Job Title: PRESIDING JUDGE
Dept: Kalispel Tribal Court
Appointed By: Tribal Council — 3 Year Term
Average hours per week: 32
FLSA status: Exempt
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. Chairs internal judges’ meetings and serves as liaison to the Tribal 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 as appropriate, case management and the timeliness of decisions.
Hears and decides all type 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.
Assists the Court Administrator to set the Court docket, to develop and manage the Court budget, and to develop and manage Court programs and grants.
Ensures the availability of judges by phone; 24 hours per day / 365 days per year, to hear requests for extradition warrants, search warrants, bench warrants and other orders of an immediate nature.
Applies fair concepts and procedures of justice, including working closely with the Chief (traditional) Judge, and Associate Judge to incorporate the principles of Kalispel Tribal traditions and culture.
Assists with the development of alternate dispositions for juvenile cases, with the development of alternative dispute resolution procedures and the development of Kalispel Tribal common law.
Oversees the development of rules of evidence, bench book, and civil and criminal procedures.
Ensures the establishment of contracts for jail and detention facilities, and the establishment of full faith and credit agreements with state and tribal courts.
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 to improve the tribal legal & judicial system.
Serves as an advocate and educator for the Kalispel Tribal Court System within the Tribe as well as locally, regionally and nationally.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Experience as a tribal judge and/or practice in the field of Indian Law and sovereignty is preferred.
Possess strong management, supervisory and administrative skills.
Have experience that demonstrates the ability to make judgments in an independent, responsible and impartial manner.
Possess excellent decision-making capabilities and dispute resolution skills, including the ability to deal well with emotionally charged and/or adversarial situations.
Have excellent communication skills, both oral and written.
Must possess a good understanding of the needs and vision of the Kalispel Tribe.
Ability to of tactfully handle culturally sensitive issues.
Must be able to work effectively with elected Tribal leaders, officials and the general public.
No convictions of a felony or misdemeanor involving moral turpitude.
Must pass pre-employment background check and drug and alcohol screening.
Certificates, Licenses, Regulatory Requirements
Must be licensed in the state of Washington to practice law.
Valid WA or ID Driver’s License and insurability under the Tribe’s auto policy.
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 _25__ pounds and requires occasional standing or walking.
This position requires occasional local and out of town travel.
This position occasionally requires work to be performed outside general business hours, including evening or weekend sessions, meetings/travel.