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Series established March 8, 1988
The series specification describes two Corporations Counsel classes used by the Department of Corporations.
Incumbents in these classes study, interpret, and apply laws, regulations, court decisions, and other legal authorities to matters under the jurisdiction of the Commissioner of Corporations.
Typical tasks include but are not limited to: acting upon complex securities law qualification applications involving sophisticated and unique business organizations; acting upon complex application for registration under the Franchise Investment Law; drafting orders, pleadings, and handling administrative hearings to defend orders issued under all laws under the Commissioner's jurisdiction; intervening in bankruptcy proceedings; preparing and filing amicus curiae briefs in State and Federal appellate court; co-counseling criminal jury and nonjury trials; preparing and filing civil injunctive actions under all laws under the Commissioner's jurisdiction; handling law and motion practice, appellate practice, and pretrial discovery practice under all laws under the Commissioner's jurisdiction; defending the Commissioner from suits filed in State or Federal court for the Commissioner's actions under all laws under the Commissioner's jurisdiction, as well as against writs of mandate and prohibition and damage suits alleging misconduct by the Commissioner or the staff of the Department of Corporations; acting upon licensing applications for prepaid health care service plans and monitoring those plans for continuing compliance with the financial responsibility and quality of care requirements of the Knox-Keene Act; drafting legislation, rules, and interpretive opinions under all laws over which the Commissioner has jurisdiction; working with advisory committees, citizens groups, legislators, and professional associations on studies of ways to improve the laws under the Commissioner's jurisdiction; negotiating with outside counsel the terms and conditions of qualifications and registrations; and acting as presenting attorney or as hearing officer in connection with administrative proceedings to deny applications or registration, or at fairness hearings or hearings under Sections 1101.1 or 1001 of the Corporations Code.
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 which they receive.
This is a recruitment and developmental class for persons qualified to practice law in the State of California. Incumbents assigned to Range A perform the least difficult professional legal work in the Department of Corporations. Based upon the appropriate alternate range criteria, incumbents advance to Range B, C, and D, and are assigned progressively more difficult professional legal work as their competence increases. Incumbents assigned to Range D are assigned the more complex and sensitive legal work in this class.
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 Department of Corporations on an independent basis. A Senior Corporations Counsel is usually assigned only the most important legal work such as: (a) preparation and litigation of cases involving a large number of defendants and/or victims, and the most complex issues of law and procedure; (b) analyzing and processing the most complex applications for qualification, registration, and licensure under the laws under the jurisdiction of the Commissioner of Corporations; (c) drafting and analyzing the most complex proposed legislation, and drafting the most complex opinions, rules, regulations, and releases based upon interpretations of the laws under the jurisdiction of the Commissioner of Corporations; or (d) legal research, counseling, or negotiation work on the most complex problems having far reaching implications on the statewide program of the Department. They may act as lead person for support personnel and other attorneys.
Experience: Experience applicable to one of the following patterns may be combined on a proportional basis with experience applicable to the other to meet the total experience requirement. Experience in California state service applied toward "Pattern II" must include the same number of years qualifying experience as required in "Pattern I" performing the duties in a class with the specified level of responsibility as described in "Pattern I".
All candidates must have active membership in The California State Bar.
Membership in The California State Bar. (Applicants must have active membership in The California State Bar before they will be eligible for appointment. Applicants who are not members of The California State Bar but who are eligible to take The California State Bar examination will be admitted to the examination but will not be considered eligible for appointment until they are admitted to The State Bar.)
Candidates applying promotionally for Corporations Counsel must be in the class of Graduate Legal Assistant.
Membership in The State Bar of California. (Applicants must have an active membership in The State Bar before they will be eligible for appointment.) and Either I Two years of experience performing the legal duties* at a level of responsibility equivalent to that obtained in the class of Corporations Counsel, Range D. (Applicants who have completed 18 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.)
Six years of legal experience in the practice of law in a governmental jurisdiction or in the private practice of law.* (Applicants will be admitted to the examination upon completion of five and a half years of legal experience, but must complete six years of such experience before they will be eligible for appointment.)
Knowledge of: Legal principles and their application with particular reference to statutes administered by the Department of Corporations; scope and character of California statutory law and provisions of the California Constitution, with particular reference to statutes administered by the Department of Corporations; legal research methods; principles of administrative constitutional law; rules of evidence and conduct of proceedings in trial and appellate courts of California and the United States before administrative bodies; duties and powers of the Commissioner of Corporations; general principles of business law.
*Experience in the "practice of law" or "performing legal duties" is defined as only that legal experience acquired after admission to The State Bar.
Ability to: Prepare, present, and handle legal cases; perform research; analyze difficult and complex legal problems, and apply legal statements of fact, law, and argument clearly and logically in written and oral form; analyze and draft proposed legislative measures; handle difficult legal correspondence; direct and coordinate the work of clerical and professional assistants and coworkers; analyze situations accurately and adopt an effective course of action.
A greater degree of these knowledge and abilities is required at each higher level.