California – Attention Defense Attorneys: Employment Opportunity: Assistant Public Defender – Santa Clara County

THE POSITION – The Assistant Public Defender is an executive manager who is an integral member of the Public Defenders dynamic management team. The Assistant Public Defender assists in the administration and direction of the Office of the Public Defender and participates in critical decision-making with regard to case-related and client related issues, provides a defense voice in the County criminal justice system and the courts, and maintains the Offices compliance with County policies in areas of personnel, hiring and employment, and good government. Please refer to the link at the bottom of this page to download the detailed announcement in PDF format. The Assistant Public Defender assigns and reviews the work of deputy public defenders who represent the indigent accused in the courts; Develops and maintains office practices that encourage the delivery of high quality defense services; Oversees administrators providing support services in Investigative, Paralegal, IT and Clerical areas; Evaluates the performance of subordinates; Administers the Public Defenders attorney hiring, clinic volunteer attorney and internship programs; Recommends the appointment, promotion and assignment of attorneys; Orients new attorneys and conducts in-service training programs; Assists in departmental administration and formulation of policy; Assists in the preparation of departmental budgets, report and administrative procedures Represents the Public Defender at meetings with County justice system partners, other government agencies, and the community; and may act in the absence of the Public Defender. THE AGENCY – Santa Clara County’s Office of the Public Defender is comprised of 215 employees, including 110 attorneys, 25 investigators, 25 paralegals and 50 clerical/support staff who are committed to providing quality legal representation to our clients. The Office is organized, under Public Defender Mary J. Greenwood into two separate legal entities (the Public Defender and Alternate Defender offices) in five separate locations. The Office prides itself on its diversity and received the County Executive’s Unity in Diversity Award in 2000. All divisions of the Office reflect and benefit from the gender, ethnic and multi-cultural diversity of Santa Clara County. The Public Defenders Office provides legal representation to indigent clients who are charged with the commission of a criminal offense alleged to have been committed in this county. The Office also represents minors against whom delinquency petitions have been filed in the Juvenile Courts of Santa Clara County, and clients who are the subject of conservatorship proceedings in the Mental Health departments of the Superior Court. The Public Defender does not represent people in Family Court, Dependency Court, or Traffic Court. The mandate of the Public Defender’s Office to provide representation for indigent criminal clients comes from the Sixth Amendment to the Federal Constitution and Article 1, Section 15 of the California Constitution, which declare that a criminal defendant is entitled to counsel at all critical stages of the proceedings against him. The United States Supreme Court case of Gideon v. Wainright (1963) 372 U.S. 335 further holds that an indigent criminal defendant who is facing a penalty of incarceration is entitled to that representation at public expense. The quality of service which the Office is required to provide our clients has been defined by the California Supreme Court in People v. Pope (1979) 23 Cal.3d 412, and other cases, as that of a reasonably competent attorney acting as a “diligent and conscientious advocate” for his client. CHALLENGES AND OPPORTUNITIES – Santa Clara County Assistant Public Defenders have the privilege of administering a defender office in a County which is highly engaged in criminal justice and juvenile justice issues. The input of all justice system partners is highly valued in the development of justice policy for the County Assistant Public Defenders participate in that collaborative process. All levels of Public Defender administration play an important part in communicating the value of a constitutionally mandated defense within the Courts, government and the broader community. The staff of the Santa Clara County Office of the Public Defender is client centered, knowledgeable in many fields of expertise, and committed to justice. All government administration is very challenging at this time because of fiscal constraints and the variability of County and State funding processes. Leaders in the Public Defender Office must remain committed to the maintenance of high quality legal services in these difficult times by advocating within the County and the Courts. We must provide encouragement and support to staff members who give a voice to the accused. Use this link to download the full document:  2011-September-28-Santa-Clara-County-Assistant-Public-Defender-Announcement

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California – Attention Defense Attorneys: Employment Opportunity: Assistant Public Defender – Santa Clara County

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