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Public Defender Services of Lane County brings on JusticeText for more efficient discovery review

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Posted June 14, 2023

JusticeText is excited to announce a partnership with the Public Defender Services of Lane County. For more than 45 years, this non-profit agency based in Eugene, OR, has provided client-centered legal representation to the Lane County community. Starting March 2023, all 28 attorneys in the Lane County office have had access to JusticeText to expedite video evidence review.

Challenging the harms of incarceration

At PDS of Lane County, Executive Director Brook Reinhard and Technical Support Assistant Griffin Thomas bring innovative tools and practices to their team’s work of helping individuals in challenging moments.  

For Griffin, this challenge is personal - he spent seven years incarcerated, experiencing the harms of the carceral system firsthand. Now, after a full pardon from the governor, Griffin works to help the Lane County team with all technical challenges, including the demands of audio and video discovery.

“Jail is a very dehumanizing place… while it can be disheartening, it just creates more of a reason to do everything you can to help get them out.”

Brook comes to this work with a similar goal. For the last 13 years, he has made it his mission to meet each of his clients where they are and help them get to where they need to go, avoiding the dehumanizing carceral system if possible. While he acknowledges the challenging choices his clients face, he finds joy in exceeding the expectations for individuals facing low points in their lives.

The new norm in criminal defense

From body camera videos to jail calls, audio and video discovery has quickly become the norm for the Lane County team. Griffin shared that he works with audiovisual evidence on a daily basis, from helping attorneys review discovery to navigating an array of proprietary video file types. 

Brook shared that while discovery like body camera footage can be incredibly helpful, the sheer volume can quickly become overwhelming. He recently had a case where a client made more than 300 jail phone calls - a difficult challenge especially if the calls are not shared until the last minute from a prosecutor’s office.

More efficient discovery review

The team is excited to use JusticeText to speed up this video review process. JusticeText generates rough transcripts to help identify key moments and offers review tools that can help the attorney team make clips and take time-stamped notes. Griffin believes this will have a major impact on their workflow.

“This will be very beneficial because we spend so much time trying to figure out what was said in the video evidence and editing videos for trial.”

Brook has already found value from JusticeText. In one case, he used JusticeText to clip out a section of body camera footage for a settlement conference. The prosecutor was initially skeptical about the need to even hold the conference but, thanks to the video clip, the judge had additional context to help craft a fair settlement.

Overall, the JusticeText team is excited to help Brook, Griffin and team save hours in the video review process and ultimately ensure every member of the Lane County community is treated fairly by the justice system.

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“It’s a good thing we have all this video, but it’s a huge quantity. I’m really looking forward to expediting the review process with JusticeText.”

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Brook Reinhard

Executive Director, Public Defender Services of Lane County

Is JusticeText Right For You?

If you are an attorney looking to make sense of high volumes of audiovisual discovery, there are many ways in which you can utilize JusticeText to streamline your pre-trial preparation process. Reach out today to learn about how you can get started with JusticeText.