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The Chief Public Defender manages and coordinates the work of designated supervisors, attorneys and non-attorney staff and handles complaints and grievances of designated supervisors,

Class Code:


Job Grade:


Special Job Requirements:


Typical Functions:

Supervises large professional and administrative support staff by interviewing, hiring, assigning work, viewing complicated legal documents, providing guidance and assistance, and evaluating performance of incumbents. Assigns cases to staff attorneys – keeping in mind relative experience and levelizing case loads. Reviews and analyzes agency reports/records related to cases. Researches previous cases, decisions, state statute, case law, and federal legislation relating to current cases, to prepare for litigation or settlement. Assists staff public defenders in obtaining expert witnesses and other resources from the Public Defender Commission, as needed. Advises personnel on legal problems and renders legal opinions pertaining to agency programs and responsibilities. Advises Public Defender Commission and Legislature of needed legislation and staffing. Prepares and presents the office budget to the respective quorum court, reviews and assures that the budget is handled in an appropriate manner, appears with the Executive Director at the Legislature as needed, to both support the budget and speak for and against substantive legislation. Prepares and presents public defender budget to the County Quorum Court. Consults with County Judge and quorum court members regarding county personnel issues and budget issues. Consults with circuit court judges and district court judges on public defender fees, user fees, and scheduling of public defender cases. Attends and participates in meetings, conferences, and seminars to obtain continuing legal education credits and to stay abreast of changing legislation and trends which might impact agency programs. Performs related responsibilities as are required or assigned.

Knowledge, Abilities, and Skills:

Knowledge and experience in criminal law. Knowledge of state and federal laws, regulations and precedents. Knowledge of legal research and writing techniques. Ability to plan, organize, and direct work of others. Ability to problem solve in personnel situations. Ability to research, analyze, interpret and apply legislation and case related information. Ability to conduct conflict’s litigation. Ability to prepare, present and review oral and written informational reports. Ability to prepare, present, and justify budgetary needs.

Minimum Qualifications:

The Chief Public Defender shall have a Juris Doctor Degree, be Death qualified or attain death qualifications within two years of employment, have ten years experience in criminal law and trial work, plus five years of experience as a supervisor. Additional requirements determined by the agency for recruiting purposes require review and approval by the Office of Personnel Management. OTHER JOB RELATED EDUCATION AND/OR EXPERIENCE MAY BE SUBSTITUTED FOR ALL OR PART OF THESE BASIC REQUIREMENTS, EXCEPT FOR CERTIFICATION OR LICENSURE REQUIREMENTS, UPON APPROVAL OF THE QUALIFICATIONS REVIEW COMMITTEE.

Required Certificates:



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