Deputy City Attorney V – Affirmative Litigation, Innovation and Enforcement Division
The Office of the City Attorney seeks a highly qualified, innovative, and community-oriented experienced attorney who is committed to public service. This attorney will be a Deputy City Attorney V (DCA V), the most senior deputy city attorney classification, and will handle, oversee and coordinate the most complex cases and supervise other attorneys. This DCA…
About The Position
The Office of the City Attorney seeks a highly qualified, innovative, and community-oriented experienced attorney who is committed to public service. This attorney will be a Deputy City Attorney V (DCA V), the most senior deputy city attorney classification, and will handle, oversee and coordinate the most complex cases and supervise other attorneys. This DCA V will (1) co-supervise the attorneys in the Neighborhood Law Corps, Community Lawyering and Civil Rights and Housing Justice Initiative units of the Affirmative Litigation, Innovation and Enforcement Division; (2)collaborate with and mentor other attorneys; and (3) serve as team leader on a number of cases.
The ideal candidate for this position will have expertise in affirmative litigation and advocacy, including but not limited to:(1) experience leading complex civil litigation in state and/or federal court, such as for other local, state, or federal government agencies, nonprofits, law firms, and/or unions; (2) experience working with partner/peer governments, organizations, firms, and/or other stakeholders on significant cases, campaigns, and/or negotiations; and (3) subject matter expertise regarding at least some of the work of the Affirmative Litigation Division (e.g., workers’ rights, tenants’ rights, civil rights, public nuisance, environmental justice). The ideal candidate also will have at least some experience and/or training in management and supervision.
In addition to the above, specific affirmative civil litigation experience involving constitutional law; climate justice; housing justice; economic justice; discrimination based on race, sex, or immigration status; unfair business practices; and/or consumer protection is desirable. Other beneficial knowledge and experience include: building and housing codes, blight and nuisance enforcement, foreclosed and vacant housing ordinances, advice to boards or commission and/or city councils or county boards; ordinance and regulation drafting; administrative procedures, including administrative enforcement, remedies, and rule-making; and other forms of litigation (including writs and appeals).
It is a plus for candidates to be familiar with federal, state, and local authority for local government(s) to bring affirmative cases. Regardless of its origin, the candidate’s litigation experience should be sufficient to both directly handle complex affirmative litigation matters and to supervise and guide other attorneys.
The attorney will report to the Chief Assistant City Attorney and may receive general supervision from a Special Counsel, Chief Assistant City Attorney and/or the City Attorney. The City Attorney may assign the selected attorney to new, additional or different duties or practice areas in litigation, advice, or transactional work, including non- supervisory work.
Attorneys in this diverse and exciting Office and in this Division frequently work collaboratively with other attorneys, other City Departments, other municipalities and governmental institutions, and non-profits on a wide variety of issues.
This position focuses on litigation, legislation, and policy work related to advancing racial, environmental, housing, economic, and other forms of justice in Oakland’s diverse neighborhoods. We are seeking candidates who are highly motivated problem-solvers, able to communicate effectively with diverse communities and stakeholders inside and outside of the City, and who enjoy a high level of responsibility and dynamic practice.
Responsibilities include, but are not limited to: supervising other attorneys in litigation tasks (e.g., investigations; case evaluation; preparing pleadings; propounding and responding to discovery; taking and defending depositions; and preparing for and representing the City and/or the People of California in court, including settlement conferences, motions, and at trial), as well as performing those tasks themselves from time to time. The position may also require supervising attorneys on other, non-litigation projects (e.g., administrative enforcement of local ordinances, drafting of ordinances and resolutions, developing strategies to engage local civil society partners, and working closely with attorneys in a variety of public law offices), and may also require the attorney to perform those tasks themselves from time to time.
Duties may include but are not limited to:
• Leading teams in initiating and prosecuting complex civil litigation, including but not limited to civil rights, consumer protection, public nuisance, workers’ rights, environmental justice, and housing cases.
• Supervising other attorneys in litigating these types of cases.
• Coordinating litigation efforts with other governmental entities and/or nonprofits.
• Serving as a direct supervisor to at least nine junior and mid-level attorneys and providing those attorneys with leadership, guidance, and technical expertise.
• Exercising sound judgment and clearly explaining legal advice to attorneys and lay people, defending legal analyses.
• Preparing, reviewing and overseeing legal opinions, ordinances, regulations, resolutions, contracts and other legal documents.
• Working closely with City administrators, elected officials and agency and department executives to ensure compliance with laws and City policies.
• Presenting reports to the Council in open and closed sessions.
• Reviewing staff reports and writing City Council reports.
• Handling administrative hearings and appeals.
• Attendance at some evening and late-night meetings may be required.
The following qualifications are guidelines, as the appointing authority has broad discretion in filling positions in this classification.
