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Real Estate Counsel Series

Real Estate Counsel Series

California State Personnel Board Specification

Series established December 17, 1985

Scope

This series specification describes four legal classes used in the Department of Real Estate to provide a wide range of legal services.

 

This series is available for use only with the Department of Real Estate.

 

Incumbents in these classes may be responsible for performing a wide variety of legal work in the Department of Real Estate such as: administer a legal program; supervise a Department of Real Estate Legal Section; represent the Department of Real Estate in hearings; review subdivision filings; draft legal memorandums or opinions; prepare pleadings; and negotiate settlements of disciplinary actions against licensees.

 

Real Estate Counsel Series Specification - Class Titles and Codes
Schem CodeClass CodeClass
OA935539Real Estate Counsel I
OA925538Real Estate Counsel II
OA915537Real Estate Counsel III (Specialist)
OA905536Real Estate Counsel III (Supervisor) (abolished 05/07/2015)

Entry Levels

Entry into this class series requires membership in The State Bar of California. The class, Graduate Legal Assistant, is used to recruit State employees interested in pursuing legal careers in the State service.

Definition of Levels

Distinguishing Characteristics

Differences between classes are essentially in the level of service and expertise incumbents can be expected to provide and in the difficulty of assignments they receive. The most difficult and complex assignments are those of the Real Estate Counsel III (Specialist) and Real Estate Counsel III (Supervisor), the latter having supervisory responsibilities as well.

Real Estate Counsel I

This is a recruitment and development class for persons qualified to practice law in the State of California. Incumbents in the Real Estate Counsel I class are expected to initially perform the basic legal work of the Department of Real Estate and, under direction of a higher level Real Estate Counsel, progress to the more difficult legal work with increased independence and responsibility.

Real Estate Counsel II

Incumbents in this class are more experienced Department of Real Estate attorneys who have demonstrated the capacity to benefit from increased independence and responsibility and the ability to perform the more difficult legal work of the Department of Real Estate. They are assigned responsibility for more difficult and complex disciplinary cases, trials with evidentiary issues, negotiations, recommended dispositions, memorandums, mortgage loan brokers' opinions, Master Management Documents, and complex subdivision file review. The Real Estate Counsel II may lead lower level attorneys.

Real Estate Counsel III (Specialist)

Incumbents in this class are the most experienced practicing attorneys in the Department of Real Estate. Incumbents at this level are experts in a broad or exceedingly complex area of Real Estate law and have demonstrated the capacity to effectively perform the most sensitive and complex legal work of the Department of Real Estate. Real Estate Counsel III (Specialist) works with broad discretion and independence with minimum supervision on the most difficult assignments, directs the most complex investigations, negotiates with attorneys for subdividers, and serves as program experts. A Real Estate Counsel III (Specialist) may act in a lead capacity when the staff size is so large or the work so complex as to require both a first line supervisor and a lead attorney. Since only a few positions may reasonably be expected to perform at this level, allocation to this level will be controlled by staffing ratios.

Real Estate Counsel III (Supervisor)

This is the first supervisory level. Under general direction, incumbents plan, organize, and direct the work of a small staff of Department of Real Estate attorneys and, in addition, develop strategy in the most complex real estate disputes or litigations; may personally perform the most difficult and complex litigation, negotiation, hearings, legal research, and opinion drafting; and may be responsible for all legal staff in a district office. Since only a few positions may reasonably be expected to perform at this level, allocation will be controlled by staffing ratios.

Minimum Qualifications

All Levels:

All candidates must have membership in The State Bar of California. (Applicants must have active membership in The State Bar before they will be eligible for appointment. Applicants who are not members of The State Bar of California but who are eligible to take The California State Bar examination or are in their final year of law school will be admitted to the examination but will not be considered eligible for appointment until they are admitted to The State Bar.)

Real Estate Counsel I

Membership in The State Bar of California.

Real Estate Counsel II

Four years of responsible experience in the practice of law*. (Applicants who have completed three years and six months of the required experience will be admitted to the examination, but must complete four years of such experience before they will be eligible for appointment.)

