Deputy Public Defender II
Company: County of Santa Barbara
Location: Santa Maria
Posted on: November 14, 2023
SALARY $102,719.70 - $123,855.96 Annually Bilingual allowance when
The Public Defender's Office is accepting applications to fill two
full-time Deputy Public Defender II vacancies in Santa Maria.
To be considered for the current vacancies, you must select the
"Santa Maria" location on your application; however, you must be
willing to travel to and willing to accept assignment in all
locations (Santa Barbara, Santa Maria, and Lompoc). This position
may be transferred to another primary location based on the needs
of the department.
DISTINGUISHING CHARACTERISTICS: Deputy Public Defender
I/II/III/IV/Senior is a flexibly staffed series. Advancement within
the series is dependent upon both seniority and performance.
The Deputy Public Defender II level incumbents are expected to
further develop their litigation skills, and demonstrate competency
in handling a variety of more serious cases (in terms of potential
penalty for the client) in the trial courts. Typical duties may
include: assignment to serious misdemeanor trials, juvenile court
cases, or civil cases. Incumbents obtain significant jury trial
experience. As the incumbents demonstrates competency at the II
level, they may be assigned minor felony trials.
About the Department: The County of Santa Barbara Public Defender's
Office represents people living in poverty and who have been
traditionally marginalized from a holistic and client-centered
perspective. We stand with our clients every day in many courtrooms
and now Zoom rooms across Santa Maria, Santa Barbara, and Lompoc.
Standing with our client includes bringing to bear resources of
lawyers, legal office professionals, investigators, social workers,
IT professionals, and others to craft the best defenses and most
successful reentry plans that elevate our client's needs.
Public defenders in Santa Barbara County work every day with people
living on the street, living with a lack of appropriate services,
and living with a host of complex needs. We use the tools of
litigation, trial, negotiation, diversion, and services-based
solutions to assist our clients every day. We walk with adults and
children into arraignments, misdemeanor, felony, trial, and
advocate in mental health, veterans, and drug specialty courts to
avoid the potentially lifelong and crushing aftermath of criminal
cases, involuntary commitment, or unresponsive probate or
conservatorship situations. We enhance public safety by holding the
legal system to uphold the constitutional and statutory rights of
our community and honor their spaces, stories, and struggles. We
are an organization that grapples with issues of racial justice and
equity to heal the past injustices that influence our community
daily. Further, we work alongside community-based organizations to
create more opportunities for restoration, healing, and the future
success of our clients. The Department has a budget of
approximately $22 million and a staff of approximately 120.
For more information about the Public Defender's Office, go to:
THE POSITION: Under direction, the selected candidate interviews,
advises, and represents clients in authorized criminal and civil
cases; structures and directs investigations; prepares trials,
pleadings, and motions; tries cases before court and jury;
effectively presents sentencing and disposition positions on behalf
of clients; and performs related duties as required and
The IDEAL CANDIDATE will have:
- Experience appearing in Court; both in person and
- Microsoft Office Excel, Word, Outlook, and Teams skills;
- Demonstrated ability to operate specialized case management and
tracking system software programs;
- Strong conflict resolution skills;
- Excellent customer service skills and experience working with
- The ability to effectively manage multiple situations occurring
- Exceptional organization skills and ability to work efficiently
on multiple projects at one time;
- The ability to prepare and write clear and concise motions, and
keep records organized accordingly;
- Demonstrated ability to develop and maintain sound working
relationships with people of diverse backgrounds and
- Adaptability, a positive attitude, and an impeccable
- Calm demeanor under all circumstances;
- The ability to work independently, organize and prioritize
work, and meet critical deadlines;
- The ability to multi-task, handle high stress situations,
thrive under pressure and adapt to change;
- Excellent interpersonal skills and the ability to handle
difficult situations and difficult people with tact and
- Excellent oral and written communication skills which includes
the ability to exchange information in a clear, concise and
organized manner to diverse groups of people to help them
understand process objectives and priorities;
- The ability to work successfully in a team environment, make
positive contributions and assist others as necessary;
- The ability to tackle complex legal issues using sound
judgment, legal research, investigative practices and analytical
- The ability to maintain confidentiality;
- Bilingual skills in English & Spanish and/or Mixteco is
desirable, but not a requirement. Note: The hiring department will
test you on your fluency.
Examples of Duties
- Interviews clients regarding prospective criminal or civil
actions and advises them of their rights and legal options;
structures and directs investigations; reviews evidence; interviews
witnesses and prepares them to testify.
- Conducts legal research; analyzes statutes, case law, evidence,
and other relevant information in order to develop case
- Prepares for trials; negotiates with prosecuting authorities on
disposition and modification of cases; appears with and for clients
in court hearings, makes appropriate legal motions, pleas, and
arguments on points of law; participates in jury selection; makes
final arguments and summations in defense of the accused in trial
- Prepares petitions, briefs, arguments, motions, pleadings,
other legal instruments, reports, and correspondence, and argues in
the appropriate forum.
