YAKIMA COUNTY, WASHINGTON

CLASS SPECIFICATION

CLASS TITLE: Senior Attorney

BAND:

C

C

GRADE:

4

5

SUBGRADE:

5

2

CLASS CODE:

4345

DEPARTMENT:

Varies

ACCOUNTABLE TO:

Varies

 

OVERTIME STATUS:

Exempt

 

JOB SUMMARY:

Incumbents are responsible for providing professional legal services involving complex and serious civil, administrative or criminal law matters; or, for supervising other attorneys in legal work.

DISTINGUISHING CHARACTERISTICS:

The Senior Attorney classification is the second level in a two-level Attorney classification series used foe both prosecution and indigent defense positions. The Senior Attorney classification is distinguished from the Attorney classification by (1) the complex nature of cases and assignments, the greater severity of consequences or impacts of assignments and cases, the greater depth and/or breadth of experience, and the greater latitude of judgment and independence exercised in the performance of work assignments, and/or (2) supervisory responsibility over other attorneys.

DUTY

NO.

ESSENTIAL DUTIES: Performs complex and serious tasks and assignments at a journey to advanced level, with moderate to minimal supervision in a wide variety of criminal and/or civil legal work, depending upon assignment. (These duties are a representative sample; position assignments may vary.)

BAND/

GRADE

 

1.

In Criminal Matters

Evaluates each case and assesses its factual and legal sufficiency under the law at each stage of a criminal proceeding by reviewing police and other reports and analyzing all information available. (Prosecution only: makes charging decisions regarding legal and factual sufficiency for filing of a case.)

C4

2.

Evaluates strengths, weaknesses and facts of each case for purposes of additional investigation, plea negotiations, development of case strategy and trial preparation.

C4

3.

Coordinates or conducts case investigation for trial preparation as necessary. Arranges for tests of physical evidence, testimony of expert witnesses and interviews or directs interviews of witnesses as required. (Indigent defense only: interviews and confers with client regarding facts, plea discussions, trial, sentencing and progress of case and maintains client confidentiality.)

C4

4.

Instigates or responds to plea bargaining negotiations with opposing counsel and represents the interest of the state (prosecution) or client (indigent defense.)

C4

5.

Represents the state (prosecution) or client (indigent defense) at preliminary appearances, arraignments, pre-trial motions, pleas of guilty, sentencing hearings and post-trial matters such as restitution hearings and sentence reviews/amendments.

C4

6.

Conducts all trial actions including: selection of jury, opening arguments, direct and cross examination, introduction of evidence and exhibits, preparation of jury instructions, closing arguments and post-trial motions.

C4

7.

Responds to law enforcement (prosecution) or to individuals arrested who wish to consult with an attorney (indigent defense) at critical stages of proceedings.

C4

 

 

 

8.

 

In Civil Matters: (involving moderate to advanced level work.)

Represents petitioners (prosecution) or clients (indigent defense) at all stages of civil commitment proceedings, Involuntary Treatment Act hearings (mental), child support proceedings, paternity proceedings, contempt proceedings, child dependency proceedings, truancy proceedings, and drug forfeiture proceedings. Performs case evaluation, additional investigation, trial preparation, settlement negotiations, pre-trial motions, trials and appeals as required.

 

 

 

 

C4

9.

Drafts and reviews ordinances, resolutions and contracts for County Commissioners and other government officials. Provides legal advice and training to County employees and officials regarding questions about or changes in the law affecting County operations.

C4

10.

Represents County officials and government in liability claims and complaints including tort and personnel matters, in administrative proceedings, in civil litigation arising from complaints and claims, and in claims and litigation filed by such County officials or government. Performs case evaluation and recommends action. Performs additional investigation, trial preparation, witness interviews and depositions, settlement negotiations, pre-trial motions, trials and appeals as required.

C4

 

11.

 

 

 

 

 

 

12.

Supervision:

Performs lead or supervisory duties including assigning and reviewing cases to and with other attorneys, evaluation of performance, resolution of ethical issues, response to complaints regarding services provided; development of caseload statistics systems and reports, and attorney training to ensure effective and professional representation of parties involved.

In Both Criminal and Civil Matters:

Performs other duties as assigned such as: participation in the management of a significant operational component of the department; preparation of appellate briefs in connection with appeals; preparation of correspondence and pleadings on a personal computer; participation in or preparation and presentation of in-house training programs; and presentation of educational programs to local school, community or civic organizations.

 

 

C4/C5

 

 

 

 

 

 

C4

 

Knowledge of: (position requirements at entry):

Knowledge of:

  • The laws of the State of Washington, rules of evidence and procedure, and Washington Court rules;
  • The field of assignment sufficient to perform thoroughly and accurately the full scope of responsibility as illustrated in the class description and essential duties;
  • The ethical and professional responsibilities of an attorney generally and for the field of assignment and;
  • Supervisory theories, principles and practices (supervisory positions).
   

Skills (position requirements at entry):

Skill in:

  • Using a personal computer and related software applications, and operating basic office equipment;
  • Performing legal research; analyzing and applying legal principles, statutes, constitutional provisions, facts, evidence and precedents to legal problems;
  • Applying supervisory techniques and methods; and assigning, reviewing and evaluating the work of others (supervisory positions);
  • Prioritizing work under varying conditions and effectively managing time;
  • Finding solutions to problems and making decisions within the scope of responsibility and the law;
  • Exercising sound judgment in consulting senior attorneys and supervisors with questions and concerns, and, in referring matters to others which are beyond the scope, knowledge or authority of the position.
  • Working individually and cooperatively as a member of a team;
  • Applying knowledge of the law in writing various documents, organizing evidence, drafting interview questions, presenting legal arguments, and legal and/or factual situations;
  • Establishing and maintaining effective interpersonal relationships with co-workers, individuals involved in the court systems, media and diverse members of the public while maintaining focus on case and client interests;
  • Maintaining confidentiality; and
  • Communicating effectively, both orally and in writing, in clear concise language appropriate for the purposes involved and the parties addressed, including court appearances.

Training and Experience (position requirements at entry):

Any combination of education and experience which provides knowledge, skills and abilities sufficient to successfully perform the essential duties of the job and which includes at least three years professional legal experience.

Licensing Requirements (position requirements at entry):

Admission to the Washington State Bar; Admission to practice in the Supreme Court of Washington.

Physical Requirements:

Positions in this class typically require: reaching, standing, mobility, fingering, talking, hearing, seeing and repetitive motions.

Incumbent may be subject to travel or exposure to potentially violent or hostile individuals.

Light Work: Exerting up to 20 pounds of force occasionally and/or up to 10 pounds of force frequently and a negligible amount of force frequently or constantly to lift, carry, push, pull or otherwise move objects, including the human body. If the use of arm and or leg controls requires exertion greater than that for Sedentary Work and the worker sits most of the time, the job is rated for Light Work.

Classification History:

Draft prepared by Fox Lawson and Associates LLC

Date: 5/98 New Class: 1/1/99