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Capital Defense Legal Claims Litigation Attorney position available

Friday, April 08, 2011

  • Office of the Colorado Public Defender

 Job Title: Capital Defense Legal Claims Litigation Attorney

Agency: The Office of the Colorado Public Defender

Location: Denver Colorado

Description: The Office of the State Public Defender (OSPD) is a state-wide indigent defense organization in Colorado that provides zealous and effective representation to all eligible clients. The OSPD recognizes that “death is different” and that in capital litigation it is extremely important that all legal claims be thoroughly investigated, analyzed and litigated not only to resolve the matters during the trial/punishment phase but also to protect the client’s rights in any post-conviction proceedings against arguments by the government that a claim has been waived, defaulted, not exhausted or otherwise forfeited. Therefore the OSPD includes on its capital litigation team an attorney whose primary responsibility is the litigation and preservation of all viable legal claims in the case.

Specifically, the legal claims litigation attorney must ensure that all viable legal claims have been investigated and litigated, that a full and complete record has been made regarding any claims, that any previously asserted claims are supplemented with additional facts or legal arguments if necessary, that any necessary interlocutory appeals are pursued and defended, and that all the client’s rights regarding both state and federal claims have been fully preserved. Additionally the legal claims litigation attorney will be expected to assist other team members in preparing and arguing jury instructions and provide advice and strategy to other team members regarding legal issues and issue preservation for appeal.

The legal claims litigation attorney will work as a member of a capital litigation team in the OSPD’s administrative office which is located in Denver Colorado. However, the applicant must be willing and able to travel, including overnight stays in other locations within and without the State of Colorado, if necessary for the defense of the team’s assigned client.

Requirements are:

• Licensed or eligible for immediate licensure in the State of Colorado;

• Criminal defense experience;

• Demonstrated knowledge and understanding of relevant state, federal and international law, both procedural and substantive, governing capital cases;

• Familiarity with the standards set forth in the ABA Guidelines for the Appointment and Performance of Defense Counsel in Death Penalty Cases;

• Demonstrated skill in researching and drafting pre-trial motions and/or trial or appellate briefs especially if the applicant has previously worked on death penalty and other related issues;

• Experience in oral arguments regarding legal issues at pre-trial proceedings, trial proceedings and/or at the appellate level;

• Willingness and ability to appear in any and all trial and appellate courts in Colorado (for extended periods of time as necessary).

Application Process: Applications are due on or before April 29, 2011 and must include a recent writing sample. Salary is dependent upon experience. Capital and/or appellate experience preferred, but not necessary to apply. Please apply by sending a cover letter, resume and writing sample to

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