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The classes in this series are used in the Public Utilities Commission to perform a wide variety of legal work concerned with the preparation of rate, service, complaint, enforcement, investigatory, and other proceedings before the Commission; filing and prosecuting court actions for recovery of penalties in connection with the enforcement of regulatory statutes administered by the Commission; conducting litigation and appearing before State and Federal trial courts and Federal regulatory agencies as the attorney for the people of the State of California; preparing drafts of legal opinions and orders for Commission consideration; conferring and advising carriers, utilities, the public, and members of the Commission's staff on legal problems; drafting Federal and State legislation; drafting Commission regulations; analyzing records in connection with petitions for re-hearings and making recommendations concerning such petitions; preparing briefs and making arguments before Federal and State appellate courts; answering inquiries concerning regulatory statutes and Commission rules, regulations, and orders; appearing before Federal and State legislative committees; negotiating settlements of Federal and State matters; and preparing correspondence and reports.
This series is available for use only within the California Public Utilities Commission.
Entry into this class series would typically be made by State employees from the class of Legal Counsel which requires membership in The State Bar of California. The class of Graduate Legal Assistant, which requires eligibility to take The California State Bar examination, is also used to recruit those interested in pursuing legal careers in the Public Utilities Commission.
All levels in this series generally perform similar duties. Differences between classes are essentially differences in the level of service and expertise incumbents can be expected to provide and in the difficulty of assignments they receive.
Incumbents in this class are experienced attorneys capable of performing difficult legal work with increased independence and responsibility. They are given increasingly complex assignments. A Public Utilities Counsel I is assigned a variety of legal work including preparation and presentation of litigation before courts and public utility regulatory agencies in matters involving the Public Utilities Commission; assists in the preparation of drafts of legal opinions and orders for Commission members and staff of the Commission on legal problems in connection with regulatory statutes and orders, rules, and regulations of the Commission; studies, interprets, and applies statutes, Commission rules and orders, court decisions, and other legal authorities in the preparation of cases, opinions, and briefs; does legal research; prepares legal documents, memoranda, digests, and summaries; serves as staff counsel on Commission hearings; and represents the Commission and the State before Federal and State courts and administrative agencies.
Incumbents in this classification are experienced attorneys who have demonstrated their ability to benefit from increased independence of action and who have demonstrated their capacity to perform difficult legal work. They are assigned the more complex and sensitive legal work of the Public Utilities Commission including: acting as staff counsel in the major and more important rate, service, complaint, enforcement, investigatory, and other proceedings before the Commission; directing the preparation of the case to be presented on behalf of the Commission's staff, and serving as counsel for the staff presenting the staff showing at public hearings in such proceedings; filing and prosecuting court actions for recovery of penalties in connections with the enforcement of regulatory statutes administered by the Commission; independently conducting or directing the conduct of litigation and appearing before the State and Federal courts and Federal regulatory agencies; and answering inquiries concerning regulatory statutes and Commission rules, regulations, and orders.
Incumbents in this class are well-experienced attorneys who have developed the expertise necessary to capably perform the most complex and sensitive legal work of the Public Utilities Commission on an independent basis. A Public Utilities Counsel III independently conducts appellate court proceedings and litigation before the Commission and Federal regulatory agencies which involve a high degree of importance or complexity; conducts just compensation proceedings before the Commission; reviews and prepares digests of measures and amendments introduced in or adopted by the legislature relating to utility regulation; appears for the Commission at legislative committee hearings; prepares and recommends Commission orders; advises Commissioners and staff members on application of regulatory statutes to Commission powers, duties, and procedures; assists in the training of personnel; and may act as lead-person in coordinating the work of other attorneys.
Incumbents in this class are the most experienced attorneys who are experts in a broad or specialized area of law and have demonstrated their ability to independently perform assignments consisting of the most complex and sensitive legal work of the Public Utilities Commission. A Public Utilities Counsel IV may assign, direct, and coordinate the work of a group of attorneys working in a specialized area to ensure that consistency is maintained throughout the process from staff testimony to briefs, to decision making, to defending decisions on appeal, and to translating such Commission decisions into legislative policy where appropriate. Persons in this class also independently conduct appellate court proceedings and litigations before the Commission and Federal regulatory agencies which involve the highest degree of importance and complexity. They may be required to coordinate a group position on behalf of California State and local agencies and California utilities in Federal courts, Federal agencies, and Federal legislative committees.
All candidates must have active membership in The California State Bar.
Two years of experience in the practice of law*, which shall have included experience in the preparation or presentation of public utility or other regulatory matters before regulatory agencies or the courts or practice before California or United States trial or appellate courts. (Applicants who have completed eighteen months of the required experience will be admitted to the examination, but must complete two years of such experience before they will be eligible for appointment.)
Four years of experience in the practice of law*, at least two years of which shall have been either:
1. In the field of public utility regulation; or
2. In the preparation and presentation of public utility proceedings before public utility regulatory agencies or the courts.
(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.)
Six years of broad and extensive experience in the practice law*, at least three years of which shall have been either:
(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.)
Ten years of experience in the practice of law* at least four years of which shall have been either:
(Applicants who have completed nine years and six months of the required experience will be admitted to the examination, but must complete ten years of such experience before they will be eligible for appointment.)
* 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, or (3) legal experience acquired while practicing under a provisional license to practice law issued by the State Bar of California's Provisional Licensure Program, 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.
Knowledge of: Law governing and administered by the Public Utilities Commission and judicial interpretation of such law; rules and regulations of the Public Utilities Commission; conduct of proceedings and rules of evidence and procedure in State and Federal courts, and before public utility regulatory bodies; legal principles; purposes, organization, and operation of the Public Utilities Commission; administration law applicable to the Public Utilities Commission; basic principles of organization, structure, and financing of public utilities; and principles of personnel management and supervision.
Ability to: Analyze legal problems and apply legal principles and precedents to particular sets of facts; make accurate summaries of evidence and prepare appropriate findings, opinions, and orders; perform legal research; present statements of fact, law, and argument clearly and logically in written and oral form; draft rules, regulations, and legislative measures; direct the work of others; and analyze situations accurately and adopt an effective course of action.
Skill in: Assembling and directing the assembling of facts and law for presentation before courts and regulatory agencies, and in the conduct of such proceedings.
All employees shall have general qualifications as described by California Code of Regulations, title 2, section 172.