The Town of Taos is seeking qualified applicants for the following full-time position which includes an excellent benefit package; 100% major medical premium paid for employee with a choice of State of New Mexico Blue Cross Blue Shield, Lovelace or Presbyterian, State of New Mexico PERA Retirement, personal leave and holiday pay, employee development and training programs and much more!
Job Title: Town Attorney
Classification: Exempt "At Will"
Salary: Negotiable dependent on qualifications and experience
Opening Date: April 15, 2014
Closing Date: Opened until filled
Performs managerial and professional duties as required to carry out the efficient and effective litigation of civil or criminal cases and the ongoing legal processes of town government. Serves as the lead town legal advisor in all civil and criminal matters. ***Note: This position is an at will appointment by the Mayor and Town Council and the minimum qualifications can be discretionary.
Works under the general supervision of the Town Manager and/or Assistant Town Manager. The Mayor, as Chief Executive Officer for the Town of Taos also directs and supervises the Town Attorney as required.
Provides for general supervision to Paralegal/Legal Assistant and other executive support staff as needed.
Acts as a town principal legal advisor; directs the ongoing legal processes of the town and delegates projects and cases to subordinate attorney(s); attends town council meetings to apprise and advise town officials related to various town programs, issues, projects and cases; attends various advisory and commission meetings to represent town management and provide legal assistance; takes the lead and serves as the first-line contact for legal processes and functions; maintains Town Municipal Court criminal prosecution caseload; represents the town in the prosecution of municipal ordinances in Municipal and district court; directs, participates and generally oversees criminal prosecution cases.
Prepares and administers legal department budget; assures that assigned areas of responsibility are performed within budget; performs cost control activities; monitors revenues and expenditures in assigned area to assure sound fiscal control; prepares annual budget requests; assures effective and efficient use of budgeted funds, personnel, materials, facilities, and time.
Conducts legal review of proposed legislation to update or amend town codes and ordinances; prepares opinions; provides public information as needed to reply to inquiries or educate the public; initiates sanctions and exercises legal processes for the collection of outstanding revenues or obligations owed to the Town.
Administer and maintain all Town of Taos contracts.
Acts as administrative hearing officer to serve the town in that capacity on an as needed and as appointed basis.
RISK MANAGEMENT: Reviews and investigates claims; determines legitimacy of claims and authorizes the processing of claims in cooperation with Self-Insurers Fund; directs or conducts field inspections; monitors number, type and cost of claims.
Negotiates settlements of claims filed against the town for actions arising out of the course of conducting town business or providing town services; promotes timely settlement to avoid costly litigation as much as is possible.
Participates in pretrial conferences; negotiates for mutually agreeable solutions and charges; makes recommendations for sentences and represents the town in show cause hearings; conducts investigation of complaints determines quality of the case and whether or not evidence is sufficient to proceed with prosecution.
Performs contract management; monitors the administrative processing of agreements proposed to be entered into by the town; conducts legal review and analysis; writes contracts, establishes contract templates; oversees tracking and numbering of contracts and monitors contract status and disposition; writes opinions and legal directives.
Performs legal research, makes recommendations and prepares legal opinions for review and consideration by town manager, mayor and council; advises and directs town department heads on legal issues associated with their various areas of responsibility; provides legal support in areas related to procurement, land acquisitions, land use codes, personnel actions, water law issues, etc.; represents the town and appears in court to secure and maintain legal rights, privileges, and ownership; serves as defense counsel on issues related to appeals on planning and zoning issues; directs the prosecution of all DUI/DWI citations and various code violations.
Performs related duties as assigned.
Education and Experience: A Juris Doctor degree from an accredited college or university; plus other advanced training in business administration, or public administration; AND should have five (5) years of progressively responsible legal experience of which two (2) years experience in public government is preferred; OR an equivalent combination of education and experience.
Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities:
Thorough knowledge of federal, state and local laws and ordinances; legal administrative procedures including the rules of civil and criminal procedure and evidence; the principles, methods, materials and practices used in legal research; New Mexico Code, constitutional provisions federal and local ordinances as they apply to town government and its operation; case law related to a variety of town government subjects; criminal law issues. Considerable knowledge of human resource management theory, methods, and practices; the legal environment related to human resource management; benefit, retirement, and compensation laws and guidelines; budget development and fiscal accounting principles, practices and procedures; town department operations including applicable laws and regulations; principles of supervision, including evaluation and motivation; federal and state laws as they apply to personnel management practices.
Considerable skill in the art of diplomacy and cooperative problem solving; leadership and organizational behavior management; establishing and maintaining effective working relationships with State, Federal, and other local officials, elected officials, subordinate staff, and Town residents. Skill in the operation of PC Computer, calculator, fax machine, copy machine, telephone.
Ability to understand and interpret complex laws, rules, regulations, policies, and guidelines; direct the work of others; plan, organize, and direct, through subordinate staff, the efficient, effective delivery of Town programs, services and functions and evaluate employee performance; develop operating policies and procedures; analyzing and resolving problems arising regarding Town programs, services, and function; analyze and draft legal documents and to propose legislation; establish and maintain effective working relationships with town and court officials, employees and the public; communicate effectively, verbally and in writing.
Must possess a license to practice law in the State of New Mexico. Must possess a valid NM driver's license and attend Defensive Driving training every 24 months throughout employment.
If you feel that you meet the minimum qualifications for the position and that you have the necessary drive and ambition to be part of the Legal Department please submit a letter of interest
along with a resume, a completed Town of Taos application, and at least three (3) professional references to 400 Camino De La Placita Taos, New Mexico 87571. All attachments become official property of the Town of Taos and cannot be returned or reused after being submitted. Letter of interest, resume and a completed application. Applications will be accepted until position is filled.
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