Local Prosecutor Becomes First Indian-American Judge In Virginia

Friday, 20 January 2017, 10:56 Hrs
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WASHINGTON: Rupen R. Shah, who is currently the Chief Deputy of Augusta County Commonwealth in Virginia, has become the first Indian American judge to be elected the southeastern U.S. state.

Shah is a resident of Staunton city and his six-year term will commence on February 1, according to a press release from the local General Assembly delegation announcing his confirmation on Thursday.

Shah has served on executive committee and council of Virginia State Bar and also as chair of Diversity Conference of Virginia State Bar.

He was recognised by the State Bar as a local leader of the year 2009 and also served as president of the Augusta County Bar Association during 2008-2009.

Shah, who has a law degree from New York's Syracuse University, founded the non-profit Valley Children's Centre, which helps law enforcement and Child Protective Services workers interview abused and neglected children.

The Indian American also has extensive experience in teaching law.

Tim Martin, the Augusta County Commonwealth's Attorney, said Shah is deserving of the judgeship.

"The bottom line is he is an excellent choice," Martin said. "I will miss him both personally and professionally. Our office's great loss is the judiciary's gain."

Shah has worked as a prosecutor in Augusta County for more than 20 years, Martin said.

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