County of Riverside - Riverside, CA

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The County of Riverside has a unique and exciting job opportunity available!
The Board of Supervisors is searching for the ideal candidate to serve as the County's Public Defender.

It is the Mission of the Law Offices of the Public Defender to provide the highest quality of legal representation to any person unable to afford such representation in criminal, juvenile or certain civil proceedings, upon the request of the client or the appointment of the Court.

The Public Defender is appointed by, receives direction from and reports to the Board of Supervisors. This high-profile position is primarily responsible to plan, organize and direct the operation of the Law Offices of the Public Defender. With locations in Riverside, Murrieta, Banning, Indio and Blythe, the Offices of the Public Defender operate with over 250 employees and an annual budget of nearly $47 million. Working out of the main office in downtown Riverside, the incumbent will provide administrative oversight to program operations in accordance with State law and the policies, regulations, codes, and ordinances of the Riverside County. Competitive candidates will be seasoned criminal law attorneys with significant executive management experience functioning in a local government setting.

In addition to a competitive salary, Riverside County offers an outstanding benefits package and actively promote a healthy work/life balance. Benefits include: more than five weeks of paid annual leave, County paid CalPERS retirement contributions, medical flex benefit of $751 monthly, paid vision, long term disability, life insurance, 401a contributions, and 12 paid holidays.

This class has been designated At-Will by the Board of Supervisors, in accordance with the provisions provided under Article 6, Section 601E (1) of the County Management Resolution and serves at the pleasure of the Board of Supervisors.

This class has been deemed eligible for the Executive Performance Recognition Plan as set forth under Article 3, Section 311(A) of the County Management Resolution.

** Compensation beyond $219,217 and up to, but not to exceed, $318,751 may be attained by employees who have displayed outstanding performance as certified by the County Executive Officer. **

  • Plans, organizes and directs a comprehensive program for providing legal counsel and representation to eligible persons accused of criminal offenses; formulates and applies policies related to the Law Offices of the Public Defender.
  • Directs, through subordinate managers, the overall selection, training, and professional development of supervising deputy attorneys and deputy attorneys; directs, through subordinate managers, the assignment of individual attorneys to specific Superior courts; directs, through subordinate managers, the assignment of criminal calendar to appropriate staff members.
  • Consults with management staff on the conduct of cases in progress and provides advice and counsel as required.
  • Confers with judges, prosecutors, law enforcement officials and others regarding the public defense program and obtains information and possible action relative to defendants.
  • Represents the Law Office of the Public Defender at a variety of public and professional meetings.
  • Directs the defense of the most sensitive, complex and high profile cases; may personally appear in court as defense attorney of major and other cases or at arraignment to obtain first-hand knowledge and review of cases going to Superior court.
  • Confers with office management staff regarding office operations and administration issues, and directs the initiation of changes as required.
  • Directs the preparation and administration of the departmental budget; dictates correspondence and prepares reports.
Experience: Five years of experience in the practice of criminal law.

Knowledge of: The philosophy and practice of public defense in the United States; duties, powers, limitations and responsibility of the Law Offices of the Public Defender; methods and problems of administering the work of a governmental law office; legal principles and their application with emphasis on criminal law; rules of evidence and the conduct of court proceedings; legal research methods; principles of personnel management and supervision.

Ability to: Investigate and defend criminal complaints and civil actions; analyze difficult and complex legal problems and apply legal principles and practices; present statements of fact, law and argument clearly and logically in written and oral form; draft legal instruments and opinions; perform legal research; win the confidence and respect of members of the legal profession, public officials, and the general public.

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