Dustin J. Painter


Phone number
(202) 342-8875

Dustin Painter is co-chair of the Government Relations and Public Policy practice group. Dustin represents the interests of businesses, trade associations and other organizations before the legislative and executive branches of government. Dustin offers his clients a comprehensive approach to federal government relations initiatives that includes a substantive background in federal and state laws and in-depth experience with the procedures and forums that govern public policy advocacy.

Dustin’s multidisciplinary approach to his practice—which includes public policy advocacy, strategic and compliance counseling, engagement of administrative agencies and litigation—is integral to solving his clients’ problems in Washington, D.C. His experience includes extensive lobbying before members of Congress and their staff, as well as lobbying and more formal interactions with executive branch personnel.

Dustin provides clients with a full spectrum of government affairs services, including the development of legislative goals and approaches, legislation drafting, fostering champions and shepherding initiative through Congress, and working with administrative agencies to ensure that statutory objectives are properly implemented and administered through rulemaking or less-formal policy guidance. In addition, Dustin has successfully challenged agency actions that contravened statutory authority and deviated from Congress’s intent.

Dustin’s practice is focused on the statutory laws that define or implicate a product’s country of origin. These policies include the patchwork of Buy America(n) laws that apply to direct federal and federally aided government procurements, country of origin marking requirements applicable to imports, and the Federal Trade Commission’s Made in USA” policy as it pertains to product marketing. An influential and proven counselor and advocate, Dustin is recognized as a leading lawyer on Buy National” preferences applied to government spending programs. To this end, Dustin routinely advises on federal and state Buy America” procurement preference policies. His experience includes policy advocacy and lobbying on behalf of his clients, frequent engagement of agencies implementing such laws including the Environmental Protection Agency and U.S. Department of Transportation, and successful litigation challenging agency application of Buy America” statutes. Dustin routinely provides, on an ad hoc basis, legal advice regarding the application of these laws to many of the firm’s other clients.

Dustin also counsels clients on campaign finance, lobbying and ethics laws that collectively comprise political law,” and the rules of procedure that govern litigation in the public sphere. His experience in this area includes political action committee formation and administration, independent expenditure activity and Super PAC” formation and administration, compliance counseling rendered to corporations and trade associations, and counseling organizations on issue advocacy. He also advises on the tax implications of political law activity, including lobbying and non-lobbying activities and campaign finance spending.

Dustin has served as treasurer to Kelley Drye’s political action committee since 2007, where he is responsible for ensuring the PAC’s compliance with federal campaign finance laws and regulations. Prior to joining the firm, he served in the office of former Congressman Robert T. Matsui of California.

I help my clients effectively navigate the federal legislative and regulatory process in order to protect their interests and advance their business goals.”