Chief Trial Deputy, Complex Crimes

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Job location
1300 Broadway, Suite 400
Denver, CO 80203
United States
Organization information
Organization name: 
Office of the Colorado State Public Defender
Job type: 
Legal - Defender
Position Description: 

This class describes defense counsel work at a master level of litigation and motion practice, which requires applying specialized knowledge and experience in death penalty and other complex homicide cases. Positions are responsible for coordinating and consulting on potential and filed capital cases statewide, including staff assignments and advisement on cases. The death penalty defense counsel level of practice, experience, proficiency as an attorney and commitment, is such that each capital defendant within the jurisdiction receives high quality legal representation.

An example of primary duties and responsibilities include:
• Consults with State Public Defender or designee concerning potential and filed capital cases statewide including staffing assignments and litigation.
• Handles and litigates potential and filed death penalty cases statewide. Leads and directs the work of defense team attorneys, investigators, social workers, legal assistants and support staff assigned to a case.
• Maintains a master level of practice and applies current developments and relevant law such as mental health fields and areas of forensic and biological science.
• Serves as a technical resource, providing consultation and assistance on homicides and complex cases statewide as needed.
• Serves as the lead defense attorney on non-capital homicides and complex cases statewide as needed and available. Manages the case and directs the work of the defense team members. Provides feedback on the performance of employees assigned to each case as requested by their regional office Supervising or Managing Attorney.
• Assumes supervisory duties over unit staff as determined by the State Public Defender or designee, which may include prioritizing, assigning and reviewing work and training staff.
• Develops and delivers training to attorneys, professional and legal support staff administered through the regional trial offices, state office or fall conference, with focus on death penalty and complex homicide cases.
• Attends and participates in external training programs and conferences related to capital offenses. Conducts training related to the death penalty, Colorado method of jury selection, and related matters nationwide.
• Represents the OSPD on committees, boards and special assignments regarding matters of criminal defense and the death penalty as requested by the State Public Defender.


Juris doctorate (J.D.) from an ABA accredited law school and significant homicide and trial litigation experience including experience leading and managing a criminal defense team. Experience must include a high level of proficiency in complex litigation, motions practice and jury selection in homicide cases. Other qualifying experience includes, but is not limited to, post-conviction death penalty representation and practice or training in capital jurisprudence.

Conditions of Employment:
• Licensed to practice law in the State of Colorado;
• Satisfactorily complete a comprehensive training program (in accordance with requirements set forth in AGA Guidelines 8.1) in the defense of capital cases;
• Complete specialized continuing legal education training focusing on the defense of death penalty cases at least every two years;
• Frequent travel within and occasionally outside the State of Colorado;
• Valid driver’s license.

Knowledge, Skills and Abilities:
• Extensive knowledge of principles and theories of criminal law, defense strategies and client advocacy;
• Extensive knowledge of ethical obligations in accordance with the Rules of Professional Conduct, ABA guidelines, state and federal laws, and rules of evidence;
• Extensive knowledge and skills in applying the principles and techniques of conducting trials, litigating complex cases, and presenting written and oral arguments;
• Extensive knowledge and skills in trial preparation and presentation including jury selection, cross-examination of witnesses, and opening and closing statements;
• Knowledge of preservation of the record and issues for post-conviction review;
• Exemplary judgment and problem-solving skills, ability to make informed decisions, direct others handling complex issues and resolve ethical matters;
• Ability to interpret current and anticipate future developments in law, forensics and related areas;
• Proficient skills in the management and conduct of complex negotiations and litigation;
• Proficient skills in legal research and analysis and the ability to write clear and persuasive motions, pleadings and briefs that are well-researched and evidence-based;
• Proficient skills in oral advocacy;
• Extensive knowledge and proficient skills in the use of expert witnesses relative to forensic investigation, pathology and evidence;
• Proficient skills in the investigation, preparation, and presentation of evidence bearing upon mental status;
• Proficient skills in the investigation, preparation, and presentation of mitigating evidence;
• Leadership skills to effectively train, mentor and guide others;
• Interpersonal skills to establish positive, productive and respectful working relationships with clients and client families consistent with ethical obligations;
• Ability to establish effective working relationships with members of the Public Defender system, witnesses, judges, court staff, opposing counsel, law enforcement and others in the legal community;
• Ability to handle matters calmly and effectively in a highly stressful environment over long periods of time;
• Ability to handle frequent interruptions and multiple calls and inquiries.
• Proficiency in standard software applications such as, Microsoft Office suite, internet browsers, e-mail and Adobe Acrobat.

To apply: 

Interested individuals must submit a detailed resume and cover letter addressing how your qualifications meet the requirements for the position by April 9, 2017, 11:59 p.m, to:
Kristi Rudy
Human Resources Analyst
E-mail: [email protected]

In order to be considered for this position, your resume and cover letter should include:
• A current email address and phone number; primary communication pertaining to this position will be electronic based.
• A detailed outline of your qualifications for this position.
• A brief highlight of your interest in this position and employment with the Colorado State Public Defender.
• A State of Colorado Application is not required for this position.
Interviews will commence following an assessment and selection of highly qualified candidates.

Equal Opportunity Employer
Salary range: 
The minimum of the salary range for this position is $8,691 per month
Submission deadline: 
Sunday, April 9, 2017