Real Estate Counsel III (Specialist)

Real Estate Counsel III (Supervisor)

Six years of experience in the practice of law*. (Applicants who have completed five years and six months of the required experience will be admitted to the examination, but must complete six years of such experience before they will be eligible for appointment.)

Knowledge and Abilities

All Levels:

Knowledge of: Legal principles and their application; legal research methods, court procedures, rules of evidence, and procedure; legal terms and forms in common use; and statutory and case law literature and authorities.

 

Ability to: Analyze legal principles and precedents and apply them to legal and administrative problems; perform and direct legal research; present statements of fact, law, and argument clearly and logically in draft opinions, pleadings, rulings, regulations, and legislation; negotiate effectively; conduct civil litigation; and assist in crucial litigation.

 

A greater degree of these knowledge and abilities is required at each higher level.

Real Estate Counsel II

Real Estate Counsel III (Supervisor)

Knowledge of: All of the above, and the Administrative Procedure Act; the Real Estate Law; the Subdivided Lands Act; the Mineral, Oil, and Gas Broker Licensing Law; and the Subdivision Map Act.

 

Ability to: All of the above, and handle the more difficult and complex negotiations, disciplinary cases, subdivision file reviews; effectively represent the Department of Real Estate in administrative hearings involving complex cases; and negotiate disposition of Subdivided Lands Act issues.

 

A greater degree of these knowledge and abilities is required at each higher level.

Real Estate Counsel III (Supervisor)

Knowledge of: All of the above, and principles of supervision and the Department of Real Estate's equal employment opportunity objectives; and a manager's/supervisor's responsibility for promoting equal opportunity in hiring and employee development and promotion, and for maintaining a work environment that is free of discrimination and harassment.

 

Ability to: All of the above, and effectively promote equal opportunity in employment and maintain a work environment that is free of discrimination and harassment.

Class History

Real Estate Counsel Series History - Dates Established, Revised, and Title Changed
ClassDate EstablishedDate RevisedTitle Changed
Real Estate Counsel I12/17/198504/24/2012--
Real Estate Counsel II12/17/198504/24/2012--
Real Estate Counsel III (Specialist)12/17/198504/24/2012--
Real Estate Counsel III (Supervisor)12/17/198504/24/2012--

Alternate Range Criteria 222

Established 12/17/85 Revised 4/24/12

 

Experience gained outside State service may be credited only if the appointing power believes the experience was satisfactory and comparable in type and quality to that of a Real Estate Counsel I.

 

Range A. This range shall apply to individuals who are active members of The State Bar of California and who do not meet the criteria for payment in Range B and C.

 

Range B. The range shall apply to individuals who are active members of The State Bar of California and who, in addition, have satisfactorily completed one year experience in the practice of law.

 

Range C. This range shall apply to individuals who are active members of The State Bar of California and who, in addition, have satisfactorily completed two years of experience in the practice of law.

 

For the purposes of this Alternate Range, experience in the practice of law or performing legal duties is defined as: (1) only that legal experience acquired after admission to any State Bar, or (2) experience as a judicial clerk for a federal court, California's state courts, or any other state's courts, to constitute experience in the practice of law. For an individual's judicial clerkship to qualify as experience in the practice of law or performing legal duties, the experience must have been gained after receipt of a Juris Doctor or equivalent degree.

 

When the requirements for the particular criteria are met and upon recommendation of the appointing power, the employee shall receive a rate under the provisions of DPA Rule 599.676.

 

*Experience in the "practice of law" or "performing legal duties" is defined as: (1) only that legal experience acquired after admission to any State Bar, or (2) experience as a judicial clerk for a federal court, California's state courts, or any other state's courts, to constitute experience in the practice of law. For an individual's judicial clerkship to qualify as experience in the practice of law or performing legal duties, the experience must have been gained after receipt of a Juris Doctor or equivalent degree.

  Updated: 6/3/2012
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