Chief, Appeals Unit

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Job location
2 E. Airy Street
PO Box 311
Norristown, PA 19404
United States
Organization information
Organization name: 
Montgomery County Office of the Public Defender
Street address: 
2 E. Airy Street PO Box 311
Job type: 
Legal - Defender
Position Description: 

The Montgomery County Office of the Public Defender is accepting applications for the position of Chief of the Appellate Unit. The Montgomery County Office of the Public Defender has over 40 attorneys who represent adults and juveniles in criminal matters through trial, sentencing, and appeals. Clients receive collaborative representation through a team of dedicated professionals who specialize in criminal and juvenile defense. We provide the highest quality representation to our clients and prioritize a holistic, client centered, and community oriented practice with the ultimate goals of securing the best possible outcomes in our clients’ cases, ameliorating the conditions that led to their involvement in the justice system, and improving the overall outcomes for their lives.

The Chief of the Appellate Unit is responsible for the management and supervision of the Appellate Unit of the Public Defender’s Office. The Appellate Chief supervises at least 2 attorneys and an appellate secretary (Assistant Chief Clerk – Assistant Officer Administrator). The Appellate Chief oversees the appellate representation of all adult clients who have been convicted of criminal offenses and juvenile clients who have been adjudicated delinquent or found to be dependent. The Appellate Chief briefs and argues all major and most serious high profile appeals including but not limited to homicide and capital case appeals, and also monitors performance of appellate attorneys and provides training, counseling and advice as required. The Appellate Chief also handles and assigns representation of clients on PCRA hearings to which this office has been appointed. The Appellate Chief provides trial support and guidance to the trial attorneys advising them on trial strategy, case law support and questions from courtroom attorneys. The Appellate Chief is an integral part of the management team advising the Chief Defender on trends in criminal law and providing training to staff attorneys on new and developing areas of criminal law and procedure.


Take inventory of new appellate cases including consultation with trial attorney regarding issues for appeal.
Assigns appeals, PCRA and other post-sentence matters to most qualified attorney in the team for most effective representation.
Handle a case load of post conviction matters.
Expected to handle high visibility and most complicated appeals.
Advise trial attorneys on trial strategy.
Plan, develop and present training to office staff


QUALIFICATION REQUIREMENTS: To perform this job successfully, an individual must be able to perform each essential duty satisfactorily. The requirements listed below are representative of the knowledge, skill and/or ability required. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.

Must have JD Degree
Must have Admission to the Bar of the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania
Must have Minimum 5 years as practicing criminal law attorney. Prior jury trial experience preferable but not required.
Must have thorough knowledge of Rules of Appellate Procedure, Criminal Law and Criminal Law and Criminal Procedure.
Must possess excellent analytical ability
Must have prior appellate experience including argument before appellate courts
Must have excellent communication skills (oral and written)
Must be able to do research
Must be able to negotiate and engage in creative problem-solving.
Must have strong leadership abilities; Prior management experience preferable but not required.

To apply: 
Equal Opportunity Employer
Salary range: