative session McDaniel continued his work to protect children and families. Including ensuring that Arkansas's public schools stay out of court, strengthening laws to prevent sex offenders from interacting with children [9], and keeping harmful substances away from kids. "As the State's top law enforcement officer, I am committed to keeping harmful synthetic substances off store shelves and out of the hands of our children," McDaniel stated. [10]

Successful legislation proposed by the Attorney General's office include the Real Time Electronic Logbook (ACT 508), which creates an electronic, searchable database for law enforcement to use. Overall, 15 out of 16 of McDaniel's proposed bills were passed, covering everything from consumer credit fraud, to adult businesses, to sexual predators. [11]

In 2010, with some 70 percent of the vote, McDaniel defeated the Green Party nominee, Rebekah Kennedy of Quitman, and write-in candidate Mark Rosson of Rison. No Republican challenged him.

In early 2013, McDaniel withdrew as a candidate for the Democratic gubernatorial nomination in 2014 because of the disclosure of a sex scandal involving an opposing attorney in a case about the state's defense of the Arkansas school choice law.

Private Practice[edit]

In 2015, after two terms in office, Dustin started McDaniel, Richardson & Calhoun, PLLC, a private law firm with two of his top assistants – Senior Assistant Attorney General Scott Richardson and Assistant Attorney General Bart Calhoun.

McDaniel, Richardson & Calhoun is positioned to provide legal counsel and representation in many areas of practice including business, education, and family law, as well as commercial litigation, bankruptcy, and appellate advocacy. The office is based in Little Rock with locations planned for Jonesboro, Ark. and Washington, D.C.


External links[edit]

Political offices
Preceded by
Mike Beebe
Attorney General of Arkansas
Succeeded by
Leslie Rutledge