Solano judge helps train Ugandan jurists, lawyers

By From page A4 | March 21, 2014

FAIRFIELD — Judge Paul L. Beeman recently returned from eight days of traveling  to Kampala, Uganda as part of a team of legal experts who gave a weeklong training for 100 Ugandan judges and lawyers.

Beeman left Solano County on March 6 and returned from Uganda this past weekend, according to Brian Taylor, the court’s executive officer. Beeman was accompanied by fellow trainers Judge Mitchell Goldberg, a retired bankruptcy judge, and Pepperdine Law School professors Denise R. Madigan and Stephanie Bell.

The five-day training session was launched by a speech to participants by the acting chief justice of Uganda’s court system, Steven Kavuma, who said the training would tremendously reduce case backlog and improve public confidence in Uganda’s judiciary.

Beeman’s journey was part of a joint project teaching mediation skills and techniques done the Pepperdine School of Law Global Justice Program in the Nootbaar Institute and Pepperdine’s Straus Institute. Pepperdine for years hosted a weeklong training at its campus that typically included two slots for Ugandan judges or lawyers. Pepperdine officials decided last year to take their mediation training to Uganda.

“This was a fabulous experience,” Beeman said in a press release. “I appreciated the opportunity to participate and am honored to have been asked by the Straus Institute to serve as a faculty member. I am grateful to Presiding Judge E. Bradley Nelson and our Supervising Judge of Civil, Scott Kays for their support.”

The Ugandan judiciary began using mediation in 2009 as an alternative to civil courts resolution of lawsuits.

Before the training session got underway Beeman, a first-time visitor to Africa, arose the morning of March 8 to go on safari with his fellow trainers that included a five-hour drive to Murchison Falls National Park, Uganda’s premier wildlife park.

Reach Jess Sullivan at 427-6919 or [email protected] Follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/jsullivandr.

Jess Sullivan

Jess has covered the criminal justice system in Solano County for several years. He was an embedded reporter in Iraq in 2003.

Discussion | 2 comments

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  • Rich GiddensMarch 20, 2014 - 8:13 pm

    Too bad he wasn't chucked into the village cooking pot and boiled alive. Seriously---Africa can't possibly make any semblance of progress. Since Colonialism ended, all of those nations have done nothing but go backwards as they adopted socialist and communist forms of government along with becoming Muslim Caliphates. (This while they blamed bwana for their perpetual miseries.) So a California judge tries to introduce those tribal savage people to Western concepts of Juris Prudence. What a joke! They won't be able to uphold or promote any concept of rules, law, a constitution, legal precedence, controlling authorities---nothing! What kind of examples did Beeman use to "teach" the nation's judges? If Mustafa steals Achmed's goats, then you just can't cut his right hand off in the village square? Uganda had ties to Britain----where do you think our system came from? It sure as heck wasn't Uganda or Kenya! If the Brits can't teach them anything then Beeman won't be able to either.

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  • my2centsMarch 21, 2014 - 7:18 am

    The Honorable Paul Beeman has long been the driving force behind Solano County's mediation program. He was honored by the Solano County Bar Association for that work. Solano County has many Straus Institute Trained Mediators thanks to Judge Beeman. These Mediators provide no cost mediation services to litigants in appropriate cases. This saves the Courts tons of money. The Ugandan mission could not have selected a better faculty member!

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