Deputy Public Defender I-II
Duties: Under general supervision, performs legal work of a routine to complex nature; provides public defense and legal services for court-appointed cases; performs related work as assigned. Prepares the defense for court-referred clients in a variety of felony cases. Confers with clients advising them of charges and legal rights; reviews police reports and explains legal procedures; arranges for the release of in-custody clients if possible; explores potential admission to state mental health facilities; Conducts pretrial case preparation, legal research and necessary investigation; coordinates investigative activities with Public Defender investigator staff. Appears at pretrials, trials, arraignments, revocation and bail hearings, and preliminary, intervention and conservatorship hearings to represent clients. Prepares suppression motions, motions to dismiss, motions to withdraw a plea, appellate briefs, and motions for judicial recommendation against deportation. Investigates and prepares responses to prosecution claims; negotiates with prosecution attorneys for case disposition or modification. Performs trial work including jury selection, examination and cross-examination and argument of the defense case. Prepares a variety of legal documentation, including reports, correspondence and opinions related to client cases. Maintains accurate records and files and compiles reports of work performed. Monitors legal developments, including proposed legislation and court decisions; evaluates their impact on public defense activities and recommends appropriate action. Directs the work of professional and support staff as assigned.
Qualifications: Must be a current member of the California State Bar Association.
Knowledge of: Principles, philosophy and practice of criminal law, especially as related to the defense of court-referred clients. Principles, methods and techniques of legal research and investigation. Judicial procedures and rules of evidence. State and federal laws and constitution provisions affecting public defense from pretrial through appeal. Skill in: Defining issues, performing legal research, analyzing problems, evaluating alternatives and making appropriate recommendations. Presenting statements of fact, law and argument clearly and logically. Exercising sound, independent judgment within the general policy guidelines and legal parameters. Interpreting state and federal laws and constitutional provisions affecting public defense activities. Representing assigned clients effectively in hearings, courts of law and meetings with others. Preparing clear, concise and legally sufficient written materials. Establishing and maintaining effective working relationships with those contacted in the course of the work.
Desirable Education and Experience:
Deputy Public Defender I: Equivalent to graduation from a four year college or university, plus an appropriate law degree.
Deputy Public Defender II: In addition to the above, 1 year of experience as an attorney engaged in the practice of law in the State of California, preferably in the area of criminal defense.