City of Huntington Beach

SALARY 

$11,937.47 – $14,790.53 Monthly 

OPENING DATE: 09/27/21 

CLOSING DATE: 10/15/21 05:00 PM 

DESCRIPTION: 

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 Trial Counsel.  

The Ideal Candidate possesses significant civil trial experience, either in prosecuting civil cases or defending them. Having represented other government or public agencies at trial is a significant plus. A Juris Doctorate degree from a law school accredited by the American Bar Association, active membership in the State Bar of California, at least five years of increasingly responsible experience in litigation and trying of cases in the State of California with a minimum of taking lead role in five jury and three bench trials to verdict in Superior Court, and admission to practice in the State and Federal Courts, required.  

Here 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 Trial Counsel include: 

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 the direction of the City Attorney, leads the City’s trial and litigation efforts in all civil lawsuits, either for prosecution of or in the defense, on behalf of the City of Huntington Beach. Works with other attorneys who are litigating cases on behalf of the City.  

SUPERVISION RECEIVED 

Reports to: City Attorney and the Chief Assistant City Attorney  

DISTINGUISHING CHARACTERISTICS 

Differs from other attorney classes in the City Attorney’s Office in that the Senior Trial Counsel focuses on litigation activity and trying cases in court. 

EXAMPLES OF ESSENTIAL DUTIES 

Handles litigation in State and Federal courts and administrative tribunals, including preparing pleadings, motions, and discovery documents, taking depositions, arguing motions, attending conferences and hearings, and trying cases before juries, court, and administrative hearing officers; 

Advises the City Attorney and the City Council, as appropriate, concerning litigation to which the City is a party including litigation assigned to outside counsel by the City Attorney; Provides direction, supervision, and oversight to all other attorneys in the City Attorney’s office who are working on, or are assigned to, litigating lawsuits: 

Manages and oversees, daily litigation activities, including court calendars, document management, case management, and legal support staff training regarding litigation protocol and procedure; 

Controls and manages City expenditures for outside counsel as assigned by the City Attorney; 

Advises the City Attorney concerning changes in law or practice that may affect City liability; Conducts, supervises, or arranges for investigations related to assigned casework; Confers with City department representatives to provide advice and counsel on prosecution laws and ordinances affecting their work; researches legal issues and provides legal opinions and advice; prepares legal reports and opinions; consults and confers with other attorneys, court officials, and law enforcement agency in the preparation and trial of assigned casework; 

Researches, analyzes, and interprets existing laws, court decisions, pending legislation and other legal authorities; 

Assists in the coordination of special projects and teams related to area of assignment; Assists in the development and implementation of department goals, objectives, policies,procedures and work standards related to area of assignment; 

Represents the City in meetings where litigation matters are discussed with various boards and committees as assigned by the City Attorney; 

Maintains effective and extensive professional relationships with legal representatives of other local, state and federal agencies; 

Reports to work as scheduled, works a variety of schedules including evenings, weekends, and/or holidays as required; 

Performs other such legal duties as may be required by the City Attorney. 

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 

MINIMUM QUALIFICATIONS 

Any combination of education, training, and experience that would likely provide the knowledge, skills, and abilities to successfully perform in the position is qualifying. A typical combination includes: 

Knowledge of: 

  • Trial practice and preparation 
  • Jury selection (voir dire)
  • California Evidence Code
  • Preparing and arguing Motions in Limine before trial
  • Effective selection and retention of trial experts
  • Effective direct and cross examination
  • Principles, practices and procedures of contract, tort, public entity, government tort, personal injury, employment, and other areas of civil law
  • Principles of judicial and trial procedures and rules of evidence
  • Principles and practices of constitutional, civil and administrative law and procedures  – Superior and Federal court systems and proceedings and administrative procedures necessary to try cases in State and Federal courts and before a wide range of administrative boards
  • Litigation management and strategies
  • California civil and Appellate procedures
  • Federal and state laws, Penal Codes, City Charter and Municipal Codes, and Municipal Zoning Codes
  • Organization, function, and legal limitations on the authority, enforcement and procedural issues of various City departments
  • Federal and state constitutional and statutory provisions related to municipalities  – Accepted legal principles and court decisions

