Closing Date: 26th December, 2022

Description:

The Department of Family and Protective Services (DFPS) Regional Managing Attorney performs advanced (senior-level) legal work for the DFPS Legal Services Division. Coordinates, directs, and performs litigation activities on behalf of the agency and supervises regional legal staff. Develops litigation strategies and approaches and oversees the litigation of DFPS court cases. Provides legal advice, opinions, consultation, and interpretations of statutes, regulations, and rules. Organizes and coordinates preparation of evidence, information, documents, statements, and other legal materials for litigation activities. Drafts legal documents, prepares cases for hearings and trials, and drafts bills for legislative consideration. Analyzes complex factual and legal issues, and develops evidence through witness interviews, depositions, and other discovery processes. Develops written opinions, briefs, contracts, proposals, and reports. Coordinates the preparation and timely filing of complaints, petitions, and other legal actions on behalf of DFPS. Provides advice on legal matters, and the interpretation and application of state and federal laws, regulations and rules affecting agency programs and operations. Develops legal interpretations and opinions regarding laws, regulations, case law and court decisions. Identifies and assesses legal risks and liabilities and provides legal risk mitigation strategies. Coordinates monitoring efforts to ensure agency compliance with federal and state laws, regulations, rules, and policies. Researches legal matters affecting the agency and evaluates case law and statutory requirements. Reviews and analyzes legislation, provides written legal analyses of potential agency impact, and responds to legislative and other government or enforcement entity inquiries. Provides training to agency personnel and external entities on legal issues, responsibilities, and risk mitigation. Represents agency Legal Services at hearings, legislative sessions, trials, other legal proceedings, conferences, meetings, seminars or on boards, panels, and committees as needed. May supervise the work of others. Works under minimal supervision, with considerable latitude for the use of initiative and independent judgment.

Essential Job Functions:
  • Coordinates, directs, and performs litigation activities on behalf of the agency and supervises regional legal staff.
  • Develops litigation strategies and approaches and oversees the litigation of DFPS court cases in which a DFPS attorney provides agency representation.
  • Coordinates litigation activities on behalf of the agency and oversees litigation of DFPS court cases in which a County or District Attorney provides direct representation.
  • Researches and drafts written legal opinions, briefs, contracts, proposals, and reports.
  • Develops written opinions, briefs, contracts, proposals, and reports
  • Drafts briefs, motions, orders, subpoenas, contracts, and other legal documents, as well as correspondence and reports.
  • Oversees the creation and issuance of legal documents, including subpoenas, motions, orders, writs, warrants, contracts, official policies, and other related documents.
  • Coordinates the preparation and timely filing of complaints and petitions, answers, motions, responses, replies, briefs, and discovery requests.
  • Drafts, coordinates, formulates, and reviews agency rules, legislation, agency administrative policies, and agency program policies and procedures.
  • Provides legal expertise to support policy development within agency programs and to assist programs in establishing program goals, objectives, policies, and procedures
  • Provides legal counsel, consultation, and expertise, and coordinates strategic planning and policy development.
  • Advises agency management, staff, local prosecutors, and the judiciary on highly complex legal matters.
  • Provides interpretation and application of state and federal laws, regulations and rules affecting agency programs and operations.
  • Directs complex legal and analytical work on substantive and procedural issues in litigation.
  • Develops legal opinions and positions on legal issues.
  • Analyzes the probable outcomes of cases and litigation, and advises agency leadership, management, and Legal Services Division staff accordingly.
  • Responds to legislative inquiries and other requests for information related to the agency.
  • Oversees and guides Child Protective Services (CPS) staff and Adult Protective Services (APS) staff in all legal matters and court proceedings.
  • Identifies legal risks and liabilities and advises agency management and staff to mitigate legal risks.
  • Presents before agency leadership, management, staff, and stakeholders to provide education on current legal issues, risk mitigation and the mission of DFPS.
  • Coordinates case preparation and legal research for litigation and represents DFPS in matters before the court.
  • Organizes and coordinates preparation of evidence, information evidence, information, documents, statements, legal instruments, witnesses, and other legal materials for litigation activities.
  • Represents the agency at hearings, legislative sessions, trials, other legal proceedings, conferences, meetings, seminars or on boards, panels, and committees as needed.
  • Provides training to agency personnel and external entities as needed regarding legal issues, responsibilities, risk mitigation and testimony
  • Develops legal interpretations and opinions concerning applicable laws, regulations, and case rulings.
  • Coordinates monitoring efforts within the Legal Services Division to ensure agency compliance with federal and state laws, regulations, rules, and policies.
  • Drafts memoranda on regulatory matters and administrative rules, and follows them through the process for publication in the Texas Register.
  • Researches legal matters affecting the agency, evaluates case law and statutes, and assesses legal records and documents to develop information applicable to legal issues under consideration or in litigation.
  • Drafts legal documents, prepares cases for hearings and trials, and drafts bills for legislative consideration.
  • Researches and drafts bills, and amendments for legislative consideration.
  • Reviews and analyzes legislation and provides written legal analyses of potential agency impact.
  • Takes depositions and responds to discovery requests.
  • Identifies legal defenses, witnesses and relevant evidence, witness preparation; preparation of subpoenas; and attending and participating in depositions, hearings, and trials.
  • Coordinates the planning and organization of litigation case and task assignments within the division.
  • Develops and prepares appeals of legal decisions and orders, and ensures timely, appropriate legal action on behalf of the agency.
  • Drafts and oversees the creation and issuance of subpoenas.
  • Identifies legal defenses, witnesses and relevant evidence, witness preparation; preparation of subpoenas; and attending and participating in depositions, hearings, and trials.
  • Hires, manages, and provides guidance and professional development for regional legal staff.
  • Provides direct reports with work assignments, clear direction and information on responsibilities and work performance expectations.
  • Develops work performance plans and conducts performance evaluations at least annually.
  • Oversees the development and advancement of legal staff through training and effective use of employee development plans.
  • Provides leadership to employees using a performance management strategy and development process to provide an overall context and framework that fosters employee contribution.
  • Engages employees in goal setting, professional development, and performance development planning.
  • Leads employees to meet the organization's expectations for productivity, quality, and goal accomplishment.
  • Performs related work as assigned.

