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Governor appoints new judge for Lake Superior Court

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Rehana Adat-Lopez

Rehana Adat-Lopez, director of the Lake County Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) program, has been appointed by Gov. Eric Holcomb to fill a judicial vacancy on the Lake Superior Court.

CROWN POINT — A longtime advocate for abused and neglected Lake County children is the governor's pick to fill a judicial vacancy on the Lake Superior Court.

Republican Gov. Eric Holcomb announced Friday he's selected Rehana Adat-Lopez for the opening on the bench created by the Oct. 19, 2021, death of Judge Diane Ross Boswell, and subsequent transfer of Judge Gina Jones to Boswell's former court.

Adat-Lopez will be sworn-in as Lake County's newest superior court judge at a later date, according to the governor's office.

She initially will serve a two-year term. Lake County voters then will decide at a general election whether Adat-Lopez should be retained for a renewable six-year term.

Holcomb selected her from the list of five "most highly qualified" candidates recommended in December by the Lake County Judicial Nominating Commission out of the 12 Lake County lawyers who applied for the post.

Since 2013, Adat-Lopez has worked as director and attorney of the Lake County CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocate) program that speaks for the best interests of abused and neglected children in court.

The CASA department Adat-Lopez manages includes a staff of 18, along with 90 volunteers. Adat-Lopez also regularly appears in court as an attorney on behalf of children, including at more than 400 bench trials in juvenile court.

Altogether, Adat-Lopez has more than 24 years of civil litigation experience in both the public sector and private practice, including 14 years at personal injury law firms in Northwest Indiana and as an attorney for the Indiana Department of Child Services in Gary.

She's also served as a temporary judge on multiple occasions at various civil courts in Lake County.

Adat-Lopez was born in the East African nation of Uganda and immigrated to the United States with her family when she was a young child to escape persecution.

She earned a bachelor's degree in political science at Loyola University Chicago in 1993 and her law degree in 1996 at Valparaiso University School of Law.

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