The California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) regulates various aspects (including rates, safety, nondiscriminatory access and service, environmental protection) of electric and natural gas, water, communications, and rail and other transportation services in California. The CPUC is comprised of five Commissioners, each appointed by the Governor and confirmed by the Senate. The CPUC employs economists, engineers, administrative law judges, accountants, lawyers, and safety and transportation specialists. The Public Advocate’s Office of the CPUC is an independent arm of the CPUC that represents consumers in CPUC proceedings, pursuant to statute.
Under direction from an Assistant Chief Public Utilities Counsel:
Attorney IVs are 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. An Attorney 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.
Typical tasks may include: assignment to appellate court proceedings to defend Commission decisions which may be under appeal, litigation before the Commission and federal regulatory agencies in cases involving a high degree of importance and complexity, and providing legal analysis and advice to decision makers. Attorneys at this level independently conduct or direct administrative litigation and appear before state and federal courts and federal regulatory agencies; and advise Commissioners and staff on difficult issues involving the application of statutes and case law to the Commission’s activities.
as Client] and California Government Code Section 19572 (in its entirety) and performs accordingly.40%- Independently perform research and analysis on complex and highly technical issues related to public utilities
regulation, including matters of first impression and some high-profile matters. Prepare legal briefs and
memoranda on behalf of the Commission or the advocacy and enforcement divisions. Serve as lead attorney
in litigation before the Commission, State and Federal Courts and Federal regulatory agencies which involve
high degree of importance and complexity.
40%- Serve as point of contact in area of specialization, including working with specialized counsel, and leading
subject matter teams. Advisory Attorney IVs will advise and assist Commissioners, Administrative Law Judges
and staff members on complex matters regarding application of regulations to Commission powers, duties,
and procedures. Advocacy Attorney IVs will advise and assist Commission advocacy or enforcement division
management in development of litigation strategies in their areas of specialization and serve as the lead
attorney in proceedings involving highly technical and complex matters.
10%- Provide support and assistance to attorneys working in a specialized area and coordinate the work to ensure
that consistency is maintained throughout the process from staff testimony to briefs, to decision making, to
defending decisions on appeal, and to analyze and draft proposed legislation.
5%- Handles other legal matters as necessary to support Legal Division, including serving as the principal liaison
between Legal Division and other divisions, the Commission and sister agencies (e.g., Department of Water
Resources or the California Energy Commission), local governments and tribal communities, and mentoring
less senior attorneys.
programs and services provided and performed as incumbents proceed through this classification series.
Incumbents are expected to use the increasing knowledge, abilities, and experiences to perform increasingly
difficult and complex legal duties effectively.Knowledge of: Legal research methods and performing research; legal principles and their application; scope
and character of California statutory law and of the provisions of the California Constitution; principles of
administrative and constitutional law; trial and hearing procedure; and rules of evidence; court procedures;
administrative law and the conduct of proceedings before administrative bodies; legal terms and forms in
common use; statutory and case law literature and authorities; and provisions of laws and Government Code
sections administered or enforced.
Ability to: Research; analyze, appraise, and apply legal principles, facts, and precedents to legal problems;
analyze situations accurately and adopt an effective course of action; prepare and present statements of fact,
law, and argument clearly and logically in written and oral form; prepare correspondence involving the
explanation of legal matters; draft opinions, pleadings, rulings, regulations, and legislation; negotiate
effectively and conduct crucial litigation; work cooperatively with a variety of individuals, organizations and
maintain the confidence and respect of others; and work effectively under pressure.
Minimum Qualifications for Attorney IV:
Active membership in The California State Bar. (Applicants who are not members of The California State Bar but who are eligible to take the California State Bar examination or are in their final year of law school will be admitted to the examination but will not be considered eligible for appointment until they are admitted to The State Bar.)
Ten years of legal experience in the practice of law*, four years of which must have been at a level of responsibility equivalent to an Attorney III. (Applicants who have completed nine years and six months of the required total legal experience including three years and six months of the required legal experience comparable to the Attorney III class will be admitted into the examination but must complete the required ten years’ total legal experience.)