A proud native of the Bayou Region and graduate of Nicholls State University, Hon. Joseph L. Waitz has served as the District Attorney of Terrebonne Parish since 1997 after receiving his law degree from Southern University Law Center in 1986. After college, he spent 11 years with Waitz & Downer before transitioning to his present role as District Attorney. Now, he is of counsel with the firm.
Throughout his career, he has expressed a passion for children’s advocacy. In 1998, he established the Terrebonne Children’s Advocacy Center, of which he currently serves as President, to assist victims of abuse as they go through legal proceedings. Additionally, the Child Support Enforcement program helps families by making sure absent parents pay child support.
He has also placed an emphasis on cases involving impaired driving. He established a Terrebonne Parish Drug Court in 2000.
He has also set up several probation programs within the Office of the District Attorney in Terrebonne Parish. His pre-trial intervention program offers some offenders an option to participate in intervention programs instead of facing prosecution, and his Extensive Narcotics Division is offered to first-time drug offenders. Additional programs include Issuing Worthless Checks, Court Appointed Probation, District Attorney Probation, Gambling Treatment and Referral, and Pre-Trial Release.
He is a member of the Board of Directors for Louisiana’s District Attorney’s Association, former President of the Louisiana District Attorney’s Association, a member of the Metropolitan Law Enforcement Planning & Commission (METLEC), a member of the Board of Directors for the United Way of South Louisiana, Director of the Terrebonne Parish Drug Court Program, and more. Additionally, he is a former Outstanding Graduate of Southern University and an inductee into the Southern University Law Center Alumni Hall of Fame.
Outside of his legal practice, Waitz is a proud husband and father of two, including his son Joseph Waitz III, who is also an attorney for Waitz & Downer.
- Southern University Law Center – Juris Doctorate degree
The law firm of Waitz & Downer was founded in 1971 by the late Joseph L. Waitz to provide legal practice to the Gulf Coast region through a specialization in helping injured persons and devastated families who have suffered a catastrophic loss in an oil field accident, maritime accident, auto or boating accident that resulted in serious personal injury or wrongful death. The firm also counsels clients on Social Security and disability claims, as well as wills and successions.
Learn more about our law firm.