Justice in Mexico Completes Second OASIS Study Trip

7/18/2018 (written by Quinn Skerlos)- From July 2 to July 14, Justice in Mexico held the second 2018 Oral-Adversary Skill-building Immersion (OASIS) Study trip at University of San Diego (USD). The participants were 13 administrators, students, and law faculty from the Universidad de Guadalajara (UdeG), and Universidad Autónoma de Nuevo León (UANL), and Benemérita Universidad Autónoma de Puebla (BUAP). The OASIS study trippers were primarily composed of 12 law professors and law students from UdeG and UANL, but also included the Director of BUAP’s School of Law and Social Sciences, Luis Ochoa Bilbao. Now the eleventh OASIS study trip implemented by Justice in Mexico, these study trips provide a cultural immersion and study opportunity for selected Mexican law professors and students to experience the United States criminal justice system and meet with relevant legal experts, academics and public officials, including judges, professors, and attorneys. This program is made possible by a grant from the U.S. State Department’s Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs under the Mérida Initiative.

With the direction of OASIS Training Director, Janice Deaton, and OASIS Regional Director and USD law professor, Allen Snyder, the OASIS study trip participants attended a variety of lectures given by legal experts and academics, toured various facilities relevant to the United States criminal justice system, and engaged in group discussions guided by Janice Deaton and/or Allen Snyder. The majority of the study trip was held in San Diego at USD, however, participants also had the opportunity to visit San Francisco and meet with several public officials and representatives of the San Francisco community.

OASIS participants have the opportunity to meet and engage with various members of the legal community, including judges, attorneys, and law professors.

OASIS participants have the opportunity to meet and engage with various members of the legal community, including judges, attorneys, and law professors.

In San Diego, agenda highlights included: site visits to the San Dan Diego State and Federal Court, a tour of the San Diego Metropolitan Correctional Center (MCC), a mock-trial simulation, and lectures led by legal professionals from the Public Defender’s Office, Office of the Attorney General, Pre-trial Services, etc. In San Francisco, participants visited and met with members of the Ninth Circuit Court and the San Francisco Superior Court, and toured the Alcatraz Federal Penitentiary, a historical landmark and former high-security prison. Overall, the trip focused on providing analysis of the U.S. criminal justice system, and reinforcing the theory behind and practice of oral, adversarial and accusatorial criminal justice systems. This focus is intended to promote the participants’ appreciation for judicial reform in Mexico and reflect positively in their forthcoming academic and professional trajectories.

The program agenda’s accomplished guest speakers included: Allen Snyder (USD), Associate Dean Margaret Dalton (USD), Gregg McClain (Office of the District Attorney, San Diego), Scarlet Espinoza (Ninth Circuit Court, San Francisco), Judge Gerardo Sandoval (San Francisco Superior Court), Maria Elena Lopez Evangelista (Office of the Public Defender, San Francisco),  George Gascon (District Attorney of San Francisco), Judge Christopher Whitten (Superior Court of Maricopa County), Tony Da Silva (Office of the Attorney General, San Diego), Theresa Talplacido (San Diego MCC), Judge John Houston (District Judge for the Southern District of California), Janice Deaton (USD), Monique Carter (Office of the Public Defender, San Diego), Scott Pirrello (San Diego District Attorney’s Office), and Veronica Cataño Gonzalez (Supreme Court of Baja California).

Justice in Mexico Completes First OASIS Study Trip

OASIS Study Trip 1 participants and Justice in Mexico staff.

OASIS Study Trip 1 participants and Justice in Mexico staff.

7/2/18 (Quinn Skerlos) – From June 10 to June 23, 12 administrators, representatives, and law faculty from the Universidad de Guadalajara (UdeG), and Universidad Autónoma de Nuevo Leon (UANL) took part in the first of three 2018 Oral-Adversary Skill-building Immersion (OASIS) study trips at University of San Diego (USD). This group of 12 study trip participants included the deans of the law schools of both the UdeG and UANL, José de Jesús Becerra Ramirez (UdeG) and Oscar Paulino Lugo Serrato (UANL). OASIS Study trips are designed by Justice in Mexico to provide a training and study opportunity for Mexican law professors and students that allows participants to experience the United States criminal justice system. This program is made possible by a grant from the U.S. State Department’s Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs under the Mérida Initiative.

