About Us

Helping the legal community work smarter

Our Story

The PlacerGroup was founded in 1992 when Leonard Tauman convinced Dan Koukol to undertake the task of computerizing California’s criminal sentencing law. In 1995, Miriam Liskin, a Stanford graduate and respected programmer, joined the team, and on Valentine’s Day, 1996, CrimeTime was released at a conference in Monterey California. The California Judges Education and Research Group (CJER) elected to train judges on the use of CrimeTime in late 1997, and over 500 judges were trained to use the program in 1998. By 1999, CrimeTime was being used by almost every county in California.

CrimeFinder, a crime lookup tool for the iPhone, iPad and Android devices, was released in 2011 and is currently used over 7,000 times per day, making it the most used criminal justice application in California.

Our Team

Dan Koukol


Dan is a criminal law attorney with extensive software development experience. In 1980, while in law school, Dan started his first software company (a videotape rental store system).  After graduating law school, Dan became a criminal defense attorney and quickly acquired experience handling complex criminal cases. 

Because of this unique experience, he was persuaded to computerize California’s complex sentencing law.  Two years later, in 1996, CrimeTime was released.

Today, Dan continues to supervise the day to day operations of the business as well as oversee the development of new Placer Group products.

Brenda Petersen

Office Manager

Brenda joined the team in 1998 and quickly became our CrimeTime data expert. She makes sure all new changes in the laws are updated, answers questions, and provides first-level support to our clients.

Ryan George

Software Engineer

Ryan joined the team in 2001 and created many of the current PlacerGroup products, including the iOS version of CrimeFinder. Ryan leads the CrimeTime development team and provides high-level technical support to our clients.

Mark Musial

Software Engineer

Mark joined the team in 2002, but his programming experience goes back to 1980 when he wrote the floppy disk formatting program for Vector Graphics. He is the creator of the original intranet/browser version of CrimeTime as well as the Android version of CrimeFinder.