Richard Cullen (attorney)

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Richard Cullen
39th Attorney General of Virginia
In office
June 12, 1997 – January 17, 1998
Appointed by George Allen
Preceded by Jim Gilmore
Succeeded by Mark Earley
United States Attorney for the
Eastern District of Virginia
In office
October 1991 – March 23, 1993
Appointed by George H. W. Bush
Preceded by Kenneth E. Melson
Succeeded by Kenneth E. Melson
Personal details
Born (1948-03-10) March 10, 1948 (age 69)
Brooklyn, New York, U.S.
Political party Republican
Spouse(s) Agnes Tullidge
Alma mater Furman University (B.A.)
University of Richmond (J.D.)

Richard Cullen (born March 10, 1948) is a former Attorney General of Virginia and U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia. Currently, he is the chairman of McGuireWoods LLP.[1]

As a partner with the firm, he has represented high-profile clients such as former U.S. Congressman Tom DeLay and Elin Nordegren, the ex-wife of professional golfer Tiger Woods.[2]

Early life and education[edit]

Born in Brooklyn, New York, Cullen was raised in Staunton, Virginia. He majored in political science and played varsity football at Furman University in Greenville, South Carolina, earning a Bachelor of Arts degree in 1971. He attended the University of South Carolina School of Law in Columbia, S.C., from 1971–72, and then worked in Washington, D.C. for U.S. Representative M. Caldwell Butler. Cullen then returned to Virginia and earned a law degree in 1977 from the University of Richmond's T.C. Williams School of Law. He he served as editor in chief of the school’s law review.[3]


Cullen has been with McGuireWoods LLP since entering practice in 1977. He was named chairman in December 2006, succeeding Robert L. Burrus Jr. As a partner in the firm, Cullen focuses on complex commercial litigation; government, regulatory and criminal investigations; white collar defense; and accountant defense.

Cullen was the lead attorney for former U.S. Rep. Tom DeLay, R-Texas, during a six-year Justice Department investigation into alleged links between the congressman and former lobbyist Jack Abramoff. No criminal charges were filed against the former House majority leader.[4]

Cullen and fellow McGuireWoods partner Dennis I. Belcher represented Elin Nordegren in her August 2010 settlement with professional golfer Tiger Woods.[5]

In 2010, it was reported that Cullen is among the lawyers representing Bank of America in a multistate investigation into the bank’s foreclosure practices.[6][7]

Since joining the firm, Cullen has taken leave three times for public service assignments. In 1987, he served as special counsel to U.S. Sen. Paul S. Trible Jr., R-Va., during the Iran-Contra investigation. He was appointed by President H.W. Bush in 1991 as a U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia, serving until 1993. In 1997, Virginia Gov. George Allen appointed Cullen Attorney General of Virginia to fill the unexpired term of Jim Gilmore, who resigned to conduct a successful run for governor.


Cullen is married and has four grown children.


Legal offices
Preceded by
Jim Gilmore
Attorney General of Virginia
Succeeded by
Mark Earley