U.S. Federal Judge and U.S. Federal Prosecutor, Experts on Trafficking-in-Persons Cases, Visit Latvia to Focus on Investigation, Prosecution, and Tria

Riga, October 14, 2014 – On October 15, two experts on trafficking-in-persons cases from the United States, Honorable Virginia M. Kendall, United States Federal Judge, and Daniel Weiss, United States Federal Prosecutor, will lead a seminar and share their legal and practical experience with Latvian police investigators, prosecutors, judges, and NGO leaders, on ways to improve investigation, prosecution, and trial procedures for trafficking-in-persons cases.

On October 16, Judge Kendall and Mr. Weiss will lead a full-day seminar for 65 participants, hosted by the Ministry of Interior in partnership with the Ministry of Justice and Judicial Training Center, on trafficking-in-persons procedures using case studies from both Latvia and the United States. On October 15 and October 17, as part of the Embassy’s outreach program on combatting trafficking-in-persons, Judge Kendall and Mr. Weiss will discuss trafficking issues with ministry and civil society representatives. On October 17, the U.S. experts will participate in a roundtable discussion with Supreme Court Justice Representatives and discuss trafficking-in-persons issues with local media. Judge Kendall and Mr. Weiss will arrive in Latvia after conducting a similar program in Lithuania.

Honorable Virginia M. Kendall

Judge Kendall was appointed to the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois in 2006. Prior to her appointment, she served as Deputy Chief in the Criminal Division of the United States Attorney’s Office in Chicago. During her tenure as an Assistant United States Attorney, she was a member of the U.S. Attorney General’s Advisory Committee which reviewed all multi-jurisdictional child exploitation cases, served as the Child Exploitation Coordinator in the Northern District of Illinois, and as Coordinator of Project Safe Neighborhoods.

Judge Kendall is the co-author of Child Exploitation and Trafficking: Examining the Global Challenges and the U.S. Responses. She teaches law courses in trial practice, federal litigation, and human trafficking at University of Chicago Law School, Northwestern University School of Law and Loyola University Chicago School of Law.

Daniel H. Weiss

Daniel H. Weiss is a Senior Trial Attorney in the Human Trafficking Prosecution Unit of the United States Department of Justice, Civil Rights Division. Mr. Weiss is a federal prosecutor who specializes in forced labor and commercial sex trafficking prosecutions and prosecutes cases throughout the United States.

Mr. Weiss has received numerous awards from the Department of Justice, including three special commendations from the Assistant Attorney General for Civil Rights. Mr. Weiss is a frequent presenter at civil rights conferences and has trained prosecutors, judges and law enforcement officers in the United States and abroad on victim-centered approach to human trafficking prosecutions.