Case Details


Control Of Litigattion, Status Within State Government

Filing State



Louisiana Circuit Court of Appeals




State v. Gulfport Energy Corp., 2012 La. App. LEXIS 1384 (Nov. 7, 2012).


Attorney general is only one who can represent state agencies, state agencies cannot hire outside counsel.

Case Description

The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (DWF) hired outside counsel to file suit against an energy company, alleging the company had disturbed oyster beds with dredging operations and owed approximately $3 million in damages. The trial court agreed with the energy company that DWF lacked the capacity to file a tort suit to recover for damages, and that the Department of Justice, through the Attorney General, was the proper party to sue on behalf of the state. DWF appealed. The appellate court found that DWF did not have authority to sue on behalf of the state. The court held that although the Attorney General did not have to appear as a party in the case, the attorney general did have to appear on behalf of DWF in this matter. The court stated that DWF’s arguments center on “whether DWF can recover monies for damages to oyster beds, and we have no reason to find that they cannot. Like the trial court, though, we find that DWF cannot sue on behalf of the state without being represented by the Attorney General.”