Chief Judge, Tribal Court

The Chief Judge serves as the chief administrator of both the trial and appellate courts of the San Manuel Tribal Court System and as the Chief Judge of the trial court. The Chief Judge is responsible for assisting the Judiciary Committee, Business Committee and General Council with the continued development Tribal law and Tribal Court procedures. The Chief Judge is responsible for hearing and deciding judicial matters within the jurisdiction of the San Manuel Tribal Court, carrying out the administrative operations and supervising employees of the Tribal Court.
Essential Duties & Responsibilities
Adheres to and upholds the laws, policies and procedures of the San Manuel Band of Mission Indians and the San Manuel Tribal Court System.
Exercises independent professional judgment in managing and deciding cases and controversies filed before the trial court.
Serves as chief administrator for both trial and appellate level courts.
In consultation with the Judiciary Committee, prepares budgets for approval by the General Council. Authorizes and monitors revenue and expenses pertaining to Tribal Court operations.
Oversees Associate and Pro Tempore Judges.
Responsible for the hiring, supervision and training of all court administrative staff in conjunction with Human Resources and the Judiciary Committee.
Monitors the timeliness of judicial decisions and ensures efficiency of the judicial system by effective caseload management. Compiles and submits all departmental reports as required.
Chairs meetings of the Tribal Court judges and administrative staff and participates in Judiciary Committee meetings. Acts as liaison between the judges, court staff, the Judiciary Committee, the Business Committee, General Council and other tribal governmental entities and departments.
Creates educational initiatives, including conferences and written informational materials, to improve understanding within the San Manuel community of Tribal Court processes, San Manuel laws and access to the justice system.
Serves as an advocate for the San Manuel Tribal Court System at the local, state, regional, and national levels (e.g., participation as a member of National American Indian Court Judges Association).
Keeps the Judiciary Committee, the Business Committee, General Council and other appropriate tribal entities and departments informed of federal and national events of potential impact on tribal sovereignty, Tribal civil and criminal jurisdiction, and/or the operation of the San Manuel Tribal Court System.
In conjunction with the Judiciary Committee, assists in the review, preparation, and amendment of rules of court, any relevant rules of procedure, and other rules and regulations deemed necessary for the smooth operation of the trial and appellate courts.
Make recommendations to the Judiciary Committee and General Council for the amendment or adoption of laws to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of the tribal judicial system.
Consult with the Judiciary Committee and the General Council regarding other intergovernmental agreements regarding the use, operation, or improvement of the tribal judicial system.
All other necessary duties associated with the establishment of the San Manual Tribal Court System. Such duties include, but are not limited to: establishing alternative dispute resolution procedures, facilitating cross-jurisdictional agreements for the recognition and enforcement of state and tribal court orders, and developing rules governing admission to practice before the Tribal Court.
Must possess a demonstrated track record of accomplishment, organizational improvement and leadership experience across Court disciplines including, but not limited to:
General knowledge of tribal, federal and state laws, ordinances, and regulations that may affect the resolution of disputes in tribal court.
Knowledge of legal practices and standards in court procedures.
Ability to establish and maintain effective working relationships with tribal officials, employees, and the general public.
Experience or education should include general litigation experience, and experience in court administration.
Experience or education in federal Indian or tribal law desired.
Excellent oral and written communication skills.
Ability to deal well with people in highly emotional and adversarial situations.
Administrative skills include management, budgeting, and supervision of employees and court facilities.
Attention to detail. Strong organizational and time management capabilities. Able to prioritize and adjust to meet court system objectives. Able to function independently as well as cooperatively in a team setting.
Ability to discern legal issues, define problems, collect data, establish facts and raw valid legal conclusions and develop timely solutions.
Ability to interpret and follow tribal law and court procedures.
Ability to think and write in clear and logical terms.
In accordance with the provisions of the San Manuel Judicial Code, the Chief Judge:
Must be a United States citizen.
Must be at least 35 years of age per judicial codes.
Must pass a pre-employment background check and never have been convicted of a felony, as well as having no conviction of a serious misdemeanor within the previous five years.
Submit to and pass a pre-employment drug screening.
Be of high moral character and mentally sound.
Must have successfully completed a judicial college or court training session within two years before the appointment date.
Must possess a Juris Doctorate degree from an accredited law school.
At least 10 years of related experience. Tribal Law experience preferred. A combination of relevant continuing legal education and judicial experience may be considered.
Intermediate to advanced proficiency with Microsoft Excel, Microsoft Word, Adobe Acrobat, and ability to perform "trouble-shooting" techniques.
An understanding of current Native American culture and experience working with Native American communities is preferred.
Must be available for travel (approximately 5% -10%).
Must be admitted to the bar of at least one state or the District of Colombia. California law licensure preferred.
Must possess a valid driver's license with an acceptable driving record as determined by the company's insurance carrier.
Preference will be given to qualified candidates who possess one or more of the following: member or a descendant of a recognized Indian tribe, significant judicial experience, and significant Indian law experience.
San Manuel Band of Mission Indians and San Manuel Casino will make reasonable accommodations in compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990.

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