The Superior Court of California, County of San Bernardino is seeking well-qualified, legal research experts for the position of Judicial Staff Counsel III. This recruitment will remain open until February 1, 2019, at 5:00 PM. The eligible list resulting from this recruitment will be used to fill one (1) current vacancy and future vacancies within the Legal Research Department located in the San Bernardino Justice Center, in San Bernardino.
Under minimal direction, performs general and specialized legal research and analysis, reviewing cases and making recommendations to the Court, advising the Court on complex matters of law, preparing drafts of legal opinions, legal memoranda and other documents; and performs related duties as assigned.
- Incumbents in the Judicial Staff Counsel III classification perform difficult and complex legal research activities and must exercise a high degree of independent judgment with accurate and neutral legal research and analysis of substantive and procedural issues on matters pending before the Court and provide recommendations for rulings to assist the judicial officers with their decisions.
- Judicial Staff Counsel III is distinguished from Staff Attorney in that the latter provides legal assistance to self-represented litigants in the Self Help and Family Law Facilitator Programs.
Typical duties of the Judicial Staff Counsel III may include, but are not limited to:
- Researches, identifies and analyzes legal and factual issues in matters set for hearing in the Court; reviews case files including motions, writs and other pleadings, prepares legal memoranda and summary of findings and provides research used in rendering decisions.
- Confers with judicial officers regarding questions resulting from the memorandum, general legal issues regarding matters pending before the Court, and changes in the law or emerging issues impacting a pending case.
- Stays abreast of developments in statutory and case law to anticipate the effect of changes that would impact judicial recommendations.
- May research legal issues in specialized areas of probate law, including decedents' estates, wills, trusts, conservatorships and guardianships; analyzes legal issues; reviews case files, including motions and other pleadings; prepares memoranda and makes recommendations for disposition of matters before the Court.
- May review, evaluate and analyze appellate briefs, trial records, writ petitions, motions and other pertinent documents to determine factual accuracy, legal issues on appeal, and scope and complexity of issues raised; performs legal research and analysis of the merits of the parties' appellate arguments; drafts proposed appellate decisions; confers with judicial officers regarding issues; prepares final opinions as directed.
- May provide judicial support for specialized and emerging areas of the law including CEQA and complex litigation such as preparing comprehensive memoranda, analyzing developments in statutes and regulations, and coordinating with court staff and other courts on processes and procedures.
- Performs other duties as assigned.
Graduation from an accredited college or university with a Juris Doctor (J.D.) degree, active membership in good standing in the State Bar of California, and five (5) years of experience in the practice of law, including three (3) years of experience in litigation, performing legal research and drafting legal opinions and/or briefs; or an equivalent combination of education, training and experience.
Licenses; Certificates; Special Requirements:
A California Class C driver's license will be reviewed on a position basis in accordance with ADA regulations.
- Principles and practices of California and federal law and procedure with special emphasis on California Civil Law and Procedure;
- California judicial system and local court operations and procedures;
- Advanced principles, methods and techniques of legal research and investigation, including methods and procedures for conducting efficient online legal research;
- Judicial ethics, responsibilities and the context in which they are carried out;
- Principles and practices of sound business and legal communication; and,
- Correct English usage, including spelling, grammar and punctuation and the requirements of the California Style Manual.
Knowledge of As Assigned:
- Appellate Division processes and Rules of Court, statutes, and case law applicable to traffic, misdemeanor, and limited civil appeals;
- Probate court processes and California probate law and procedure;
- Federal and state law, codes and regulations applicable to CEQA and land use; and,
- Federal and state law, codes and regulations applicable to complex litigation in California.
- Independently identify and analyze legal issues;
- Distinguish significant legal issues, facts and their effect;
- Perform legal research, analyze problems, evaluate alternatives and develop sound, expert conclusions and recommendations;
- Present statements of fact, law and argument clearly, logically and persuasively orally and in writing;
- Organize work, set priorities and based on complexity and case type, meet productivity guidelines;
- Work collaboratively with judges, trial court staff, coordinate work with others;
- Understand, interpret, explain and apply a wide variety of specialized information including laws, codes, ordinances, rules, policies, forms and legal terms;
- Maintain and ensure the integrity of sensitive and confidential information;
- Operate a computer and use standard business software and a variety of complex computer software programs and databases related to area of assignment; and,
- Establish and maintain effective working relationships with all those encountered in the course of work.