Title; Tribal Court Judge
Schedule: 1-20 hours a month, as necessary
Location: Ridgefield, WA
Classification: Non-exempt Opening Date: June 13, 2022
Salary Range: $72.09 – $108.13 DOE / hour working 1-20 hours a month, as necessary
Closing Date: open until filled

Position Summary:

Appointed by the Cowlitz Tribal Council, serves as the chief judicial officer for the Cowlitz Tribal Court system. Hears and decides judicial matters within the jurisdiction of the Cowlitz Tribal Court system in a fair and impartial manner and pursuant to the laws of the Cowlitz Indian Tribe. Accomplishes the Court’s strategic objectives by overseeing Tribal Court staff and all operations of the Tribal Court system. Honors and represents the mission, vision, values of CIT and Tribal Courts.

***If you are an American Indian/Alaska Native and/or a Veteran and would like this to be considered for hiring, please note this on your cover letter and/or resume***

This list of duties and responsibilities is illustrative only of the tasks performed by this position and is not all-inclusive.

Essential Duties & Responsibilities:

Interprets laws to determine how a legal matter will proceed.
Exercises independent professional judgment to interpret and apply laws or precedents to reach judgments and to resolve disputes filed before the Cowlitz Tribal Court.
Instructs jurors regarding how to consider facts from evidence presented in trials.
Supervises Court staff in the development, administration, analysis, and management of the Court’s budget and grant programs.
Issues warrants, subpoenas, judgments, commitments and other legal orders, opinions, and documents.
Presides over all civil, juvenile, and criminal cases arising under the Tribe’s laws.
Reads and evaluates information from motions, claim applications, records, and other documents.
Writes opinions, decisions, and instructions regarding cases, claims, and disputes.
Presides over administrative hearings and studies opposing arguments.
Participates in settlement or plea negotiations in advance of trials.
Conducts preliminary proceedings in criminal cases.
Approves search and arrest warrants.
Develops and implements court policies and procedures; recommends enactment of legislation as appropriate.
Reviews and evaluates pending caseloads, dockets, and schedules.
Stays abreast of developing laws and regulations.
Represents the Cowlitz Tribal Court before the Cowlitz Tribal Council.
Complies with all applicable Cowlitz Indian Tribe laws, policies, and procedures.
Contributes to a team effort and accomplishes related results as required.
Performs other duties as assigned.

Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities:
Knowledge of traditional form of government and tribal customs and traditions.
Knowledge of the Cowlitz Indian Tribe’s Constitution and Bylaws, Cowlitz Tribal Code, and other resolutions and ordinances enacted by the Cowlitz Tribal Council.
Knowledge of the principles of tribal sovereignty and jurisdiction.
Knowledge of litigation, Indian law, the Indian Child Welfare Act, employment and business law.
Knowledge of tribal, state, and federal court procedures.
Knowledge of tribal casino compacts and the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act.
Skill in critical thinking to evaluated information and make decisions.
Skill in recognizing, identifying, and solving problems.
Skill in operating various word-processing, spreadsheets, and database software programs in a Windows environment.
Ability to listen carefully to and understand the words of others.
Ability to oversee budget and grant programs.
Ability to gather data, comprehend information, and prepare decisions.
Ability to communicate effectively both verbally and in writing.
Ability to establish and maintain professional relationships with individuals of varying social and cultural backgrounds and with co-workers at all levels.
Ability to maintain high ethical standards at all times.
Ability to maintain confidentiality.

Minimum Qualifications:

Juris Doctor Degree from an accredited law school.
Ten years of experience as a practicing attorney in Indian Law and tribal court, federal and constitutional law, litigation, ICWA, environmental and natural resources, employment law, or closely related fields dealing with the concepts of Federal Indian Law, Tribal law, and the principles of tribal sovereignty and jurisdiction.
Member in good standing of the Washington State Bar Association or admitted to practice law in Alaska, Arizona, California, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, or Oregon.
Member in good standing of the Cowlitz Bar Association.
Must be 25 years of age.
Must never have been convicted of a felony or must not have been convicted within the past ten years preceding his/her service, of a misdemeanor involving moral turpitude, corruption, or dishonesty.
Valid driver’s license is required when driving vehicles for work-related purposes.
Must be able to successfully pass a background screening/ investigation according to the established requirements below.

Supervisory Responsibilities: This position has no supervisory responsibilities.

All positions are required to adhere to CIT’s established safety policies regarding vaccine requirements and personal protective equipment (PPE).

Background Investigation Requirements:

Pre-employment drug screen.
Reference checks, education and employment verification.
Federal, state, and/or tribal criminal history and sanction checks including fingerprint verification.
***If you are an American Indian/Alaska Native and/or a Veteran and would like this to be considered for hiring, please note this on your cover letter and/or resume***

The Cowlitz Indian Tribe is an Equal Opportunity Employer, and a Drug & Alcohol-Free workplace.

Except as provided by Title 25 CFR, Section 472 which allows for Indian preference in hiring, the Cowlitz Indian Tribe does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, creed, age, sex, national origin, physical handicap, marital status, politics, or membership or non-membership in an employee organization.