New judge sworn in

By Joseph Slacian

Benjamin D. Vanderpool became Wabash County's newest Superior Court Judge.

Vanderpool received the oath of office from his father, Judge Daniel Vanderpool (Ret.) during a brief ceremony on Wednesday evening, May 8, in the Wabash County Superior Courtroom. The room was filled with family, friends and members of law enforcement and the Wabash County Bar Association.

Judge Benjamin Vanderpool replaces Judge Amy Cornell, who passed away earlier this year. He was appointed to the position by Gov. Eric J. Holcomb on April 11.

“I’m just excited to get started,” Judge Vanderpool told The Paper of Wabash County following the ceremony. “I’m humbled and honored to be selected for this role, and I’m really looking forward to serving the entire community.”

He began his official duties on Thursday, May 9. He has asked Judge Karen Springer, who served as Wabash Superior Court Judge Pro Tempore, to remain in Wabash through May 10.

“She’ll stay Thursday and Friday,” he said. “I’m going to use those two days to make sure I’m up to speed, get a crash course on the court system, make sure I’ve got all my forms and everything in place.”

Since his appointment until his swearing in, Judge Vanderpool said he has been busy tending to the private practice he had with his father and his brother, Isaiah.

“A big part of my time was spent just trying to transition out to the private practice,” he said. “I wanted to make sure my dad and brother were set up and all my clients were taken care. Just get everything transitioned to them. That’s been most of my time.

“Then I have spent some time trying to go through the process, look at the calendar, develop some forms, so I can get to the ground running.”

Daniel Vanderpool said he was honored to swear in his son, noting a parent always like seeing their children succeed.

“Some people have asked me what it is I would like to say to Ben, or what advice I might have for him as a judge, since I did the job for a while,” he said in his opening remarks. “The one thing I can tell Ben, which he probably already doesn’t know, is just show up. That’s what you need to do to make sure justice is administered, that things move along and you’re doing what you’re supposed to do. So, just show up.

“Be willing to ask for guidance at times. When you go to bed at night … I always told people that when I went to bed at night I felt fairly comfortable, knowing that at least I had done what I thought was right for the day.”

He warned his son that “sometimes I always didn’t sleep the best at night. Sometimes I did. Sometimes I didn’t.”

“When you go to bed, say a prayer. Ask for guidance for the next day and you show up.”

Judge Benjamin Vanderpool was born in Wabash in 1984 and admitted to the bar in 2011. He is a member of Phi Alpha Delta, the Indiana State Bar Association, the American Bar Association and the Indiana Public Defenders Counsel.

He earned his Bachelor of Science Degree from Purdue University and his law degree from the Thomas M. Cooley Law School at Western Michigan University.

A North Manchester resident, he and his wife, Brooke, have two sons and a third child on the way.

Posted on 2019 May 14