On May 25, 2021, Governor Andrew Cuomo nominated Judge Ramón E. Rivera to the New York State Court of Claims. He was confirmed by the Senate on June 8, 2021. Judge Rivera serves on the Court of Claims in Syracuse, New York.
Prior to his appointment, Judge Rivera practiced law for more than 25 years. He was a Partner with the law firm, Mackenzie Hughes, LLP in its Business Law Department. Judge Rivera was a leader in the firm as a member of the Executive Committee and Chair of the Labor and Employment/Immigration Law Practice Group. Judge Rivera provided counsel to businesses seeking to develop branch, affiliate, and subsidiary offices in the United States. He also provided counsel on employment and non-discrimination laws, I-9 compliance and worksite enforcement audits, administrative waivers for foreign physicians, as well as inter and intra-company transfers of key personnel, executives, and multinational managers. Judge Rivera also represented individuals in federal administrative removal proceedings and appeals. Prior to this, Judge Rivera was a managing partner in the firm Micale & Rivera, LLP, and a solo practitioner. He began his legal career as a staff attorney with the Frank H. Hiscock Legal Aid Society, practicing criminal law, and representing clients with landlord-tenant and unemployment insurance matters.
Judge Rivera was also judicially appointed Chairperson of the Attorney Grievance Committee for the New York State Fourth Department, Fifth Judicial District, and is an appointed member of the Committee on Character and Fitness. He is also a member of the Fifth Judicial District Alternative Dispute Resolution Task Force, the Fifth Judicial District Equal Justice for All Think Tank, and the Diversity in Hiring Subcommittee. He is also currently on the New York State Court of Claims Equal Access to Justice Committee, and the Prisoner Pro Se Sub-Committee. He is very active in the legal community as a member of the Latino Judges Bar Association, the Hudson Valley Hispanic Bar Association, the Puerto Rican Bar Association and as a co-founder and co-director of the ARRIBA! Bar Association. He is also a member of the Federal Court Bar Association, the American Bar Association, and the New York State Bar Association. As a member of the Onondaga County Bar Association, Judge Rivera served as a member of the Board of Directors. He is also involved in the community having served as a member of the Crouse Health Foundation Board of Trustees and a member of the Board of Directors of the Onondaga County Spanish Action League.
Judge Rivera also served his alma mater, Syracuse University College of Law, as an adjunct professor teaching a course in Immigration and Naturalization Law, and at Syracuse University College where he taught a class on Torts. He has also been a lecturer for the Onondaga County Bar Association on Immigration Law and for the Northern District of New York Federal Court Bar Association.
Judge Rivera obtained his Bachelor of Arts degree in Philosophy from the University of California at Davis. He is fluent in Spanish and was a Nationally ranked Golden Gloves and Amateur Athletic Union boxer. In his free time he enjoys reading classical literature, gourmet cooking, cross-country skiing and hiking in the New York State Adirondack High Peaks.