This is highly responsible professional quasi-judicial work, making findings of fact, arriving at conclusions of law, conducting hearings in a circuit court and making rulings on Family matters. Work typically involves conducting hearings to inquire into such matters as may be referred by a Circuit Court Judge. A report or recommended order is prepared for entry by the referring judge. The General Magistrate’s powers and duties are performed within the framework of applicable state and local laws and court rules.
Presides over referred court hearings; reviews court calendars and case files prior to scheduled hearings; grants continuances; reads or listens to allegations and determines if action cited is supported by facts; hears and evaluates evidence of witnesses and technical experts; listens to presentation of cases; rules on admissibility of evidence and methods of conducting testimony.
• Schedules cases and conducts hearings and rules on pre-trial matters; conducts final and post-judgment hearings.
• Conducts legal research including reviewing, analyzing, studying, searching, and annotating laws, court decisions, documents, opinions, briefs and related legal authorities to prepare for court proceedings and litigated matters; keeps abreast of Florida law.
• Reviews orders of referral. Prepares court orders, reports, and recommendations based on evidence and findings and transmits to judge.
• Attends staff meetings and conferences with judges and attorneys on disposing of legal matters and other problems that arise in the processing of cases; gives opinions and recommendations.
• Supervises office clerical staff that performs calendar preparation, filing, phone work, mail, and preparation of court orders.
• Attends and participates in lectures and workshops. Reads professional journals and updates of case law to stay current on regulations and statutes governing family law.
• Performs related work as required.
KNOWLEDGE, SKILLS AND ABILITIES:
• Thorough knowledge of state laws and court rulings as they pertain to Family law.
• Thorough knowledge of general and specific law, state laws, established precedents, and sources of legal reference.
• Thorough knowledge of court procedures, rules of evidence, and trial and courtroom procedures. Knowledge of the responsibilities and authority of Hearing Officers.
• Ability to apply legal principles and specialized knowledge to individual cases and problems.
• Ability to conduct legal research.
• Ability to prepare for hearings, hear cases, and present material clearly and logically in oral and written form.
• Ability to work with litigants who are in stressful situations.
• Ability to establish and maintain effective working relationships with others.
• Ability to communicate clearly.
• Ability to supervise office personnel.
• Ability to counsel persons on sensitive issues.
Graduation from an accredited law school; member in good standing of the Florida Bar; and five years of experience in the practice of Family law. General Magistrate must be a resident of Miami-Dade County upon appointment.
Work involves a significant amount of standing, walking, sitting, talking, listening, balancing, stooping, and reaching with hands and arms; must be able to transfer up to 10 pounds.
Membership in good standing of the Florida Bar required.