Job post

Public Defender

Mohave County
Salary Range: 
$88,483.20 - $137,280.00 Annually

As one of four indigent defense offices in Mohave County, the Public Defender's Office serves as the primary defense agency for clients who have been appointed counsel. Attorneys are expected to provide services and coverage to the County's Courts located in the four major cities--Kingman, Bullhead City, Lake Havasu City, and Colorado City. Employees within the Department are expected to adhere to County Policies, Court Rules, State Statutes, as well as State and National Bar Standards. The Office of the Public Defender is responsible for assuring that constitutional and statutorily mandated legal representation is provided to indigent clients within Mohave County and to provide a wide variety of complex professional legal services for Mohave County.

The Office of the Public Defender represents clients in several case types including:

• Criminal Felonies

• Criminal Misdemeanors

• Juvenile Delinquencies

• Juvenile Dependencies

• Title 36 Proceedings

• Sexually Violent Persons

The ideal candidate will have executive knowledge of the principles of criminal and/or civil law, the methods and practices of pleading criminal cases, and effective techniques in the preparation, presentation and representation of criminal cases in court. Widespread knowledge of the judicial procedures and rules of evidence and interviewing and investigative techniques is necessary. The importance of this position requires that the Public Defender be an experienced leader with excellent communication skills, administrative, management abilities, and is proficient at developing relationships and consensus. The Public Defender is an integral part of the County's management team and will be expected to take a leadership role in managing the County's shared vision. Serious candidates should also have the skills to provide the vision and leadership to implement cutting-edge services and technologies, a leader who excels at building partnerships, empowering staff, and collaborating with other elected officials, departments and agencies.

REPORTS TO: County Manager

SUPERVISION EXERCISED: Supervision is exercised directly, or through subordinate supervisory personnel, over a staff, attorneys, investigative, paralegal, and clerical support personnel.


• Plans, organizes, coordinates, and directs the activities of the Public Defender Department.

• Plans, reviews and discusses research work of department attorneys in their preparation for trials and preparation of legal opinions and in matter relating to the Public Defender Department.

• Manages, oversees and directs entry and maintenance of internal departmental records and data. Develops and administers department budget.

• Completes performance evaluations, makes hiring selections, processes disciplinary actions to include conducting investigations into complaints and allegations against department personnel, approves vacations and time off, prepares work schedules and assignments, supervises the activities of department personnel, monitors recordkeeping activities filed by department personnel for completeness, accuracy, and adherence to County policy and procedure guidelines, instructs personnel in departmental policies, procedures and techniques, and provides technical assistance and training on specific direct representation issues and cases assigned to department.

• Evaluates the quality, efficiency and effectiveness of department services.

• Supervises the presentation of cases assigned to department presented before the local courts.

• Assists in interviewing witnesses and other interested persons regarding cases assigned to department.

• Appears in juvenile, justice and superior court for hearings and trials. Presents briefs in the Court of Appeals, Arizona Supreme Court, and juvenile, justice and superior courts in non post-conviction proceedings. Negotiates settlements.

• Assigns and advises investigators and other para-professional staff concerning matters relevant to cases assigned to department. • Evaluates information as to possible use in court. Reviews facts, compiles and interprets and applies laws, court decisions and legal points and authorities for use in the preparation and presentation of cases, pleas, opinions, and briefs for prosecution and defense cases.

• Prepares motions, pleadings and briefs.

• Performs related work as required.

• Coordinates departmental activities.

• Defends clients in felony criminal proceedings and clients charged with misdemeanor offenses.

*APPLICATION REQUIREMENTS: To be considered for this position, a writing sample of a substantive motion filed in a case within the last three years must be attached to your completed online application.


• Admission to the Bar of the State of Arizona and eligibility to practice law before the courts of the State of Arizona.

• Progressively responsible legal experience to include ten (10) years of criminal law r in areas related to criminal law with demonstrated administrative and/or supervisory experience.


• Possession of a certificate of admission to the State Bar of Arizona.

• Must possess a valid State of Arizona Driver's License at the start of employment and maintain said license while employed in this position.

• Must provide acceptable driving history at no cost to the County.

KNOWLEDGE, SKILLS & ABILITIES Executive knowledge of:

• Principles of civil and/or criminal law and of the methods and practices of pleading.

• Judicial procedures and rules of evidence.

• Principles, methods, materials, practices and references utilized in legal research and presentation.

• Methods and practices of pleading civil and/or criminal cases and of effective techniques in the presentation and preparation of cases in court.

• Interviewing and investigative techniques.

• Principles and practices of administration, supervision, training and evaluation.

• Budgetary and financial procedures.

• Department policies rules, regulations, and procedures.

• Mohave County Merit Rules, Administrative Procedures and Department Regulations.

• Familiarity and understanding of Arizona Revised Statutes 11-581 - 11-588..

Skill in:

• Identification and correction of professional, para-professional and support staff performance problems.

• Preparation and trial of cases.

Ability to:

• Analyze, appraise and organize facts, evidence and precedents and to present such materials in writing and orally.

• Identify the determining aspects of cases and present them in a clear, logical manner and handle unanticipated problems smoothly.

• Understand, interpret and implement constitutional provisions, statutes, administrative regulations, precedents, court rules, and Bar Association standards.

• Maintain objectivity and freedom from prejudice.

• Deal with problems which may be controversial or sensitive in nature.

• Exercise judgment and discretion in matters of policy design and implementation and personnel management.

• Make decisions in accordance with established policies and regulations.

• Set priorities, plan, assign, supervise and evaluate the work of subordinates.

• Train subordinate professional employees in legal research and presentation methods and procedures.

• Analyze situations and determine appropriate or alternative actions.

• Communicate clearly and concisely, both orally and in writing with persons of diverse ethnic, educational and economic backgrounds.

• Maintain accurate and up-to-date records and documentation.

• Establish and maintain effective working relationships with those contacted in the course of work.

• Comply with Mohave County Merit Rules, Administrative Procedures and Department Regulations.

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