By Liz Shepherd
WARSAW — Kosciusko County’s first female judge will soon begin her work in Kosciusko Superior Court One.
Karin McGrath was sworn in as the new judge for the court on Tuesday, June 1. Her first day on the bench will be Monday, June 14.
Governor Eric Holcomb appointed McGrath to the position in late March after former Judge David Cates passed away in December 2020.
McGrath earned her undergraduate degree from Greenville College and a law degree from Valparaiso University Law School. From 2011-2018, she served as deputy prosecutor for Kosciusko County. In 2020, McGrath finished second in the Republican primary for Superior Court Three judge.
Upon learning of her appointment to Superior Court One, McGrath began closing down her private law practice and spending time with local judges, including Judge Pro Tem Karen Springer.
Springer has been serving on the bench in Superior One since Cates’ passing.
“I’ve also had the pleasure of reaching out to judges in other counties, and I have met with a mentor judge who was assigned to me as part of an Indiana Supreme Court program,” said McGrath. “I am most appreciative of everyone’s great willingness and support as they share their own stories, wisdom and advice.”
McGrath was sworn in at the Kosciusko County Courthouse by Kosciusko Circuit Court Judge Michael Reed. Her family, as well as several local attorneys, judges and court staff attended the ceremony.
“There’s this really great jury instruction that we give often in a criminal jury trial that talks about the burden of proof being beyond a reasonable doubt,” said McGrath to the crowd. “And the jury instruction starts with this phrase: ‘There are very few things that we know with absolute certainty.’ It helps me stop and think ‘What do I know with absolute certainty?’ I know that God still runs this show and I know good family, friends, community members, peers, and co-workers make life oh so sweet. I’m extremely excited to get started and to join the amazing judges that we have on the bench currently.”
At the ceremony, Judge Reed and McGrath both noted the importance of swearing in the first female judge in Kosciusko County.
In an interview with InkFreeNews, McGrath offered advice to women aspiring to be lawyers or judges.
“Women can do anything, so dream big!” said McGrath. “The path toward reaching your dream is rarely a straight line, so while you’re working to reach your goals, remember the value of each day. Be present. Be intentional. People who are dedicated, consistent, disciplined and hard-working in the little things along the way often end up doing big things. Failure is a necessary part of success. Just keep going. Never underestimate the importance of integrity, compassion, conviction, hard work and humility. Value people over things, others over yourself, and the right thing over the trendy or expedient thing.”