Position Information

Position Information Message
Attorney Public Defender- Manager Conflict Office- Billings, MT

To be considered for OPD positions, applicants must complete and submit their application online at http://statecareers.mt.gov/ (reference number - 20142470), as well as upload any required application materials.

Our Mission
We provide effective professional legal services with equal access to quality client-centered representation.
Our Vision
 As trained legal professionals we strive to represent our clients in an effective and efficient manner to ensure a more fair and balanced justice system. We are dedicated and committed to improving overall outcomes for our clients and addressing the conditions that led to their involvement with the justice system.
Reasons to work for the Office of the Public Defender: Our work changes lives! The work OPD does, makes a difference for the people in our communities.   Public Defenders work for their clients, protect constitutional rights and ensure the system remains fair.   We are proud of the work we do, to find out more about OPD visit our website HERE.
Benefits of working for OPD: The ability to work and play in the beautiful state of Montana is one of the benefits you will love about this opportunity!  Other fantastic benefits include:
  • Health Coverage
  • Retirement plans
  • Paid vacation, sick leave and Holidays
  • Work/life balance
  • Flexible schedules
  • Opportunities and room for professional growth
  • Public Service Loan Forgiveness- Employment with the State of Montana may qualify you to receive loan forgiveness- click HERE to learn more!
About this Opportunity!

This position oversees and manages an assigned region (Region C- Yellowstone and surrounding counties), of the Conflict Defender Division. The Conflict Defender Division is responsible for effectively and efficiently providing legal services to those that qualify for services under Montana law but due to a conflict of interest, the Public Defender Division or the Appellate Defender Division is unable to provide representation.  The Managing Attorney reports to the Conflict Defender Division Administrator, hires and manages assistant public defenders and support staff, and oversees contract services.

Job Overview: 

The position is responsible for independently handling all phases of multi-forum litigation for indigent clients, typically in complex cases such as those involving multiple areas of law, novel areas of law (e.g., DNA profiling and computer crimes), issues of first impression, high profile or complex homicides, cases involving the death penalty, etc. Position is also responsible for handling the more typical cases and providing mentoring to the developing Public Defenders in their representation of indigent clients in cases involving felony and misdemeanor criminal charges; civil cases; delinquent youth proceedings; involuntary mental health or developmental disability commitments; abuse and neglect proceedings; dependent/neglect matters; and guardianship or conservatorship proceedings, as described in the Montana Public Defender Act. Duties include researching and preparing a legal defense based on the facts, investigations, and legal research and keeping client informed and prepared for all stages of representation including various hearings, proceedings and/or trials depending on the type of case to ensure clients are actively and efficiently represented.  Assistance is available from the Conflict Defender Division Administrator or the Director and staff in carrying out these responsibilities.  

Other Major Duties include but are not limited to:

  • Manages and supervise all public defender services provided within the Managing Attorney’s Conflict Defender Office.
  • Determining whether or not a conflict exists and then assign the cases in an appropriate manner. 
  • Establish protocols to promptly assign cases to an appropriate public defender or contract attorney so that court appointed counsel is available when necessary.
  • Ensure that public defender assignments within the Conflict Defender Office comply with the provisions of MCA 47-1-202(7); which establishes procedures for managing caseloads and assigning cases.  
  • Hire and supervise the work of office personnel as authorized by the Conflict Defender Division Administrator; contract for services as provided in MCA 47-1-216 and authorized by the Conflict Defender Division Administrator according to the Office of the Public Defender Practice Standards  http://publicdefender.mt.gov/Employees#OPD-Practice-Standards-2162.
  • Manage records of public defender and associated services and expenses in the Conflict Public Defender Office.  
  • Implement the standards and procedures established by the Conflict Defender Division Administrator and the Office of the State Public Defender for the Conflict Defender Office.
  • Maintain a client caseload as determined by the Conflict Defender Division Administrator.
  • Perform all other duties as assigned by the Conflict Defender Division Administrator.

Knowledge Skills and Abilities:

The successful candidate must have:

  • Extensive knowledge of Montana legal and court policies, procedures, practices, terminology and systems; state and federal laws, rules and regulations; principles and practices of evidence collection.
  • Must have demonstrated verbal and written communication, negotiation, problem-solving, decision-making, management, supervisory and organizational skills to provide strong leadership and direction.
  • Must be self-motivated and customer-oriented; capable of framing issues based on the policy implications associated with the State’s Public Defender System.
  • Must have the ability to establish and maintain effective working relationships with the public, elected officials, defendants, witnesses, Judges, court personnel, law enforcement personnel; to advance; to assess hypothetical situations and impacts; to consolidate a unified strategy in response to numerous issues and concerns; to make proper decisions in stressful situations.
  • Must have the ability to deal effectively with highly sensitive public, political and agency specific issues; to direct complex litigation through effective planning, delegation and leadership; to work independently without support staff physically available during travel status which will require self-sufficiency to complete documents and other support tasks for cases;
  • Must be well organized and be able to work in a team environment and communicate internally and remotely with members of the Conflict Defender Division and Contractors.

Physical and Environmental Demands:

This position works in an office and court setting and has regular visits with clients in jail, detention centers, and mental health facilities.  Requires exposure to stressful situations and occasional travel to attend court, trainings and provide services to clients.

To apply for this position, acccess the State of Montana Careers website at statecareers.mt.gov and search with the reference number 21141026 or call Human Resources at 406-444-4136 for more information. 

Position: Attorney Public Defender- Manager Conflict Office- Billings, MT
Organization: Montana State- Office of the Public Defender
Location: Billings,  MT 
United States
Salary: $92,825.20 Annually
Posting Start Date: 4/28/2021
Date Posted: 4/30/2021

Qualifications (Minimum Education and Experience):

The minimum requirements include:

  • Juris Doctor from ABA Accredited law school and licensed to practice law in Montana. 
  • Ideal candidate will have at least five years of progressively responsible management experience including supervision of professional and support staff, budgeting, organizational and operational functions; and practical experience in law preferably in litigation of criminal and civil law involving public defense actions. 
Status: This listing expires on: 7/29/2021
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Organization Information
Montana State- Office of the Public Defender
207 N. Broadway

Billings,  MT 59101
United States
(406) 444-4136
(406) 496-6098
Michael Spatz