CLACKAMAS COUNTY

CLASSIFICATION NO. 088
Established: 03/82
Revised: 01/93; 09/04, 12/07
FLSA: Exempt
EEO: 2

LEGAL COUNSEL, SENIOR

CLASS CHARACTERISTICS

Under general direction, to prosecute, defend, appeal and negotiate civil law suits and other legal proceedings; to negotiate and document complex real property transactions; to negotiate loans, bonds and other financial transactions;  to research, negotiate and ensure compliance with federal and state regulatory requirements;  to provide legal advice and guidance to County officials; to review, comment on and draft proposed legislative measures;  to perform legal research and prepare legal documents and opinions; to lead and guide projects with other level attorneys, legal assistants and other support staff; and to do other work as required.

DISTINGUISHING CHARACTERISTICS

The Office of County Counsel provides legal representation and advice to the Board of County Commissioners, County departments, elected officials and other authorities in relation to their official duties.

The Legal Counsel, Senior reports to the County Counsel and is an advanced journey level classification with independent legal responsibility for assigned County departments and a major legal specialty, such as tort litigation, land use, bankruptcy, tax matters, code enforcement, labor relations, foreclosures, real property and development, environmental matters, or civil forfeiture.  As needed, incumbents oversee projects and project teams with other attorneys and legal assistants and may be assigned as a primary backup for a major legal specialty and department.  The Legal Counsel, Senior may represent the Office of County Counsel in the absence of the County Counsel.

The Legal Counsel, Senior differs from Legal Counsel which are generally assigned to less complex professional legal tasks that often include leadership and direction from County Counsel or a Legal Counsel, Senior.

TYPICAL TASKS

Duties may include but are not limited to the following:

1. Prosecutes, defends and appeals legal actions, suits and other proceedings regarding land use, code enforcement, tax appeals and general municipal law on behalf of the County; prepares and presents cases at trials or hearings and on appeal; investigates facts; interviews and deposes witnesses; prepares case reports and summaries; evaluates and negotiates out of court settlements; coordinates the claim investigation and response activities of County departments.
 
2. Provides legal counsel to the Board of County Commissioners, County officers, assigned County departments and various boards and commissions; attends public meetings and work sessions; advises on legal rights and responsibilities and other legal issues; analyzes, researches, drafts and/or revises ordinances, resolutions, contracts, agreements, and other legal documents.
 
3. Acts as the primary legal resource for all County departments in one or more legal specialties and serves as backup to other assigned specialties; advises County departments on appropriate action for a variety of legal problems and issues, including loss prevention policies and measures; researches, analyzes, advises and applies liability factors and risk management principles and trains County personnel; interprets Federal, State and local legislation, statutes, rules and regulations; reviews and makes recommendations on proposed policy or procedural changes; assists County departments with public relations and media issues.
 
4. Directs and evaluates the work of Legal Counsel, paralegals, legal secretaries and assistants involved in County legal matters; plans, organizes and leads staff projects and assignments; develops general legal strategies for sensitive cases and issues; assists in the development of policies, procedures and work plans; makes recommendations on work priorities.
 
5. Prepares and analyzes proposed state and federal legislation affecting County operations; represents the County’s interests at legislative hearings.
 
6. Researches, studies and interprets the application of laws, court decisions and other legal authorities and precedents; prepares legal opinions, memoranda and briefs.
 
7. Interacts, confers and negotiates with local government officials, city and county counsels, attorneys general, and private attorneys regarding County legal matters, including negotiating contracts and agreements with outside agencies and government.
 
8. Negotiates labor agreements; defends County departments in labor disputes; participates in and consults on labor relation issues.
 
9. Researches, reviews, prepares and negotiates complex real property transactional documents, including offers, purchase and sale agreements, leases, options, deeds, contracts, easements, escrow agreements, disposition and development agreements.
 
10. Researches, reviews, negotiates and ensures compliance with all applicable federal, state and other governmental regulations, including environmental requirements, land use permits, operational compliance, and the maintenance, operation, use, clean-up and disposition of environmentally sensitive or regulated utility sites.
 
11. Negotiates, prepares and oversees complex financial transactions, loans, credit facilities, debentures, general and revenue bond financings;  ensures compliance with all applicable state and federal public finance statutes and regulations.

REQUIRED KNOWLEDGE AND SKILLS

Considerable knowledge of: Principles and practices of municipal law; principles and techniques of legal writing, judicial procedure and rules of evidence; civil trial and appellate procedures in state and federal courts and administrative tribunals; legal terminology; Federal, State and local statutes, regulations, rules and ordinances applicable to County activities and functions, including municipal liability, public meetings, torts, contracts, real property and land use, urban renewal, public records, ethics and public financing, including tax and bond instruments; principles and techniques of negotiation in complex transactions; principles and techniques of leading legal projects; liability and risk management principles;  organization of County government; County ordinances, rules and policies; department policies and procedures; principles of labor relations; principles of environmental regulatory compliance.

Skill to:  Establish findings of fact and decisions in concise written form; interpret and apply legal principles; analyze problems and identify alternative solutions; communicate effectively, both orally and in writing; provide accurate and practical legal advice; effectively present legal positions to judges, juries, hearings officers and the public; negotiate complex transactions to completion;  work with regulatory agencies and authorities in establishment and compliance with imposed requirements;  establish and maintain effective working relationships with elected officials, government agencies, court system personnel, private and public attorneys, County employees and the public; lead and guide the work of legal professionals on assigned projects.

OTHER REQUIREMENTS

Active member of the Oregon State Bar.  Admitted to practice in the U.S. District Courts for the State of Oregon and the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. 

Must successfully pass a criminal history check which may include national or state fingerprint records check.

Driving may be necessary for County business.  For position(s) with occasional/incidental driving, incumbents must possess a valid driver's license.  Accommodation requests for an acceptable alternative method of transportation will be reviewed on an individual basis in compliance with State and Federal legislation.  For position(s) with regular driving, incumbent(s) must also possess and maintain an acceptable driving record throughout the course of employment.

MINIMUM RECRUITING STANDARDS

Any satisfactory combination of experience and training that demonstrates possession of the required knowledge and skills.

Edited: 07/13