Position Information

Position Information Message
Deputy Public Defender IV
THE POSITION:  Under direction, interviews, advises, and represents clients in authorized criminal and civil cases; structures and directs investigations; prepares trials, pleadings, and motions; tries cases before court and jury; effectively presents sentencing and disposition positions on behalf of clients; and performs related duties as required and appropriate.
The current Deputy Public Defender IV vacancies will work primarily in Racial Justice and the READY project. The following provides descriptions of potential assignments:
The California Racial Justice Act (RJA) was passed in 2022 and gives a platform for relief for those individuals who may have been negatively impacted by the systemic racial injustice that is part of the criminal legal system. Applicants interested in the Racial Justice position should be versed in systems of oppression as well as complex trial litigation.

The Holistic Re-entry, Early Access, and Diversion for You (READY) project has the goal of assuring citizens in Santa Barbara County, including those who currently face increasing racial and ethnic disparities in our criminal system, have access to an attorney, investigator, and support staff within 48 hours of incarceration. Applicants interested in the position with the READY project would be responsible for meeting with individuals who have been incarcerated prior to an arraignment to gather information, connect with service providers, negotiate resolutions and make arguments for release to the court.

Deputy Public Defender IV incumbents engage in extensive and significant jury trial and law and motion work, representing clients in the most complex and serious matters, including life sentence or capital cases, Three Strikes cases, cases involving multiple defendants and/or multiple juries, high-profile or controversial cases, and cases with constitutional implications.
  • Experience appearing in Court with 10 or more jury trials to verdict. 
  • Demonstrated ability to operate specialized case management and tracking system software programs. 
  • Conflict resolution skills. 
  • Excellent customer service skills and experience working with the public. 
  • The ability to effectively manage multiple situations occurring simultaneously. 
  • Exceptional organizational skills and ability to work efficiently on multiple projects at one time. 
  • The ability to prepare and write clear and concise motions, and keep records organized accordingly. 
  • Demonstrated ability to develop and maintain sound working relationships with people of diverse backgrounds and personalities. 
  • Adaptability, a positive attitude, and an impeccable character. 
  • Calm demeanor under all circumstances. 
  • The ability to work independently, organize and prioritize work, and meet critical deadlines. 
  • The ability to multi-task, handle high stress situations, thrive under pressure and adapt to change. 
  • Excellent interpersonal skills and the ability to handle difficult situations and difficult people with tact and diplomacy. 
  • Excellent oral and written communication skills which includes the ability to exchange information in a clear, concise and organized manner to diverse groups of people to help them understand process objectives and priorities. 
  • The ability to work successfully in a team environment, make positive contributions and assist others as necessary. 
  • Strong legal research and analytical skills. 
  • The ability to maintain confidentiality. 
  • Microsoft Office Excel, Word and Outlook skills. 
  • Bilingual in English and Spanish is desirable, but not a requirement. NOTE: The hiring department will test you on your fluency.


Examples of Duties


  1. Interviews clients regarding prospective criminal or civil actions and advises them of their rights and legal options; structures and directs investigations; reviews evidence; interviews witnesses and prepares them to testify.
  2. Conducts legal research; analyzes statutes, case law, evidence, and other relevant information in order to develop case strategies.
  3. Prepares for trials; negotiates with prosecuting authorities on disposition and modification of cases; appears with and for clients in court hearings, making appropriate legal motions, pleas, and arguments on points of law; participates in jury selection; makes final arguments and summations in defense of the accused in trial courts.
  4. Prepares petitions, briefs, arguments, motions, pleadings, other legal instruments, reports, and correspondence, and argues in the appropriate forum.
Recruitment closing date: 9/19/2023 @ 5:00 pm PST
Position: Deputy Public Defender IV
Organization: Santa Barbara County Public Defender
Location: Santa Barbara,  CA 
United States
Salary: $135,646.10-190,738.64
Posting Start Date: 9/5/2023
Date Posted: 9/11/2023
Employment Standards

Active membership in the State Bar of California and possession of a valid California Class C Driver's License for all levels; and not less than:

  1. Three years of progressively responsible experience as an attorney in the practice of public law or six years as a general practicing attorney; OR,
  2. One year of experience performing duties equivalent to the class of Deputy Public Defender III with Santa Barbara County; OR,
  3. A combination of training, education, and experience that is equivalent to one of the employment standards listed above and that provides the required knowledge, abilities, and license.
Knowledge of: the principles of criminal and civil law and their application; legal research methods; the organization, powers, and limitations of county governmental functions; California civil and criminal codes; the U.S. and California Constitutions; rules of evidence, trial procedures; administrative law; ethical and professional rules of conduct; negotiating techniques; duties, powers, limitations, and authority of the Office of the Public Defender.
Ability to: perform legal research; analyze and apply legal principles and precedents, facts, and evidence to legal problems; present statements of law, facts, and arguments clearly, logically, and effectively, in both written and oral format; work cooperatively with and represent persons from a wide variety of socioeconomic backgrounds; maintain confidentiality and objectivity; work effectively with others, often under stressful conditions; manage a caseload; interview witnesses; negotiate settlements; present and conduct trials; understand and apply policies and practices; effectively analyze difficult legal problems; interpret complex Appellate Court decisions pertaining to criminal law; anticipate legal reasoning of prosecuting attorneys; prepare and conduct the most difficult felony cases.
Desirable Qualifications: The ability to read, write, and converse fluently in English and Spanish and/or Mixteco is desirable. Note: You must self-certify on the application form that you are fluent in English and Spanish and/or Mixteco. Hiring departments will test you on your fluency. If you do not demonstrate sufficient fluency, your name may be withheld from future certifications or removed from the employment lists. 
Status: This listing expires on: 12/10/2023
Apply Apply for this Position
Send to a Friend  Send to Friend
   Print Job
Return to Job Search  Return to Job Search
Post a Position  Post a Position
Organization Information
Santa Barbara County Public Defender
1100 Anacapa Street

Santa Barbara,  CA 93101
United States
Dee Engler