Trial Attorney

Torts Branch, Aviation and Admiralty Section
Washington, DC 20530
United States
About the Office: 

The Civil Division, with more than 1,000 attorneys and 14 litigating components, represents the United States, its departments and agencies, Members of Congress, Cabinet officers and other Federal employees. The Aviation and Admiralty Section of the Torts Branch litigates on behalf of a select group of federal agencies involved in aviation related and maritime activities. These include the Federal Aviation Administration, Air Force, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Navy, Coast Guard, Maritime Administration, and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. The section defends these agencies against claims of negligence in their various activities; examples of claims involve airplane crashes and collisions, ship collisions and groundings, and Coast Guard Search and Rescue activities. The Admiralty staff also pursues affirmative claims for oil spill clean-up costs and shipboard cargo loss claims, as well as working with the Environmental and Natural Resource Division on natural resource damages claims in coastal waters.

Job Description: 

The Civil Division, Torts Branch, is seeking an experienced maritime trial attorney for its Aviation & Admiralty Section. In this context the Section litigates on behalf of a select group of federal agencies involved in maritime activities. These include the Navy, Coast Guard, NOAA, and the Army Corps of Engineers. The section defends these agencies against claims of negligence in their various activities, and brings a variety of affirmative claims. Examples of cases include ship collisions and groundings, personal injury to crew members and guests on U.S. vessels, damage to federally owned lock and dam facilities, and affirmative claims under the Oil Pollution Act of 1990.


Applicants must possess 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 two to four years of post-JD litigation experience in federal courts. Applicants should have excellent writing, negotiation, and interpersonal skills, exhibit good judgment, and have an interest in trial and appellate work.

Current salary and years of experience will determine the appropriate salary level. The salary range is GS-13 to GS-15. Applicants must have at least two years of post J.D. experience to qualify at the GS-13 level; three years of post J.D. experience to qualify at the GS-14 level; and four years of post J.D. experience to qualify at the GS-15 level.

Relocation expenses are not authorized.

Those who applied to announcement #2015-Civil-Torts/A&A-2 need not reapply to this announcement. Your application will be considered under this posting.

$90,823 to $158,700
This position requires travel.
Application Process: 

Applicants must submit a resume or current OF-612 (Optional Application for Federal Employment), a cover letter (highlighting relevant background), and a writing sample (15 pages maximum) to:

U.S. Department of Justice
Civil Division, Torts Branch (A&A)
P. O. Box 14271
Ben Franklin Station
Washington, D.C. 20044-4660
Attn: Peter F. Frost

Or email materials to:

No telephone calls please. Applications must be postmarked by no later than the closing date of this advertisement (applications submitted by e-mail must be received by midnight, Eastern Standard Time on that date).

Your application will be evaluated by a reviewing panel.

Application Deadline: 
Thursday, April 16, 2015
Relocation Expenses: 
Relocation expenses are not authorized.
Number of Positions: 
Updated April 7, 2016

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Department Policies

Equal Employment Opportunity:  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, political affiliation, marital status, disability (physical or mental), age, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, genetic information, status as a parent, membership or non-membership in an employee organization, on the basis of personal favoritism, or any other non-merit factor.  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.

Reasonable Accommodations:  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.

Outreach and Recruitment for Qualified Applicants with Disabilities:  The Department encourages qualified applicants with disabilities, including individuals with targeted/severe disabilities to apply in response to posted vacancy announcements.  Qualified applicants with targeted/severe disabilities may be eligible for direct hire, non-competitive appointment under Schedule A (5 C.F.R. § 213.3102(u)) hiring authority.  Individuals with disabilities are encouraged to contact one of the Department’s Disability Points of Contact (DPOC) to express an interest in being considered for a position. See list of DPOCs.   

Suitability and Citizenship:  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. Congress generally prohibits agencies from employing non-citizens within the United States, except for a few narrow exceptions as set forth in the annual Appropriations Act (see, Pursuant to DOJ component policies, only U.S. citizens are eligible for employment with the Executive Office for Immigration Review, U.S. Trustee’s Offices, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Unless otherwise indicated in a particular job advertisement, qualifying non-U.S. citizens meeting immigration and appropriations law criteria may apply for employment with other DOJ organizations. However, please be advised that the appointment of non-U.S. citizens is 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. All DOJ employees are subject to a residency requirement. Candidates must have lived in the United States for at least three of the past five years. The three-year period is cumulative, not necessarily consecutive. Federal or military employees, or dependents of federal or military employees serving overseas, are excepted from this requirement. This is a Department security requirement which is waived only for extreme circumstances and handled on a case-by-case basis.

Veterans:  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, for a copy of SF 15, which lists the types of 10-point preferences and the required supporting document(s). Applicants should note that SF 15 requires supporting documentation associated with service- connected disabilities or receipt of nonservice-connected disability pensions to be dated 1991 or later 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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This and other vacancy announcements can be found under Attorney Vacancies and Volunteer Legal Internships. 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.