Appellate Unit Supervisor
SALARY: $38.72 - $92.93 Hourly; $80,847.36 - $194,037.84 Annually
LOCATION: Columbia Center, 701 5th Avenue, Suite 2050 Seattle, Washington
JOB TYPE: Civil Service Exempt, Regular, Full-time
DEPARTMENT: Law Department
BARGAINING UNIT: Not represented
CLOSING DATE: 11/22/22 04:00 PM Pacific Time
With more than 200 attorneys and professional staff, the Seattle City Attorney’s Office is one of the largest law offices in Seattle and is the third largest public law office in the state. Our office is committed to making Seattle a safe, healthy, empowered and thriving community for everyone. We strive to address historical injustices within the court system with self-examination and to pursue justice in Seattle with integrity, creativity, and fairness. We believe working transparently, innovatively, and in collaboration with our partners in the community is necessary to achieve outcomes that promote equity, accountability, and healing.
The Appellate Unit Supervisor is responsible for handling and overseeing appeals and writs filed in King County Superior Court that result from decisions in Seattle Municipal Court. In this role you will not only defend convictions but will also seek review of certain adverse trial court decisions. This position requires a high level of subject matter expertise regarding misdemeanor criminal law and procedure in courts of limited jurisdiction and appellate law and procedure. The position also involves opportunity for practice in Division One of the Court of Appeals, and potentially the Washington Supreme Court.
The Appellate Unit Supervisor is independently responsible for facilitating timely review of appeals, responding to a high volume of appellate briefs, and conducting oral argument. This position assists trial prosecutors with novel legal arguments, research and preserving their records on appeal. You will also be assigning and assisting attorneys in other units with appeals, when possible.
The person selected for this role will have the opportunity to collaborate and be fully integrated into the Review and Filing, Trial Team, Domestic Violence, and Specialty Court Units as part of the Seattle City Attorney’s Office. You will have standing meetings with each unit. The Appellate Unit Supervisor will discuss new case law, legislative changes, organize regular trainings, and common and unique issues seen on appeals. have standing meetings with each unit.
In addition to performing appellate work, this position is a key advisor to the City Attorney and Criminal Division Chief regarding changes to legislation and case law. You will aid in drafting and editing Seattle Municipal Code and ensuring the office’s criminal Complaint charging language and jury instructions are in alignment with it.
Additionally, this position is tasked with assisting in the training and on-boarding of new attorneys and Rule 9s.
Responsibilities of this position include, but are not limited to the following:
- Write appellate briefs, including presenting a clear and concise story of the incident using the relevant facts (but only the relevant facts), determining if the alleged error was preserved, applying the appropriate standard of review, analyzing the relevant cases, distinguishing the adverse cases and persuasively arguing why the City should prevail;
- Keep track of the status of appeals and completing necessary steps for creating proper record for appeals – deadlines for submitting briefs, preparing transcripts, filing Designations of Clerk’s Papers, coordinating matters with defense counsel and Superior Court and Municipal Court clerks and ensuring that completed appellate decisions are scheduled and implemented in Municipal Court;
- Review trial record and summarize the transcripts of trial;
- Understand and advise on and/or respond to CrRLJ 7.8 motions as needed;
- Present oral argument before the appellate courts;
- Stay abreast of developments and trends in the law;
- Participate in strategy sessions with prosecutors and moot court sessions;
- Providing legal research assistance to trial prosecutors;
- In all interactions, manifest Race and Social Justice principles;
- Foster collegial communication with trial deputies (and advocates where applicable);
- Share insights and advice with trial prosecutors in a constructive and respectful manner;
- Mentor prosecutors, Rule 9 interns, and student interns. Assist other units and other prosecuting attorneys’ offices, as needed and able;
- Present appellate training for the office;
- Assist with policy and legislation development;
- Respond to Motions to Vacate convictions under RCW 9.96.060;
- Chair the office Brady Committee;
- Review bills in the Washington Legislature;
- Prepare ordinances to reflect changes made to state statutes;
- Revise charging language for criminal complaints; and
- Revise jury instructions in response to new cases and new ordinances.
Membership in good standing with the Washington State Bar Association, or ability to complete the process of obtaining membership within 30 days of offer of employment.
A minimum of five to seven years of any combination of criminal or civil trial experience and appellate work. Strong research and writing skills are critical along with an enthusiasm and ardor for detail in one’s work.
Race and Social Justice Initiative – The City of Seattle recognizes every City employee must play a role in ending institutional and structural racism. Our culture is the result of our behavior, our personal commitments, and the ways that we courageously share our perspectives and encourage others to do the same. To cultivate an antiracist culture, we seek employees who will engage in the Race and Social Justice Initiative by working to dismantle racist policies and procedures, unlearn the way things have always been done, and provide equitable processes and services.
Compensation and Benefits – Salary placement is within the ACA discretionary pay band.
The City of Seattle offers a comprehensive benefits package including vacation, 12 official holidays, 2 floating holidays, sick, and paid parental leave as well as medical, dental, vision, life, and long-term disability insurance for employees. Additional benefits include executive leave and eligibility for merit leave. City Attorney’s Office employees also have the opportunity to participate in a defined benefits retirement program. More information about benefits can found at https://www.seattle.gov/human-resources/benefits/employees-and-covered-familymembers/most-employees-plans.
Workplace Environment – The Seattle City Attorney’s Office has implemented an Alternative Work Arrangements Policy. Employees will have the option to work a hybrid schedule (2 days in office, 3 days remote). This is subject to change as circumstances and business needs dictate.
COVID 19 Vaccination Mandate – City of Seattle employees are required to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19. If hired, you will be required to submit proof of vaccination prior to your employment start date. People are considered fully vaccinated two weeks after their second dose in a two-dose series or two weeks after a single-dose vaccine. Employees may make requests for a reasonable accommodation based on a medical disability or for sincerely held religious beliefs. Philosophical, political, scientific, or sociological objections to vaccination will not be considered for an exemption or accommodation.
Background Check – Applicants must successfully pass a background check. Applicants will be given a chance to explain or correct background information and provide verifiable information of good conduct and rehabilitation.
Application Process – For your application to be accepted you must:
· Complete the online City Application.
· Attach a resume detailing your relevant experience.
· Attach a cover letter describing your interest in the position and how you meet the above listed qualifications
· Writing sample (not to exceed 20 pages), preferably of an appellate brief.
Who may apply – This position is open to all candidates that meet the minimum qualifications.
The City of Seattle values diverse perspectives and life experiences. Applicants will be considered regardless of race, color, creed, national origin, ancestry, sex, marital status, disability, religious or political affiliation, age, sexual orientation, medical condition, or pregnancy. The Seattle City Attorney's Office encourages people of all backgrounds to apply, including people of color, immigrants, refugees, women, LGBTQ, people with disabilities, veterans, and those with diverse life experiences.
Questions? Contact our Human Resources team at LAW_HR@seattle.gov.