Montgomery County Assistant District Attorney - Pennsylvania District Attorneys Association - PDAA (2024)

DEPARTMENT: District Attorney
LAST UPDATE: 06/2024
SALARY: $61,248 per year plus 10% sign-on bonus upon completion of three months’ employment.


Trials Assistant District Attorneys assume responsibility for fair and ethical prosecution of a variety of crimes, taking on the cases from the time an investigation begins through post-sentence motions.

Trials Assistant District Attorneys specialize in the kinds of crime they prosecute; they are assigned to units in the areas of Family Protection, Narcotics, Firearms, Economic Crimes, Major Crimes, and two units focused on community protection for Norristown and Pottstown. In these roles, they gain specialized knowledge in their field of prosecution but handle a wide variety of criminal prosecutions.

They carry caseloads that vary in subject matter from more minor misdemeanors to complex felonies in their specialized units and homicides. They also carry responsibilities of assisting police departments with their inquiries and maintaining positive working relationships with community partners. Trials Assistant District Attorneys are responsible for interacting with victims of crime to ensure their rights are protected and that they are kept informed throughout the criminal process and given voice at the time of plea bargaining and/or sentencing.

ESSENTIAL DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Trials Division Assistant District Attorneys:
    • Review investigations to determine whether sufficient credible evidence exists to initiate prosecution.
    • Review search warrants for probable cause and to identify any possible issues in their execution.
    • Present search warrants with their investigating officers to judges within the Court of Common Pleas where necessary.
    • Conduct preliminary hearings before Magisterial District Judges.
    • Build relationships with victims and victim services agencies early in the life of the case to ensure adequate communication is maintained and the victim’s wishes are heard and considered.
    • Review cases to determine whether they are ready to move to plea bargaining and/or trial: review discovery to determine the strength and credibility of evidence; assess whether additional investigative steps are needed; ensure discovery is passed in a timely and thorough manner; review relevant sentencing guidelines; and speak to victim and/or investigating officers to hear and understand their perspective and wishes for the case.
    • Assess and make just, appropriate plea offers to resolve cases by way of guilty plea.
    • Negotiate appropriate and fair case resolutions by communicating professionally and frequently with defense attorneys.
    • Research, draft, file, and litigate pretrial motions, including motions in limine, motions to revoke or increase bail, responses to motions to suppress, and other case-area specific motion.
    • Prepare case for trial by conducting witness preparation prior to hearings and preparing trial exhibits.
    • Try cases before judges and juries by delivering compelling, well-reasoned opening and closing arguments, directing Commonwealth witnesses, and cross-examining defense witnesses.
    • Conduct sentencing hearings during which Commonwealth evidence and victim impact testimony is proffered to support well-articulated arguments for just sentences.
    • Manage time and caseload to ensure all responsibilities are met while frequently adapting to a changing schedule, new deadlines, and additional responsibilities.
    • Attend and participate in pre-trial conferences for assigned courtroom for approximately one week each month; staff a busy courtroom, ensure negotiations with attorneys move efficiently, conduct negotiated guilty plea hearings, and address concerns related to each case and its anticipated disposition with the Court.
    • Take On-Call responsibility for one week at a time, several times per year. This On-Call responsibility requires that the Assistant District Attorney quickly answer emails and calls from police officers at any time of day or night. The On-Call Attorney then assesses who the question should be presented to for quick response and facilitates communications between the law enforcement officer and the appropriate supervisor. The-On Call Attorney also fields requests for search warrant review and submission and preliminary hearing assistance and ensures those requests are responded to quickly and appropriately.
    • Collect, submit, and accurately document Common Pleas search warrants and court orders for the office on an approximately monthly basis.
    • Engage in community building activities including community education events and meetings with community based partners on a regular basis.
    • Receive and complete assignments on ongoing basis such as consulting with Adult Probation Department, Pre-Trial Services, and various law enforcement agencies.

QUALIFICATION REQUIREMENTS: To perform this job successfully, an individual must be able to perform each essential duty satisfactorily. The requirements listed below are representative of the knowledge, skill and/or ability required.

  • Law Degree and Pennsylvania Bar admission
  • Good communications skills, both oral and written
  • Strong decision-making skills
  • Analytical skills
  • Research and writing skills
  • Appellate advocacy skills
  • Trial advocacy skills
  • Knowledge of the criminal justice system
  • Knowledge of Pennsylvania legal and ethical standards applicable to prosecutors
  • Familiarity with District Attorney’s Office structure, mission and policies
  • Ability to multi-task and prioritize tasks
  • Time management skills

PHYSICAL DEMANDS: The physical demands described here are representative of those that must be met by an employee to successfully perform the essential functions of this job. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.

While performing the duties of this job, the employee is regularly required to stand; walk; sit; and talk and hear. The employee is occasionally required to use hands to finger, handle or feel objects, tools or controls; reach with hands or arms; and stoop, kneel, crouch or crawl. The employee must occasionally lift and/or move up to 25 pounds. Specific vision abilities required by this job include close vision, distance vision, color vision and depth perception.

WORK ENVIRONMENT: The work environment characteristics described here are representative of those an employee encounters while performing the essential functions of this job. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential function.

The noise level in the work environment is usually moderate.

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Montgomery County Assistant District Attorney - Pennsylvania District Attorneys Association - PDAA (2024)
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