Attorney General of Louisiana

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Louisiana Attorney General
General information
Office Type:  Partisan
Office website:  Official Link
2012-2013 FY Budget:  $58,012,459
Term limits:  None
Length of term:   4 years
Authority:  Louisiana Constitution, Article 4, Section 8
Selection Method:  Elected
Current Officeholder

Buddy Caldwell.jpg
Name:  Buddy Caldwell
Officeholder Party:  Republican
Assumed office:  2007
Compensation:  $115,000
Next election:  November 2015
Last election:  November 19, 2011
Other Louisiana Executive Offices
GovernorLieutenant GovernorSecretary of StateAttorney GeneralTreasurerSuperintendent of EducationAgriculture CommissionerInsurance CommissionerNatural Resources CommissionerLabor CommissionerPublic Service Commission
The Attorney General of Louisiana is a constitutional officer within the executive branch of the Louisiana state government. The attorney general is the chief legal officer of Louisiana.[1] In this capacity, the attorney general is responsible for providing official legal opinions to state agencies, officers and legislators. He may also advise local political subdivisions and their offices.[2] Louisiana elects its attorneys general to four-year terms in years preceding presidential contests and the office is not subject to term limits.

Current officeholder

The current officeholder is Buddy Caldwell, who was first elected as a Democrat in 2007. Caldwell ousted Democratic incumbent Charles F. Foti, Jr. in the blanket primary, and overtook Republican Royal Alexander in the November 2007 general election. Caldwell switched his party affiliation from Democrat to Republican in February 2011 and was re-elected without opposition on the Reublican party ticket that November. Before becoming attorney general, Caldwell served 26 years as district attorney of Louisiana's 6th Judicial District, centered on the town of Tallulah. [3]


The office of attorney general is established by Article 4, Section 8 of the Louisiana Constitution. The incumbent is granted the authority to intervene in "any civil action or proceeding," to "assist in the prosecution of any criminal case," and to represent the state in any civil or criminal action.[1]

Louisiana Constitution, Article 4, Section 8

... the attorney general shall have authority (1) to institute, prosecute, or intervene in any civil action or proceeding; (2) upon the written request of a district attorney, to advise and assist in the prosecution of any criminal case; and (3) for cause, when authorized by the court which would have original jurisdiction and subject to judicial review, (a) to institute, prosecute, or intervene in any criminal action or proceeding, or (b) to supersede any attorney representing the state in any civil or criminal action. The attorney general shall exercise other powers and perform other duties authorized by this constitution or by law."


Article 4, Section 2 of the Louisiana Constitution requires that a candidate for attorney general be at least twenty-five years old, a citizen of the United States and Louisiana for the five years preceding election, and permitted to practice law in the state for at least five years.[4]

Louisiana Constitution, Article 4, Section 2

To be eligible for any statewide elective office, a person, by the date of his qualification as a candidate, shall have attained the age of twenty-five years, be an elector, and have been a citizen of the United States and of this state for at least the preceding five years. In addition, the attorney general shall have been admitted to the practice of law in the state for at least the five years preceding his election. During his tenure in office, a statewide elected official shall hold no other public office except by virtue of his elected office.


Louisiana state government organizational chart

The Louisiana Constitution prescribes that all statewide executive officials, including the attorney general, be elected for a term of four years, and that their term begin "at noon on the second Monday in January next following the election.[5] Executive officials are elected in years preceding presidential contests (2011, 2015, 2019, etc.).


See also: Louisiana Attorney General election, 2015

There is a regularly scheduled election for attorney general in 2015. Buddy Caldwell (R) is eligible for re-election. The primary election will take place on October 24, 2015, with a runoff election on November 21, 2015, if no candidate receives 50 percent of the vote.

