- Associated Press - Wednesday, December 10, 2014

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) - Outgoing Arkansas Attorney General Dustin McDaniel announced Wednesday that he’s starting a private law firm with two of his top assistants when he leaves office next month.

The two-term Democrat said he’ll be working with Senior Assistant Attorney General Scott Richardson and Assistant Attorney General Bart Calhoun to launch the new Little Rock-based law firm. The firm will also have offices in Jonesboro and Washington, D.C., he said.

“I could not ask for a better team with which to start the next phase of my professional career,” McDaniel said in a news release. “I have spent my entire career trying to make the system work better for people. My partners and I plan to continue that work for our clients, whether it’s in the regulatory environment or the courtroom.”

McDaniel, who was first elected in 2006, is leaving office due to term limits. He is being succeeded by Republican Leslie Rutledge.

McDaniel said he’s looking forward to returning to private practice and said he’s submitted paperwork for his law license in Washington, D.C. He said part of firm’s focus will be helping states and businesses deal with complying with various regulations.

“What we have seen over the last several years is a real evolution where the states are trying to make sense of how regulations impact both state governments and the businesses that operate within their states,” he said.

Other areas the firm will focus on will include business law, commercial litigation and bankruptcy, as well as education and agriculture law. McDaniel said the firm’s work will include public policy advocacy, but said he doesn’t see himself returning to elected office anytime soon. McDaniel had run briefly for the Democratic nomination for governor, but dropped out of the race after admitting to an inappropriate relationship with a Hot Springs attorney.

“I’m smart enough to know you never say never, but my intention is to build a law firm and serve my clients,” he said. “I don’t envision running for office anytime in the next decade, if ever.”

Richardson has worked in the AG’s office since 2005 and led its team on the Little Rock school desegregation case and also worked on the long-running Lake View school funding case, which ended shortly after McDaniel took office in 2007. Calhoun has worked in the AG’s office since 2008 and has focused on consumer protection and fighting deceptive trade practices, among other issues.


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