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Assistant Public Defender

Salary: N/A

DEFINITION: Under general direction, to assist in the planning, administration, organization, and operation of the Public Defender's Office; to act as Public Defender during absences; and, to do related work as required.

DISTINGUISHING CHARACTERISTICS: This is an at-will, assistant department head class. Incumbents are exempt from Civil Service and serves at the pleasure of the department head. Incumbent relieves the Department Head of many administrative details and acts for the Department Head during absences or as directed. Incumbents may be assigned to handle unique cases involving broad issues affecting large classes of Public Defender clients.

EXAMPLES OF DUTIES: Assists in the planning and organization of a program for providing legal counsel and representation to eligible persons accused of criminal offenses; assists in the planning and development of procedures, policies, and goals; assists in the hiring, training and development of deputies; supervises investigations, examines evidence and prepares and presents cases for the defense in assigned criminal actions; discusses the public defense program with judges, prosecutors, law enforcement officials, and other members of the criminal justice system; reviews and evaluates staff work; assists in preparing the departmental budget; represents the Public Defender at a variety of public and professional meetings; prepares correspondence and reports.

EMPLOYMENT STANDARDS: Active membership in the State Bar of California; and,

  1. Five years of broad and progressively responsible experience as an attorney in prosecuting or defending criminal or civil cases which includes at least two years of experience supervising other attorneys; or,
  2. any combination of training, education and experience that would provide the required knowledge, abilities and license.

Additional Requirements: Possession of a valid California Class C Driver's License.

Knowledge of: the principles of criminal and civil law and their application; trial procedures and rules of evidence; the duties, powers, limitation, and responsibilities of the Public Defender's Office.

Ability to: investigate and defend criminal complaints and civil actions; analyze difficult and complex legal problems and apply legal principles and practices; draft legal instruments and opinions; supervise the work of others; work effectively with others.

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