Assistant Federal Public Defender, Middle District of Florida

Assistant Federal Public Defender
Capital Habeas Unit

Posting Date: May 13, 2019
Closing Date: July 17, 2019

The office is now accepting applications for the position of Assistant Federal Defender for its Capital Habeas Unit. The position is for an experienced capital habeas lawyer. Prior experience in Florida or any jurisdiction’s federal capital habeas is highly preferred. The dedicated team of attorneys, investigators, paralegals and legal assistants in the CHU advocate for indigent prisoners in Florida or federal court. Our CHU unit staff have extensive and diverse experience in life, law and the field of capital habeas litigation. Skilled collaboration, strategic litigation, compassionate representation and unique approaches to the issues affecting our clients are among the values we aim to foster in our CHU. Familiarity with Florida state capital prosecutions is highly desirable.

Duties: CHU attorneys represent death-sentenced prisoners in their federal habeas corpus proceedings. CHU attorneys carry a full caseload, representing clients in all stages of their federal court litigation—from investigation, to briefing at all levels of the court system, through oral advocacy, and in clemency proceedings. Regular responsibilities include: working with clients; digesting large case files and investigative materials; developing litigation strategies; drafting pleadings; conducting evidentiary hearings; presenting oral arguments; working with experts and other witnesses; and supervising teams of investigators, mitigation specialists, paralegals, and legal assistants. This position may require work on holidays, evenings, and weekends, as the nature of the cases require. Frequent travel within the United States may also be required.

Requirements: While it is preferable for applicants to be members of the Florida Bar, applicants must be a member in good standing of some state bar in the U.S. Preference will be given to applicants with at least five years of experience in state and/or federal criminal law, complex civil litigation, death penalty litigation, or habeas corpus litigation, or applicants with federal judicial clerkship experience. Excellent writing skills are imperative. Experience in mental health forensics is very beneficial. Other exceptional experience or qualifications that would serve our clients may be considered in lieu of the litigation experience described above. Applicants must have an established capacity or clearly demonstrated aptitude for excellence in capital defense, strong written and oral advocacy skills, work well in teams, and be effective organizers.

Deadline to submit an application is WEDNESDAY, JULY 17, 2019. Information for Applicants:

Electronically submit cover letter with resume, three professional references, and two representative writing samples (limited to 15 pages) in PDF format with the subject line CAPITAL HABEAS ATTORNEY APPLICATION to:

Federal Public Defender Office
Lorena Finato, Administrative Assistant

Emailed documents must be in PDF format and separately labeled. Documents emailed in Word or ZIP format will not be considered. Phone inquiries can be directed to Ms. Lugo at (813) 514-4215.

The Federal Public Defender’s office is a branch of the U.S. Courts, an Equal Opportunity Employer, and operates under authority of the Criminal Justice Act, 18 U.S.C. Section 3006A, to provide indigent defense services in federal criminal cases and related matters in the federal courts. This is Excepted Service Employment with Federal Government Benefits. Salary is based on Experience. This position is subject to mandatory Electronic Funds Transfer (Direct Deposit) of federal salary payment. Only qualified applicants will be considered for this position. Applicants must be U.S. Citizens or eligible to work in and for the United States. Applicants selected for interviews must travel at their own expense. This position is subject to a background investigation therefore, the successful applicant will undergo a mandatory criminal background check investigation, which will include the completion of fingerprint checks. Unsatisfactory results may result in termination of employment, if provisionally hired pending completion of background check. The Federal Public Defender Office provides reasonable accommodations to applicants with disabilities. If you need a reasonable accommodation, please notify Ms. Lugo at (813) 514- 4215. The decision on granting reasonable accommodations will be made on a case-by-case basis.

Note that Assistant Federal Public Defenders may not engage in the private practice of law.