The Torts Branch is seeking experienced Trial Attorneys at the GS-14 or GS-15 level for its Federal Tort Claims Act Section.
The Torts Branch’s Federal Tort Claims Act (FTCA) Section handles a wide variety of complex, and often controversial, suits filed under the FTCA. These suits arise most often from the provision of medical care at federal facilities or community health centers, regulatory activities, law enforcement activities, and management of federal lands. Examples of law enforcement matters recently handled by the FTCA Section include defending the United States in three mass shooting cases, one of which was the 2018 shooting at Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. Another example of sensitive law enforcement litigation arose out of the defense of alleged FBI misconduct in handling informants in Boston, as well as suits brought by individuals who were detained on immigration charges following the 9-11 terrorist attacks. The FTCA Section is also defending the United States in complex litigation stemming from a natural disaster – a wildfire that occurred in Tennessee. In terms of medical malpractice, the FTCA Section handles some of the most complex medical malpractice suits filed against the United States. These are often birth injury cases with complex medical causation issues in which high damages awards are sought. On a day-to-day basis, the FTCA Section provides guidance to U.S. Attorney’s Offices (USAOs) and federal agencies on a broad range of legal issues that arise under the FTCA, assists in the development of strategy, and participates in settlement negotiations in claims handled by other federal agencies or in cases handled by the USAOs. The FTCA Section has particular expertise in the evaluation and settlement of catastrophic injury cases. In addition, the FTCA Section is responsible for providing appeal recommendations on adverse FTCA judgments, including for those cases handled by USAOs. The FTCA Section also provides comments on draft legislation that may have an impact on the public fisc. Often, when Congress is in session, numerous bills are reviewed on a weekly basis. In addition, the FTCA Section is responsible for the adjudication of administrative claims filed as a result of the conduct of employees of the Department of Justice (DOJ) nationwide.
As the federal agency whose mission is to ensure the fair and impartial administration of justice for all Americans, the Department of Justice is committed to fostering a diverse and inclusive work environment. To build and retain a workforce that reflects the diverse experiences and perspectives of the American people, we welcome applicants from the many communities, identities, races, ethnicities, backgrounds, abilities, religions, and cultures of the United States who share our commitment to public service.
This vacancy presents an opportunity for experienced trial attorneys who want to defend the United States in complex, often high dollar value cases. Trial attorneys in the FTCA Section handle personal injury, wrongful death, and property damage suits arising from activities of federal employees acting within the scope of their federal employment. FTCA Section attorneys frequently handle large or complex cases of national significance. They also provide guidance on complex legal issues in suits handled by USAOs and on administrative claims pending with federal agencies, make recommendations on whether settlements proposed by federal agencies and USAOs should be authorized, and prepare appeal recommendations on adverse judgments in FTCA cases.
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 should have excellent writing, negotiation, and interpersonal skills, exhibit good judgment, and have a strong interest in litigation.
Ideal candidates will have:
- At least four years of post-JD litigation experience in federal courts.
- Excellent research and writing skills, as well as experience presenting oral arguments.
- Substantial firsthand experience handling complex litigation.
- Demonstrated ability to handle all phases of discovery, including working with expert witnesses.
- Excellent analytical ability and the capacity to articulate critical issues in a wide variety of cases.
- The ability to work well on individual projects and on team projects.
- A demonstrated record of being able to balance a diverse and constantly changing workload and the ability to set priorities appropriately.
To apply for this position, you must provide a complete Application Package, including the required documents indicated below. The Application Package must be received by 11:59 pm, Eastern Daylight Time, on the listed closing date of this announcement.
A complete application package must include:
- Cover Letter (highlighting relevant experience). Address the cover letter to James G. Touhey, Jr., Director
- Résumé - Applicants are encouraged to ensure work experiences clearly show the possession of knowledge of the subject matter pertinent to the position and the technical skills to successfully perform the duties of the position.
- Writing Sample (not more than 15 pages in length).
- If you are claiming veterans preference, you must also submit your DD-214 (Member-4 copy), and/or other documentation that you may have.
Please submit applications via email to FTCA.Section@usdoj.gov.
On the subject line, please put "FTCA Section Trial Attorney Application."
While email is the preferred method of submission, applications may also be submitted via USPS to:
U.S. Department of Justice,
Civil Division, Torts Branch (FTCA Section)
P. O. Box 888 Benjamin Franklin Station
Washington, D.C. 20044
Attn: James G. Touhey, Jr., Director
Applications submitted by email must be received by 11:59 pm Eastern Daylight time on the closing date listed in this announcement. Applications submitted by mail must be postmarked no later than the closing date listed on this announcement.
Applicants should familiarize themselves and comply with the relevant rules of professional conduct regarding any possible conflicts of interest in connection with their applications. In particular, please notify this Office if you currently represent clients or adjudicate matters in which this Office is involved and/or you have a family member who is representing clients or adjudicating matters in which this Office is involved so that we can evaluate any potential conflict of interest or disqualification issue that may need to be addressed under those circumstances.