Longtime Highland criminal defense attorney Sam Cappas has been appointed judge in the Lake Superior Criminal Division.
Cappas’ appointment Thursday by Gov. Mike Pence filled a vacancy in the court created when Lake Superior Judge Thomas Stefaniak Jr. transferred to the juvenile court bench. The juvenile court vacancy occurred when Pence appointed former Lake Superior Juvenile Court Judge Mary Beth Bonaventura to lead the Department of Child Services.
A partner in the Cappas & Jones law firm, Cappas also has served as a deputy prosecutor, judge pro tem and trial supervisor.
“Sam Cappas has the legal skills and background necessary to serve the people of Lake County well as Lake Superior Court Judge,” Pence said in a news release announcing the appointment.
Cappas was one of three candidates vetted by the Lake County Judicial Nominating Commission chaired by Justice Robert Rucker and presented to Pence for his appointment. The others were defense attorney and former deputy prosecutor Tim Ormes and Magistrate Michael Pagano.
Cappas earned his law degree from Valparaiso University in 1986 and was admitted to practice that year.