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Elizabeth Myers, Jennifer Ecklund Support Premiere of SXSW Film on Sexual Assault Survivors’ Legal Battles

March 11, 2024

Thompson Coburn Dallas partners Elizabeth Myers and Jennifer Ecklund attended the South by Southwest (SXSW) festival in Austin on International Women’s Day for the premiere of the documentary “An Army of Women.” Elizabeth and Jennifer were featured in the film for their work as legal counsel for 15 sexual assault survivors who fought the city of Austin and the Austin Police Department for the mishandling of their cases. The premiere was hosted at the ZACH Theatre and included a Q&A with the director Julie Lunde Lillesaeter, the survivors featured in the film, and the Dallas lawyers.

Coinciding with the premiere, Elizabeth and Jennifer were featured in articles published by The Texas Lawbook and Law360. The articles highlight the legal challenges in the case, the healing process for their clients during filming, and the personal relationship that developed between the two lawyers.

“Whether it’s a survivor or a family member or a lawyer who is considering doing this kind of work, I hope they walk away from this film recognizing that change is possible,” Jennifer told The Texas Lawbook.

Elizabeth said she hopes lawyers who see the film recognize “just how much good they can do for somebody.” She continued, “It was affirming for me that being a lawyer is a really important calling and a career that ultimately matters.”

Jennifer discussed her drive to take the case and the hope for a better future for women, saying, “I have three daughters. I don’t want my children to grow up in a place where they won’t be believed if something bad happens to them. I felt like this was an opportunity to help not only the women who reached out to us, but also change the landscape for our daughters going forward.”

Elizabeth and Jennifer noted that the case and the film both show how the system failed to protect the survivors.

"The institutions that were supposed to help them and protect them and fight for them were saying, ‘You’re not worth it,’ ” Elizabeth said to Law360. "This was causing extreme trauma to them. I learned in the course of this case that it's not necessary to get to victory in the end, it's important to have someone stand up and fight for you and believe you. They were experiencing the exact opposite."

After the premiere, Thompson Coburn hosted a reception for clients, families, and the film team at Austin Sunshine Camps. The evening included remarks from the film’s director and from Elizabeth, who conveyed her gratitude for the opportunity to share the story with a wider audience.

She told the attendees, “I want to thank the lawyers who were not on the screen and who are not here today, but who were instrumental in the case. … I want to thank our wonderful clients. You all have changed my life.”

Click here to read the full article in The Texas Lawbook.

Click here to read the full article in Law360.