Ability to: 

  • Take direction and supervision from the City Attorney and Chief Assistant City Attorney  – Direct and supervise other attorneys working on litigation 
  • Try to completion jury and bench trials
  • Select a jury
  • Prepare witnesses for depositions and trial, prepare experts to testify at trial  – Conduct direct and cross examination of witnesses at trial
  • Prepare written discovery and responses to written discovery
  • Prepare a variety of motions, including Motions for Summary Judgment
  • Research, analyze and apply legal principles, facts evidence and precedents to legal cases
  • Represent the City effectively and persuasively in courts and administrative hearings
  • Analyze, appraise, and organize facts, evidence, and precedents and present them in oral and written reports
  • Consistently prepare and present statements of law, fact and argument clearly, logically and persuasively both orally and in writing
  • Litigate cases, manage litigation processes, and oversee the work of others who are trying cases – Review, discuss, and advise the City Attorney, City Council and City Manager regarding legal policy issues
  • Exhibit a high degree of integrity and sound judgment in the performance of assigned work tasks
  • Work cooperatively with other employees, customers, clients, and the public
  • Produce documents written in the English language using proper sentence structure, punctuation, grammar, and spelling
  • Maintain confidentiality of sensitive information
  • Oversee the work of other legal and paraprofessional staff
  • Communicate orally with customers, clients, and the public using a telephone and in group and face-to-face, one-to-one settings

Education: Graduation from a law school accredited by the American Bar Association with a Juris Doctorate degree.  

Experience: Minimum of five (5) years increasingly responsible experience in the litigation and

trying of cases in the State of California with a minimum of taking lead role in five (5) jury and three (3) bench trials to verdict in Superior Court. Admission to practice in the State and Federal jurisdictional courts.  

License/Certification: Active membership in the State Bar of California.  

Possession of a valid California Class C driver license with an acceptable driving record by time of appointment and throughout period of employment required.  

SPECIAL CONDITIONS 

Employees regularly assigned/required to drive a city or personal vehicle in the course and scope of work shall be 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 an updated resume AND a writing sample 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 an oral board examination (weighted 100%) – tentatively scheduled for October 26, 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). 

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 

Incumbents 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 involves detailed concentration for long periods of time in a modified office environment and sitting for extended periods. 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 primarily performed indoors. In an office environment, the work requires sitting at a desk or table for prolonged periods of time and daily use of a computer, keyboard, mouse and screen.  

The incumbent uses a computer and related equipment and sits, stands, walks, climbs, pushes, pulls, reaches, grasps, lifts and moves tools and equipment weighing 25 pounds or less.  

Reasonable accommodation(s) for an individual with a qualified disability will be considered on a case-by-case basis.

Senior Trial Counsel Supplemental

* 1. Did you graduate from a law school accredited by the American Bar Association with a Juris Doctorate Degree? 

Yes / No 

* 2. Indicate your level of increasingly responsible experience in the litigation and trying of cases in the State of California. 

None 

Up to five (5) years 

At least five (5) years but less than eight (8) years 

Eight (8) years or more 

* 3. Have you taken a lead role in litigating and trying a minimum of five (5) jury and three (3) bench trials to verdict in Superior Court? 

Yes / No 

* 4. Are you admitted to practice in the State AND Federal jurisdictional courts? 

Yes / No 

* 5. Are you an active member in the State Bar of California? 

Yes / No 

* 6. Are you a CalPERS RETIRED Annuitant? 

Yes / No 

* 7. Briefly describe your trial experience litigating and trying civil cases to verdict, especially in the area of government law. 

* 8. How would you describe your trial record in terms of wins and losses, successes and failures? 

* 9. Briefly describe your experience researching legal issues and providing legal opinions and advice to law enforcement personnel. 

* 10. Describe your experience developing and conducting training programs with and for other departments and agencies. 

* 11. Briefly describe your experience drafting complaints and motions, appellate briefs and legal memoranda; and interviewing witnesses. 

* 12. How would your current immediate supervisor describe your ability to: a. try jury cases, b. work with others, c. produce quality work product, d. interact with other departments or agencies, and e. work quickly and efficiently?

*Required Question

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