Under the direction of the OASIS Training Director, Janice Deaton, OASIS Regional Director and USD law professor Allen Snyder, the UdeG and UANL participants met with legal experts, academics and public officials, including judges, professors, and attorneys. While the majority of the study trip was held at USD facilities, the study trip participants also had the opportunity to briefly visit the University of California-Los Angeles (UCLA) School of Law in Los Angeles, CA.

OASIS Study Trip participants have the opportunity to meet with legal experts, academics and public officials.

OASIS Study Trip participants have the opportunity to meet with legal experts, academics and public officials.

The study trip was comprised of daily sessions on the stages of the United States legal system, which included group debriefs, site visits and meetings with public officials and institutional representatives. OASIS study trip participants had the opportunity to visit both federal and state courts in Los Angeles and San Diego, including the Appellate Court and the Federal Court. The visits were bookended with breakout sessions to discuss relevant legal topics pertinent to the U.S. criminal justice system. Aside from experiencing the foundations of the United States legal system, the group learned about legal topics such as alternative sentencing, separation of powers, and the use of evidence.

The program agenda’s accomplished guest speakers included: Tony Da Silva (Office of the Attorney General), Ruby Anaya (California Western School of Law), Carlos Varela, Luis Guerrero, Janice Deaton (USD), Michael Ramsey (USD), Judge Mitchell D. Dembin (Southern District of California), Professor Allen Snyder (USD School of Law), Associate Dean Margaret Dalton (USD), Judge Lisa Rodriguez (San Diego Superior Court Judge), Dean Stephen Ferruolo (USD), Professor Máximo Langer (UCLA), Professor Rubén Hernández-León (UCLA), Dr. Peter Reich (UCLA), Professor Laura Gómez (UCLA).

Justice in Mexico completes third OASIS study trip

08/23/17- (written by Lucy Clement La Rosa) From July 31st to August 11th, faculty and student delegates from the UNAM Law School (Facultad de Derecho de la Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México) completed the third 2017 study trip to the United States under Justice in Mexico’s Oral-Adversarial Skill-Building Immersion Seminar (OASIS) program. The two-week study trip introduced the UNAM participants to U.S. public officials and legal experts in the greater San Diego area and encouraged academic discussion of the U.S. criminal justice system.

Study trip participants outside the San Diego courthouse.

Study trip participants outside the San Diego courthouse.

The OASIS study trip funded through the U.S. State Department’s Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs offered UNAM professors and students the opportunity to attend seminars and workshops led by prominent individuals including the Honorable Runston Maino, the Honorable Dave Danielsen, Judge Chris Whitten, Judge Luciano Angulo, Monique Carter, Moises Santos, Daniele Novoa, Andrew Haden, Ansar Haroun, Carlos Varela, Luis Guerrero, and Lisa Rodriguez. The workshops were organized by OASIS study trip coordinator and University of San Diego (USD) professor, Allen Synder, and OASIS Training Coordinator and practicing criminal defense attorney, Janice Deaton.

While the majority of the workshops were held within the USD Law School, the UNAM participants also visited San Diego’s Federal Court building, State Court building, the Office of the Public Defender, and the Hall of Justice. The seminars provided the participants direct interaction with U.S. federal and state officials, who shared relevant knowledge and personal experiences in the criminal justice sector. The workshops covered a variety of criminal justice topics including, but not limited to, the rights of a defendant, interpretation services within federal and state courts, the defense and prosecution perspective of an oral trial, the role of psychiatrists in the criminal system, and the logistics of plea bargaining. The meetings and workshops contributed to the overall objectives of the OASIS program: providing resources and training, such as oral litigation techniques, that will encourage judicial transparency and reform under the new criminal justice system in Mexico.

