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March 17, 2010

LITTLE ROCK - Chief Deputy Attorney General Justin Allen will resign his position in April and return to private law practice, Attorney General Dustin McDaniel announced Wednesday.


"I was fortunate to have Justin as my Chief Deputy for more than three years," McDaniel said. "He has a great legal mind and is an exemplary public servant. Like everyone else in my office, I am disappointed to see him go."


Allen will return to the Little Rock law firm of Wright, Lindsey and Jennings, where he worked before joining McDaniel in 2007.


During Allen's tenure, the Attorney General's Office shut down illegal "payday" lenders and filed three lawsuits against major pharmaceutical companies engaged in deceptive marketing practices. One of those suits recently resulted in a record $18.5 million settlement award for the state. Additionally, the state saw an end to the long-running Lakeview school funding case.


"I've enjoyed every minute of my time at the Attorney General's Office, and I am a better person and lawyer because of the experience," Allen said. "Given that I can't be Chief Deputy forever, I recently decided to evaluate my professional future. In doing so, I determined that returning to private practice is the best thing for me and my family."


Allen, of Sheridan, is a 1999 graduate of the University of Arkansas at Little Rock William H. Bowen School of Law. He graduated first in his class.


Allen's successor has not yet been named.