Assistant District Attorney (Appellate Division) – District Attorney’s Office

Employer: Fort Bend County District Attorney’s Office

Location: Richmond, Texas

            The Fort Bend County District Attorney’s Office is seeking an experienced prosecutor for its Appellate Division, effective immediately.  Applicants should be Texas licensed attorneys in good standing with at least 3 years of job-related experience and should possess a thorough working knowledge of criminal prosecution and court procedure.  The ideal candidate for this position has extensive felony trial and appellate experience.

The Appellate Division handles all appeals and writs for an office of over 80 prosecutors.  A chief prosecutor supervises two attorneys and one administrative assistant.  This prosecutor will be expected to primarily handle direct appeals from the misdemeanor and felony courts.  This will necessitate ensuring completeness of the trial record (i.e., Clerk’s and Reporter’s Records), reading the appellant’s brief(s) as well as the trial record, and drafting responsive briefs in the courts of appeals, including oral argument.  This appellate responsibility may also include the filing of briefs and conducting oral arguments before the Court of Criminal Appeals, and possibly the United States Supreme Court.

            In addition to appeals, the appellate attorney would respond to various writs of habeas corpus.  This prosecutor will be expected to address post-conviction writs of habeas corpus in the trial courts, conduct hearings thereon, and prepare findings of fact and conclusions of law based on those proceedings.  This prosecutor will likewise be expected to conduct required oral arguments in the courts of appeals, Court of Criminal Appeals, and the federal courts of trial court rulings (or recommendations) on writs of habeas corpus.

            In addition to appellate and writ practice, the attorneys in the Appellate Division are involved in motions practice, research, and advising trial prosecutors concerning trial issues.  The Appellate Division represents the State not only after a conviction is completed at the trial level but also alongside the prosecutors before and during trial.  Providing early advice and counsel avoids an appellate reversal after securing a conviction.  This prosecutor will have the responsibility to assist trial prosecutors with legal research responsive to trial questions and making arguments in the trial courts.  Regular research and assistance drafting jury charges is a crucial component of this prosecutor’s responsibilities so skills and enthusiasm to assist trial prosecutors under pressure is a necessity.

            The Appellate Division performs other work beyond that of advising, research and writing.  This work includes providing attorneys and law enforcement updates on a wide variety of legal topics, including confessions, search and seizure, case-law updates, legislative updates, and training at law enforcement academies.  This prosecutor can be expected to prepare materials and present training to other attorneys, law enforcement agencies, and community partners.

Fort Bend County is one of the most diverse counties in the nation and is only thirty minutes from downtown Houston.  The annual salary for this position starts at $101,504.  Bar dues and CLE are paid for by the office.  Relevant Texas Board of Legal Specialization certifications allow for additional compensation of $5,000 annually.

Offers are subject to an application/interview process, background check, and drug test.  Not all applicants will be interviewed.  Interested applicants should e-mail a cover letter and resume to Appellate Chief Baldwin Chin at [email protected]  at their earliest convenience.