Knowledge Skills Abilities:
  • Knowledge of legal principles, practices, and proceedings; of state and federal laws, rules, and regulations; and of agency administrative rules and regulations.
  • Knowledge of federal and state statutes, laws, regulations, policies and rules related to the Department of Family and Protective Services.
  • Knowledge of Texas Family Code, Texas Probate Code, Texas Rules of Civil Procedure, Texas Human Resources Code, Texas Civil Practices and Remedies Code, Texas Administrative Code.
  • Knowledge of ethical principles governing the practice of law.
  • Knowledge of DFPS agency programs.
  • Knowledge of the principles and practices of public administration and management.
  • Knowledge of legal principles, case law, precedents, and their legal applications.
  • Skill in legal research, writing, and analysis; in the use of a computer and applicable software; in using reasoning and logic; in identifying and solving complex problems; in prioritizing workloads; in mediation and negotiations; and in using judgment to identify courses of action.
  • Skill in conducting legal research, to summarize findings, to use legal reference materials writing, and analysis.
  • Skill in litigation and caseload management.
  • Skill in using judgment to identify courses of action.
  • Skill in conducting litigation legal work related to enforcement of state government agency rules, policies, and regulations.
  • Skill in accessing and using various legal reference materials.
  • Skill in planning and assigning the work of others.
  • Skill in planning, organizing, and managing legal projects and operations. High level of attention to detail and accuracy.
  • Skill in drafting all manner of legal documents.
  • Skill in interpreting and applying laws and regulations.
  • Skill in establishing and maintaining effective working relationships.
  • Skill in handling multiple projects and meeting deadlines.
  • Skill in communicating commendably both verbally and in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience to convey information effectively.
  • Skill in legal writing and analysis.
  • Skill in utilizing computers, Microsoft Office Systems, word processing, spreadsheets, databases, and a variety of computer software applications.
  • Skilled in the principles, methods, materials and practices of legal research and writing.
  • Skill in analyzing and evaluating current and proposed legislation.
  • Skilled in preparing clear and concise memoranda, summarizing legal issues and precedents.
  • Ability to plan and organize work, to conduct and advise on hearings, to prepare opinions and briefs, to prepare cases for trial, to interpret and apply laws, to communicate effectively, and to supervise the work of others.
  • Ability to engage in appropriate legal negotiations with a variety of entities.
  • Ability to prepare accurate, concise legal opinions and briefs.
  • Ability to conduct research and summarize findings in writing.
  • Ability to interpret and apply laws and legal concepts.
  • Ability to motivate, professionally develop, and provide direction to staff.
  • Ability to identify problems, evaluate alternatives, and implement effective solutions.
  • Ability to apply clear, logical problem-solve techniques and make critical decisions in a fast-paced environment.
  • Ability to conduct presentations and deliver effective legal arguments hearings, trials and other legal proceedings.
  • Ability to plan and organize work with minimal supervision.
  • Ability to identify complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.
  • Ability to present statements of fact and law and argue clearly and logically in written and oral form.
  • Ability to define issues, perform legal research, analyze problems, evaluate alternatives and make appropriate recommendations.
  • Ability to work cooperatively as a member of a team.
  • Ability to work independently within a collaborative environment.
  • Ability to identify risks and propose alternative strategies to mitigate risk.
  • Ability to organize and manage multiple tasks and make efficient use of time and resources.

Registration or Licensure Requirements:
Must be licensed as an attorney by the State of Texas

Initial Selection Criteria:
Five years experience in the practice of civil law and civil litigation. Experience in court as an attorney for parent or child, or as an attorney representing TDFPS, in CPS cases.