Description:

The Litigation Attorney performs professional legal work in the Litigation Section of the AOPC Legal Department and is responsible for providing legal representation for judges, district court administrators, and other judicial officials and agencies when facing legal action related to their official duties. The Attorney will serve as “second chair” in high-profile or highly complex cases and will work independently using sound judgment and discretion.

With offices in Harrisburg, Philadelphia, and Pittsburgh, the Legal Department provides advice and counsel to the PA Supreme Court, the state court administrator, state court judges, and UJS personnel on legal, administrative, and policy matters. AOPC/Legal - comprised of 12 attorneys and 5 paralegals/legal secretaries - includes three primary units. First, the Litigation Unit represents Pennsylvania court entities, judges, and state-paid court personnel in litigation matters, predominately in federal court, often testing state court sovereignty under the federal constitution. They provide advice to prevent litigation whenever possible but do not provide representation in criminal or disciplinary actions. Second, the Transactional Unit negotiates contracts and prepares and reviews documents respecting competitive procurements. They are also responsible for managing AOPC’s leasing portfolio. Third, the Information Technology Unit participates in planning and implementing the statewide case management systems, and related programs, ensuring that the systems comply with all applicable laws and legal procedural requirements. They also serve as the primary point of contact with other agencies, organizations, and departments that work with AOPC to obtain information and data from AOPC’s various case management systems. In addition, they review legislation affecting Pennsylvania’s judiciary as well as provide guidance on issues related to public access to court case records.

Primary Duties
  • Develops a theory of each case, interviews clients and witnesses, and advises clients.
  • Drafts responses to lawsuits, such as motions to dismiss, preliminary objections, motions for summary judgment, motions to quash, and memoranda of law.
  • Researches relevant areas of law using Lexis, Westlaw, and other research tools.
  • Propounds and responds to discovery requests.
  • Deposes opposing parties, witnesses, and experts; prepares clients for and defends depositions.
  • Argues motions in federal and state court.
  • Drafts federal and state appellate court briefs and presents oral arguments.
  • Responds to employment discrimination complaints; compiles documentation and advises clients on employment law issues.
  • Prepares witnesses for trial in federal and state courts; files pretrial memoranda; conducts voir dire; and prepares proposed jury instructions, proposed findings of fact and conclusions of law, motions in limine, and memoranda of law.
  • Conducts trials, including post-trial motions.
  • Negotiates and finalizes settlements; participates in Alternative Dispute Resolution.
  • Studies advance sheets, digests, and newsletters to stay current in substantive and procedural law.

Minimum Qualifications
  • Graduation from an ABA-approved law school. Admission to and in good standing before the Bar of the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania.
  • Two years of progressively responsible professional legal experience.

Additional Requirements/Preferences
  • Some employment law experience, particularly with federal anti-discrimination laws preferred.
  • Some litigation experience in the federal courts, including civil rights, constitutional law, and employment law cases preferred.
  • Excellent oral and written communication skills are required.
  • Occasional overnight travel may be required.
  • A satisfactory criminal background check is required.

Additional Information
Unified Judicial System Hiring Policy
The Unified Judicial System of Pennsylvania recruits, employs, and promotes the most qualified applicants without regard to their political affiliation, race, color, age, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, religion, disability, or other non-merit facts or considerations. Reasonable accommodations will be provided to applicants with disabilities as may be necessary to ensure that all applicants are given a fair and equal opportunity to compete for all employment positions. Applicants who need accommodation for an interview should request so in advance. UJS hiring and employment policies and procedures are intended to conform to all applicable state and federal laws governing fair and non-discriminatory hiring and employment practices and are subject to change as necessary to remain in compliance with such laws.

Applicants requiring accommodation, for any part of the application and/or interview process, should contact Human Resources at (717) 231-3309 or human.resources@pacourts.us.