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Vanderpool takes Superior Court

I SOLEMNLY SWEAR: On right, Former Judge Dan Vanderpool swears in Benjamin Vanderpool to Wabash Superior Court on Wednesday.

BY Kaitlin Gebby - kgebby@wabashplaindealer.com

Benjamin Vanderpool is the new face of Wabash Superior Court after his swearing in ceremony on Wednesday evening.

The Vanderpools have a lawyer gene in their family. Dan Vanderpool opened Vanderpool Law Firm in 2005, and Ben Vanderpool joined the private practice in 2011 as an associate attorney after graduating from Purdue University in 2008.

A Wabash native, Ben Vanderpool was appointed by Gov. Eric Holcomb in April after the passing of Judge Amy Cornell earlier this year.

Vanderpool said he didn’t know Cornell personally, but is encouraged by those who did know her to carry on her legacy of kindness in Superior Court.

“I hope to be able to continue a lot of those programs that she started,” he said. “I know she wasn’t here for very long, but everyone I’ve talked to said she’s made a big impact on them. I hope to continue making an impact and continue the work that she did.”

Since his appointment, Vanderpool said he’s been in transition from the private practice. He said he has spent most of his time getting his father and his brother, Isaiah Vanderpool, set up with the cases he’s leaving behind.

A prayer prior to taking the oath as a judge encouraged Vanderpool to seek wisdom and understanding when serving justice. As a judge, he said he will take action to continue to make Superior Court “a problem solving court.”

“This court has a drug court program and a re-entry court, and I’m really excited to be part of those programs,” the new judge said. “I think it’s a good idea to teach people the skills and tools they need to be better.”

Vanderpool said he didn’t have any reservations in taking on Superior Court, but he’s anticipating “a learning curve.” He has asked interim Judge Karen Springer to help in the transition period starting with his first day on Thursday.

Dan Vanderpool said the best advice he can give his son is “just show up.”

“That’s what you need to do to make sure justice is administered, that things move along and that you’re doing what you’re supposed to be doing,” he said.

As a former Wabash County judge, Dan Vanderpool said the decisions weren’t always easy. He said some even kept him up at night.

“As you go to bed, say a prayer. Thank God for the day that you’ve had and ask his guidance for the next day, and you show up” he said during the ceremony. “I think that’s all anyone can do each day.”