The Idaho State Appellate Public Defender seeks an experienced capital attorney to act as Lead Counsel in its Capital Litigation Unit (CLU). The CLU represents indigent clients who have already been convicted of murder and sentenced to death. It handles both post-conviction proceedings in the trial court and consolidated direct/post-conviction appeals before the Idaho Supreme Court. 

Lead Counsel will oversee a team comprised of two attorneys, a fact investigator, and a mitigation specialist. The team zealously represents its client throughout post-conviction proceedings in the district court, through the reinvestigation and reimagination of both the merits and penalty phases of the case. If post-conviction proceedings are unsuccessful, the team represents the client in a unified direct/post-conviction appeal.

The successful applicant will:

  • Be committed to indigent defense generally and capital defense specifically, 
  • Be empathetic and client-centered,
  • Possess a strong working knowledge of Eighth Amendment jurisprudence,
  • Have litigation experience,
  • Write clearly and persuasively,
  • Argue effectively in court,
  • Be able to foster a collaborative team approach while also training and mentoring other team members, and
  • Be able to direct a reinvestigation of the case develop and direct a cohesive litigation strategy.

Depending on the desire and qualifications of the applicant, the applicant may also be a candidate to simultaneously serve as the chief of the Capital Litigation Unit.

  • Commitment to 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 (2003), as the minimum standards for high quality representation.
  • Commitment to a client-centered team approach to capital post-conviction and appellate work.
  • Ability to develop and maintain healthy, productive client relationships of mutual trust and respect.
  • Capital experience and working knowledge of applicable Eighth Amendment jurisprudence.
  • Ability to lead and motivate a team consisting of two attorneys, an investigator, and a mitigation specialist.
  • Ability to direct a  case reinvestigation, post-conviction litigation, and a consolidated direct/post-conviction appeal.
  • License to practice law in Idaho, or the ability to obtain admission to the Idaho State Bar.