Yakima County Human Resources

  • 115-131 Attorney - Assigned Counsel

    Working Title
    Attorney II/III
    Regular Full Time Budgeted
    FLSA Status
    Department of Assigned Counsel
    Required Testing/Exercises
    not applicable
    Open Date
    Close Date
    $5,879 - $7,990 per month DOQ
  • Overview

    There is currently a position open with the Yakima County Department of Assigned Counsel (Office of the Public Defender). The incumbent is responsible for providing professional legal indigent defense for clients in the District Court, Juvenile Court or Superior Court. The initial assignment is currently contemplated for the Superior Court for lower level felony cases, but is subject to change before and after hiring.


    Attorney II ($5,879 - $6,829 per month, DOQ):

    In criminal law, the incumbent normally practices in District Court and/or Juvenile Court with close to moderate supervision, but may practice in Superior Court defending lower level adult felony offenses and assisting higher classification attorneys. Incumbents practicing in Superior Court felonies must meet the minimum for lower level C and B adult felony cases under the Standards for Indigent Defense adopted by the Washington Supreme Court.


    Attorney III ($6,886 - $7,990 per month, DOQ):

    The Attorney III classification is the third level in a four-level Attorney classification series used for civil, criminal prosecution and indigent defense positions. The Attorney III classification is distinguished from Attorney I and II by the greater experience required, including a significant amount of jury trial and courtroom experience, by the complexity and seriousness of cases and assignments, and by moderate to low levels of supervision, direction and/or assistance from higher level attorneys.   The Attorney III position may be assigned lead or informal supervisory responsibility.


    This recruitment may be used to fill future openings that may occur within 90 days of the posting date.


    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.


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


    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. Interviews and confers with client regarding facts, plea discussions, trial, sentencing and progress of case and maintains client confidentiality.


    Instigates or responds to plea bargaining negotiations with opposing counsel and represents the interest of the client.


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


    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.


    Responds to individuals arrested who wish to consult with an attorney at critical stages of proceedings.


    In Civil Matters:

    Represents clients at all stages of the following civil matters and proceedings: civil commitment proceedings (except under RCW 71.09), civil contempt, truancy, and at risk youth, and drug forfeitures.

    In all civil matters, performs case evaluation, additional investigation, trial preparation, settlement negotiations, pre-trial motions, non-jury and jury trials and appeals as required.






    Education and Experience:

    Admission to the Washington State Bar Association is required. The Attorney II requires a minimum of four (4) years of law practice experience. The Attorney III requires a minimum of eight (8) years of law practice experience. Attorneys should meet the qualifications necessary to be appointed to adult Class A felonies under the standards adopted by the WA Supreme Court.


    Employment offers are contingent upon successful completion of a background investigation, which may include fingerprinting. Must have a valid Washington State Drivers License and provide proof of insurance.


    Preferred Qualifications:

    • Bilingual in English/Spanish


    Equipment Operated:

    Telephone, copy and fax machines, and personal computer. Must have the ability to drive personal and/or County vehicle, and travel to locations outside of the courthouse.


    Working Conditions/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. Job is rated as 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.


    Minimum Qualifications:

    Knowledge of (position requirements at entry):

    • 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

    Skills (position requirements at entry):

    • 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;
    • 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.




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