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The San Mateo County Bar Association is seeking a new Chief Defender/Executive Director of its Private Defender Program. Since 1968, the San Mateo County Bar Association has operated the Private Defender Program (PDP) under the provisions of a contract with the County of San Mateo for the legal representation of all indigent persons eligible for the appointment of counsel at public expense. The PDP is appointed by the San Mateo County Superior Court to approximately 20,000 cases each year, has a budget of approximately $20 million, and is the functional equivalent of a public defender office for San Mateo County. With a panel of 108 independent contract lawyers, a panel of 37 private investigators and a staff of 15, the PDP has been recognized as one of the premier indigent defense organizations in the United States.
This position requires that a successful candidate possess the following experience, qualifications, attributes, and characteristics:
1. Active membership in the State Bar of California;
2. A minimum of ten years of experience in the practice of criminal law, including serious felonies;
3. Extensive experience in the representation of the members of indigent and under-served communities;
4. Proven ability to collaborate with others in communities with diverse interests;
5. The ability to communicate diplomatically with senior County management, criminal justice partners, Judges, and court personnel.
The Chief Defender/Executive Director reports to the Board of Directors of the Bar Association and is the leader and person responsible for overall operation of the PDP. The Chief Defender’s duties include, but are not limited to, the following: negotiating with and ensuring performance of the terms of the Contract with the County of San Mateo; overseeing the admission of attorneys to the PDP; recruiting attorneys to the PDP when needed; overseeing the annual performance evaluations of all PDP attorneys to ensure that competent representation is provided to the PDP clients; assessing the abilities of attorneys on the PDP panel; and discontinuing case assignments to or removing any attorney when appropriate.
The Chief Defender is also responsible for reporting to the San Mateo County Board of Supervisors annually as to the current state of the PDP, the number of appointments in the fiscal year, the budget, and performance benchmarks.
The Chief Defender must maintain sound relationships with other organizations involved in the criminal justice system in San Mateo County, including the Court, Probation Department, Sheriff’s Office, District Attorney, Health and Human Services, and the County Manager. The Chief Defender must maintain contact with community organizations which assist and provide for the indigent and under-served.
The Chief Defender must maintain contact with other indigent defense organizations to secure and share information to assist in the operation of the Private Defender Program.
If you wish to apply for the position of Chief Defender/Executive Director of the PDP, please send a cover letter and resume to SMCountyBar@smcba.org, or via U.S. mail to Alma Robles, Human Resources Director, San Mateo County Bar Association, 333 Bradford Street, Suite 200, Redwood City, CA 94063. All applications must be received on or before December 6, 2019 to be considered.
Competitive Salary and Benefits.
The San Mateo County Bar Association is an Equal Opportunity Employer.
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