Dan Koukol has a reputation as a top-flight litigator, a tough negotiator and one of the keenest sentencing experts in the nation. This summary explains how and why he gained and deserves that reputation.
Following his graduation from the University of Pacific, McGeorge School of Law, Dan was admitted to the practice of law in 1986. In 1987, Dan was recruited to join the Placer County Public Defender’s Office with a promise that he would be handed the reins of the Roseville misdemeanor court. It sounded like fun and would allow him to develop his trial and negotiation skills, so Dan accepted the offer.
Dan excelled in trials. He was known for his lengthy winning streaks; at one time he tried seven consecutive cases without suffering a conviction. In recognition of his work in Roseville, Dan was asked to come to Auburn and handle felony cases. He continued to perform exceptionally well in Superior Court. He secured so many acquittals in serious cases that the Roseville Press Tribune contacted the District Attorney’s Office to inquire why that office was prosecuting innocent people.
During the next several years, Dan represented thousands of defendants who were charged with felony offenses. He handled the most serious cases in the office. His clients ranged from first time offenders to the most serious criminals in the system. All were represented with determination and skill.
In 1990, the Placer County contract for providing public defender services was awarded to Leonard Tauman. In recognition of his skills and experience, Dan was quickly elevated to Chief Assistant Public Defender, the second in command of the office. Four years later, Dan and Len became partners and formed the Tauman & Koukol firm. At this time, Dan became contractually responsible for all Placer County Public Defender goings-on.
Only a few years removed from law school, Dan was now a contract Public Defender for Placer County. In addition to his administrative duties at the firm, he continued to try cases and gain experience, including successfully trying several high-profile murder cases. In his spare time, he also became one of the state’s “sentencing gurus” known for his ability to unravel complex sentencing issues.
In the mid-1990′s, Len asked Dan if he could consolidate his computer programming experience and sentencing expertise to write a software program to calculate sentences under California’s complex “determinate sentencing law.” Unknown to them both, several large corporations had previously assigned their top programmers to this task and concluded it could not be done. In blithe ignorance, Dan said he wasn’t sure if he could – but he would give it a try.
Four months into the project, Dan called Len and announced, “It is doable.” Len said, “Go for it. I’ll cover the office, because if you can pull this off, it will be amazing.” Dan teamed up with an old programming buddy and over the next 14 months dedicated himself to the project. That work gave birth to CrimeTime.
In February 1996, CrimeTime was released at a criminal defense conference in Monterey, California. Over one hundred copies sold the first weekend it went on sale. During the next four years, the software was adopted by agency after agency and county after county. The adoption of CrimeTime happened quicker than any other legal software application in California’s history. By the late 1990′s, almost every California County subscribed. During this time, Dan travelled throughout the state training the several thousand attorneys, judges and probation officers who became the CrimeTime community.
CrimeTime is now a staple for California criminal attorneys. Attorneys, judges and probation officers have relied on CrimeTime to calculate sentences and collateral consequences for most of the high profile cases in California. In many of those cases, CrimeTime was featured by CNN and MSNBC on national television. Subscribers continue to routinely use CrimeTime in their every day work.
By 2002, CrimeTime was well established. The CrimeTime team began to handle the day-to-day operations of the project and Dan shifted his focus back into the public defender operation. He attended to management issues and began trying cases again, picking up a caseload and otherwise helping out where required.
During this period, the Placer County Public Defender’s Office secured a statewide reputation for excellence. By 2006, the office had grown to a staff of 47 which was a four-fold increase from when Dan first joined the firm. In 2006, Placer County awarded the public defender contract to a new firm based upon a bid several million dollars less than that proposed by the Tauman & Koukol firm.
Dan chose this time to go into private practice in Auburn, California. Leonard joined the Sacramento County Public Defender’s Office. Dan opened his own private defense firm within the CrimeTime office facility. Ask for a tour if you visit the office – it is a unique (and productive) workplace.
Within days of opening his private practice, Dan was retained by an inmate’s family who had been referred to him by another attorney. The family was in a state of panic because the defendant (who had a three year old daughter) was looking at 19 years in prison. The case was three weeks away from trial and there had been virtually no work done on behalf of the defendant. Ultimately, the case was dismissed in its entirety and the defendant was released.
Word of the outcome on this case spread to a family in the Fresno area. Again, the defendant’s parents were desperately concerned for their son. When Dan took over the case, the defendant was facing two life terms plus 36 years. After two months of extremely focused work, Dan and his investigator were not only able to establish that Dan’s client did not commit the extremely serious and violent crime, they were able to find the person who actually did. The codefendant’s attorney told the judge that he had never seen a case investigated so well in his entire career.
Dan has found private practice quite wonderful. If you view his clients’ testimonials, you will see they too found wonderful Dan’s decision to continue his work as one of California’s premier criminal defense attorneys.
Dan continues to receive spectacular results for his clients. He has now teamed up with the best investigator he has ever worked with, his father, and the two of them (and the support staff) see nothing but clear skies ahead.
For a Criminal Defense Attorney in Auburn, California and metro Sacramento area, Dan Koukol is the best!
Written by: Leonard Tauman