El Paso County, Texas
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PUBLIC DEFENDER'S OFFICE - SENIOR TRIAL ATTORNEY
at El Paso County, Texas
- Minimum Qualifications
Acceptable Experience and Education
Doctor of Jurisprudence and a minimum of three (3) years of criminal and/or civil experience;
Or any equivalent combination of education, experience, and training which provides the required knowledge, skills, and abilities along with a Doctor of Jurisprudence.
Certificates and Licenses Required
Must have and maintain a license to practice law in the State of Texas and be in good standing with the State Bar of Texas.
Depending on area assigned: Must have or obtain by date of hire a valid driver's license applicable to job responsibilities, with a driving record acceptable to the County of El Paso.
- Typical Duties
Reviews case facts for legal sufficiency, drafts motion statements and prepares required legal documents;
Researches statutes and case law issues and revises legal documents to reflect new legislation;
Examines video, file and physical case evidence;
Confers with attorneys regarding case information and pleadings, law enforcement agencies regarding case investigation and trial preparation, and witnesses regarding case preparation and testimony;
Edits legal documents prepared by support staff;
Responsible for litigating routine to complex hearings, trials and appeals;
Prepares and presents oral arguments for routine to complex cases;
Frequent handling of confidential legal information and documents;
Attends and participates in meetings, training and information sessions;
Stays abreast of new trends and innovations in the field;
Commits self to providing excellent customer service and demonstrate commitment through cooperative team and individual efforts; and
Creates a high quality work culture through participation in and emphasis on training and mentoring to develop leadership, management, and technical skills in self and all employees, including safety related training and skills.
Public Defender Office:
Represents all indigent persons charged with serious crimes in the County, including capital murder, murder, and manslaughter;
Defends individuals charged with felonies for which a sentence of incarceration may be imposed;
Provides effective representation to clients while managing a large and complex caseload;
May concentrate in representing specific types of most complex and high profile cases such as family, juvenile, indigent, mental health etc.;
Works closely with community agencies to match needs of clients with resources, programs, and assistance;
Handles arraignment court and bond court;
Meets with clients when arrested and obtains their history to make bond arguments to the court;
Maintains working relationship with clients in person, by phone and by mail contact;
May be called to represent individuals at investigative proceedings; may be assigned to handle cases involving post-conviction or appellate relief;
Interviews and counsels respondents in mental health proceedings in Local or State treatment units where they may be confined and works closely with psychiatrists and other medical or treatment personnel;
Maintains extensive contact with various State legal offices, social service agencies, Correctional facilities staff, police, forensic authorities, crime labs, and pathologists;
Maintains frequent contact with the Department of Family and Protective Services, Department of State Health and agencies regarding the referral of clients for drug treatment, family counseling and other assistance;
Investigates alleged crime or offense by meeting with witnesses, police officers and reviewing the facts;
Meets with the client to discuss the appropriate action to be taken and whether pre-trial motions should be filed;
Establishes close contact with defendants by regular visits to the Correctional facilities or by constant correspondence via personal visits to the Public Defender's Office, phone contact or by letters to defendants not in custody;
Performs as trial counsel by representing defendants during courtroom proceeding;
Researches case law, communicates with defendant to determine trial strategy such as cross-examination procedures, witness selection, jury selection, testimony decisions and opening and closing arguments;
Acts as negotiator between the defendant and the State's Attorney's Office to secure acquittals or reach agreement concerning sentence time which would be the most beneficial for the defendant and the State's Attorney's Office;
Researches case law and witness testimony, conducts investigations and negotiates with the State's Attorney's Office;
Analyzes facts, evidence and the strength of case, determines client's wishes and meets with prosecutor to resolve the matter short of trial;
Represents defendants during other court proceedings;
Prepares pre-trial motions such as Answer to Discovery, Motions to Suppress Evidence, Motions to Dismiss and Motions to Additional Discovery, which are required to be filed and a hearing set to ensure that they are carried out properly; and
Prepares post-trial matters such as motions to withdraw pleas, motions to reconsider sentence and post-conviction petitions.
Other Important Duties
Performs such other related duties as may be assigned;
May work extended hours and weekends;
Regular out of town travel for professional conferences and meetings;
Maintains a safe and healthy work place environment;
As members of the County of El Paso Emergency Response System, all El Paso County employees are designated as Disaster Service Workers during a proclaimed emergency and may be required to train on emergency response and/or perform certain emergency services at the direction of their supervisor.
- Job Summary
The Senior Trial Attorney under general supervision, and depending on area of assignment: provides complex general counsel for various County Offices and staff, depending on area assigned the incumbent; prosecutes criminal, civil and family law cases; provides representation in matters, including civil, or prosecutorial; defends, and advocates for clients accused of a crime; performs complex non-supervisory legal work.
This is the second in a series of three non-supervisory attorney-related job classifications within the Attorneys job family.
- Additional Information
Minimum Requirements: Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities
Knowledge of: County, state, and federal legal principles, practices, procedures regarding the court system; state and local statutes and codes; case law; rules of evidence; contract terminology and requirements; legal practices and procedures; legal terminology; department policies, procedures and regulations covering specific areas of assignment; County organization, operations, policies and procedures; English usage, grammar, punctuation and spelling; techniques for effective interpersonal communications; modern office procedures, methods and computer equipment to include Windows and Microsoft based products.
Skill/Ability to: may require strong written advocacy skills and/or experience depending on placement needed within the office; possesses advanced litigation and prosecutorial skills, or equivalent specialized prosecutorial skills; operate a personal computer and various software applications; conduct research, develop appropriate documentation, assess and prioritize multiple tasks, projects and demands to meet scheduled requirements; establish and maintain effective working relations with co-workers and customers to promote and support a productive work environment; defining problems, collecting data, establishing facts and drawing valid conclusions work efficiently independently and in a team environment to meet established goals and objectives; communicate effectively in verbal and written forms to respond effectively to customers and staff; exercise initiative and independent judgment within established procedural guidelines in performance of daily duties; use initiative and independent judgment within established procedural guidelines; prepare clear, concise and comprehensive written reports; and establish and maintain cooperative and effective relationships with those contacted during the course of work. Pass a background investigation.
Each and every county position requires the following professional skills and abilities as key and necessary elements of performance:
· Demonstrate regular and reliable attendance;
· Work well with others and participate fully in a team oriented environment;
· Interface with other employees and customers in a courteous and respectful manner;
· Maintain strict confidentiality;
· Project positive support of their department and all organizations receiving El Paso County service at all times; and,
· Maintain and enhance the County's commitment to customer service excellence.