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.
Director: Reneé Free
Reneé Free has served under four Attorneys General, including five years as the Assistant Attorney General in the Collections Section when she appeared in every Louisiana district court. She also served under three Secretaries of State, where she was instrumental in the consolidation of the Secretary of State’s Office and the Department of Elections. Free earned her bachelor’s degree from McNeese State University and her law degree from the Southern University Law Center.
The Consumer Protection Section has the responsibility of enforcing trade practice laws in Louisiana. The Section has the authority under the Unfair Trade Practices and Consumer Protection Law to conduct investigations as necessary when the Attorney General has reason to believe an unfair method of competition or unfair or deceptive trade practice has taken place, is taking place, or is about to take place. The Attorney General may bring actions for injunctive relief, civil penalties, and other relief in the name of the state against persons and entities engaging in unfair or deceptive practices. The Section is responsible for enforcing antitrust and other laws relative to the regulation of trade and commerce, including but not limited to the protection of the welfare of business interests and the interests of any persons injured by violations and conspiracies in restraint of trade. The Section accepts complaints from consumers to detect patterns of unfair practices and offers a mediation process to consumers and businesses with complaints to improve communication between the parties and assist in resolving disputes.
Equal Housing 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 cooperates with the federal government in the enforcement of statutes prohibiting discrimination in housing and housing transactions based on an individual's race, color, national origin, religion, sex, familial status, or disability. The section also provides information to Louisiana citizens on their rights regarding the rental and purchase of dwellings under the Louisiana Equal Housing Opportunity Act and the federal Fair Housing Act.
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.