Rupen R. Shah, an Indian American prosecutor who was the chief deputy of the Augusta County Commonwealth’s Attorney Office in Virginia, has been confirmed as a judge of the 25th Judicial District. According to a report on newsvirginian.com, Shah’s six-year term will begin Feb. 1.
Making the announcement Jan. 19, the local assembly delegation noted that Shah is the first Indian American judge elected in the Commonwealth, according to a report in the Augusta Free Press. “It was an honor for us to put forward for consideration and to vote for the confirmation” of Shah, the delegation said in a statement, adding, Shah’s “commitment to serve the people of the Commonwealth in this manner is to be commended.”
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 was quoted as saying on the website. “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.
In 2015, Shah was named a “Leader of the Law,” an award from Virginia Lawyers Media that recognizes attorneys for serving their community, changing the law, and improving Virginia’s legal system, according to a report on nbc29.com.
Shah said at that time he was proud of the work he has done to change laws for synthetic marijuana and making financial institutions more open to law enforcement. Shah has served on the executive committee and council of the Virginia State Bar and also as chair of the Diversity Conference of the Virginia State Bar.
He was recognized by the State Bar as a local leader of the year 2009 and also served as president of the Augusta County Bar Association from 2008-2009. The Indian American also has extensive experience in teaching law. Shah, who has a law degree from New York’s Syracuse University, founded the non-profit Valley Children’s Center, which helps law enforcement and Child Protective Services workers interview abused and neglected children.