Indian American attorney Vibhav Mittal, of Yorba Linda, California, became the first judge of South Asian descent on the Superior Court of California, County of Orange, after being sworn in Sept. 10 by Assistant Presiding Judge Maria Hernandez.

California Governor Gavin Newsom appointed Judge Mittal on Sept. 3, 2021, according to a SABA-SC press release. Before that, the Indian American lawyer was an Assistant United States Attorney, Deputy Chief in the Santa Ana Branch of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Central District of California. In his ten years as a federal prosecutor, Judge Mittal tried 13 criminal trials to verdict, including a groundbreaking public-corruption matter where a state traffic court clerk accepted over $400,000 in bribes, a $24 million Ponzi scheme fraud case, numerous drug-trafficking and gun-related cases, and cases involving child exploitation.

Judge Mittal also served as an instructor for trial advocacy and was a member of the office’s hiring and diversity committees. His career as a prosecutor earned him awards from the director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Department of Treasury, noted the release.

Earlier in his career, Mittal was a law clerk for Amul Thapar, the first U.S. federal judge of South Asian descent. He is a graduate of NYU School of Law and received his undergraduate degrees in…

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