Dakota W. Paris


Dakota joined the Douglas, Haun & Heidemann, P.C. litigation team in 2023 after serving 4 years at the Greene County Prosecutor’s Office as a Senior Assistant Prosecuting Attorney and nearly two years in private practice; practicing primarily in the areas of criminal defense and domestic law.

His diverse experience includes prosecuting felony sexual assault, domestic assault, and child abuse cases as well as felony driving while intoxicated cases. Over the course of his career, Dakota has achieved successful outcomes through jury trials, bench trials, preliminary hearings, and bond hearings as well as dozens of contested hearings. He has served on the ‘State of Missouri Driving While Intoxicated Investigation and Prosecution Best Practices Committee,’ serving with law enforcement, forensic criminalists, and prosecutors across the State as well as served on Greene County, Missouri’s “High Risk Victim Task Force / Multi-disciplinary Team”. Mr. Paris was selected to be an Adjunct Instructor at Missouri State University teaching Criminal Law and the Courts as well as an Adjunct Instructor at Drury University Law Enforcement Academy teaching Constitutional Law, Statutory Law, Peace Officer Liability, and Driving While Intoxicated Law.

After graduating from Willard High School, Dakota graduated magna cum laude with honors from Missouri State University in Springfield, Missouri with a B.S. in Business Management. He then went on to graduate cum laude from the University of Missouri at Kansas City School of Law with a J.D. and an emphasis in Advocacy. During law school, Dakota competed on the school’s mock trial team, was an editor of the UMKC Law Review, the Chief Prosecutor of the law school’s honor court, and received the Latshaw Award for excellence in criminal law studies. Dakota completed an internship with the Jackson County, Missouri Prosecutor’s Office prior to clerking for a Kansas City civil litigation firm.

Dakota was selected and currently serves as a member of the Criminal Justice Act (CJA) Panel, representing defendants charged in federal court with committing serious criminal offenses. Additionally, Dakota is occasionally appointed as a Special Public Defender, representing indigent defendants charged with misdemeanor and felony offenses in state court.

Honors and Awards: 2021 Community Partnership of the Ozarks ‘Champion in Prevention’ for commitment to crime prevention in Southwest Missouri; Latshaw Award for Excellence in Criminal Law Studies

Professional Memberships: Missouri Association of Criminal Defense Attorneys; Springfield Metropolitan Bar Association