Trial Attorney-Torts/Federal Tort Claims Act Section

Washington, D.C
Sep 13, 2019
Sep 17, 2019
Full Time


This is an opportunity for experienced trial attorneys to defend the United States in complex, high dollar value cases. The FTCA Section of the Torts Branch handles personal injury, wrongful death, and property damage suits arising from activities of federal employees acting within the scope of their federal employment. It also provides guidance and recommendations on settlements proposed by federal agencies and United States Attorneys' Offices and appeal recommendations in FTCA cases.

Learn more about this agency


The Torts Branch's Federal Tort Claims Act (FTCA) Section handles a wide variety of complex, and often controversial, suits filed under the FTCA. These suits arise most often from the provision of medical care at federal facilities or community health centers, regulatory activities, law enforcement, and management of federal lands. Currently, the FTCA Section is defending the United States in three mass shooting cases, including the 2018 shooting at Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. Another example of sensitive law enforcement litigation arose out of the defense of alleged FBI misconduct in handling informants in Boston, as well as suits brought by individuals who were detained on immigration charges following the 9-11 terrorist attacks. In terms of medical malpractice, the FTCA Section handles some of the most complex medical malpractice suits filed against the United States. These are often birth injury cases with complex medical causation issues in which high damages awards are sought. On a day-to-day basis, the FTCA Section provides guidance on a broad range of legal issues that arise under the FTCA, assists in the development of strategy, and participates in settlement negotiations in claims handled by other federal agencies or in cases handled by United States Attorneys' Offices (USAOs). The FTCA Section has particular expertise in the evaluation and settlement of catastrophic injury cases. In addition, the FTCA Section is responsible for making appeal recommendations on adverse FTCA judgments, including those cases handled by USAOs. The FTCA Section also provides comments on legislation that may have an impact on taxpayer liability. Often, when Congress is in session, numerous bills are reviewed on a weekly basis. In addition, the FTCA Section is responsible for the adjudication of administrative claims filed as a result of the conduct of employees of the Department of Justice (DOJ) nationwide.

Travel Required

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

Supervisory status

Promotion Potential


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.


Required Qualifications: Applicants must possess a J.D. degree, be duly licensed and authorized to practice as an attorney under the laws of any state, territory of the United States, or the District of Columbia, and be an active member of the bar in good standing. Applicants should have excellent writing, negotiation, and interpersonal skills, exhibit good judgment, and have a strong interest in litigation.
Preferred Qualifications: Ideal candidates will have:
  • At least four years of post-JD litigation experience in federal courts.
  • Excellent research and writing skills, as well as experience presenting oral arguments.
  • Substantial firsthand experience handling complex litigation.
  • Demonstrated ability to handle all phases of discovery, including working with expert witnesses.
  • Excellent analytical ability and the capacity to articulate critical issues in a wide variety of cases.
  • The ability to work well on individual projects and on team projects.
  • A demonstrated record of being able to balance a diverse and constantly changing workload and the ability to set priorities appropriately.


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


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 .

All documentation must be in English or include an English translation. .

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: .

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, for a copy of SF 15, which lists the types of 10-point preferences and the required supporting document(s).

DOJ EEO Statement/Policy:

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, and reference "Federal Career Opportunities" in the subject line. Additional information is found at: .

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: .

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

Position sensitivity and risk
Special-Sensitive (SS)/High Risk

Trust determination process
National security

Required Documents

  • Cover Letter
  • Resume showing relevant experience.
  • Writing Sample (not more than 15 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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