Salary: Depends on Qualifications
Location: Houston, TX
Job Type: Regular Full-time
Department: County Attorney’s Office
Job Number: 09692
Closing: 3/19/2023 11:59 PM Central
Direct link to apply: Direct Application Link
Job Duties and Responsibilities:
- Follows all policies, procedures, rules and guidelines established by the HCAO and CPS Division Management Team.
- Staffs results of investigations of allegations of abuse and/or neglect with DFPS employees to determine the appropriate pleading to be filed based on the facts stated by the DFPS caseworker.
- Drafts and/or reviews notices, petitions, motions, orders, decrees, jury charges, and discovery requests when such requests are deemed appropriate.
- Reviews and responds to motions filed by opposing counsel.
- Participates in telephone consultations with DFPS representatives to advise and respond to legal questions regarding cases and the sufficiency of grounds to file legal pleadings.
- Represents DFPS at contested and uncontested emergency hearings, adversary hearings, status hearings, permanency hearings, other special hearings, bench trials and jury trials.
- At the conclusion of hearings and trials, completely documents case summaries with significant case facts, developments, and testimony, as well as upcoming court dates and tasks necessary for the Court Representative and assigned Paralegal to take to advance the case’s disposition.
- At the conclusion of hearings and trials, accurately completes orders reflecting court action taken.
- Assists with and promotes Consular Relations.
- Resolves pending matters through mediation at the Harris County Dispute Resolution Center (DRC) or with a court-appointed mediator.
- Attends and participates in depositions.
- Presents legal training/seminars to DFPS employees, Child Advocates and at Texas District and County Attorney Association conferences.
- Conducts pre-trial staffing with client representatives.
- Prepares witnesses for testimony during trial and drafts and issues witness subpoenas.
- Reviews case files and documentation in preparation for pre-trial staffing.
- Identifies records appropriate for and signs subpoenas.
- Conducts legal research and reviews case law relevant to issues in cases.
- Monitors assigned cases to ensure that all responses and supplements to discovery requests, including requests for interrogatories, admissions, disclosures, and production are timely.
- Argues Motions to Quash, if filed, and facilitates the execution of TRCP Rule 11 agreements where appropriate.
- Prepares outgoing discovery requests when deemed appropriate (by way of the Attorney’s own decision making and/or the Management team).
- Reviews and/or revises all discovery responses to ensure that all answers and witness lists are complete and accurate.
- Reviews all discovery for trial preparation purposes and mines all discovery to determine what witnesses and/or expert witnesses to call and/or challenge in connection with any statutory review hearing and/or trial.
- Reviews, responds to and initiates e-mail inquiries from and to client representatives, other team members, appointed and retained counsel, Child Advocates, Inc., CAO superiors and CAO administration.
- Responds to telephone calls and voicemail messages from caseworkers, supervisors, program directors, attorneys, regional counsel, team members, Child Advocates, Inc., custodians of records, medical professionals and pro se parties.
- Trains and mentor’s new attorneys and attorneys new to child protective legal practice. If the attorney is licensed to practice less than 10 years, the attorney must be amenable to being mentored as well.
- Consults with fellow attorneys regarding hearing and trial strategy and tactics.
- Ensures that cases are closed to completion.
- When exercising job-related duties, communicates with persons inside and outside the section in a prompt, positive and professional manner, regardless of whether that communication is in person, or by telephone, e-mail, facsimile transmission, texting, or otherwise.
- Assist in all courts as requested by the Management team.
- Contacts DFPS client via telephone and/or email relating to staffing/discussing/understanding the DFPS client’s position prior to the Attorney appearing in court. Attorney shall be responsible for knowing the client’s position before the day of any court appearance.
- Attorney shall be responsible for preparing and reviewing each case no later than two weeks prior to each court setting. Preparation should include but not be limited to communication with client group, review of file and completion of all required motions etc.
- Attorney shall consult the Texas Family Code, DFPS online handbook and follow all recommended guidelines available in the child welfare space to make decisions and offer advice. In the event the Attorney is unable to independently think/advise the Attorney shall consult a more senior level Attorney on the team and/or Management.
- Performs all other duties as assigned by HCAO Management Team, PSG Manager, Deputy Manager and/or Team Leader.
- This Job Description is not designed to cover or contain a comprehensive listing of activities, duties, or responsibilities that are required of the employee for this position.
- Management may, at its discretion, assign, or reassign duties and responsibilities to this job at any time.
Harris County is an Equal Opportunity Employer
If you need special services or accommodations, please call (713) 274-5445 or email [email protected].
This position is subject to a criminal history check. Only relevant convictions will be considered and, even when considered, may not automatically disqualify the candidate.
Applicants should provide a cover letter, resume with three (3) professional references, unofficial law school transcript, and at least one (1) writing sample with their application.
Education and Experience:
- Have practiced law for at least two (2) years.
- Licensed to practice law in the State of Texas and be in good standing with the State Bar of Texas.
Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities:
- Excellent research, writing, analytical, and decision-making skills.
- Excellent interpersonal communication skills and ability to communicate and work in a collaborative group.
- Proficiency with technology and legal tools such as Microsoft Office Suite, Westlaw Edge, and Adobe.
- Knowledge of the Texas Family Code, the Texas and Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, and the Texas Rules of Professional Conduct.
- Ability to learn how to use software such as Law base and Hot Docs.
- Ability to comply with the Harris County Personnel Policies and Procedures and the policies of the County Attorney.
- Ability to perform thorough legal and factual analyses and exercise good judgment.
- Occasional ability to work extended hours to accommodate case load demands.
- Ability to organize and prioritize assignments to meet deadlines.
- Ability to comply with office training requirements.
NOTE: Qualifying education, experience, knowledge, and skills must be documented on your job application. You may attach a resume to the application as supporting documentation but ONLY information stated on the application will be used for consideration. “See Resume” will not be accepted for qualifications.
- Experience in handling child welfare matters
- Experience in handling cases in family courts or guardianship matters in probate court
Located in downtown Houston, the Harris County Attorney’s Office represents Harris County government, the Harris County Flood Control District, the Harris County Toll Road Authority, and the Greater Harris County 9-1-1 Emergency Network in all civil matters, including lawsuits. The office also provides legal advice to county officials and employees.
Position Type and Typical Work Schedule:
- This is a full-time position.
- Monday – Friday | 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM
- Occasional weekends and holidays, as necessary.
- This job typically operates in a professional office environment, and the employee in this role uses standard office equipment such as computers, printers, scanners/copiers, and phones.
Physical and Mental Demands:
- This is largely a sedentary role that requires standing or sitting for prolonged periods, exerting up to 10 pounds of force occasionally, and/or a negligible amount of force frequently or constantly to lift, carry, push, pull or otherwise move objects, including the human body, repetitive motions requiring dexterity such as keyboarding that may include the wrists, hands, and/or fingers, communicating with others to exchange concepts and information, problem-solving, decision-making, organization, the ability to read/write, and the ability to manage workplace stressors such as adversarial interactions.
- The base compensation for this position will be determined on the candidate’s qualifications and the pay of other employees in the job function.
- Total compensation includes attractive paid leave programs, health benefits, and retirement plans.
Employment may be contingent on passing a drug screen and meeting other standards.
Due to a high volume of applications positions may close prior to the advertised closing date or at the discretion of the Hiring Department.
Agency: Harris County
Address: 1310 Prairie Street, Ste. 240, Houston, Texas, 77002