The Moscow Sister County Commission received a grant to host its 5th Open World delegation from Moscow, Russia, Sept. 17 - 21, 2018. The delegates consisted of five attorneys from non-profit organizations and one facilitator, with the goal to learn about the United States Public Defender’s system and its role at the Federal, State, and County levels. The Commission collaborated with the County of Santa Clara Public Defender’s Office to facilitate a week-long professional program for the delegation.
The delegates visited and observed real court proceedings and observed attorneys, paralegals and clerical staff from the Public Defender’s Office in their roles of preparing to represent defendants. The delegates also visited law clinics from Stanford University and Santa Clara University to learn about the legal education system and were intrigued and inspired by various projects the schools initiated, such as the International Human Rights Clinic at Santa Clara University.
Delegates also had the opportunity to conduct presentations to their counterparts at the County Public Defender’s Office and Stanford University to share the legal system in Russia and discuss and exchange information on various real cases in their own practices.
Additional highlights of the delegation visit include:
- Touring the Santa Clara County William F. James Ranch (juvenile ranch) and meeting with both staff and youth. Delegates learned about the rehabilitation emphasis of the ranch and were noticeably impressed with the focus on helping youngsters develop skills and attitudes that will enable them to re-integrate into society.
- Visiting and exchanging ideas at the “Next Door Solutions to Domestic Violence,” a premier agency in Santa Clara County entirely dedicated to domestic violence which provides innovative prevention and intervention services to all families in Santa Clara County.
Open World delegation members:
- Viktoriya Valentinovna Kovaleva, “Verdict” Moscow Bar Association;
- Aleksey Viktorovich Parshin, “Verdict” Moscow Bar Association;
- Yana Aleksandrovna Zagorskaya, “Verdict” Moscow Bar Association;
- Denis Alekseyevich Belov, “Verdict” Moscow Bar Association;
- Kseniya Alekseyevna Mikhaylichenko, MCC Legal, Ltd.; and
- Tatyana Skorodumova, Delegation Facilitator.