Job Req # 2414
Opened Date: 06/16/2011
Positions Available: 1 FT
Starting Pay: $DOE
This position is 32 hours per week but is benefitted as full time.
Summary of Functions
The Presiding Judge serves as the head of the Tribal Court, overseeing court operations and the disposition of cases. The Presiding Judge ensures the impartial administration of justice and discharges duties in accordance with the Kalispel Tribal Constitution, laws, codes, ordinances and regulations. The Judge Chairs internal judges’ meetings and serves as liaison to the Kalispel Business Committee (KBC) on judicial concerns.
Essential Duties and Responsibilities
- Fairly and impartially hears and decides judicial matters within the jurisdiction of the Kalispel Tribal Court (Court), pursuant to the Kalispel Tribal Constitution, Tribal Codes and the policies and procedures of the Court.
- Supervises and oversees Court operations, including the assignment of cases to traditional or associate judges, case management and the timeliness of decisions.
- Hears and renders decisions for all types of cases filed in the Court, including but not limited to, criminal, traffic, civil, juvenile and child welfare cases.
- Reviews case files and pleadings; presides at pre-conferences, hearings and trials; conducts legal research and writes decisions; issues search and seizure warrants, arrest warrants and court orders, including orders of protection.
- Works with the Court Administrator to set the Court docket, to develop and manage the Court operating budget, and to develop Court programs and grants.
- Ensures the availability of judges by phone, 24 hours per day / 365 days per year, to hear requests for extradition, emergency child placements, search and bench warrants and other orders of an immediate nature.
- Applies fair concepts and procedures of justice, including working closely with the Chief (traditional) Judge, Associate Judge(s) or Judge Pro Tem(s) to incorporate the principles of Kalispel Tribal traditions and culture.
- Works collaboratively on the development of alternate dispositions for juvenile cases, with the development of alternative dispute resolution procedures and the development of Kalispel Tribal common law.
- Works collaboratively on the development of rules of evidence, bench book, and civil and criminal procedures.
- Works with the Tribal Legal Department and the Chief of Public Safety to ensure the establishment of contracts for jail and detention facilities, the establishment of full faith and credit agreements with state and tribal courts, the development of SORNA related procedures and other necessary development for implementation of other codes.
- Ensures the maintenance of a court record system and oversees maintenance of the Court library.
- Keeps current on laws and issues that impact the Court, to include continuing legal and judicial education, and makes recommendations to the Kalispel Business Committee for amendments or adoption of laws (codes) to improve tribal jurisprudence.
- Serves as an advocate and educator for the Kalispel Tribal Court System within the Tribe as well as locally, regionally and nationally.
- As appropriate, professionally represents the Tribe in negotiation or mediation sessions, public and private meetings, and at consultations or conferences.
- Participates in local, regional and national professional associations.
- Additional duties as assigned.
The incumbent directly supervises the Court Administrator (may also supervise other Court staff) in accordance with the Tribe’s policies, procedures and applicable law. Other responsibilities included are interviewing, hiring, and training employees; planning, assigning, and directing work; appraising performance; rewarding and disciplining employees; and addressing complaints and resolving problems.
Education, Experience and Skills Required:
- A Juris Doctorate degree from an accredited law school is required. (WA Bar license is required)
- A minimum of ten years experience as a practicing attorney and a minimum of five years of judicial experience or a combination thereof is required. Direct experience as a judge is required.
- Experience as a tribal judge and/or practice in the field of Indian Law with knowledge of sovereignty issues, is required.
- Demonstrated knowledge of Tribal, Federal, and State laws, of the Tribal Court legal process and working knowledge of tribal codes, traditions and customs is required.
- Demonstrated knowledge of legal practices and standards, and court procedures.
- Experience that demonstrates the ability to make judgments in an independent, responsible and impartial manner is required.
- Must be fully conversant in the complexities of criminal and civil law in general; and in the complexities of both statutory and case law of federal Indian law in particular.
- Must possess strong management, supervisory and administrative skills.
- Must possess excellent decision-making capabilities and dispute resolution skills, including the ability to deal well with emotionally charged and/or adversarial situations.
- Requires excellent communication and presentation skills with the ability to interpret and provide verbal and written instructions to subordinates and to communicate effectively with court professionals, persons appearing before the court, peers and the general public.
- Must have professional level writing skills including the ability to draft clear and concise opinions, court orders, policies, procedures, reports and similar documents.
- A working knowledge of Microsoft office suite and internet software and ability to utilize same to produce decisions, reports and other correspondence is required.
- Must have the ability to professionally represent the Tribe when attending Court related meetings, or at consultations and conferences.
- Must possess a good understanding of the needs and vision of the Kalispel Tribe and be able to tactfully handle culturally sensitive issues.
- Demonstrated ability to work effectively with Tribal officials, Tribal Members, staff, industry professionals and the general public.
- Must qualify for a Tribal Work Permit by passing drug screening and background checks.
Certificates, Licenses, Other Requirements
- Must be licensed in the state of Washington to practice law and must be a member in good standing with the Washington State Bar Association.
- Valid WA or ID Driver’s License and insurability under the Tribe’s auto policy.
- May not have convictions of a felony or of misdemeanor involving moral turpitude.
- This position is performed primarily in an office environment. Significant portions of the job require extended sedentary periods; regular work with computers and repetitive motion of hands and wrists.
- This position requires the ability to bend, stoop, lift, carry, and move items weighting up to 30 pounds and requires occasional standing or walking.
- This position requires regular local and occasional out of town travel.
- This position occasionally requires work to be performed outside general business hours, including evening or weekend sessions, meetings/travel.
Jessica Lee-Domebo, Staff Attorney
Kalispel North Legal Office
P.O. Box 39
Usk, WA 99180
(509) 789-7602 (direct)
(509) 481-1725 (cell)