By Staff Sgt. Natalie Hedrick, 3rd HBCT, 3rd Inf. Div. Public AffairsJune 3, 2010
COS KALSU, Iraq - Forty-five lawyers and three law school faculty members attended a lawyers' round table May 29, 2010, at Contingency Operating Site Kalsu.
According to Capt. John Ferrell, a 3rd Heavy Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division rule of law attorney, the purpose of the conference, hosted at the Joint Expeditionary Forensics Facility was to acquaint local attorneys with forensic evidence, specifically latent fingerprints.
Bob Contrall, the Babil Provincial Reconstruction Team rule of law advisor, said the meeting was the third of its kind where local law professionals gathered to discuss legal issues.
Contrall had started the program as a forum for Babil lawyers to network, teach, mentor and share ideas and best practices.
The two previous meetings discussed such topics as keys to attorney success and the American judicial system.
During the classroom portion of the round table, Robert Grant, the senior certified latent print examiner and JEFF lab lead trainer, explained latent fingerprint detection techniques including the use of powder, chemicals, and specialized light sources.
"They are learning how to use fingerprints, how to develop and compare them to ensure the person who left the print can be identified," Contrall said.
The attending attorneys and law school faculty members also took a tour of the JEFF lab. Participants broke up into small groups and were given instruction on some of the equipment used to uncover and identify latent finger prints.
"I love being a lawyer, and we didn't get this training in school," Alia Ahaad Hammad, a new local attorney in Hillah, said through a translator. "We only read books. This information is important, and I have learned so much that I can take it back and teach others."
The Babil PRT has created a program that introduces new attorneys to the resources they need to open offices. As part of that program, a representative from the Bank of Baghdad spoke to the attendees about the bank's role in providing loans to area attorneys so they can start their own firms.
Aca,!A"I graduated this year so I have no financial support for my business,Aca,!A? Alia said. Aca,!A"The loan will help start my office.Aca,!A?
Contrall said he looks forward to getting more lawyers to the lab and eventually having the local examiners explain their jobs.
Aca,!A"We will continue to work together,Aca,!A? he said. Aca,!A"We will have more capabilities, more training, and more experiences. The goal is to make the TV show Aca,!A"CSIAca,!A? a reality here in central Iraq.Aca,!A?
According to Ferrell, all of the lawyersAca,!a,,c conferences have been a resounding success.
Aca,!A"The attendance has grown from an initial assembly of 16 attorneys and one law school faculty, to 23 lawyers at the second meeting, and finally to 45 lawyers, three law school faculty, and one media member at the third meeting,Aca,!A? he said.
An invitation was extended to attendees to invite their professional peers to future lawyersAca,!a,,c round tables. The lawyers were also encouraged to contact the Babil PRT for more information on applying for the new attorneys program.