The last day of the study trip on August 11th consisted of a special session dedicated to the future of the Justice in Mexico program. The session promoted a dialogue of prospective challenges for the Justice in Mexico and panel discussions related to judicial reform efforts, including greater transparency and legal education, in Mexico. Finally, the day was concluded with a reception and dinner celebrating the Justice in Mexico’s 15th anniversary.

Justice in Mexico completes second OASIS study trip

07/24/2017 (edited by lcalderon) —From July 2nd to July 15th, six professors and six students from the UNAM Law School (Facultad de Derecho de la Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México) participated in the second 2017 OASIS study trip to the United States in order to learn about the U.S. criminal justice system as a part of the Oral-Adversarial Skill-building Immersion Seminar (OASIS). This program is

OASIS study trip 2 participants

UNAM Law School professors and students at the James R. Browning Courthouse

made possible by a grant from the U.S. State Department’s Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs. UNAM faculty and students had the opportunity to meet and learn from prominent public officials and legal experts in the Bay area community including University of California Berkeley Professors Melissa Murray and Andrea Roth, University of San Francisco Professor Connie de la Vega, representatives from the California Bar Association, Noel Belton and Veronica Ramirez from Probation Services, Rich Sarlatte from Pretrial Services, Prosecutor Andrew Scoble from the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Public Defenders Geoff Hansen and Carmen Smarandoiu, Magistrate Judge Laurel Beeler, Superior Court Judge Gerardo Sandoval and California Supreme Court Justice Mariano-Florentino Cuellar. The classes and meetings were designed and organized by two distinguished OASIS Regional Coordinators: Professor Charles Weisselberg from the University of California Berkeley and OASIS Training Coordinator and practicing criminal defense attorney Janice Deaton.

OASIS study trip participants had the opportunity to visit both federal and state courts in San Francisco, including the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. They were able to engage with federal judges, prosecutors and defense attorneys to gain insight from both sides of the courtroom. Aside from visits and discussions, participants were able to learn training skills to disseminate oral trial techniques. OASIS Training Coordinator and Instructor Janice Deaton led two “Train the Trainer” sessions on teaching oral trial skills. Mrs. Deaton guided the participants through the training, allowing participants to practice oral trial techniques and learn to provide effective critique and feedback.

UNAM Law School Participants Complete OASIS Study Trip at Harvard Law School

OASIS Boston participants next to a statue of John Harvard, one of the Founders of Harvard College

OASIS Boston participants next to a statue of John Harvard, one of the Founders of Harvard College

6/13/17 —From June 5 to June 16, six professors and six students from the UNAM Law School (Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México Facultad de Derecho) participated in the first of three 2017 study trips to the United States in order to learn about the U.S. criminal justice system as a part of the Oral-Adversarial Skill-building Immersion Seminar (OASIS). This program is made possible by a grant from the U.S. State Department’s Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs. With the assistance and direction of OASIS Regional Coordinator and Harvard professor Philip Heymann, UNAM faculty and students had the opportunity to meet and learn from prominent public officials and legal experts in the Boston community including Boston Police Commissioner William Evans, prosecutors John Capin and Jordi de Llano, defense attorney and Harvard professor Andrew Crespo, DOJ Assistant Deputy Bruce Ohr, Director of the Organized Crime division for the U.S. Attorney Generals Office Cynthia Young, Chief United States District Judge Patti Saris, defense attorney Rob Goldstein and federal prosecutor Fred M. Wyshak Jr.

Study trip participants had the opportunity to visit both federal and state courts in Boston. They were able to engage with federal judges and defense attorneys to gain insight from both sides of the courtroom. Aside from visits and discussions, participants were able to learn training skills to disseminate oral trial techniques. OASIS Instructor Peter Mitchell from the Legal Aid Society Criminal Defense Division in New York City led a “Train the Trainer” session on teaching oral trial skills. Mr. Mitchell guided the participants through the training, allowing participants to practice oral trial techniques and learn to provide effective critique and feedback.