Legal Ethics

Ark. AG Admits 'Inappropriate' Relationship with Lawyer; His Office Had a Role in 5 of Her Cases

An admission earlier this week by Arkansas Attorney General Dustin McDaniel that he had an “inappropriate” relationship with a woman he met during his 2010 re-election campaign was followed Thursday by a spokesman’s announcement that the woman, attorney Andrea Davis of Hot Springs, was opposing counsel in five cases handled by the AG’s office.

While McDaniel, who is a Democratic candidate for governor in 2014, did not personally handle any of the cases and Davis was on the losing side in at least three of them, she represented parents who won a high-profile case challenging a school-choice law, the Associated Press reported Thursday.

McDaniel said he never discussed the school-choice case with Davis and it’s not clear that his relationship with her violated any legal ethics rules, the AP says.

An October filing by Davis’ ex-husband in a child-custody contest claimed that she and McDaniel had an affair, eventually resulting in this week’s announcements by McDaniel and his office.

An earlier Washington Post story provides additional details.

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