Active membership in the State Bar of California AND possession of
a valid California Class C Driver's License; AND not less than:
- One year of experience as an attorney in the practice of public
law or two years as a general practicing attorney; OR,
- One year of experience performing duties equivalent to the
class of Deputy Public Defender I with Santa Barbara County;
- A combination of training, education, and experience that is
equivalent to the employment standard listed above and that
provides the required knowledge, abilities, and license. Knowledge
of: the principles of criminal and civil law and their application;
legal research methods; the organization, powers, and limitations
of county governmental functions; California civil and criminal
codes; the U.S. and California Constitutions; rules of evidence,
trial procedures; administrative law; ethical and professional
rules of conduct; negotiating techniques.
Ability to: perform legal research; analyze and apply legal
principles and precedents, facts, and evidence to legal problems;
present statements of law, facts, and arguments clearly, logically,
and effectively, in both written and oral format; work
cooperatively with and represent persons from a wide variety of
socioeconomic backgrounds; maintain confidentiality and
objectivity; work effectively with others, often under stressful
conditions; manage a caseload; interview witnesses; negotiate
settlements; present and conduct trials; understand and apply
policies and practices.
Desirable Qualifications: The ability to read, write, and converse
fluently in English and Spanish and/or Mixteco is desirable. Note:
You must self-certify on the application form that you are fluent
in English and Spanish and/or Mixteco. Hiring departments will test
you on your fluency. If you do not demonstrate sufficient fluency,
your name may be withheld from future certifications or removed
from the employment lists.
APPLICATION & SELECTION PROCESS:
- Review applications and supplemental questionnaires to
determine those applicants who meet the employment standards.
- Supplemental Questionnaire Ranking: Applications that meet the
employment standards will be evaluated and scored. Candidates'
final score and rank on the eligibility list will be determined by
the information provided on their application. This includes the
responses to the required supplemental questionnaire. This process
may be eliminated if there are fewer than 12 qualified candidates.
Candidates must receive a percentage score of at least 70 on the
Supplemental Questionnaire Ranking examination to be placed on an
employment list. An adjustment may be made to raw scores based on
factors listed in Civil Service Rule VI. Those candidates who are
successful in the selection process will have their names placed on
the employment list for a minimum of three months. At the time the
employment list is established, all qualified candidates will
receive an email notice of their score on the exam(s), rank on the
employment list, and exact duration of the employment list.
REASONABLE ACCOMMODATIONS: The County of Santa Barbara is committed
to providing reasonable accommodation to applicants. Qualified
individuals with disabilities who need a reasonable accommodation
during the application or selection process should contact the
recruiter listed on the job posting. We require verification of
needed accommodation from a professional source, such as a Medical
Provider or a learning institution.
Recruiters will correspond with applicants by e-mail during each
step in the recruitment process. Applicants are reminded to check
spam filters continuously during the Recruitment & Selection
Process steps listed above to ensure they do not miss required
Conditional Job Offer: Once a conditional offer of employment has
been made, the candidate will be required to successfully complete
a background check, which includes a conviction history check, and
satisfactory reference checks. Appointee will be subject to a
post-offer medical evaluation or examination. The appointee must
satisfactorily complete a probationary period of one year.
BENEFITS: The County of Santa Barbara offers generous benefits.
Click here for more information on County benefits for this job
classification. In addition, applicants from other public sector
employers may qualify for:
- Retirement reciprocity
- Time and service credit towards an advanced vacation accrual
Disaster Service Worker: Pursuant to Governmental Code section
3100, all employees with the County of Santa Barbara are declared
to be disaster service workers subject to such disaster service.
Activities as may be assigned to them by their superiors or by
Statement of Commitment
The County of Santa Barbara is dedicated to cultivating and
sustaining an environment that exhibits equity and inclusion
everywhere, and at all levels of our organization. The County
believes equity is a fundamental principle that must be imbedded in
policies, institutional practices and systems. The County
recognizes the negative impacts of systemic racism and is committed
to eliminating the barriers affecting our Black, Latinx,
Indigenous, and Asian community members, as well as people of other
diverse racial and ethnic backgrounds. We envision a world where
society and its systems (e.g. education, criminal justice, and
health care, housing the economy) are just, fair, and inclusive,
enabling all people to participate and reach their full
We celebrate community and employee diversity, strive for inclusion
and belonging, and promote empowered participation. We aspire to
build a workforce that is reflective of these values and the
communities we serve. We are proud to be an equal opportunity
employer and will resolutely uphold federal, California state law
and/or Santa Barbara County ordinances.
We believe equity and inclusion are vital to fulfill the County's
mission and to embody a culture of "One County, One Future."
Expanding the full range of employee talent allows the County to
deliver our best to all our community members.
We believe in the dignity and humanity of all people. We strive for
a healthy and prosperous society that promotes all people having
equitable access and opportunity.
APPLICATION AND SUPPLEMENTAL QUESTIONNAIRE DEADLINE: 10/03/2023;
4:59PM PST; postmarks not accepted. Applications and job bulletins
can be obtained 24 hours a day at www.sbcountyjobs.com.
Erin Kuhn, Employment Analyst - firstname.lastname@example.org
Keywords: County of Santa Barbara, Santa Maria , Deputy Public Defender II, Other , Santa Maria, California
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