16th Judicial Circuit

Job Description



Job Title: Trial Court Staff Attorney
Department:Court Administration
Reports To:Senior Attorney I
FLSA Status:Excluded
Prepared By:Kirsten Walsh, Senior Attorney I
Prepared Date:April 5, 2018
Amended By:Kirsten Walsh, Senior Attorney I
Amended Date06/02/2020
Approved By:Holly Elomina, Trial Court Administrator
Approved Date:06/02/2020


Summary:  The essential function of the position within the organization is to assist the judiciary with case management, pending litigation and issues, and/or process criminal and civil appeals. The position is responsible for drafting memoranda, opinions, orders and reports; conducting legal research; reviewing briefs and case files; and advising judges on pending litigation and issues. The position works under general supervision of the Senior Attorney I.


Essential Duties and Responsibilities:


NOTE:  The following duties are illustrative and not exhaustive.  The omission of specific statements of duties does not exclude them from the position if the work is similar, related, or a logical assignment to the position.


  • Reviews files, evidence, depositions, pleadings, motions, legal briefs, and memoranda of law, proposed orders and other related documentation in order to advise judges in a variety of legal areas;
  • Conducts legal research of substantive and procedural legal matters, and drafts/prepares legal documents, such as opinions, judgments, post-conviction orders, memoranda or orders concerning extraordinary writs;
  • Review motions for post-conviction relief brought pursuant to Florida Rule of Criminal Procedure Section 3.850;
  • Research the application and interpretation of the Florida Rules of Judicial Administration.
  • Conduct legislative research;
  •  Perform research on specific questions of law as presented by judges sitting in the circuit civil, criminal, family, and probate divisions, and the county civil, criminal, and small claims divisions;
  • Perform other related duties as required;
  • Drafts proposed orders for motions filed in and issues arising during death penalty cases;
  • Provides immediate legal research and recommendations required by judges conducting court sessions;
  • Attends staff meetings to exchange information; attends technical or professional workshops, seminars or conferences to improve professional skills; attends hearings as required;
  • Assists the circuit court appellate division by drafting bench briefs and/or appellate opinions.


Supervisory Responsibilities:   This job has no supervisory responsibilities.


Qualifications:  To perform this job successfully, an individual must be able to perform each essential duty satisfactorily.  The requirements listed below are representative of the knowledge, skill, and/or ability requires.  Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.


Data Responsibility:  Refers to information, knowledge, and conceptions obtained by observation, investigation, interpretation, visualization, and mental creation. Data are intangible and include numbers, words, symbols, ideas, concepts, and oral verbalizations.


Synthesizes or integrates analysis of data or information to discover facts or develop knowledge or interpretations; modifies policies, procedures, or methodologies based on findings.


Conducts research to discover new methodologies or to find solutions for unresolved problems.


People Responsibility:  Refers to individuals who have contact with or are influenced by the position.


Counsels, instructs or trains others through explanation, demonstration, and supervised practice, or by making recommendations on the basis of technical disciplines.


Assets Responsibility:  Refers to the responsibility for achieving economies or preventing loss within the organization.


Requires minimum responsibility for only small quantities of low cost items or supplies where opportunities for achieving economies or preventing loss are negligible.


Mathematical Requirements:  Deals with quantities, magnitudes, and forms and their relationships and attributes by the use of numbers and symbols.


Uses addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division; may compute ratios, rates, and percent.


Communications Requirements:  Involves the ability to read, write, and speak.


Reads and interprets advanced professional materials; writes complex reports and papers; speaks to high level professional groups.


Complexity of Work: Addresses the analysis, initiative, ingenuity, creativity, and concentration required by the position and the presence of any unusual pressures.


Performs work involving the application of principles of logical thinking and legal practice to diagnose or define problems, collect data and solve abstract problems with widespread unit or organization impact; requires sustained, intense concentration for accurate results and continuous exposure to unusual pressure.


Impact of Decisions: Refers to consequences such as damage to property, loss of data or property, exposure of the organization to legal liability, or injury or death to individuals.


Makes decisions with moderate impact, may affect those in organization and general public.


Equipment Usage:  Refers to inanimate objects such as substances, materials, machines, tools, equipment, work aids, or products. A thing is tangible and has shape, form, and other physical characteristics.


Handles machines, tools, equipment, or work aids involving some latitude for judgment regarding attainment of standard or in selecting appropriate items, such as computers, peripherals, or software programs, such as word processing.


Education and Training Guidelines:  Graduation from an accredited law school and membership in the Florida Bar.  Law School graduates awaiting the Florida Bar results or anticipating taking the Florida Bar will be expected to attain membership in the Florida Bar within one year of the date of hire.


Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities:  Knowledge of legal principles, statutory and case law, court rules and procedures.  Ability to read, analyze, and interpret complex documents.  Ability to respond effectively to sensitive inquiries or complaints.   Exceptional writing and research skills.  Ability to analyze complex legal issues and complicated factual details, digest and communicate ideas and concepts orally and in writing.  Comprehensive knowledge of legal publications and the ability to use them efficiently.  Ability to reason logically and analytically.  Ability to exercise discretion, maintain confidentiality, impartiality, and honesty in handling matters before the Court.   Ability to work effectively with others.


Certificates, Licenses, Registrations:  Florida Bar Membership

Incentive Plan

Trial Court Staff Attorney Incentive Plan.pdf