Close Window   :   Print Page

City of Torrance
Class Code: 1412

Class Designation: Non-Civil Service/At-Will

August 1995

Representation Unit: Executive and Management Employees


Deputy City Attorney I


Under supervision, performs a wide variety of duties involving infractions and misdemeanors, civil litigation, general municipal practice. Positions in this classification may be assigned to one or more specialized areas of legal practice.

Distinguishing Characteristics

Deputy City Attorney is an entry-level class in the professional legal series. Distinguished from the Deputy City Attorney II, in that the Deputy City Attorney II is the journey-level class in the professional legal series and requires greater initiative and independent judgment in performing more complex legal work with less supervision. The Deputy City Attorney I will typically be working under the supervision of a Deputy City Attorney III or an Assistant City Attorney.

Examples Of Duties

  • Marshals facts, conducts legal research and analyzes applicable legal issues;
  • Represents the City Attorney's office at departmental, interdepartmental, board, committee, commission, council, professional and community meetings;
  • Acts as a legal advisor to one or more City departments;
  • Provides oral and written advice and opinions;
  • Drafts, reviews and amends correspondence, memoranda, agenda reports, written opinions, real property transactional documents, ordinances, resolutions, contracts and other legal documents;
  • Reviews and checks specifications, special assessment proceedings, and insurance;
  • Approves legal documents as to form;
  • Reviews claims and complaints, interviews clients and witnesses, and directs factual investigations, in order to formulate defense and/or to initiate legal action;
  • Reviews police reports, traffic accident reports, and requests for complaints to determine sufficiency for issuance of criminal complaints;

    Conducts criminal pretrials and arraignments, tries infractions and misdemeanors, handles motions and appeals and otherwise assists in all phases of criminal prosecutions;

  • Prepares and conducts all phases of civil litigation and administrative matters; prepares pleadings and law-and-motion, trial and appellate briefs;
  • Develops strategy, arguments and evidence in preparation for presentation of case; represents the City in administrative hearings, depositions, arbitrations, trials and appeals;
  • Maintains calendars and docketing information for litigation and other matters;
  • Assures effective and efficient use of budgeted funds, personnel, materials, facilities and time, within assigned areas of responsibility; performs cost-control activities; monitors revenue and expenditures to assure sound fiscal control;
  • May direct the work of clerical employees, making detailed work assignments, frequently reviewing work in progress and carefully reviewing completed work;
  • Participates actively in continuing professional education programs relevant to an attorney's practice;
  • Prepares a variety of studies, reports and related information for decision-making purposes;
  • Performs other related duties as assigned.
  • Minimum Qualifications

    Knowledge of
  • Substantive law, procedures and rules of evidence applicable to administrative, civil, criminal and general municipal matters;
  • Principles, methods and practices of investigation, legal research, legal analysis and drafting;
  • IBM-compatible personal computers for computer-assisted legal research, word-processing, data collection and analysis, electronic mail and other purposes;
  • Other appropriate office technologies, such as telephone voice mail, telecopiers and copy machines.
  • Ability to
  • Acquire knowledge of local, state and federal law relating to municipal government;
  • Define issues; research facts and law; analyze and draw appropriate logical and legal conclusions from statements of fact, law and argument;
  • Evaluate alternatives, employ independent judgment and make sound recommendations;
  • Draft legal documents;
  • Complete work in a timely manner;
  • Maintain case files and other record keeping systems;
  • Present oral and written statements of fact, law and argument in clear and logical form;
  • Communicate and persuade effectively orally and in writing;
  • Establish and maintain tactful, cooperative and effective working relationships with the public, the judicial system, city officials, all levels of City employees and adversaries;
  • Provide clear work instructions.
  • Education/Training/Experience

    Graduation from an accredited or approved law school with a Juris Doctor degree or equivalent.

    No experience is required. Prior externship or legal clerking experience is desirable.

    Familiarity with the following is desirable; Lexis, Westlaw or other computer-assisted legal research services; Windows; Microsoft Office software, such as Microsoft Word for Windows, Excel, Access, and Powerpoint; WordPerfect 5.1 or better for DOS or Windows.

    Special Requirements

    Active membership in the State Bar of California is required.

    A valid California Drivers License of the appropriate class or grade may be required depending upon position assignment.