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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