Contra Costa County, CA
$167,259 - $203,305
Contra Costa County
FY 2009-2010 budget of approximately $1.2 billion, and
Contra Costa County was incorporated in 1850 as one of countywide staff of approximately 7,700. The County’s
the original 27 counties of the State of California. It is one diverse economy provides many opportunities for future
of nine counties in the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Area, business and job generation, and the communities provide
and covers approximately 733 square miles extending from a wide range of recreational, cultural, and entertainment
the northeastern shore of San Francisco Bay easterly activities.
about 50 miles to San Joaquin County. The County is
bordered in the south and west by Alameda County and
on the north by Suisun and San Pablo Bays. Office of the County Counsel
Contra Costa County had recently been one of the fastest The Office of the County Counsel provides legal services
growing work forces among Bay Area counties, with growth to the County, including the Board of Supervisors and
in its employment base being driven primarily by the need County officers, departments, boards, and certain special
to provide services to an increasing local population and districts. The Office has a staff of approximately 50 full-time
the presence of relatively high-wage skilled jobs. In addition, employees and a FY 2009-2010 budget of approximately
the County has one of the State’s most heterogeneous $5.5 million. The Department is organized into three
populations, rich in ethnic, cultural and socioeconomic divisions that provide a full range of legal services to
diversity. With a current population slightly in excess of County Departments, employees, and the public. These
1,000,000, Contra Costa County is the ninth most populous divisions are responsible for the following activities:
county in California. The City of Martinez is the County The General Law Division provides legal services to County
seat of Contra Costa County and the location of the departments, officers and boards, and outside public
County’s administrative offices. clients, other than those services provided by the Civil
Contra Costa County includes varied suburban, industrial, Litigation and Juvenile Dependency/Conservatorship
agricultural and port areas and contains 19 incorporated Divisions. Representative clients and services include:
cities. A large part of the County is served by the San Core County Departments; Health, Social Services, and
Francisco Bay Area Rapid Transit District (BART) which Quality of Life; Public Protection, Probate, and County
has helped to enable significant residential and commercial Clerk; and miscellaneous County and outside clients.
development. Prestigious public and private academic The Civil Litigation Division represents the County in tort,
institutions, including Stanford University, University of employment, and civil rights actions, in state and federal
California at Berkeley, University of San Francisco, courts.
University of the Pacific, and various California State
University campuses, are within driving distance from the The Juvenile Dependency/Conservatorship Division
County seat of Martinez. Recreation within the County represents the Children and Family Services Bureau of
varies from fishing, boating and water skiing in the the Employment and Human Services Department in all
Sacramento-San Joaquin Rivers to hiking, horseback riding Juvenile Court dependency and child welfare proceedings
and camping in Mt. Diablo State Park. Recreational areas, and related matters. This division also represents the Public
including the wine country of Napa and Sonoma Counties, Guardian’s Office of the Health Services Department in
the picturesque seaside communities of Carmel and Lanterman – Petris – Short (LPS) and other conservatorship
Monterey, and the Sierra Lake Tahoe mountain region, proceedings.
are also within driving distance of the County.
Contra Costa County provides a full range of services
The County Counsel
through 32 County Departments divided into service Under administrative and statutory direction, the County
areas such as: Public Protection, General Government, Counsel performs highly professional and administrative
Health and Human Services, Growth Management, work serving as legal advisor to the Board of Supervisors,
Special Districts and Authorities. There are also a special districts and county departments. The department
number of Affiliated Organizations. The County has a head is responsible for the operation of the Office of
y, CA: County Counsel
County Counsel and the work of its staff engaged in Dictates correspondence and prepares reports.
giving legal advice to the county, its departments, and Performs related work as necessary.
special districts. The County Counsel also performs all
civil legal work required by them, including representing The position is open due to the retirement of the
these jurisdictions and agencies in all matters of litigation current County Counsel.
and business. Work is performed within statutory limita-
tions and in accordance with policies determined by the
Board of Supervisors. The County Counsel is appointed
Opportunities & Goals
by the Board of Supervisors for a four year term in accordance Provide cross-training and enhance mentoring of
with government code sections 27640 and 27641. junior attorneys by senior attorneys and Assistants.
Typical responsibilities include: Continue to achieve responsiveness goals on standard
legal forms review and requests for legal opinions.
Selects, directs and supervises professional and clerical
subordinates involved in providing the full range of legal Develop increased revenue by seeking to recover legal
advice, direction and services to the Board of Supervisors, costs from clients who are at least partially funded
various fire, flood control, sanitary, cemetery and from outside sources.
other districts within the county; acts as attorney for Evaluate client needs and realign priorities as needed.
the County and special districts in any civil action
instituted by or brought against them.
