Chief Assistant County Counsel
DEFINITION: Under general direction, manages a division of
attorneys and assists the County Counsel in formulating and
implementing the department's policies and procedures and in
planning, organizing, and directing the activities of the
department; supervises, advises, and counsels attorneys; provides,
directly and through subordinate staff, legal services to County and
district departments and officials in the most complex
circumstances; and performs related work as required.
DISTINGUISHING CHARACTERISTICS: This is an at-will assistant
department head class in which incumbents relieve the Department
Head of many legal and administrative duties and act for the
Department Head during absences or as directed. Incumbents are
exempt from Civil Service and serve at the pleasure of the County
EXAMPLES OF DUTIES:
1. Manages a division of attorneys and supervises the activities and
work of attorneys. Assigns civil cases to deputies for preparation
and trial; prepares and supervises the preparation of legal papers
in civil cases; helps and directs deputies in handling civil cases,
and in giving legal advice to County agencies and districts.
2. Consults with and advises deputies on questions of evidence, law,
and procedure pertaining to particular problems; prepares,
supervises, and reviews for approval the preparation of legal
opinions for the Board of Supervisors, County officers and
departments, certain special districts, public school districts, and
3. Handles the most difficult, important, time-consuming, and
critical civil litigation and administrative hearings in all fields.
4. Trains newer staff attorneys; supervises the maintenance of the
office law library and keeps it up to date.
5. Reviews important new legislation and prepares ordinances and
resolutions required thereby or related thereto; drafts proposed
State legislation for submission to State legislators. Appears
before State legislative committees on proposed legislation
affecting the County or districts.
6. Assists in budget preparation; interviews and screens applicants
for vacant positions in the office.
7. Advises the County Grand Jury, and performs related duties as
Active membership in the State Bar of California, and:
1. Five years of progressively responsible experience as an attorney
giving legal counsel to governmental agencies or departments,
including one year of administrative responsibility and one year of
experience supervising attorneys; or,
2. one year of experience performing duties equivalent to the class
of Deputy County Counsel, Senior, or two years equivalent to Deputy
County Counsel IV, with Santa Barbara County; or,
3. a combination of training, education, and experience that is
equivalent to one of the employment standards listed above and that
provides the required knowledge and abilities.
Additional Qualifications: Possession of a valid California Class C
Knowledge of: duties, powers, limitations, and authorities of the
County Counsel; organization, powers, and limitations of federal,
state, county and other local governmental functions and the
California Constitution; the principles, interpretations, and
applications of the law as it relates to county government; trial
procedures and rules of evidence; principles and practices of
supervision and of personnel management.
Ability to: demonstrate extremely high degree of legal ability and
skill; appraise, interpret, and apply legal principles and
precedents to difficult problems; prepare, present, and effectively
conduct difficult and important trials, appeals, and administrative
hearings; keep abreast of significant new legal developments; use
and instruct in the use of legal research methods; give legal
advice, instructions, and counsel to subordinates; assign, direct,
coordinate, and supervise the work of others; work effectively with