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ProfileAttorney IV The candidate will be responsible for a case load of 15-40 moderately complex cases. The values on these cases could range from thousands to millions of dollars. Moreover, the subject matter of these cases could cover all aspects of the medical, dental and pharmaceutical fields. The Attorney IV will need to have a firm grasp on this subject matter which is very much a specialized area of the law. The attorney will be involved in directing the investigation of the file (providing ongoing advice to the investigators as needed) and called upon to make decisions as to what evidence should be pursued as well as what level of evidence is necessary to prosecute the case. These determinations will need to be made against the backdrop of current state and federal law on the subject matter and in conjunction with the current rules of evidence and procedure which are found in the Texas Rules of Civil Procedure and the Administrative Procedures Act. Once the file moves into the trial phase, the Attorney IV will be responsible for all aspects of prosecuting the case. These activities include, but are not limited to preparation of pleadings, written discovery, motions, trial briefs and necessary orders. The attorney will also take and defend depositions, select expert witnesses as appropriate and assume first chair trial responsibilities. The attorney will be responsible for coordination of the trial team which generally will be composed of a legal assistant and a second chair attorney. The first chair attorney divides responsibility and assumes overall management of the case presentation. The trial phase may also include mediations and/or informal resolution conferences. The attorney will be required to keep the Director of Litigation fully advised of all aspects of the case development and value. This will be accomplished through the use of the case tracker software and file status memos as required. In addition to these duties the Attorney IV will provide research and assistance in other areas as assigned and as needed. These generally will be issues that are novel and/or occur on an infrequent basis requiring quick and intense research. Although infrequent, this assistance and work is often crucial to reaching a proper conclusion and could have far reaching ramifications on the operations of OIG and HHSC. The Attorney IV works under the direct supervision of the Director of Litigation who will act as a resource and approve the Attorney IV's use of initiative and independent judgment. Will be assigned moderately complex files at the investigation stage. The attorney will be responsible for reviewing the allegation of fraud, waste or abuse and helping the investigator identify what if any state or federal statutes or regulations are implicated. The attorney will then direct the investigation to insure that the evidence gathered by the investigator supports the allegation and actually constitutes a violation of state or federal law. These duties include to the identification of witnesses and obtaining their testimony, the gathering and evaluation of documents and decisions as to whether the investigation should be concluded, expanded or abandoned. 20%) At the conclusion of the investigation stage, the Attorney IV must prepare the case for litigation while keeping the options open to explore settlement. The attorney must prepare the pleadings and participate in all pre-trial discovery. These duties include depositions and hearings. Pleadings, trial strategy and discovery will need to be tailored to address each specific case. (25%) The trial phase includes the preparation of trial notebooks, final witness preparation (including experts) and the actual trial presentation. It should be noted that much of the subject matter of these trials is medical evidence and testimony. The Attorney IV needs to understand the subject matter of the cases and insure that the evidence is communicated to the ALJ in a clear and understandable manner. The Attorney IV must be fully prepare for trial, but flexible enough in his/her thinking to deal with unexpected developments at the time of trial. Her/his discretion must take into account the most effective means of presenting evidence and explaining that state of the law to the ALF. 25%) Will also actively pursue the possibility of resolving matters by agreement via IRMs or mediation. To be prepared for and accomplish this task the attorney must initially assess the value of the case (allegations, strength of evidence,-both human and documentary-difficulty of proof, margin of disagreement, and cost of trial presentation). The attorney will need to have an accurate and flexible daily valuation of the case to support recommendations to try the case, abandon the case, or settle the case, and if settlement, for what amount. This requires the attorney to be fully knowledgeable and aware of any changes in facts or law (witness death or relocation etc.) and how such changes impact her/his case. (10%) At the conclusion of trial the Attorney IV will be responsible for handling any necessary post trial proceedings including appeals to the EC and/or District Court. The attorney will be required to insure that necessary final documents are prepared such as settlement agreements and judgments. The attorney will also need to insure that proper internal procedures are followed to allow the judgment to be tracked to facilitate collection. (10%) The Attorney IV will be called upon to assist the Resolution Specialists in the performance of their duties which primary involve exclusions and terminations. The attorney will be required do review correspondence generated by the Resolution Specialists to verify that they are in compliance with applicable law. In most cases excluded and/or terminated providers are entitled to some measure of due process and the attorney will be required to attend IRMs etc. as needed. The Attorney IV will also be called upon to provide quick research on novel questions and/or new developments in the law.
Qualification and Experience
The candidate must be a member in good standing with the State Bar of Texas. Must be capable of coping with stressful situations on a regular basis. Should have completed Graduation from an accredited law school with a Bachelor of Laws (LL.B.) or a Juris Doctor (J.D.) degree. Must have actually tried cases. Experience practicing law with a Texas state agency preferred. Experience in administrative enforcement is strongly preferred. Communication-As a trial attorney, the most important skill that the Attorney IV must have is the ability to produce professional, grammatically correct, clear and logical documents. Moreover, he/she must be able to orally present information in an interesting manner. In addition to being capable of analyzing the facts and relevant legal and policy issues she/he must be able to construct a narrative that applies the law to the facts in a persuasive manner. Must be able to work with and get along with the ALJs, opposing counsel, witnesses, investigators and support staff. Must have the ability to be flexible in his/her thinking and presentation since she/he will have limited control of the case in that he/she is subject to the fluctuations in testimony from witnesses objections and evidence raised by the opposing counsel and rulings from the ALJ. The trial counsel must take these changes in stride and conform her/his case (on the fly) to these developments. The trial attorney must be confident and able to instill confidence in scared and/or reluctant witnesses. Knowledgeable- The Attorney III must have a current command of the facts of his/her case as well as the applicable law on the subject matter. Similarly, he/she needs to be fluent in the rules of evidence, procedure and the Administrative Procedures Act. The attorney must be capable of analyzing complex facts and applying the law to those facts. Responsible-When performing first chair duties the Attorney IV will need to oversee scheduling of witnesses meeting deadlines and insuring that all aspect of her/his case are handled in a professional and competent manner. The cases assigned to this attorney will generally be work several hundred thousand dollars.
Texas Health and Human Services Commission
1100 West 49th Street
Austin, TX 78756-3185