County of Alameda

Deputy Public Defender (#3125)

Bargaining Unit: PD Attorneys (069)
$81.07-$112.19 Hourly / $6,485.60-$8,975.20 BiWeekly /
$14,052.13-$19,446.27 Monthly / $168,625.60-$233,355.20 Yearly

Deputy Public Defender is the general litigation attorney class. By the assignment of the Public Defender, Deputy Public Defenders are the attorneys for defendants in criminal and juvenile cases, and represent litigants in certain civil proceedings, as appointed to or accepted by the Public Defender. Deputy Public Defenders perform all related legal work as required and authorized by the Public Defender.


The Deputy Public Defender class is found only in the Public Defender's Department.

Incumbents are expected to perform highly competent legal work, representing defendants in difficult civil and juvenile proceedings and misdemeanors and all felony prosecutions, except the role of lead counsel in cases where the death penalty is sought. Deputy Public Defenders participate as second or co-counsel to Assistant Public Defenders in cases where the death penalty is sought. Deputy Public Defenders are experienced litigation attorneys with a highly developed special expertise in handling criminal, juvenile, and specialized civil cases. Deputy Public Defenders are required to demonstrate continued full competence in the defense litigation of felony jury trials. After three years’ experience in this classification, a Deputy Public Defender may be assigned to supervise a smaller branch office or section, or a part of a larger branch office or division under the direction of an Assistant Public Defender.

NOTE: The following are the duties performed by employees in this classification. However, employees may perform other related duties at an equivalent level. Each individual in the classification does not necessarily perform all duties listed.

1. Interviews new applicants for public defense; makes preliminary determination of eligibility and evaluation of conflict; obtains relevant information from client; advises client on legal rights and legal proceedings.

2. Takes appropriate legal steps to best defend client; attends line-ups; advises clients on the proper plea; represents clients at pretrial hearings, including preliminary examinations; prepares report on such hearings for the use of other lawyers; engages in negotiations with prosecuting attorneys.

3. Conducts the trial defense for clients accused of misdemeanors and all felonies, for clients facing involuntary commitment under civil proceedings, and for children and parents in juvenile court proceedings. May act as second or co-counsel under the direction of an Assistant Public Defender in the representation of a defendant for which the penalty sought is death.

4. Orders investigation of the case and subpoenas witnesses determined to be helpful to the defense; analyzes facts in light of relevant legal consideration; conducts legal research; prepares trial strategy; litigates pretrial and trial evidentiary hearings; selects juries; examines and cross-examines witnesses and challenges their qualifications; argues cases for the defense; prepares written instructions for the jury; prepares and argues writs and appeals in the Superior Court Appellate Department, Court of Appeal, and Supreme Court.

5. Corresponds and communicates with interested parties such as relatives, judges, and probation personnel with regard to status and legal rights of clients; handles legal detail in probation, extradition, civil proceedings; advises and assists inmates of penal institutions.

6. Assists ineligible applicants to secure private counsel by referring them to local bar association; refers persons with civil problems to legal aid society.

7. Appears before public and private groups to make presentations and answer questions on the functions and duties of the Public Defender's Office. Serves as liaison between the Public Defender's Department and individuals or organizations involved in or interested in the administration of justice.

8. Under the general supervision of an Assistant Public Defender, a Deputy Public Defender may be assigned to supervise other attorneys in a smaller branch office or a section of the Public Defender's legal division, or part of a larger branch office

1. Current active membership and good standing with the State Bar of California.

2. Valid California motor vehicle operator's license.



The equivalent of 24 months of full-time experience in the class of Associate Deputy Public Defender in the Alameda County classified service. (Non-classified includes District Attorney’s Office, Hospital Authority, and the Consolidated Courts.)


The equivalent of 24 months’ full-time experience in the practice of criminal law, and demonstrated competence in the handling of all phases of felony cases, including substantial felony trial experience. Substantial felony trial experience is deemed to include the trial to verdict of at least three felonies for which the possible penalty exceeds seven years.

NOTE: The Civil Service Commission may modify the above Minimum Qualifications in the announcement of an examination.

NOTE: The level and scope of the following knowledge and abilities are related to duties listed under the “Examples of Duties” section of this specification.

Knowledge of:

• Philosophy and practice of public defense in the United States.
• Laws, ethics, and policies governing the Public Defender's Office.
• Legal principles and procedures followed in the handling of criminal and juvenile cases, including rules of evidence, trial litigation, and appellate procedure.
• Scope and character of California statutory and constitutional law.
• Legal source materials.
• Principles of training and supervision.


• Analyze situations accurately and adopt an effective course of action.
• Gather, analyze, and apply legal data and evidence.
• Present legal arguments effectively in oral and written form.
• Inspire confidence in clients and work effectively with colleagues and representatives of other agencies.
• Handle legal correspondence and procedures with tact and accuracy.
• Appropriate decision making.
• Interpersonal sensitivity.
• Flexibility.
• Performance in a stressful environment.
• Defend felony cases at the pretrial and jury trial level, including advanced litigation techniques and preservation of the trial record by making timely and appropriate trial objections and motions, and demonstrated knowledge of and facility in addressing difficult sentencing issues.

Revised: 7/82
Revised 2/90
Revised: 9/92
Old Asst.PDIII
Revised: 2/95
Updated: 8/96
Old document: 0369h.doc
New document: Jobspecs/3125
CSC Date: 4/20/94


Alameda County offers a comprehensive and competitive benefits package that affords wide-ranging health care options to meet the different needs of a diverse workforce and their families. We also sponsor many different employee discount, fitness and health screening programs focused on overall well being.  These benefits include but are not limited to*:

For your Health & Well-Being

  • Medical – HMO & PPO Plans
  • Dental – HMO & PPO Plans
  • Vision or Vision Reimbursement
  • Share the Savings
  • Basic Life Insurance 
  • Supplemental Life Insurance (with optional dependent coverage for eligible employees)
  • Accidental Death and Dismemberment Insurance 
  • County Allowance Credit
  • Flexible Spending Accounts - Health FSA, Dependent Care and Adoption Assistance
  • Short-Term Disability Insurance
  • Long-Term Disability Insurance
  • Voluntary Benefits - Accident Insurance, Critical Illness, Hospital Indemnity and Legal Services
  • Employee Assistance Program

For your Financial Future

  • Retirement Plan - (Defined Benefit Pension Plan)
  • Deferred Compensation Plan (457 Plan or Roth Plan)

For your Work/Life Balance

  • 11 paid holidays
  • Floating Holidays
  • Vacation and sick leave accrual
  • Vacation purchase program
  • Management Paid Leave**
  • Catastrophic Sick Leave
  • Group Auto/Home Insurance
  • Pet Insurance
  • Commuter Benefits Program
  • Guaranteed Ride Home
  • Employee Wellness Program (e.g. At Work Fitness, Incentive Based Programs, Gym Membership Discounts)
  • Employee Discount Program (e.g. theme parks, cell phone, etc.)
  • Child Care Resources
  • 1st United Services Credit Union 

*Eligibility is determined by Alameda County and offerings may vary by collective bargaining agreement.  This provides a brief summary of the benefits offered and can be subject to change.

** Non-exempt management employees are entitled to up to three days of management paid leave. Exempt management employees are entitled to up to seven days of management paid leave.