The mission of the Legal Affairs Division (LAD) is to educate the department as to the laws applicable to the department’s programs and operations, to solve legal problems and facilitate transactions, and to provide advice and counsel to promote sound decision-making and problem-solving to support the department in the pursuit of its mission. It is the LAD’s goal to provide counsel to minimize legal risks and costs, reduce litigation exposure, and ensure legal compliance, and to do so efficiently, reliably, and professionally. In doing so, the LAD seeks to maintain the highest of professional ethics and integrity.
The Legal Affairs Division provides legal advice to the Commissioner of Agriculture and the divisions of the Department of Agriculture. By law, the Legal Affairs Division CANNOT give legal advice to private citizens or businesses. If you are a private citizen or business and are seeking the advice of a lawyer for any matter, including (but not limited to) anything agriculture-related, such as animal welfare, zoning, taxes, or the meaning of regulations or statutes, you will need to contact a private attorney of your choosing as soon as possible to assist you. If you need help finding an attorney, you may try the North Carolina Bar Association Lawyer Referral Service at https://www.ncbar.org/public-resources/find-an-nc-lawyer/ or (919) 677-8574.