COA judge blogs from Kenya

January 27, 2011
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Reporter Rebecca Berfanger wrote this post.

Indiana Court of Appeals Judge Patricia Riley is in Kenya this week and has started a daily blog of her trip. On the blog, which she plans to update daily, she will share her experiences with the Indiana legal community and anyone else who is interested in the work of the Legal Aid Centre of Eldoret. The effort is a partnership of Indiana University Medical School, the law school and medical school at Moi University in Kenya, Indiana University School of Law – Indianapolis, and lawyers and judges in Kenya and Indiana.

So far, she has described the legal clinic and her first two days in Nairobi, Kenya’s capital city.

Since her first trip to Kenya in 2006 for safari, she has traveled there a handful of times to help set up and sustain LACE, which opened officially in October 2008.

“In 2009, LACE represented and counseled 336 HIV-positive clients in cases including: land and inheritance issues, gender-based violence prosecutions, defense from debt collection and criminal charges, and family law and defamation claims associated with actual or perceived HIV status,” Judge Riley wrote in her blog.

One of the purposes of this particular trip is to talk with Open Society Initiative for Eastern Africa about a grant they gave to LACE to expand the program and potentially provide resources for paralegals to do outreach work with villages.

Judge Riley also plans to meet with other lawyers and judges and to visit an orphanage to share information about what the clinic has to offer.

She also told Indiana Lawyer she is hoping to work out some of the details for a delegation of Indiana judges, lawyers, and other supporters to visit the clinic.

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  3. The practitioners and judges who hail E-filing as the Saviour of the West need to contain their respective excitements. E-filing is federal court requires the practitioner to cram his motion practice into pigeonholes created by IT people. Compound motions or those seeking alternative relief are effectively barred, unless the practitioner wants to receive a tart note from some functionary admonishing about the "problem". E-filing is just another method by which courts and judges transfer their burden to practitioners, who are the really the only powerless components of the system. Of COURSE it is easier for the court to require all of its imput to conform to certain formats, but this imposition does NOT improve the quality of the practice of law and does NOT improve the ability of the practitioner to advocate for his client or to fashion pleadings that exactly conform to his client's best interests. And we should be very wary of the disingenuous pablum about the costs. The courts will find a way to stick it to the practitioner. Lake County is a VERY good example of this rapaciousness. Any one who does not believe this is invited to review the various special fees that system imposes upon practitioners- as practitioners- and upon each case ON TOP of the court costs normal in every case manually filed. Jurisprudence according to Aldous Huxley.

  4. Any attorneys who practice in federal court should be able to say the same as I can ... efiling is great. I have been doing it in fed court since it started way back. Pacer has its drawbacks, but the ability to hit an e-docket and pull up anything and everything onscreen is a huge plus for a litigator, eps the sole practitioner, who lacks a filing clerk and the paralegal support of large firms. Were I an Indiana attorney I would welcome this great step forward.

  5. Can we get full disclosure on lobbyist's payments to legislatures such as Mr Buck? AS long as there are idiots that are disrespectful of neighbors and intent on shooting fireworks every night, some kind of regulations are needed.

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