Trial Attorney-Torts Branch/Environmental Torts Litigation

Employer
USAJobs
Location
Washington, D.C
Posted
Aug 16, 2019
Closes
Aug 22, 2019
Hours
Full Time
Duties

Summary

The applicant should have firsthand experience conducting factual and legal research, brief writing, interviewing witnesses, drafting pleadings, negotiating, working with expert witnesses, taking/defending depositions, handling mediations, preparing cases for trial, and presenting oral arguments. Trial experience and strong research and writing skills are a plus. Applicants with experience supervising, teaching, or mentoring newer lawyers are also preferred.

Learn more about this agency

Responsibilities

As a Trial Attorney-Torts Branch/Environmental Torts Litigation GS-0905-14/15, your typical work assignments may include the following:

The Environmental Torts Section, Civil Division, U.S. Department of Justice defends the United States in complex, high stakes civil litigation in federal courts nationwide. Its attorneys directly handle all aspects of wrongful death, personal injury, and property damage cases that often involve hundreds, even thousands, of plaintiffs. The cases typically stem from alleged exposure to environmental contaminants, such as biological agents, chemicals, and other substances. They also involve complex issues of causation, novel issues of federal and state law, and numerous expert witnesses. Given its unique expertise, the section has primary litigation responsibility for all suits brought against the United States under the Federal Tort Claims Act where the alleged injuries/damages are attributed to some form of environmental contaminant. Many of the section's cases are litigated as mass torts or multidistrict litigations. Mass tort cases being litigated by the section relate to: alleged damage to water systems and personal injury claims due to the military's use of per-fluorinated compounds in firefighting; personal injury claims stemming from EPA's oversight of state and local entities involved in the Flint water crisis; natural resource damage and personal injury claims related to an alleged heavy metals release during an EPA investigation at Gold King Mine in Colorado; personal injury claims related to alleged groundwater contamination at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina; and World War II era chromium contamination from a former Air Force base in California allegedly causing groundwater contamination. Complex jurisdictional questions, a need for creative case-management solutions, and overlapping issues of history, law, and science are often the norm. At capacity, the section is comprised of approximately twenty attorneys and ten members of support staff.

Travel Required

Occasional travel - You may be expected to travel for this position.

Supervisory status
No

Promotion Potential
15

Requirements

Conditions of Employment

  • Must be a U.S. Citizen or National
  • Must complete a Background Investigation to include drug testing
  • Selective Service Registration is required, as applicable
  • May require completion of a fourteen month trial period
  • Must be able to obtain and maintain a Top Secret security clearance with eligibility for Sensitive Compartmented Information (SCI) access depending on organizational assignment / duty location.


Qualifications

Applicants must be a graduate from a full course of study in a School of Law accredited by the American Bar Association and be a member in good standing of the bar of a state, territory of the United States, the District of Columbia, or the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico.

Applicants must possess a J.D. degree, be an active member of the bar (any jurisdiction), have at least three years of post J.D. experience to qualify at the GS-14 level, and four years of post J.D. experience to qualify at the GS-15 level. You must be a U.S. citizen. Applicants should also have excellent academic credentials, experience handling complex federal civil litigation (including experience handling discovery, depositions, and researching and writing motions or briefs), and outstanding advocacy and legal writing skills. Experience arguing motions, developing expert witness testimony, trying cases, and a federal judicial clerkship are highly desirable.

Education

All academic degrees and coursework must be completed at a college or university that has obtained accreditation or pre-accreditation status from an accrediting body recognized by the U.S. Department of Education. For a list of schools that meet this criteria, see www.ed.gov.

OR

Education completed in foreign colleges or universities may be used to meet the above education requirements if you can show that the foreign education is comparable to that received in an accredited educational institution in the United States. It is your responsibility to timely provide such evidence by submitting proof of creditability of education as evaluated by a credentialing agency with your application materials. More information may be found at https://www2.ed.gov/about/offices/list/ous/international/usnei/us/edlite-visitus-forrecog.html .

All documentation must be in English or include an English translation. https://www2.ed.gov/about/offices/list/ous/international/usnei/us/edlite-visitus-forrecog.html .

Additional information

Veteran Preference: If you are entitled to or claim veteran preference (VP), you should indicate the type of veteran preference (5 or 10 points) you are claiming on your resume. In order to determine your eligibility, you can find additional information at: http://www.opm.gov/policy-data-oversight/veterans-services/vet-guide/ .

There is no formal rating system for applying veterans' preference to attorney appointments in the excepted service; however, the Department of Justice considers veterans' preference eligibility as a positive factor in attorney hiring. Applicants eligible for veterans' preference must include that information in their cover letter or resume and attach supporting documentation (e.g., the DD 214, Certificate of Release or Discharge from Active Duty and other supporting documentation) to their submissions. Although the "point" system is not used, per se, applicants eligible to claim 10-point preference must submit Standard Form (SF) 15, Application for 10-Point Veteran Preference, and submit the supporting documentation required for the specific type of preference claimed (visit the OPM website, http://www.opm.gov/forms/pdfimage/sf0015.pdf for a copy of SF 15, which lists the types of 10-point preferences and the required supporting documents). Applicants should note that SF 15 requires supporting documentation associated with service-connected disabilities or receipt of nonservice-connected disability pensions to be dated within the last 12 months except in the case of service members submitting official statements or retirement orders from a branch of the Armed Forces showing that his or her retirement was due to a permanent service-connected disability or that he/she was transferred to the permanent disability retired list (the statement or retirement orders must indicate that the disability is 10% or more).

DOJ EEO Statement/Policy: http://www.justice.gov/jmd/eeos/08-eeo-policy.pdf

Reasonable Accommodation Statement: Federal agencies must provide reasonable accommodation to applicants with disabilities where appropriate. Applicants requiring reasonable accommodation for any part of the application and hiring process should contact the hiring agency directly. Determinations on requests for reasonable accommodation will be made on a case-by-case basis.

Schedule A: DOJ welcomes and encourages applications from persons with disabilities and is firmly committed to satisfying its affirmative obligations under the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 to ensure that persons with disabilities have every opportunity to be hired and advanced on the basis of merit within the Department. DOJ also encourages eligible Schedule A applicants to submit their resumes to resume@benderconsult.com, and reference "Federal Career Opportunities" in the subject line. Additional information is found at: www.benderconsult.com .

Selective Service: If you are a male applicant born after December 31, 1959, you must certify that you have registered with the Selective Service System, or are exempt from having to do so under the Selective Service Law. Additional information is found at: www.sss.gov .

How You Will Be Evaluated

You will be evaluated for this job based on how well you meet the qualifications above.

You will be evaluated for this job based on how well you meet the qualifications. Your application will be evaluated by a reviewing panel.

Please Note: The Selecting Official may select additional candidates if more positions become available within 120 days after the closing date of the vacancy.

Background checks and security clearance

Security clearance
Top Secret

Drug test required
Yes

Position sensitivity and risk
Critical-Sensitive (CS)/High Risk

Trust determination process
National security

Required Documents

  • Cover Letter
  • Resume showing relevant experience.
  • Writing Sample (not more than 12 pages in length, and written in the past 3 years)
  • DD-214 and/or veteran documentation, (if applicable).


If you are relying on your education to meet qualification requirements:

Education must be accredited by an accrediting institution recognized by the U.S. Department of Education in order for it to be credited towards qualifications. Therefore, provide only the attendance and/or degrees from schools accredited by accrediting institutions recognized by the U.S. Department of Education .

Failure to provide all of the required information as stated in this vacancy announcement may result in an ineligible rating or may affect the overall rating.

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