Distinguishing Features of the Class
An employee in this class is responsible for providing a full range of legal services including serving as legal counsel for the County and the Manager, advising officials, boards and departments on questions of law in a wide variety of program and administrative business areas, and representing the County in civil and administrative litigation. Work includes extensive responsibility in litigation and dispute resolution. Work involves overseeing and coordinating the work of attorneys on contract and insuring preventive approaches are in the best interest of the County. Employee performs extensive legal research, commercial contract drafting and review, property transactions and ordinance drafting. Independent professional judgment, initiative and public contact skills are essential in performing various duties. Work requires extensive knowledge of State laws regulating local government, open meetings, public records, environmental and public utilities, property, contract and commercial and personnel in the State of North Carolina, as well as strong analytical skills. Work is performed under the general administrative supervision by the County Manager and is reviewed through discussion, reports results received, and feedback from officials and department heads.
Illustrative Examples of Work
- Serves as legal counsel for the County Manager, all Boards and Departments.
- Prepares and responds to legal claims against the County; researches case law and court rulings; determines merits of a case and points of law; analyzes pertinent statutory and case law, administrative and procedural rules; develops case strategy and legal arguments; conducts civil and administrative litigation.
- Represents County in court proceedings at any State and/or Federal level; prepares documents such as discovery, interrogatories, and depositions; prepares witnesses; participates in jury selection; prepares and presents opening and closing arguments before juries; prepares and argues various appropriate legal motions; and cross examines witnesses.
- Conducts legal research on a variety of issues relating to any County service programs and/or administrative business areas; may include research of constitutional law.
- Drafts various documents including legal orders resulting from Court and Board decisions, memorandums of law; contracts; easements; deeds and County ordinances.
- Serves as Ombudsman; responds to general public on any issue.
- Identifies potential legal issues in any County action and engages in work required to resolve; reviews agenda and documentation and/or attends meetings of various Boards; attends public hearings; reviews existing contracts, ordinances etc. and recommends/implements changes.
- Trains and prepares staff as necessary in the practices and procedures of courts.
- Reviews and/or prepares all contracts, deeds, easements and all other legal documents necessary to conduct the County’s business. Handles and resolves all claims involving potential legal obligations. Serves as legal counsel to all County Departments, Boards and Authorities including drafting orders, resolutions and all other documents.
- Attends conferences and workshops to maintain law license in accordance with State Bar requirements.
- Supervises staff attorneys and paralegals.
- Performs related duties as required.
Grade 87- $116,323.99 Annually
Education and Experience
- Doctoral degree from a recognized school of law and at least three years of progressively responsible professional legal experience, preferably in a local government setting.
Licenses and Certifications
- Licensed to practice law in the State of North Carolina.
- Successful completion of State Bar required 12 hours of annual CLE credits.
- Must possess a valid North Carolina Driver License.
Knowledge, Skills and Abilities
- Considerable knowledge of case, statutory, regulatory and common law, including but limited to GS 153-A, 40-A, 108 Local Government Commission Act, 160-A for Cities and Towns, GS 105 Machinery Act of NC, GS 126 Personnel Act, and Environmental and Natural Resources laws, and State and Federal Constitutional law.
- Considerable knowledge of judicial and quasi-judicial procedures and the rules of evidence.
- Ability to conduct civil or criminal litigation.
- Ability to interpret and apply constitutional provisions, statutes, administrative regulations, court decisions and other precedents.
- Ability to research and analyze facts, evidence, and legal instruments.
- Ability to express conclusion and arguments clearly and logically in oral and written forms.
- Ability to maintain effective working relationships with Board officials, County Manager and department heads, judges, other attorneys, and other employees.
- Ability to exercise sound judgment.