Term limits

There are no term limits for Louisiana's statewide executive officials other than the governor. Bills have occasionally been introduced into the state legislature to implement such limits, but the latest attempt, in 2010, failed.[6]

Full History


Per Article 4, Section 16 of the Louisiana Constitution, vacancies in the office of attorney general are filled by first assistant attorney general, unless the length of the unexpired term exceeds one year. In that case, the governor calls a special election to fill the vacancy.[8]


The official website of the Louisiana attorney general gives its mission as "to protect the ... State of Louisiana by providing superior legal representation, and interpretation, professional and effective law enforcement, and public education programs."[9]

As chief legal officer of the state, the attorney general is also responsible for providing official legal opinions to state agencies, officers and legislators. He may also advise local political subdivisions and their offices.[2]

As noted above, the attorney general of Louisiana, under certain conditions, intervenes in civil or criminal cases in state courts, and may represent the state itself in civil or criminal actions.


The Louisiana Department of Justice is divided into the follow divisions:

  • Administrative Services - Coordinates the department's budget, legislative affairs and department planning and performance.
  • Civil - Provides legal representation to the state, its departments and agencies, boards and commissions, and statewide elected officials.
  • Criminal - Assists federal, state and local agencies in the investigation and prosecution of a wide range of criminal matters.
  • Executive - Oversees all department operations. Houses the Appellate Section and the Public Information Office.
  • Gaming - Serves as legal advisor and legal representative to all Louisiana gaming regulatory agencies.
  • Investigations - Provides follow-up investigation services for Criminal Division; responds to requests for investigative assistance from any government agency; and provides investigative services in white collar crime and public corruption.
  • Public Protection - Provides legal services in the areas of consumer protection and environmental law, insurance receivership and fair housing.
  • Risk Litigation - Represents the Office of Risk Management, the Self-Insurance Fund and the State in all claims covered by the State Self-Insurance Fund and in all tort claims whether or not covered by the Self-Insurance Fund.[10]

State budget

See also: Louisiana state budget and finances

The Office of the Attorney General's budget for fiscal year 2012-2013 was $58,012,459.[11]


See also: Compensation of state executive officers

The salary of the attorney general, along with the rest of Louisiana's elected executives, is determined by the Louisiana State Legislature. Article IV, Section 4 requires that changes in compensation take effect in the term after they were passed.[12]

Louisiana Constitution, Article IV, Section 4

Compensation Section 4. Except as otherwise provided by this constitution, the compensation of each statewide elected official shall be provided by law. An increase in the salary of a statewide elected official shall not become effective until the commencement of the subsequent term for that office following the adoption or enactment of the increase.


In 2014, the attorney general earned a salary of $115,000, according to the Council of State Governments.[13]


In 2013, the attorney general's salary remained at $115,000.[14]


In 2012, the attorney general was paid an estimated $115,000. This figure comes from the Council of State Governments.


In 2010, the attorney general received a salary of $115,000.[15]

Campaign finance

Main article: Campaign finance requirements for Louisiana ballot measures

The Attorney General of Louisiana is responsible for prosecuting all criminal violations of Louisiana's campaign finance laws.[16]

If someone feels a person violated Louisiana's campaign finance laws, the first step is to file a complaint with the Louisiana Ethics Administration Program.[17] It is up to the Supervisory Committee of the Ethics Administration Program on a two-thirds vote to approve all investigations.[18]

Historical officeholders

Since becoming a state in 1812, Louisiana has had 44 attorneys general.

