Salary – $87,392.00 – $193,392.00 Annually
Location – San Diego, CA
The San Diego City Attorney’s Office protects the people of San Diego by serving as chief legal counsel to the City of San Diego’s elected officials and operational departments; prosecuting and defending civil cases involving the City; and as the City’s prosecutor on behalf of the People of the State of California, by holding accountable those who commit crimes against the public health and safety and violate other local and state laws. Our municipal law firm employs over 175 lawyers and approximately 220 support staff, dedicated to providing legal services to the City of San Diego.

The Civil Litigation Division of the San Diego City Attorney’s Office is seeking applications for a Deputy City Attorney for its Land Use Litigation Unit. The Land Use Litigation Unit prepares and defends civil actions on behalf of the City in state and federal court, including challenges based on the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA), eminent domain, constitutional issues related to the use of land, real estate development, failure to comply with the Municipal Code or City procedures, and land use-related decisions by the City Council, Planning Commission, and City staff.

In addition to land use related cases, the Unit handles validation actions, declaratory relief actions, and Code of Civil Procedure section 1094.5 and 1085 writs, including, but not limited to, challenges to funding and revenue sources such as City taxes and fees, pension/retirement claims, California Public Record Act cases, as well as pre and post-election challenges. The Unit also handles numerous land use appeals and assists or handles appeals from other Litigation Units.

EXAMPLE OF DUTIESResponsibilities will routinely include but are not limited to:

  • Preparing and defending the City in state and federal court against challenges based on the California Environmental Quality Act, constitutional issues related to the use of land, real estate development, failure to comply with the Municipal Code or City procedures, and land use related decisions by the City Council or City staff;
  • Handling eminent domain actions on behalf of the City;
  • Defending inverse condemnation actions filed against the City in state and federal court;
  • Handle appeals arising from assigned land use cases;
  • Assist General Litigation deputies with appeals;
  • Handle appeals arising from General Litigation cases, as needed;
  • Meet general Office expectations and policies (e.g., work hours, timely completion of Litigation Reports, timely completion of Closed Session memos, and timely completion of mandatory training); and
  • Perform other duties as assigned by the City Attorney, Assistant City Attorney for Litigation, or Chief Deputy City Attorney for Land Use Litigation.

MINIMUM REQUIREMENTSApplicants are required to:

  • Be licensed to practice law and an active member in good standing in all courts in the State of California. Application and admission to the United States District Court for the Southern District of California will be required upon hire of a successful applicant, if not already admitted.
  • Be experienced in document review and analysis for lengthy cases; managing a variety of expert witnesses, including engineers, economists, and appraisers; and must work collaboratively with other attorneys and City personnel.

Ideal candidates will have:

• At least 3 years of litigation experience in municipal law, with an emphasis on real property, land use, and environmental issues, and strong research, writing, and advocacy skills.

• Jury trial experience is highly desirable.

Ideal candidates for the position will have extensive knowledge and practical experience in the areas of law handled by the Land Use Litigation Unit. The successful candidate should have proven litigation abilities, work well with other attorneys and staff, and communicate effectively orally and in writing

Attorneys in this position must be able to travel to locations outside the office for court hearings, depositions, or meetings; therefore, possession of a valid California Class C driver’s license and personal vehicle or other means to travel are required.

Attorneys who possess the requisite knowledge and experience may be interviewed upon request.

SUPPLEMENTAL INFORMATIONWork-life balance is important to us! The City Attorney’s Office generally supports remote teleworking and the position may allow for a hybrid schedule with a mix of in-office and remote work after the introductory and probationary period. Please refer to the Office’s teleworking policy.

Compensation and Benefits:

The successful candidate’s annual salary is based on the Deputy City Attorney salary table and dependent on qualifications and level of relevant legal experience. For further salary information, refer to the Deputy City Attorney Salary Table (Download PDF reader).

Pre-Employment Requirements:

Employment offers are conditional pending the results of all screening processes that are applicable to this job, which may include but are not limited to the following:

  • Reference checks.
  • Proof of citizenship or legal right to work in the United States.
  • Fingerprint checks: fingerprints will be submitted to the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the California Department of Justice for a conviction record report.
  • Medical evaluation: A City medical examination including drug/alcohol screening and documentation of medical history may be conducted following a conditional offer of employment or promotion.
  • Certain positions may require additional screening processes that may include a polygraph examination and/or background investigation.

All of these processes must be successfully completed before employment begins. A positive test for alcohol, illegal drugs, including marijuana, or inadequately explained prescription drugs, misrepresentation, falsification, or omission of pertinent facts in any step of the screening/selection process may be cause for disqualification and/or termination of employment. The City of San Diego is committed to a drug and alcohol-free workplace.

How to Apply: The San Diego City Attorney’s Office accepts online applications. To apply, select the position title of the job opportunity and click the “Apply” link. If you need assistance, please refer to our online employment application guide:

To be considered for this position, applicants will need to submit the following by the closing date:

  • San Diego City Attorney employment application, including supplemental questions;
  • Cover letter and resume;
  • A writing sample (or excerpt; no more than 5 pages) that demonstrates their legal writing skills and reflects their own original work product.

Following the closing date, resumes will be screened according to the qualifications outlined above. Only the most qualified candidates will be invited to a departmental interview for future vacancies. If a job has an extended deadline, applications will be considered during the extension period; however, a job may be filled before the extended date is reached. This interview process may be used to fill additional future vacancies.

Individuals must be able to perform the essential duties of the position with or without reasonable accommodations. If you have any questions or concerns related to the recruitment process and the Americans with Disabilities Act, you may contact (619) 533-5811. The City of San Diego has an active Equal Opportunity/ADA Program for employment and vigorously supports diversity in the workplace.

Nothing in this job posting constitutes an expressed or implied contract for employment with the City of San Diego.

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