Deputy County Counsel - I (Unclassified, Management)
Placer County - Placer County, CA

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Placer County's County Counsel Office is currently recruiting for a California licensed attorney to fill a position of Deputy County Counsel - I. Positions in the Deputy County Counsel series I-IV are designated as unclassified, and as such, are at-will employees serving at the pleasure of the department head.
POSITION INFORMATION The County Counsel’s Office is a department of the County of Placer. It consists of 22 employees, including 13 attorneys. The Office of the Placer County Counsel is headed by the County Counsel, an attorney who is a direct appointment of the Board of Supervisors. The office structure is similar to a traditional law office, providing in-house transactional and civil litigation services to its client population.

Transactional legal services include legal research and analysis, advising County officers and employees regarding the County’s responsibilities, and drafting legal documents.

Litigation services include the full range of civil litigation defense and prosecution activities, from investigation through appeal. These services also include representation of county departments in child and adult protective proceedings. Practice includes appearances in state court, federal court, the courts of appeal, and before administrative bodies.

It is intended that the successful candidate for this position will be assigned primarily to a general litigation child assignment, including adult protective proceedings. Accordingly, applicants are encouraged to identify in their application materials a particular preference or strength in either or both of these areas.

DEFINITION To assist the County Counsel in providing legal advice and services to County and district officers and employees; to act for the County Counsel at his/her direction; and to act as trial advocate in civil litigation at all levels of court.

DISTINGUISHING CHARACTERISTICS This is a multi-level class series in which incumbents may be assigned to any one of four levels, depending upon organizational needs, professional legal experience, individual expertise and skill, proficiency gained, and the complexity and sensitivity of assigned cases. Progression from one level to the next is at the discretion of the appointing authority, provided the minimum qualifications are met.

Deputy County Counsel I is the entry level in the Deputy County Counsel series assigned to employees with no previous legal experience. Employees at this level are not expected to perform with the same independence of direction and judgement on matters allocated to the higher levels. Since this class is typically used as a training class, employees may have only limited or no directly related work experience. Employees work under immediate supervision while learning job tasks.

Deputies County Counsel II - IV are full journey level classes within the Deputy County Counsel series. These classes are distinguished from the Deputy County Counsel I by the assignment of the full range of duties. Employees at these levels receive only occasional instruction or assistance as new or unusual situations arise. As employees progress through these levels they will be assigned more difficult and sensitive cases, will be required to be fully aware of the operating procedures and policies within the work unit, and may be required to prepare legal opinions on problems that are complex and have far-reaching implications. Positions in these classes are flexibly staffed and are normally filled by advancement from the entry Level.

These classes are distinguished from the Senior Deputy County Counsel in that the latter is responsible for providing lead direction to a functional area and presents the most complex and sensitive cases in court.

Receives immediate supervision from management staff and receives technical and functional supervision from higher level Deputy County Counsels.

EXAMPLES OF ESSENTIAL DUTIES Duties may include, but are not limited to, the following:
  • Confer with and advise County and district officers and employees on legal questions pertaining to their respective powers, duties, functions and obligations.
  • Attend meetings of boards and commissions.
  • As requested, act as legal advisor for County offices.
  • Prepare formal legislative measures, contracts, leases, conveyances and other legal documents.
  • Study, interpret and apply laws, court decisions and other legal authorities in the preparation of cases, opinions and trial briefs.
  • Prepare pleadings and other papers related to suits, trials, hearings and similar legal proceedings.
  • Make decisions concerning the advisability to prosecute, compromise or dismiss civil litigation subject to civil suits in all State and Federal courts.
  • Assemble and evaluate evidence and secure and interview witnesses.
  • Perform a wide variety of legal research.
  • Build and maintain positive working relationships with co-workers, other County employees, outside counsel and the public using principles of good customer service.
  • Perform related duties as assigned.
MINIMUM QUALIFICATIONS It is the applicant's responsibility to identify in their application materials how they meet the Minimum Qualifications listed below.

Deputy County Counsel I

Experience and Training
Any combination of experience and training that would provide the required knowledge and abilities is qualifying. A typical way to obtain the required knowledge and abilities would be:

None required.

Equivalent to a Juris Doctorate from an accredited law school.

License or Certificate:
  • Active membership in the California State Bar Association to be obtained prior to appointment.
  • May need to possess a valid driver's license as required by the position. Proof of adequate vehicle insurance and medical clearance may also be required.

Knowledge of:
  • The principles of civil, constitutional and administrative law.
  • Judicial procedures and rules of evidence.
  • Principles, methods, materials and practices of legal research.
Ability to:
  • Analyze, appraise and organize facts, evidence and precedents and present such material orally or in writing in clear and logical form; and analyze and appraise a variety of legal documents and instruments.
  • Draft legal instruments such as ordinances, resolutions, Board orders and contracts.
  • Learn to prepare and present legal cases; and perform legal research.
  • Learn to recommend investigative alternatives.
  • Work with various cultural and ethnic groups in a tactful and effective manner.
  • Learn to obtain information through interview; handle multiple cases; work with interruption; and deal firmly and courteously with the public.
  • Analyze situations quickly and objectively and to determine proper course of action.
  • Use a computer, calculator, typewriter, telephone, dictation machine, facsimile machine, postage meter, microfilm reader/printer and photocopy machine.
  • Communicate clearly and concisely, both orally and in writing.
  • Establish and maintain effective working relationships with those contacted in the course of work.
  • Adhere to ethical standards.

  • On a continuous basis, know and understand all aspects of the job; intermittently analyze work papers, reports and special projects; identify and interpret technical and numerical information; observe and problem solve operational and technical policies and procedures; and explain relevant policies, procedures and matters of law to County officers, employees, outside counsel and the general public.
  • On a continuous basis, sit at desk for long periods of time or in meetings; intermittently, walk, stand and bend while going to/from other offices or court and taking files to/from meetings or court; twist to reach equipment surrounding desk; perform simple grasping and fine manipulation; use telephone and write or use a keyboard to communicate through written means; hear sufficiently to communicate with clients and to understand actions in public meetings, hearings, or court proceedings; and lift light weight.

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