Timofei Rudas, a law student at the Russian Academy of International Trade (Law Faculty), visited Washington Court House recently while on a capstone trip to the United States to learn about the American judicial system.
Rudas toured the Washington Court House Municipal Court, the Fayette County Court of Common Pleas, and met the Fayette County Commissioners.
Rudas’s visit on a Monday gave him the opportunity to see court in full swing and he witnessed a couple of proceedings in the Court of Common Pleas.
“He was able to get a closeup view of what court was like in the American system and Judge (Steven) Beathard was able to spend some time with him to explain what it is he was seeing in the courtroom,” said Andrew Drake, who was Rudas’s host during the three weeks he spent working and touring central and southern Ohio.
Up until that point, Drake said Rudas had seen a lot of corporate work and this was his first opportunity to see how city and county courts operate.
The trip was organized through the Columbus International Program.
“The whole point of that is not only to foster cultural experience but also foster international trade,” said Drake, who works as an attorney for Nationwide.
Rudas, who said he plans to pursue international legal work, was impressed by what he saw in Washington C.H.
“As you can imagine, Russia is a very different sort of political system,” said Drake. “The Russian system is very different: very few juries, mostly made up of judges.”
Drake said Rudas thought it was very interesting how the county prosecutor was arguing the case and how he presented the facts of the case and how the defendant got to speak in court.
It was a unique experience Drake said Rudas wouldn’t have gotten anywhere else.
“He didn’t know quite what to expect,” said Drake.
Rudas had only seen television shows that depict fictional court proceedings in cities like Los Angeles and New York, said Drake.
“I think he wanted to melt into the floor when Judge Beathard said, “Why don’t you come back here and stand behind the bench,” because that’s practically unheard of in Russia. He probably would have never met a sitting judge in Russia,” said Drake.
Reach Ashley at the Record-Herald (740) 313-0355 or on Twitter @ashbunton