Associate Trial Counsel
Kansas City Capital Litigation
Salary: $6,536-$7,334 per month
Job Description: Attorney will represent capital clients. Capital clients have been charged with first degree murder, and the State has filed a notice that it intends to seek the death penalty. The clients come from throughout the state, with an emphasis on those charged in the western half. Extensive travel is required.
Capital litigation is different from non-capital trial practice. Most capital cases involve strong evidence of guilt. Extensive pretrial practice focuses on sentencing advocacy, negotiation, motions (legal and evidentiary), and social work. Successful capital litigation focuses on plea agreements and keeping capital jury trials to a bare minimum. This is not a practice area for lawyers who live for the rush of excitement that surrounds a jury trial. However, capital pretrial motion practice creates trial-like demands and requires experts and multi-day hearings. During preparation, the capital team must progressively and thoroughly evaluate the entire case.
All capital lawyers are expected develop one-on-one relationships with the client and the client’s family/support system. Associate trial counsels do not independently take on primary roles. Typically, the associate trial counsel progresses by shadowing senior team members and taking on relatively minor case assignments. On a capital team, associate trial counsels are expected to take direction from lead trial counsel and to be open to suggestions from the mitigation specialist and investigator.
Qualifications: Must be a member of Missouri bar or eligible for Missouri licensure. Candidates must have experience in litigating complex and serious trials. Preferred qualifications include at least five years of criminal defense practice.