• Provides court-appointed indigent defense services within Berrien County Courts.
  • Provides supervision to the Public Defender's Office staff, including APD's, Investigators and clerical staff in conjunction with the Chief Public Defender.
  • Reviews charging instruments, police reports, and other discovery provided by the Prosecution.
  • Promptly meets with clients and learns the client's goals for the representation and any special needs of the client.
  • Determines what further fact investigation to undertake and directs that investigation, including the identification, consultation and hiring of applicable experts as approved by the Chief Public Defender.
  • Determines what legal issues need development, researches those issues and presents them in the appropriate forum.
  • Negotiates with the Prosecution and promptly advises the client of the status of those negotiations.
  • Litigates any legal issues that are necessary and appropriate, including bringing cases to trial.
  • Conducts any post-trial litigation necessary such as sentencing and post-trial motions (excluding appeals).
  • Participates in the performance appraisal process, assists in hiring process, new hire orientation and enforces office policies and procedures.
  • This description is intended to illustrate the type and level of work being performed by persons assigned to this job. It may not be a comprehensive list of all duties and responsibilities required by a person so classified.

Education and Experience:
  • Graduation from an accredited law school and must be a member of the Michigan State Bar in good standing.
  • At least eight years of criminal defense experience or comparable civil legal service is desired.
  • Demonstrated supervisory experience may be substituted for the required eight years of criminal defense experience.

Additional Requirements:
  • Must possess a valid driver's license and access to a reliable vehicle.
  • A pre-employment physical, drug test and background check are required before employment.

Required Knowledge and Skills:
  • Ability to operate typical office equipment and technology.
  • Able to utilize the services of interpreters when necessary.
  • Effective communication skills, with the ability to relate empathetically to clients with diverse backgrounds and special needs.
  • Proven supervisory techniques.
  • Able to maintain confidentiality with highly sensitive information, learn quickly, multitask and function efficiently under stressful and distracting conditions.
  • Able to work independently as well as cooperatively in a legal services team atmosphere.

Miscellaneous Information:Note: The CAPD may participate only in Berrien County Public Defender Office assigned legal work for compensation during the term of their employment, with the exception of cases obtained prior to employment with the office. Permission of the Chief Public Defender is required to continue representation on prior non-BCPD cases and/or to be involved in active representation on a pro bono basis.