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People Making
A Difference!

State Government

State Appellate
Public Defender



If you have questions,
please contact us at:

(208) 334-2712



Non-Classified Opening

Second Chair Counsel / Deputy State Appellate Public Defender

Non-Classified Classification

State Appellate Public Defender

Open for Recruitment: September 27, 2017 - October 23, 2017
Announcement # NONCLS052097
Salary Range: $65,000 - $83,000 Annually (DOE) -Plus Competitive Benefits!

Location(s): Boise

SPECIAL NOTIFICATION:  This position is exempt from classified state service and the rules of the Division of Human Resources and the Idaho Personnel Commission.


Full-time (40 hours) – plus competitive benefits

Salary $ 65,000 to $ 83,000 yearly D.O.E. 

AGENCY DESCRIPTION: The State Appellate Public Defender is a law office which provides appellate and post-conviction representation to indigent defendants pursuant to Idaho Code § 19-868. The Capital Litigation Unit (CLU) represents indigent clients on direct appeal and in post-conviction proceedings who have been convicted of murder and sentenced to death. The Appellate Unit (AU) represents indigent defendants in felony cases in Idaho’s appellate courts.

The position will be filled as a mixed AU/CLU position initially, but will transition to a full-time CLU position.

SPECIFIC DUTIES: CLU Second Chair Counsel works collaboratively with lead counsel, an investigator, mitigation specialist and administrative assistant, to zealously represent indigent capital defendants throughout post-conviction proceedings in the district court, and on appeal, through the reinvestigation and reimagination of both the guilt and penalty phases of the case. The primary responsibilities of Second Chair Counsel include, but are not limited to: 

  • Developing and maintaining healthy relationships of mutual trust and respect through regular client contact
  • Treating judges, court staff, opposing counsel, witnesses, and all other case participants professionally
  • In collaboration with other team members, identifying and vetting experts, identifying lay witnesses, and conducting prioritizing factual and mitigation investigation
  • Assisting lead counsel in making informed and reasonable strategic decisions, and filling that role in lead counsel’s absence
  • Working collaboratively with other team members and experts to develop a cohesive post-conviction strategy
  • In collaboration with other team members, assisting with the identification and timely briefing of post-conviction issues
  • Assisting with motion practice in district court post-conviction proceedings, including but not limited to filing an initial petition for post-conviction relief, any subsequent amendments, as needed, and discovery requests
  • Assisting with and conducting depositions of trial counsel, experts, and other relevant witnesses, in collaboration with other team members
  • Assisting with preparation for and presentation of evidence at evidentiary hearing in district court post-conviction proceedings
  • Working with integrity and professionalism to zealously represent the client with dignity and respect, while maintaining confidentiality and client loyalty 
  • In collaboration with lead counsel, identifying and briefing appellate issues
  • Working closely with lead counsel and the administrative assistant to set realistic deadlines for completion of first drafts of pleadings and briefs, so that a compelling and quality pleading or brief is submitted on the client’s behalf 
  • Ensuring loyalty to former clients by facilitating the work of successor counsel to gain relief for the client 
  • Any other tasks necessary to the competent, zealous, and effective representation of the client 

A Deputy State Appellate Public Defender in the AU represents indigent defendants on appeal in Idaho’s appellate courts in felony cases.  Primary responsibilities include, but are not limited to:

  • Communicating effectively with, and competently advising, clients whose cases are pending on appeal
  • Carefully reviewing trial court records and fully evaluating potential issues for appeal
  • Conducting thorough legal research
  • Drafting clear, concise appellate motions and briefs 
  • Delivering persuasive oral arguments before the Idaho Court of Appeals and the Idaho Supreme Court

MINIMUM QUALIFICATIONS: Must be licensed to practice law in the State of Idaho, or in the process of seeking admission to the Idaho State Bar. A commitment to indigent defense is essential. Must also be committed to following the ABA Guidelines for the Appointment and Performance of Defense Counsel in Death Penalty Cases and the Supplementary Guidelines for the Mitigation Function of Defense Teams in Death Penalty Cases, as the minimum standards for high quality representation. Preference will be given to candidates who meet the qualifications of Idaho Criminal Rule 44.3 for appellate/post-conviction or co-counsel in death penalty cases. Trial experience is strongly preferred.

KNOWLEDGE, SKILLS, & ABILITIES: Excellent research, writing, and communication skills are essential, as is a commitment to team-centered representation. Must be detail-oriented and able to exercise sound professional judgment.  The ability to interact with diverse individuals, including but not limited to clients, their families, prosecutors, other attorneys, investigators, judges, court clerks, experts, witnesses, and members of the general public, is essential. Must be able to maintain client confidentiality and work independently with minimal supervision, and also work collaboratively with other team members. Must be able to work occasional evenings and weekends to meet deadlines. Must be proficient with Microsoft Office applications, including Outlook, Word, and Excel. Experience with ProLaw and Westlaw Next is preferred.

HOW TO APPLY: Qualified applicants who would like to apply for this position must submit the following: 1) cover letter, 2) resume, 3) three letters of recommendation, and 4) two writing samples.  The required application materials must be received by the SAPD no later than October 23, 2017 at 5:00 p.m. Email submissions are preferred.  Please direct all application materials to:

Rachel Murray, Office Administrator
Idaho State Appellate Public Defender
322 E. Front Street, Suite 570
Boise, ID  83702
(208) 334-2712

Hiring is done without regard to race, color, religion, national origin, sex, age or disability. In addition, preference may be given to veterans who qualify under state and federal laws and regulations. If you need special accommodations to satisfy testing requirements, please contact the Division of Human Resources.