Nixon Peabody



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Nixon Peabody partner Anjali Chaturvedi had never been to Kosovo before, let alone practiced law there. But last year, she and associate Joshua Orr hopped across the Atlantic to assist in training prosecutors, judges, and police officers about how to use Kosovo's confiscation laws to battle human trafficking.

The Am Law Pro Bono 100Chaturvedi, a Washington, D.C.-based litigation partner, got involved in the training program through the American Bar Association. "This was kind of unusual because it's generally not typical for private practice lawyers to have substantive experience in areas like human trafficking," she says. Chaturvedi, though, had previously headed up the organized crime task force in San Francisco as a federal prosecutor and been involved in human trafficking cases.

While it might sound odd that a U.S. lawyer would train Kosovo officials on their own law, Chaturvedi notes that the country's trafficking laws had been written by the United Nations. "It wasn't homegrown legislation," she says. Trafficking is an ongoing problem in Eastern Europe, she says, where women and children are shuffled through the back-channel with regularity. "They don't really have a structure there for how to tackle it on a comprehensive level," she says.

Chaturvedi and Orr drew up a training program, which they ran during a two-day conference in June 2008. Chaturvedi focused on confiscation laws and how law enforcement can use them to seize assets of people suspected of trafficking. "We really just broke it down," she says. Following the training event, the United Nations issued a circular directing local prosecutors to use confiscation laws in their cases.

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