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Home Careers Job Descriptions Staff Attorney - Court of Appeals
Staff Attorney - Court of Appeals

Staff Attorney - Court of Appeals Job Description

Job Title: Staff Attorney - Court of Appeals
Job Code: R45310
Job Series: Staff Attorney
FLSA Status: Excluded
OCC Group: Professional Services (PS)

Signature of the State Court Administrator approval available on file in the Human Resources Division.

General Statement Of Duties:
Provides highly complex legal services to the Court of Appeals, including advising the court regarding jurisdictional issues and motions presented to the court during the appeal process; independently review appellate briefs, prepare draft opinions in accordance with Colorado law; provide legal research, training, and advice to members of the court regarding resolution of highly complex or novel legal issues.
Distinguishing Factors:
Positions in this classification are distinguished from Appellate Law Clerk positions based on the depth of expertise, specialization, and independent judgment required to fulfill the Staff Attorney’s duties.  Positions in this classification are distinguished from the Deputy Chief Staff Attorneys by the level of supervisory responsibility.  Supervision is received from a Deputy Staff Attorney or the Chief Staff Attorney.
Essential Functions Of the Position:
Maintains a high level of expertise in one or more subject areas by reviewing new rules, legislation, Colorado cases (both published and unpublished), applicable federal cases, including U.S. Supreme court cases, and other materials as appropriate.
Screens appeals for jurisdictional defects; analyzes issues relating to jurisdiction and appellate procedure and advises the court regarding the resolution of those issues; prepares orders as needed.
Independently reviews appeals in areas of expertise, analyzes issues presented, researches applicable rules, statutes, and case law as needed, and reviews relevant portions of the record.  Determines whether issues have been preserved for review, whether they should be resolved procedurally or on the merits, and the correct resolution of each issue based on the controlling legal authority and the facts of the case. 
Prepares draft opinions, clearly and concisely stating the relevant facts, the issues presented, the applicable legal authority, and the resolution of each issue.  If necessary, drafts alternative resolutions and provides a recommendation as to which resolution is most appropriate and why.  Recommends publication of cases as appropriate based on novelty or significance of issues, need for clarification of existing law, or other factors.
Consults with and advises judges regarding complex or novel legal issues. 
Serves as a legal resource in areas of expertise for Law Clerks, other Staff Attorneys with different areas of expertise, and judges of the Court of Appeals.  Prepares and maintains substantive and procedural resource materials in areas of expertise for judges and staff of the court.  May also serve as a legal resource for the larger legal community through service in professional organizations, preparation and presentation of continuing legal education materials, or other appropriate activities.
Attend meetings and required training.
Performs other duties as assigned.
Supervisor Responsibilities:
Responsible for one's own work product and provides guidance, assistance, and mentorship to law clerks, less knowledgeable or experienced coworkers, volunteers, or interns, including scheduling of work, instructing in work methods and reviewing work products.  May provide input into the hiring and discipline/termination processes.  Normally has input into performance evaluation process.
Minimum Education:
Graduation from an accredited law school, possession of a certificate of admission to the Bar of the State of Colorado; eligibility to practice law before the courts of the State of Colorado; and a minimum of four years of experience in the practice of law or equivalent experience.
Physical Demands:
While performing the duties of this job, the employee is regularly required to sit, reach with hands and arms, and talk or hear.  The employee is occasionally required to walk; use hands and arms to perform repetitive motions; and stoop, kneel, crouch, or crawl.  The employee must occasionally lift and/or move up to 10 pounds. Specific vision abilities required by this job include close vision, distance vision, color vision, and ability to adjust focus.
Work Environment:
Occasionally handles emergency or crisis situations; may be subject to interruptions and multiple calls and inquiries.  The noise level in the work environment is usually quiet.
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