North Dakota Court System
600 E. Boulevard Ave., Mail Stop 180
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$70,000 and above
$7,054 monthly; plus excellent benefits package including employer paid family health insurance premiums and retirement contributions and generous vacation and sick leave accruals, visit: http://www.ndcourts.gov/state-court-administration/human-resources/career-opportunities/benefits.
The Staff Attorney-District Court is responsible for providing extensive legal research and analysis of legal issues and cases pending before the North Dakota District Courts and making recommendations on the proposed disposition of cases. Assists judges and judicial referees by applying legal principles and research in the drafting and writing of judicial orders and provides support services on other related matters. Makes a verbatim record of district and juvenile court trials, proceedings and other matters using audio recording equipment, writing court logs and noting appearances and essential events during the proceedings. Performs courtroom duties.
1. Conducts in-depth legal research and analysis of legal precedents, statutes, regulations, and legislative history for all judges and judicial referees in the district. Reviews case records, including briefs and transcripts/recordings of prior hearings when necessary. Drafts findings and orders for the district court judges and judicial referees on complex cases in all areas of the law, including civil, criminal, juvenile, family law, and administrative appeals.
2. Edits draft options prepared by other law clerk staff, judges, and judicial referees and offers changes in style or content. Reviews legal analysis and proofreads findings and orders for both style and content.
3. Confers with judges and judicial referees on pending cases. Provides background research and analysis on the law and facts. Provides summary and analysis of relevant similar issues faced by other judges in the district and resolution of prior similar cases. Identifies nuances in the cases and suggests areas that will need clarification at any hearing. Suggests possible resolutions and alerts judges to any possible concerns or appealable issues surrounding proposed resolutions of issues.
4. Drafts jury instructions and special verdict forms for upcoming trials. Conducts necessary research for judges to make a determination on any requested special jury instructions, and to make a determination on relevant pattern instructions. Confers with judges regarding closing instructions and drafts closing instructions.
5. Assists judges through ongoing complex trials. Provides insight and legal analysis on trial matters as requested by judges, including objections, in-chamber conferences, and motions made through trial. Conducts in-depth legal research during the trials to provide the judges with the necessary law for making quick decisions and rulings as issues arise during trial.
6. Drafts orders for judges after complex bench trials. Attends entire bench trial if requested and analyzes testimony and evidence presented to the assigned judge. Suggests possible resolution and drafts final findings and order as requested by the assigned judge.
7. In districts with multiple law clerks, if assigned by the presiding judge of the district, may supervise the term law clerk. Supervision may include: reviewing resumes and application materials, conducting interviews, making hiring decisions, training, orientating, answering questions and mentoring on cases and legal issues.
8. Accurately records, transcribes and certifies the record of court and jury trial proceedings, unless it is prepared by a third party, by computer-aided equipment per state and appellate requirements. Responsibility also requires taking court notes during hearings to identify appearances and to note significant events during the hearing and to locate and present prior testimony. Requires travel to other counties within the outside of the district for court proceedings assigned to the district judge or referee.
9. Performs clerking duties in courtroom, administers oath, marks documents, maintains logs and other forms and transfers storage devices, files and records to the clerk of district court for reference.
10. Performs other duties of a comparable level or type.
Requires a juris doctor degree from an accredited law school and a minimum of two years related experience conducting legal research, preparing and/or presenting cases in state courts. Requires a license to practice law in the State of North Dakota. If assigned recording duties, then requires AAERT (American Association of Electronic Reporters and Transcribers) CER (certified electronic court reporter) certification or ability to obtain within six months of job entry. A comparable certification by another state court or federal court may be substituted for the AAERT certification.
Applications must be submitted online at https://www.governmentjobs.com/careers/ndcourts. Any form of paper or other electronic application will not be accepted.
The successful candidate will be subject to a criminal background check.
Persons needing accommodation or assistance in the application process may call Human Resources at (701) 328-4216.