City of Huntington Beach, CA Huntington Beach, California, United States
May 11, 2021Full Time
In Huntington Beach, we believe passionately that the key to becoming the best beach City in the world starts and ends with finding the right people to join our team. At this time, we have an outstanding career opportunity available, as we're looking for the "right person" to serve as Senior Deputy City Attorney. The Ideal Candidate has been practicing law in California for at least 5 years and has strong municipal law, government law, and or land use legal experience . The Ideal Candidate also has VERY STRONG legal research and writing experience and experience in writing legal advisory opinions, briefing writs and appeals. Having represented other government or public agencies at trial, including personal injury, City versus State law dispute, government and municipal law, and police use of force is a significant plus. A Juris Doctorate degree from a law school accredited by the American Bar Association and active membership in the State Bar of California is required. In Huntington Beach, we value soft skills such as emotional intelligence and attitude just as much as technical skills and competency. Primary importance to our organization is the identification of individuals that are team-oriented, dedicated, genuine to the organization's values, and confident yet grounded in humility. Successful candidates will understand and value the critical importance that people play in building a successful organization. Key traits for our ideal Senior Deputy City Attorney: A relationship builder and connector. Someone who can quickly forge strong, trusting relationships with diverse sets of people, and readily inspires others to action. Leadership through consensus. Someone who is an approachable consensus-builder, but is also capable of independent and decisive thought and action. A keen sense of ethics. Someone who recognizes the importance of personal and organizational integrity, and someone comfortable raising and discussing ethical issues with the goal of "doing what's right," not "being right." Innovative and flexible. Someone able to see beyond what currently exists, and is constant in their pursuit of realistic game-changing breakthroughs for the Huntington Beach organization and community. Objective accountability about outcomes. Someone who makes data-driven decisions and stays laser-focused on truly audacious goals while balancing the day-to-day needs of the organization. A strategic problem-solver. Someone able to break large challenges into smaller, manageable pieces, and then works to identify trends and prioritizes solving the root cause of issues. Intellectual curiosity. Someone who is an excellent listener, and who applies strong critical thinking skills and business judgement to complex issues. A polished and professional demeanor. Someone who will take great pride in representing the Huntington Beach community, and one who will serve as an ambassador for the City. A Positive Attitude. Someone who understands that even the best laid plans can go wrong, and has the self-confidence to course-correct with positivity and grace. JOB SUMMARY Under general direction from the City Attorney and Chief Assistant City Attorneys, performs a wide range of professional legal duties ranging in difficulty from intermediate to specialized and highly complex depending on level of assignment. All attorneys who work in the office are expected to be highly competent and professional attorneys, taking a high level of ownership of his or her work, and be able to deliver, in a professional manner at all times, high quality work product and results, efficiently. SUPERVISION RECEIVED AND EXERCISED Reports to: City Attorney or Chief Assistant City Attorneys, as specified. Supervises: Administrative support, part-time staff DISTINGUISHING CHARACTERISTICS This is a unique position from Deputy City Attorney I through III in that the Senior level is assigned in either a trial counsel position with emphasis in litigation and civil jury trial experience or assigned at a high level, advisory position with emphasis in complex transactions and serving as staff counsel to City boards, commissions and committees. Incumbents may provide direction and assistance to less experienced attorneys at the Deputy City Attorney I-III levels and are assigned to handle high exposure litigation principally in areas of personnel, police, tort defense, inverse condemnation, and public works or high exposure transactional assignments principally in the areas of redevelopment, land use, public works and finance. Employees at this level receive minimal instruction or assistance and are fully aware of the operating procedures and policies of the work unit. Examples of Essential Duties Trial Counsel position Performs the full range of litigation work; Responsible for litigation, trials, damage or other civil suits in State and federal courts, including appellate work and the representation of the City's Police Department and its officers in Pitchess motions, as directed by the City Attorney or the Chief Assistant City Attorneys; Represents management in hearings involving City employee disciplinary matters, as directed by the City Attorney or the Chief Assistant City Attorneys; Handles all aspects of assigned cases or claims including investigation, pleading preparation, discovery, law and motion, court appearances, settlement negotiations, legal research, witness preparation, and trials for tort defense, writ actions, Pitchess motions, appellate work, civil rights actions, code enforcement, nuisance abatement, administrative actions and employee grievances, as directed by the City Attorney or the Chief Assistant City Attorneys; Advisory Position Performs the full range of advisory work; Explains City policies and issues to employees, elected officials and the general public; Performs a full range of legal research, analysis, interprets laws, ruling and regulations, and provides legal opinions to departments, boards, commissions, agencies and established committees, as directed by the City Attorney or the Chief Assistant City Attorneys; Attends meetings with City staff and/or members of the public on behalf of the City and serves as legal advisor during meetings of public bodies, including the City Council, Personnel Commission and Planning Commission, as directed by the City Attorney or the Chief Assistant City Attorneys; Examples of Essential Duties for Both Senior Deputy City Attorney Positions Performs to prevent and minimize legal exposure by providing legal advice to City officers and employees; Makes decisions concerning the advisability to prosecute, compromise or dismiss civil citations or criminal violations; May supervise support staff and interns; provide work assignments and direction to other attorneys, review and evaluate work product, and participate in evaluating performance of assigned