Any combination of experience and education that would likely provide the required knowledge and abilities is qualifying. A typical way to obtain the knowledge and abilities would be:
Experience: Ten years of professional experience in relevant areas of law.
• A member in good standing of the California State Bar.
• Incumbents in this position are required to maintain a valid California Driver’s License during City employment or demonstrate the ability to travel to required locations in a timely manner. Due to assignments and hours or work, public transportation may not always be an efficient method for traveling to required locations. Should the candidate need accommodations or be ineligible for a Driver’s License, the City Attorney’s Office will work with the candidate to make such accommodations as appropriate.
• Interpret and apply various government codes and ordinances.
• Language skills, especially in Spanish, Cantonese and/or Mandarin.
• Working knowledge of municipal, state and federal laws, ordinances and codes affecting City government.
• Interpret and apply various government codes and ordinances.
• Conduct research on legal problems and prepare sound legal opinions.
• Analyze and prepare a wide variety of legal documents.
• Present cases in court and administrative proceedings.
• Handle stressful and sensitive situations with tact and diplomacy.
• Provide professional leadership, guidance and technical expertise to assigned staff.
• Work independently or as part of a team.
• Form or work with a multidisciplinary team.
• Manage multiple demanding programs, cases and projects with competing deadlines.
• Communicate effectively in both oral and written form with City officials, representatives of outside agencies and the public, and in litigation.
• Complete varied assignments within a narrow time frame.
• Establish and maintain effective working relationships with those contacted in the performance of required duties.
• Candidates must have excellent writing and oral presentation and argument skills.
• Inspire confidence and respect for legal advice.
• Skillfully and professionally present legal advice to clients including the elected and high-level appointed officials.
The City of Oakland offers an excellent salary and benefits package. The benefits package includes:
• Public Employees Retirement System (PERS) retirement.
• Dental plan and orthodontics for employee and dependents.
• Vision plan for employee and dependents.
• Health plan fully or partially paid, depending on your plan choice.
• Life insurance.
• Management leave, vacation leave, sick leave and holidays.
• Deferred compensation plan.
• Professional Development Allowance
How To Apply
Submit a cover letter and resume by email to: Civilrights@oaklandcityattorney.org.
Candidates selected to proceed in the hiring process may be asked to submit
additional information (e.g., a writing sample, references, answers to supplemental questions, the formal City of Oakland employment application). This job announcement and additional employment information including the application form is available on-line at: www.oaklandcityattorney.org
The City Attorney’s Office provides legal advice and counsel to the City in areas including but not limited to land use, real estate, personnel, elections, conflicts of interest, municipal finance, retirement, housing, public contracting, and economic development. Services include drafting and reviewing contracts, legislation and other documents and potentially providing litigation services in the defense of ordinances and other administrative actions and in specialized areas including probate and bankruptcy. The City Attorney’s Office provides counsel to the City Council, Mayor, City Administrator, City Auditor, City departments, agencies and offices, and City boards and commissions, and various City-wide task forces. Incumbents perform a variety of professional legal duties involving civil municipal law issues.
The City Attorney’s Office also advocates the City’s interests in claims and lawsuits litigated in state and/or federal trial and appellate courts, including high-value personal injury cases, complex civil rights actions, breach of contract, personnel disputes, eminent domain actions, inverse condemnation and alleged constitutional violations.
Affirmative Litigation Division Description
In 2016 City Attorney established the Affirmative Litigations, Innovation and Enforcement Division to focus on social, racial, economic and environmental justice for Oakland residents and the People of California. The missions of the City Attorney’s three Affirmative Litigation units – the Neighborhood Law Corps (NLC), the Housing Justice Initiative (HJI), and the Community Lawyering and Civil Rights unit (CLCR) – all focus on injustices that impact Black, Indigenous, Latina/o/x, Asian / Pacific Islander, and other historically and/or presently marginalized communities.
The NLC is a longstanding community-facing unit that focuses on core life, health, and safety issues such as tenant protection, substandard housing, and public nuisance. There are five budgeted NLC attorneys; and they typically are relatively new to the practice of law. The NLC was established in 2002.
Serving as a direct supervisor to at least nine junior and mid-level attorneys and providing those attorneys with leadership, guidance, and technical expertise.
The HJI is dedicated to protecting marginalized Oakland tenants and preserving affordable housing in Oakland by enforcing tenants’ legal rights. HJI was founded in 2020 and is typically staffed by two mid-level attorneys.
The Community Lawyering and Civil Rights unit is dedicated to advancing systemic rights and opportunities for historically and presently marginalized communities in Oakland by enforcing, strengthening, and creating laws responsive to those communities’ needs, in furtherance of racial, economic, and environmental justice. CLCR was founded in 2016 and is typically staffed by at least two mid-level attorneys.