Chief Public Defender - Details - Eagle Jobs

Chief Public Defender - Details

Open for Applications Until Monday, June 27, 2022.

Twin Falls County

630 Addison Ave. W.
P.O. Box 126
Twin Falls, ID 83301

Job Posted:
Estimated Start Date:

Work Schedule:
Twin Falls County

Job Description


This is a Department Head position and is the Chief Public Defender for Twin Falls County. Position requires an advanced professional attorney with skills and abilities to manage the office, supervise staff, and handle and oversee criminal defense cases.

The Chief Public Defender duties include serving as a practicing trial attorney and reviews facts and circumstances of cases to determine appropriate actions and assignments to staff. Leads and supervises deputy public defenders and legal administrative staff and maintains the daily operations of the Public Defender's Office. This position reports to the County Commissioners. The principal duties of the class are performed in a general office and courtroom environment. Due to the nature of this position, an employee typically receives phone calls after normal working hours about legal issues that arise and may visit with clients in custody after normal work hours.


ESSENTIAL DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES (illustrative only and may vary by assignment)

Manages the Public Defender’s office; including hiring, training, disciplining, and terminating staff as necessary. Handles internal administrative issues, including employee relations, media issues and attorney ethical questions;

Prepares, manages, and monitors department budget.

Prepares and manages felony cases for defense, including but not limited to, meeting with accused, entering pleas, conducting research, interviewing witnesses and others, preparing required legal and court documents, preparing, and arguing briefs, and attending multiple court proceedings, organizing the case file, and preparing for jury trials and providing criminal appellate representation before the Idaho Supreme Court and Idaho Court of Appeals;

Prepares and manages criminal cases for trial or other judicial hearings including, but not limited to, drug and sexual assault offenses, violent crimes, theft, fraud, forgery, burglary, child protection, parental rights determinations, child support and mental competency;

Obtain and maintain capital case (death penalty) certifications as chair;

Assists staff in the preparation of pleadings, forms, orders, motions, legal memorandums, and other paperwork;

Interviews police officers, detectives, defendants, victims, witnesses, and other interested and affected parties;

Conducts research of legal precedents, federal laws, and state statutes, and represents the defendant's interest in court;

Performs case investigation; reviews police report and listens to audio; maintains detailed documentation;

Responds to post-conviction issues and appeals;

Conducts research of legal precedents, federal laws and state statutes;

Consults with clients to explain legal issues and provide legal options;

Writes legal briefs for motions to suppress and argue at hearing;

Develops client probation plans with or without specialized treatment; counsels clients to maintain compliance and sobriety;

Protects the rights of the criminally accused;

Interacts, mediates and negotiates with opposing counsel, judges, office staff, other agencies and law enforcement offices;

Represent clients in alternative courts;

Performs time management and scheduling functions, meet deadlines, and set project priorities;

Responds to Commissioners', County employees' and citizens' questions in a courteous and timely manner;

Communicates and coordinates regularly with appropriate co-workers to maximize the effectiveness and efficiency of interdepartmental operations and activities.

Maintains strict confidentiality in all cases;

Interacts with County employees, customers, visitors and the general public effectively and professionally;

Performs all work duties and activities in accordance with County policies, procedures and safety practices.


Attends training to comply with continuing legal education requirements of the Idaho State Bar;

Performs other duties as assigned.


The requirements listed below are representative of the minimum knowledge, skill, and/or ability required for an individual to satisfactorily perform each essential duty satisfactorily and be successful in the position.

Knowledge of:

Supervision and management skills and techniques;

Constitutional law, criminal law, criminal procedures, rules of evidence and professional ethics;

Legal, court, and judicial procedures, rules, terminology, methods, documents, practices, and objectives;

Applicable County, city, state, and federal laws, statutes, ordinances, and codes;

Legal research methods;

Negotiation techniques and methods;

Principles and practices of effective management and supervision;

English grammar, spelling, punctuation, and composition.

Skill and Ability to:

Analyze, appraise, and organize facts, evidence, and precedents in determining the various aspects, alternatives, and possible outcomes of cases;

Present material to opponents and develop an appropriate legal strategy;

Appear in court and other judicial proceedings and present evidence, arguments, testimony, and witnesses before a judge or jury;

Make significant/substantial legal decisions in individual cases based on a combination of factors including the law, policy, and rules of ethics;

Negotiate complex legal issues;

Bring interested and affected parties to consensus;

Discern critical issues and needs of the County through a negotiations process;

Maintain detailed records, files, documentation, personal notes and other documents;

Communicate effectively, both orally and in writing, for purposes of advocating, persuading, negotiating, and counseling for or on behalf of the County;

Analyze, appraise, and organize facts and precedents and to present such material in a clear and logical form;

Determine alternative courses of action, and possible courses of action of opponents;

Present and argue cases and to handle unanticipated problems smoothly and effectively;

Proficiently operate computers, software programs, such as Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint, or similar office software to create documents and other materials, maintain information, and generate reports.

Listen carefully to, understand, and effectively communicate through oral, written, and interpersonal communication channels.

Follow verbal and written instructions.

Work independently and exercise initiative, with general guidance and supervision.

Use good judgment to make sound and reasonable decisions and problem-solving skills to respond to customer service needs in accordance with laws, ordinances, regulations and established policies.

Maintain a professional demeanor at all times;

Perform a wide variety of duties and responsibilities with accuracy and speed under the pressure of time-sensitive deadlines;

Demonstrate integrity and ingenuity the performance of assigned tasks and solving problems;

Perform all duties in accordance with County policies and procedures with regard for personal safety and that of other employees and the public.

Maintain confidentiality.


Graduation from an accredited college or university with a bachelor's degree, and,

Graduation from a school of law accredited by the American Bar Association with a Juris Doctorate Degree; and

License to practice law in the State of Idaho; and

At least six (6) years criminal defense or relevant litigation experience, or

An equivalent combination of education and experience that provides the required skills, knowledge and abilities to successfully perform the essential functions of the position may be considered.

Must successfully pass background investigation relevant to the position and remain in good standing for the duration of employment with the County.

Must be able to become certified to be second chair counsel in defense of capital cases within one year of start date.


The physical demands described here are representative of those that must be met by an employee to successfully perform the essential functions of this classification. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.

While performing the duties of this classification, the employee is frequently required to stand, sit, stoop, kneel, bend, use hands to keyboard or type, handle materials , or manipulate tools used in performing the classification, and reach with hands and arms. The employee must occasionally lift and/or move up to 25 pounds. Specific vision abilities required by this classification include close vision, distance vision and ability to adjust focus. Sufficient clarity of speech and hearing abilities required by this classification includes those which permit the employee to discern verbal instructions and communicate effectively in person, by telephone. While performing the duties of this classification, the employee works in an office and courtroom setting where the noise level in the work environment is usually moderate. An employee in this classification often works more hours than a normal 40 hour workweek and is exposed to emotional people and clients in custody who may create fear of personal safety.
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