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Public Defenseless


May 18, 2022

In a profession steeped in tradition, technological advances can come slowly to the legal world. Given the strapped for cash nature of Public Defense, it is essential that PDs break from the tech aversion prevalant in the legal world.

That's where my guests for today's show come into play. Rocky Ramirez, Managed Assigned Counsel in Bexar County, Texas, and Paul Chambers, Public Defender at the Far West Texas Office, are on a mission to modernize the system. 

Public defenders almost notoriously never have enough time. But when Rocky and Paul discovered automation, they found a way to speed up the system while giving public defenders time to do more things aimed at client focused representation.

In this episode, Rocky and Paul talk about how they’ve implemented automation within the Texas indigent system and the positive effects it’s had for all parties involved. 

Their passion for creating a system that better helps their clients in cost effective ways could truly revolutionize the way many offices are doing buisness!

Key Topics and Takeaways:

 

  • Where Rocky and Paul fit into the Texas public defense system. [7:28]
  • What public defenders don’t have time to do. [16:36]
  • How they implemented automation into their offices. [22:43]
  • What could go wrong with computer automation. [34:42]
  • Assigned council contract counsel and automation. [39:32]
  • The evolution of automation. [48:20]
  • Pushbacks to automation. [54:07]

 

Guests:

 

Rocky Ramirez, Managed Assigned Counsel, Legal Technology Resource Attorney, Bexar County Texas

 

Paul Chambers, Public Defender Far West Texas Office

 

Resources:

 

Far West Texas Regional Public Defender

 

Memorable Quotes:

 

“I think that's a very positive thing for people to hear criminal defense attorneys have souls.” (10:16, Hunter)

 

“I kind of started focusing my time on learning these domains, learning about data science, learning about process automation, robotic process automation, business, process automation, trying to kind of stamp my feet and say, hey, we gotta be paying attention to this. This is something that could really change the game.” (16:03, Paul)

 

“The things that we as attorneys need to be focused on is the thing that we have the least amount of time to do, which is why the system is exactly the way it is.” (19:24, Paul)

 

“You've got people doing things, these tedious processes that take hours, and they can be boiled down to a click of a button.” (26:45, Rocky)

 

“The future for public defenders, I think is pretty huge. I can see a world where as close to zero of repetitive data entry and non-legal work is happening on a case or in an office. And that means a lot.” (43:09, Paul)

 

“The point is you can't get somebody to create something for you. We're moving to a world where we create it for ourselves.” (49:49, Rocky)

 

Contact Hunter Parnell:

hwparnell@publicdefenseless.com

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www.publicdefenseless.com