TITLE 42. PUBLIC OFFICERS AND EMPLOYEES

CHAPTER 5. DUTIES

PART I. SPECIAL DUTIES

 

42:261     District attorneys;  counsel for boards and commissions

 

A. Except as provided by Subsection C of this Section or as otherwise provided by law, the district attorneys of the several judicial districts other than the parish of Orleans shall, ex officio and without extra compensation, general or special, be the regular attorneys and counsel for the parish governing authorities, parish school boards, and city school boards within their respective districts and of every state board or commission domiciled therein, the members of which, in whole or in part, are elected by the people or appointed by the governor or other prescribed authority, except the state boards and commissions domiciled at the city of Baton Rouge, and all boards in charge or in control of state institutions.

 

B. Except as provided by Subsection C of this section or as otherwise provided by law, all legal services for parish governing authorities, parish school boards, city school boards and all state boards and commissions, including levee boards, hospital and asylum boards, educational boards and dock boards, the members of which, in whole or in part, are elected by the people or are appointed by the governor or other prescribed authority, in reference to the issuance of bonds, notes or other evidences of indebtedness, whether in the original instance or for refunding purposes, shall be under the supervision, control and authority of the attorney general.

 

C. Notwithstanding the provisions of Subsections A and B of this Section or of any other law, the governing authority of Terrebonne Parish may retain or employ, on a full or part-time basis or on retainer, an attorney to serve as its regular or special attorney and in such case may fix and pay the salary or compensation of said attorney.  The employment of an attorney under this authorization relieves the district attorney of responsibility.

 

D. (1) Except as otherwise permitted by this Section it shall be unlawful for any parish governing authority or state board or commission to retain or employ for any compensation whatever any attorney or counsel to represent it generally, or except as provided in R.S. 42:263, to retain or employ any special attorney or counsel for any compensation whatever to represent it in any special matter, or pay any compensation for any legal services whatever, provided that the board of commissioners of the port of New Orleans shall select its own attorney.

 

(2) The provisions of this Subsection shall not apply to the assessor of the parish of Orleans, the salary of whose attorney is paid by the city of New Orleans, nor shall it apply to the Board of Liquidation of the City Debt created by Act 110 of 1890.

 

E. (1)  Any party who files suit against any duly elected or appointed public official of this state or of any of its agencies or political subdivisions for any matter arising out of the performance of the duties of his office other than matters pertaining to the collection and payment of taxes and those cases where the plaintiff is seeking to compel the defendant to comply with and apply the laws of this state relative to the registration of voters, and who is unsuccessful in his demands, shall be liable to said public official for all attorneys fees incurred by said public official in the defense of said lawsuit or lawsuits, which attorneys fees shall be fixed by the court.

 

(2)  The defendant public official shall have the right, by rule, to require the plaintiff to furnish bond as in the case of bond for costs, to cover such attorneys fees before proceeding with the trial of said cause.

 

F. Notwithstanding the provisions of this Section or any law to the contrary, the Louisiana Board of Chiropractic Examiners may retain and employ counsel as specifically provided in R.S. 37:2804(F), and the attorney general shall be relieved of his responsibility to serve as attorney for the board, in such instances as provided therein.

 

G. Notwithstanding any other provision of this Section or any other law to the contrary, nothing shall prohibit the governing authorities of the parishes of St. Charles, Ouachita, Morehouse, Calcasieu, and Vermilion from each employing or retaining its own attorney to represent it generally;  however, except in those specific instances where expressly allowed by law, no payment to such attorney so employed or retained shall be made on a contingent fee or other percentage basis.  The employment of attorneys by said political subdivisions of the aforementioned parishes shall relieve the district attorneys of the judicial districts serving the aforesaid parishes from any other duty of representing said political subdivisions of said parishes.

 

H. Notwithstanding the provisions of this Section or any other law to the contrary, the Recreation and Park Commission for the parish of East Baton Rouge may retain and employ counsel as otherwise more specifically provided in R.S. 16:2.1 and the district attorney shall be relieved of his responsibility to serve as attorney for the commission only in such instances as provided therein.

 

I. Notwithstanding any other provision of this Section or any other law to the contrary, and as a further exception to the general prohibition contained in this Section, any hospital service district created by or pursuant to state law may employ or retain its own attorney, the compensation of said attorney to be fixed and paid by the board of said district, in which event the district attorney of the judicial district in which the hospital service district is domiciled shall be relieved of the duty of representing said hospital service district.

 

J. Notwithstanding the provisions of this Section or of any other laws to the contrary, the Natchitoches Parish School Board is hereby authorized to select its own attorney to serve as general counsel of said board, the compensation of the attorney to be fixed and paid by the board.  The employment of an attorney by the school board shall relieve the district attorney of the judicial district serving Natchitoches Parish from any duty to represent the school board.

 

K. Notwithstanding the provisions of this Section or any law to the contrary, the Student Financial Assistance Commission may retain and employ counsel as specifically provided in R.S. 17:3025 and the attorney general shall be relieved of his responsibility to serve as attorney for the commission only in such instances as provided therein.  The compensation of said counsel shall be fixed and paid by the commission with the approval of the governor.

 

Amended by Acts 1952, No. 127, § 16;  Acts 1952, No. 264, § 1;  Acts 1960, No. 304, § 1;  Acts 1960, 2nd Ex.Sess., No. 5, § 1;  Acts 1964, No. 7, § 1;  Acts 1974, No. 479, § 1;  Acts 1974, No. 696, § 1;  Acts 1976, No. 140, § 1;  Acts 1976, No. 236, § 1;  Acts 1978, No. 315, § 2;  Acts 1978, No. 588, § 2;  Acts 1978, No. 612, § 1;  Acts 1979, No. 324, § 2;  Acts 1979, No. 507, § 1;  Acts 1980, No. 835, § 1;  Acts 1981, No. 734, § 1;  Acts 1982, No. 84, § 1;  Acts 1983, No. 184, § 2;  Acts 1983, No. 475, § 2;  Acts 1987, No. 267, § 2;  Acts 1988, No. 729, § 1;  Acts 1999, No. 384, § 1;  Acts 2001, No. 359, § 2;  Acts 2006, No. 622, § 6;  Acts 2011, 1st Ex.Sess., No. 35, § 1.