Submits opinions, when requested, to all county or
district officers on matters relating to their respective Education and Experience
offices. Active membership in the State Bar of California, and
As requested, attends meetings of boards or commissions admission to practice before all State and Northern
to give legal counsel and advice. District Federal Courts in California.
Reviews and prepares proposed state legislation Eight years of full-time experience as an attorney
relating to county government. practicing civil law with, or directly for, a public sector
May represent the County on state legislative matters. agency. Four years experience in the Office of a Califor-
nia County Counsel or California City Attorney as a
Studies, interprets, and applies statutes, ordinances, division head or higher supervising the work of subor-
court decisions, and legal opinions in the preparation
dinate attorneys is preferred.
of opinions, briefs and cases.
Prepares pleadings and other papers in connection with Knowledge, Skills and Abilities
suits, trials, hearings and similar legal proceedings.
The successful candidate should have strong management
Provides advice and direction concerning advisability skills and the ability to work and communicate effectively
to prosecute, modify, settle, or dismiss civil litigation. both internally and externally. This person should also
Supervises and participates in a wide variety of legal have knowledge/skills in:
The principles of civil, constitutional, and administrative
Supervises and participates in the work of subordinate law.
attorneys and a clerical staff engaged in collecting
The responsibilities, powers and statutory limitations
moneys due the County and preparing opinions,
of the County Counsel’s function.
bond election papers, tax rate increase election papers,
and other legal documents. Judicial procedures and the rules of evidence.
Prepares a departmental budget and administers depart- The principles, methods, materials and practices of
mental programs in accordance with approved allocations. legal research.
In addition, he/she should be able to:
Analyze, appraise and organize facts, evidence, and
precedents and to present such material orally or in
writing in clear and logical form.
Analyze and appraise a variety of legal documents and
Draft legal instruments such as ordinances, resolutions,
board orders and contracts.
Establish and maintain effective working relationships
with County and court officials and the general public.
Manage, supervise and coordinate the work of profes-
sional and clerical subordinates engaged in work of a
Management Style Annual Leave Program
The ideal candidate will be a trusted legal advisor with the 3 weeks paid vacation leave.
professional demeanor and confidence to advise the Board 12 days of paid sick leave.
of Supervisors on a broad range of subject matters. This 10 paid holidays (plus 24 hours of floating holiday time).
person shall be proactive in bringing issues to the Board’s 70 hours of paid administrative leave.
attention, be creative, have good judgment, and be able to
multi-task and function effectively in a dynamic environ- Insurance
ment with shifting priorities. He/She will have excellent Options include Kaiser Permanente, Health Net HMO,
interpersonal skills with the ability to project confidence Health Net PPO, and Contra Costa Health Plan
and credibility to the public, an ability to relate to a broad Options A & B.
variety of individuals, and to emanate the highest level of
professional deportment at all times. Dental options include Delta Dental and PMI Dental
The County Counsel will have excellent verbal and Long-term disability.
written skills and be capable of providing strong procedural Term life insurance of $10,000.
advice in a clear and concise manner, and will be timely
in the presentation of information. This person should Management term life insurance of $60,000. Includes
also be appropriately assertive; able to persuade, influence, AD&D.
and provide their best professional judgment and opinion;
and not be afraid to admit when they do not know the
answer. The selected candidate will be responsive and Vacation buy-back.
accessible to Department Heads, energetic, able to organize 2.5% management longevity differential after 10 and
and prioritize work, and be solution-oriented. He/She 15 years of service.
should feel comfortable being in the spotlight; be able to Deferred Compensation Plan (457), including County
problem solve under pressure and defend their position; contribution.
and not be afraid to say no. He/She must have strong
Professional development allowance of $925 every two
leadership skills, set the tone for the Office, and hold
How to Apply
Compensation Please submit resumes in confidence by
The total compensation for this position is within an September 25, 2009 to:
established range of $167,259 to $203,305 per year, with
placement dependent upon the qualifications and Eric Middleton or Nicholas Mesic
experience of the selected candidate. In addition to a ALLIANCE RESOURCE CONSULTING LLC
competitive salary, benefits currently provided include: 400 Oceangate, Suite 510
Long Beach, CA 90802
Telephone: (562) 901-0769
The County Retirement Program under the 1937 E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
County Employee Retirement Act. Additional information about this position may
The County pays 50% of the employee’s contribution. be found by visiting our web site at
Reciprocity with California Public Retirement System www.allianceresourceconsulting.com
(CALPERS) is available. An Equal Opportunity/ADA Employer