Wanting to practice law, Mike joined Gary Eubanks and Associates in Little Rock in 1984 as a trial attorney with engineering expertise, a valuable asset. “I wasn’t representing insurance companies or big corporations,” says Mike, “I was representing people. That was important to me.” Through his cases, Mike addressed the safety of a number of consumer products and issues, including three-wheeled all-terrain vehicles (banned in 1987 by the Consumer Product Safety Commission), automotive crashworthiness and other car-related safety concerns like seat belts, air bags, auto ignition switch fire hazards, and tire failures. He explored the safety of tractor roll bars, machine guarding, and fork lift back up alarms. After more than 20 years at the Little Rock firm, Mike and Suzanne moved to their hometown of Hot Springs where he opened a private practice and taught history, law, and statistics classes at National Park College.
In 2008 Arkansas Senator Mark Pryor sponsored a bill called the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA) which gave the Consumer Product Safety Commission the ability to hire more people and focus on children’s product safety. As a result of this bill, Mike joined the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) in 2010 as a compliance officer specializing in toy safety. “I was known as the toy guy,” he laughs. Early in his tenure at CPSC, Mike was with his boss, on the way to a commission-wide meeting about crib safety when he realized, “This is where I want to be.” Through his work at the CPPC, he helped develop standards and implements those standards, working with toy importers and manufacturers.
After five years living in Maryland and working in Washington, D.C., Mike and Suzanne decided it was time to return to Arkansas. “We enjoyed our time in Maryland, but it was time to come back home. We missed our family,” he says. They returned to Little Rock and Mike picked up his private practice and worked as a toy consultant, helping toy importers understand and follow safety regulations. He also teaches at his alma mater, the University of Arkansas at Little Rock Bowen School of Law.
Lawyer, teacher, child-safety expert, engineer… Mike’s spent his career protecting people in a cross-section of communities—from metalworkers to children. It’s hard not to see how his professional path has more than prepared him to serve Arkansas in the role of Attorney General.