Public Protection Division
The Public Protection Division asserts and protects the State of Louisiana’s interests by providing legal services in the general areas of consumer protection/environmental law, insurance receivership law, and fair housing law.
Consumer Protection / Environmental Section
The Consumer Protection/Environmental Section has the responsibility of enforcing consumer protection laws in this state and serving as a public trustee in connection with conserving, protection, and replenishing Louisiana’s natural resources.
In the Consumer Protection area, the section was granted authority under the Unfair Trade Practice Act to conduct investigations as necessary when the Attorney Generals Office has reason to believe an unfair or deceptive trade practice has taken place, is taking place or is about to take place. In connection with its authority to investigate consumer related unfair trade practices, the section has joined with local officials in the investigation of several chain distribution schemes, mail order schemes in violation of U.S. Postal Inspection Regulations. The section has successfully litigated several registration enforcement cases. The section also conducts consumer awareness seminars throughout the State on subjects vitally important to the public, such as shoplifting, fraud, theft, and other deceptive trade practices. An important focus of the section is mediation and investigation of consumer disputes and inquiries. This section is also charged with the duty of enforcing the antitrust and related laws relative to the regulation of trade and commerce, including but not limited to, the protection of the welfare of small business interests and the interests of any persons injured by antitrust violations and conspiracies in restraint of trade and other patterns of organized business extortion and theft.
In the Environmental area, the section assists the Attorney General in the discharge of his duties under the Environmental Quality Act and in connection with the constitutional responsibility and power of the Attorney General as chief legal officer of the state to institute, prosecute, or intervene in any civil action in order to assert or protect a state natural resource interest. The Attorney General believes every citizen of the state has the right to live in safe environment; and that vigorous and effective protection of Louisiana’s natural resource and scenic and historic treasures are central to moving Louisiana forward. The section prepares opinions, analyzes legislation and advises officials and employees of the Department of Natural Resources, the Department of Environmental Quality, the Department of Public Safety, the Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, the Department of Culture, Recreation and Tourism, the Office of Public Works, the Department of Agriculture, the United States Corps of Engineers and other interested federal and state agencies or subdivisions. Staff personnel respond to inquiries and complaints from citizens and coordinate these with governmental action and appropriate agencies.
Equal Opportunity Section
The Equal Opportunity Section is responsible for the administration and enforcement of the Louisiana Equal Housing Opportunity Act. This section is active in the investigation, conciliation, and judicial enforcement of fair housing claims. Staff personnel cooperate with the federal government in the enforcement of statutes prohibiting discrimination in public accommodations based on an individual’s race, color, national origin, religion, sex, handicap, or familial status. The section also provides information to Louisiana citizens on their rights regarding the renting and/or purchase of dwellings under the Louisiana Equal Housing Opportunity Act and the federal Fair Housing Act.
Securities and Insurance Section
The Securities and Insurance Section has direct involvement in and primary knowledge of every insurance liquidation in Louisiana. This section performs legal work, supervises contract counsel, and works with the Department of Insurance. Staff personnel conduct research in insolvency cases and maintain a proactive position in the area of insurance liquidation. This section reviews legal bills of contract attorneys, incorporates terms of engagements and development with contract attorneys and the Department of Insurance case management plans for each liquidation. The section relies totally upon self-generated revenues for its operation.