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Qualifications/Job Description

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About the Office: The Civil Division, Torts Branch, is seeking an experienced attorney for a position in the Office of Vaccine Litigation. Trial attorneys in the Vaccine Litigation Group represent the interests of the Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services in all cases filed in the U.S. Court of Federal Claims under the National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act. The cases involve claims of injury as a result of the receipt of certain vaccines.

Responsibilities and Opportunity offered: The position offers a unique experience in public service. The legal and medical issues at stake in each case vary greatly. Attorneys in the section independently manage heavy case loads, and while streamlined procedures are utilized, cases frequently involve complex liability and damages issues. The position involves significant trial practice. Vaccine staff attorneys are obliged to ensure that the Vaccine Trust Fund, from which damage awards are paid, is protected and, where eligibility criteria are met, that fair compensation is distributed to those whom Congress has intended. Attorneys appear frequently before the Office of Special Masters in the U.S. Court of Federal Claims, and also appear before the judges of the Court, as well as in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit when handling appeals.

Qualifications: Applicants must posses a J.D. degree, be duly licensed and authorized to practice as an attorney under the laws of any State, territory of the United States, or the District of Columbia, and be an active member of the bar in good standing. Applicants must have at least one year of post-J.D. experience. Applicants should have excellent writing, negotiation, and interpersonal skills, exhibit excellent judgment, and have a strong interest in trial and appellate practice. Experience in litigating medical injury and/or products cases, and working with medical expert witnesses is strongly preferred. The ideal candidate would enjoy working independently and as part of a team, and feel comfortable in a courtroom setting. Applicants must exhibit the ability to work in a supportive and professional manner with staff, attorney supervisors, and the client agency.

Travel: Occasional travel required.

Salary: Current salary and years of experience will determine the appropriate salary level within the GS-12 to GS-14 ($74,872 to $136,771) range.

Location: Washington, D.C.

Relocation Expenses: Not authorized.

Application Process And Deadline Date: Applicants must submit the following items: 1) cover letter, 2) resume, 3) brief writing sample, and 4) current performance appraisal (if applicable) to: Gabrielle M. Fielding, Assistant Director, Civil Division, Torts Branch, U.S. Department of Justice, P.O. Box 146, Benjamin Franklin Station, Washington, DC 20044-0146 or by e-mail to: CSTL-Vaccine.Vacancies@usdoj.gov

No telephone calls please. Applications must be received not later than April 5th, 2010. Candidates who have applied within the past six months need not reapply.

Internet Sites: For more information about the Civil Division visit the Justice Department web site at: http://www.usdoj.gov/civil/index.html

Other attorney vacancy announcements can be found at: http://www.usdoj.gov/oarm/attvacancies.html

Department Policies: The U.S. Department of Justice is an Equal Opportunity/Reasonable Accommodation Employer. Except where otherwise provided by law, there will be no discrimination because of color, race, religion, national origin, politics, marital status, disability, age, sex, sexual orientation, status as a parent, membership or non-membership in an employee organization, or on the basis of personal favoritism. The Department of Justice welcomes and encourages applications from persons with physical and mental disabilities. The Department is firmly committed to satisfying its affirmative obligations under the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, to ensure that persons with disabilities have every opportunity to be hired and advanced on the basis of merit within the Department of Justice. This agency provides reasonable accommodation to applicants with disabilities where appropriate. If you need a reasonable accommodation for any part of the application and hiring process, please notify the agency. Determinations on requests for reasonable accommodation will be made on a case-by-case basis.

It is the policy of the Department to achieve a drug-free workplace and persons selected for employment will be required to pass a drug test which screens for illegal drug use prior to final appointment. Employment is also contingent upon the completion and satisfactory adjudication of a background investigation. Only U.S. citizens are eligible for employment with the Executive Office for Immigration Review and the United States Attorneys’ Offices. Unless otherwise indicated in a particular job advertisement, non-U.S. Citizens may apply for employment with other organizations, but should be advised that appointments of non-U.S. Citizens are extremely rare; such appointments would be possible only if necessary to accomplish the Department's mission and would be subject to strict security requirements. Applicants who hold dual citizenship in the U.S. and another country will be considered on a case-by-case basis.

There is no formal rating system for applying veterans’ preference to attorney appointments in the excepted service; however, the Department of Justice considers veterans’ preference eligibility as a positive factor in attorney hiring. Applicants eligible for veterans’ preference must include that information in their cover letter or resume and attach supporting documentation (e.g., the DD 214, Certificate of Release or Discharge from Active Duty and other supporting documentation) to their submissions. Although the “point” system is not used, per se, applicants eligible to claim 10-point preference must submit Standard Form (SF) 15, Application for 10-Point Veteran Preference, and submit the supporting documentation required for the specific type of preference claimed (visit the OPM website, http://www.opm.gov/forms/pdfimage/sf0015.pdf for a copy of SF 15, which lists the types of 10-point preferences and the required supporting documents). Applicants should note that SF 15 requires supporting documentation associated with service-connected disabilities or receipt of nonservice-connected disability pensions to be dated within the last 12 months except in the case of service members submitting official statements or retirement orders from a branch of the Armed Forces showing that his or her retirement was due to a permanent service-connected disability or that he/she was transferred to the permanent disability retired list (the statement or retirement orders must indicate that the disability is 10% or more).

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The Department of Justice cannot control further dissemination and/or posting of information contained in this vacancy announcement. Such posting and/or dissemination is not an endorsement by the Department of the organization or group disseminating and/or posting the information.

Application Notes
Please see full job description
Salary Info
Current salary and years of experience will determine the appropriate salary level within the GS-12 to GS-14 ($74,872 to $136,771) range.
Department of Justice