# Name Took office Left office Party
1 François Xavier Martin 1812 1815 Democratic Republican
2 Etienne Mazureau 1815 1817 Democratic Republican
3 Louis Moreau-Lislet 1817 1819 Democratic Republican
4 Thomas B. Robertson 1819 1821 Democratic Republican
5 Etienne Mazureau 1821 1824 Clay-Adams Republican
6 Isaac Trimble Preston 1824 1828
7 Alonzo Morphy 1828 1830
8 George Eustis 1830 1833
9 Etienne Mazureau 1833 1841 Whig
10 Christian Roselius 1841 1843 Whig
11 Isaac Trimble Preston 1843 1846
12 William Augustus Elmore 1846 1850
13 Isaac Johnson 1850 1854 Democrat
14 Isaac Edward Morse 1854 1856 Democrat
15 E. Warren Moise 1856 1860
16 Thomas J. Semmes 1860 1864 Democrat
17 F.S. Goode 1864 1866
18 Andrew S. Herron 1866 1867
19 BL Lynch 1867 1869
20 Simeon Beldon 1869 1873
21 Alexander Pope Field 1873 1876
22 William H. Hunt 1876 1876 Republican
23 Hiram R. Steele 1876 1877
24 Horatio Nash Ogden 1877 1880
25 James C. Egan 1880 1884
26 Milton J. Cunningham 1884 1888
27 Walter Henry Rogers 1888 1892
28 Milton J. Cunningham 1892 1900
29 Walter Guion 1900 1912 Democrat
30 Ruffin G. Pleasant 1912 1916 Democrat
31 Adolphe V. Coco 1916 1924
32 Percy D. Saint 1924 1932
33 Gaston L. Porterlie 1932 1939
34 James B. Ellison 1939 1939
35 Lessley P. Gardiner 1939 1940
36 Eugene Stanley 1940 1944
37 Fred S. LeBlanc 1944 1948
38 Bolivar Edwards Kemp, Jr. 1948 1952
39 Fred S. LeBlanc 1952 1956
40 Jack P.F. Gremillion 1956 1972 Democrat
41 William J. Guste 1972 1992 Democrat
42 Richard Ieyoub 1992 2004 Democrat
43 Charles C. Foti, Jr. 2004 2008 Democrat
44 James D. "Buddy" Caldwell 2008 Present Republican

Recent news

This section displays the most recent stories in a Google news search for the terms "Louisiana Attorney General."

Some of the stories below may not be relevant to this page due to the nature of Google's news search engine.

Attorney General of Louisiana - Google News Feed

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Contact information

1885 N. Third Street
Baton Rouge, LA 70802

Phone: 225-326-6705
Fax: 225-326-6793

See also

External links

Suggest a link


  1. 1.0 1.1 'Louisiana Constitution, Article 4, Section 8," accessed May 17, 2011
  2. 2.0 2.1 Office of the Attorney General, State of Louisiana, "Opinions," accessed May 17, 2011
  3. The Times-Picayune, "Attorney General Buddy Caldwell switches to Republican," February 2, 2011
  4. 'Louisiana Constitution, Article 4, Section 2," accessed May 17, 2011
  5. Louisiana Constitution, Article 4, Section 3," accessed May 17, 2011
  6. Louisiana State Legislature</i>, "2010 Regular Session, House Bill 51 (Rep. Simone Champagne, sponsor)," accessed May 17, 2011
  7. New Orleans Times Picayune, "Attorney General Buddy Caldwell switches to Republican," February 3, 2011
  8. Louisiana Constitution, Article 4, Section 16," accessed May 17, 2011
  9. Office of the Attorney General, State of Louisiana, "About the Office," accessed May 17, 2011
  10. Office of the Attorney General, State of Louisiana, "Divisions Overview," accessed May 17, 2011
  11. State of Louisiana, "State Budget Fiscal Year 2013-2013," accessed June27, 2013
  12. Louisiana Constitution of 1974, "ARTICLE IV EXECUTIVE BRANCH; COMPENSATION," accessed February 17, 2015
  13. Council of State Governments, "SELECTED STATE ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICIALS: ANNUAL SALARIES," accessed November 24, 2014
  14. Council of State Governments, Table 4.11 Selected State Administrative Officials:Annual Salaries," accessed January 23, 2014
  15. The Book of States<i>, Council of State Governments 2010," accessed May 17, 2010.
  16. Louisiana Legislature, "Louisiana Revised Statutes (Referenced Statute 18:1511.6(A)-(B) Louisiana Revised Statutes)," accessed April 15, 2015
  17. Louisiana Legislature, "Louisiana Revised Statutes (Referenced Statute 18:1511.2(A) 1, Louisiana Revised Statutes)," accessed April 16, 2015
  18. Louisiana Legislature, "Louisiana Revised Statutes (Referenced Statute 18:1511.4(A), Louisiana Revised Statutes," accessed April 16, 2015