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Philadelphia Hosts Kaliningrad Regional Judges
June 17, 2008

U.S. District Judge Juan R. Sanchez (third from left), U.S. Magistrate Judge Linda K. Caracappa (in gray jacket), and Clerk of Court Michael Kunz (third from right) gather with Russian judges from the Kaliningrad Regional Court on the last day of the Russians' program in Philadelphia.
PHILADELPHIA – A delegation of four Russian judges from Kaliningrad visited Philadelphia June 7-14, 2008, to examine the U.S. judicial system and meet with their American counterparts. After a two-day orientation in Washington, DC, the delegates departed for their intensive seven-day professional program in Pennsylvania. Open World intern and Edmund S. Muskie Fellow Inga Todria, a former Tbilisi (Georgia) District Court judge, accompanied the group as an observer. Todria completed her law degree at Kaliningrad University, as did the four members of the delegation.

In Philadelphia, the visiting Russians were hosted by U.S. District Judge Juan R. Sanchez. U.S. Magistrate Judges Thomas J. Rueter and Linda K. Caracappa and Clerk of Court Michael Kunz played a key role in hosting the visit.

The delegation was composed of judges from the Kaliningrad Regional Court and a facilitator: Judges Lyudmila V. Olifer, Vladimir Y. Mukharychin, Nikolay A. Yakovlev, and Boris I. Naumenko, and facilitator Stanislav Y. Kashitsyn.

While in Philadelphia, the Russians visited the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania and met with individual judges and judicial officers of the court. They also attended several court proceedings. In addition, the Russian judges met with representatives of the Federal Defenders Office and the U.S. Attorney’s Office and visited the Metropolitan Detention Center. U.S Marshal Mark Dunaway introduced the Russian judges to the U.S. Marshals Service. The delegates met lawyers working in several different fields of law during a visit to the law firm Cozen O’ Connor.

“What we observed here is not just how the judiciary works in the U.S. and in this particular district court, but also that we could exchange ideas and opinions concerning the judiciary, the role of judges in both countries. I would say that by now we know more about each other and can better understand each other’s concerns. It was a great opportunity to establish new professional relationships and contacts, as well.” said Kaliningrad Regional Court Judge Lyudmila V. Olifer.

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