THE POWER OF DATA FOR PEOPLE FACING THE COURT SYSTEM

As a lawyer I’ve represented hundreds of people who, before hiring me, had no idea about what was going to happen to them in the court system. People get charged with a crime and have no idea what to expect. Every day in America hundreds of thousands of people walk into an arraignment hearing and have no earthly idea what to expect. Will they go to jail? Is this going to be a trial? Why won’t the prosecutor just drop their case? Do they need a lawyer? Is my judge good or bad for me? People see the court system as a “black box” – they walk into court and get a result, but there’s no way of predicting what the result will be.

On Friday I launched the project I’ve been working on for a while now. MyCourtCase.org is intended to help people facing the court system by giving them a degree of certainty about what typically happens in cases like theirs. The site is based on real data pulled from the clerk’s systems starting in 2011.

It’s a completely free system for people to use, and I intend to keep it that way.

A few examples from Hillsborough county:

People who hired a private attorney avoided a DUI conviction 11% more frequently than those with the PD, and nearly twice as much as people who went pro se.

Judge McNeil was far more likely to give a conviction for traffic offenses than any other judge in Hillsborough county.

Go to MyCourtCase.org to check it out for yourself.

What’s next:

I’m working on adding counties and states to the service. Hopefully it will be useful to people facing the court system. Hopefully it will bring some transparency to the way our system of justice works at a state and county level.