Judge Richard Rivera is a graduate of Colgate University and Albany Law School. His legal career began as an associate counsel for the Law Office of Gaspar M. Castillo, Esq., where he represented litigants in local city and town courts, handling criminal matters, traffic violations and appeals. It wasn’t until he became staff counsel for the Albany Law School, Family Violence Clinic that his career in Family Court began. As staff counsel, Judge Rivera represented victims of domestic violence with all matters pertaining to orders of protection, custody, and support. Judge Rivera also served as an Attorney for Children in both Albany and Rensselaer counties; Assistant Conflict Defender representing litigants in family and criminal courts; Assistant County Attorney, prosecuting Juvenile Delinquents and PINS and as a Support Magistrate.
In November 2014, Judge Rivera was elected to a 10-year term in Albany County Family Court. Since taking the bench, Judge Rivera has presided over all matters and even conducted his first wedding ceremony completely in Spanish. As of February 27, 2017, Judge Rivera was appointed to preside over the newly created Domestic Violence Part at the Albany County Family Court. Judge Rivera presides over the Albany County Youth Part since its creation in 2018 pursuant to the Raise the Age legislation.
Effective January 1, 2019 Judge Rivera was designated Acting Supreme Court Justice for the 3rd Judicial District and was named as the first supervising judge for domestic violence courts and mentor courts in the district.
Judge Rivera is a member of the New York State Bar Association, Albany County Bar Association, the Capital District Black and Hispanic Bar Association, the Puerto Rican Bar Association, the Hispanic National Bar Association, the Latino Judges Association and the New York State Family Court Judges Association. He is also a member of the Franklin H. Williams Judicial Commission, which was established to develop programs to improve the perception of fairness within the court system and to ensure equal justice in New York State. In 2019, Judge Rivera was appointed to the Board of Directors of the National Consortium on Racial & Ethnic Fairness in the Courts.