staff, as directed by the City Attorney or the Chief Assistant City Attorneys; May participate in selecting outside counsel to represent the City; as assigned, supervise outside counsel; Attends and participate in professional groups and committees; Responds to citizen inquiries regarding various types of legal issues including those concerning City business; Attends professional training to stay abreast of industry best practices; Reports to work as scheduled and works a variety of schedules including evenings, weekends and holidays as required; Commutes or travels to offsite locations for work within and outside the City; Performs related duties and responsibilities as assigned. The preceding duties have been provided as examples of the essential types of work performed by positions within this job classification. The City, at its discretion, may add, modify, change or rescind work assignments as needed. Qualifications Any combination of education, training, and experience that would likely provide the knowledge, skills, and abilities to successfully perform in the position or assignment is qualifying. A typical combination includes: Knowledge of: - Laws, legal principles, practices and procedures of civil, constitutional, and administrative law Judicial procedures and rules of evidence - Duties, powers, and limitations of a city government - Methods and techniques of legal research, competent legal analysis, writing and grammar - Pertinent Federal, State and local laws, codes and regulations - Principles of basic supervision, training, and performance evaluation - Trial counsel also requires knowledge of statutes and court decisions relating to civil rights and public labor law Ability to: - Maintain and demonstrate in all conduct and work a high level of professionalism, responsibility, and efficiency - Be a skilled communicator who can translate complex or technical information into understandable terms and communicate concisely and clearly both orally and in writing - Perform the most complex and specialized legal work in assigned area of practice - Be dependable, self-motivated, highly ethical, and ready to provide competent and practical legal advice on a range of municipal topics - Conduct high-level legal research, analysis, and writing - Apply statutes and codes applicable to civil proceedings - Properly interpret and make decisions advancing the best interest of the City in accordance with laws, regulations, and policies - Present statements of law, fact, and argument clearly and logically - Effectively apply legal knowledge and principles in court - Prepare clear and concise legal documents and briefs - Conduct research on legal problems - Provide administrative and professional leadership and direction to assigned administrative/clerical support staff - Establish and maintain positive and effective working relationships in the course of work and across departments -As assigned, independently litigate or advise on the most complex types of cases or aspects of municipal law, including, but not limited to police civil rights cases and high exposure tort defense cases or land use, redevelopment, finance and public works with limited supervision. Education: Graduation from a law school accredited by the American Bar Association with a Juris Doctorate degree. Experience: Five (5) years ' experience as a practicing trial or advisory attorney within a municipal law office, or a private firm that has contracted with a public agency for legal services. State and Federal jury trial experience is desired for the trial counsel position. License/Certifications: Possession of a valid California Class C driver license and an acceptable driving record are required by time of appointment and throughout employment. Current member in good standing with the California State Bar Association. SPECIAL CONDITIONS Employees are required to participate in the DMV Employer Pull Notice program. Public Employee Disaster Service Worker: In accordance with Government Code Section 3100, all Huntington Beach city employees are required to perform assigned disaster service worker duties in the event of an emergency or a disaster. APPLICATION AND SELECTION PROCEDURE: An official City of Huntington Beach online job application must be filled out in its entirety. Applications will be closely reviewed for relevant experience, education and training. Please attach 1. a cover letter, 2. an updated resume AND 3. a writing sample consisting of a dispositive motion, a brief on a writ or a response to a legal advisory request, to your online application. Depending upon the applicant pool, all applicants meeting the minimum qualifications will NOT necessarily be selected to participate in the assessment process. Applicants whose qualifications BEST meet the City's needs will be invited to participate in a qualifications assessment, which will include a virtual oral board examination (weighted 100%) - tentatively scheduled for June 9 , 2021 . Successful candidates will be placed on an employment eligible list from which hires may be made. The employment eligible list is valid for up to one year, unless exhausted sooner. Prior to making a final selection, additional interviews may be conducted with the top candidate(s) - date to be determined. Upon a conditional offer of employment a pre-placement medical evaluation, drug screen (select positions), TB Screening and California Department of Justice (DOJ) Live Scan fingerprinting must be completed with acceptable results. Other background reports may also be conducted depending on the position. Upon hire, employee is subject to further reporting from DOJ via subsequent arrest notification. Please Note: Our primary means of communication with applicants is sent via email; therefore, please include a valid email address on your application. Physical Tasks & Environmental Conditions The incumbent must be able to meet the physical requirements of the class and have mobility, balance, coordination, vision, hearing and dexterity levels appropriate to the duties to be performed. Work is performed primarily indoors. The incumbent sits for prolonged periods. Stands and walks to retrieve work files or to other departments or office locations. Leans, bends and stoops to perform work behind a desk or to retrieve information. Pushes, turns or twists to move chair or body from desk. Reaches to place or retrieve files or open file drawers or cabinets. Light grasping to hold a writing instrument or documents; firm grasping as needed to lift and carry work files or operate office equipment; finger dexterity to type on a computer keyboard. Requires near vision in reading correspondence, plans, specifications, legal documents and other information. Acute hearing and oral skills required when communicating by telephone or in person. Reasonable accommodation(s) for an individual with a qualified disability will be considered on a case-by-case basis.