Gov. Newson appoints Indian American judge at Orange County Superior Court


The Orange County Superior Court got one of its first South Asian decent judge, earlier this month when Governor of California Gavin Newson appointed Indian American Vibhav Mittal.

Mittal, 39, was sworn in on 10 September to replace Judge Ronald L Bauer at the County Court.

He has worked previously as Assistant US Attorney for the Central District of California and was promoted to the post of Deputy Chief, which he has held since 2019.

In addition to charging and trying criminal cases in federal court, Judge Mittal supervised five federal prosecutors and served as the office’s public corruption coordinator and civil rights co-coordinator for Orange County,” per a South Asian Bar Association (SABA) press release.

Mittal was a political science and an electrical engineering graduate from University of California, Berkeley. He worked in the semiconductor industry before joining New York University School of Law.

According to reports, Mittal has argued in courts, and has trained and supervised lawyers. He has worked on matters concerning “public corruption, financial fraud, hacking, trademark infringement, child exploitation, immigration crimes, and drug trafficking.”

He has also been a lecturer for the University of California, Irvine School of Law, encouraging and mentoring law students to pursue careers in the public interest.

Prior to becoming a federal prosecutor, Mittal was a field organizer and Campaign Fellow for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee in 2010. Before that, he served as a law clerk for the Honorable Amul Thapar, when he sat on the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Kentucky. Earlier he worked at Quinn Emanuel LLP in San Francisco on patent and trade secret litigation.

In addition to charging and trying criminal cases in federal court, Mittal was a Department of Justice (“DOJ”) Ambassador for UCI School of Law and NYU School of Law. Mittal has trained attorneys on trial issues like jury selection and responding to jury notes. In addition, Mittal has taught trial advocacy to new federal prosecutors from across the country at the DOJ’s National Advocacy Center.

As a member of the South Asian Association since 2012, he has served the South Asian community and has garnered support from the association. He served as SABA-SC’s Judicial Evaluations co-chair from 2014 to 2018, and served as treasurer for SABA-PIF from 2012 to 2014.

He is currently on the Orange County Bar Association’s Diversity Committee.