Bob Rich was born and raised in Ulster County and has lived in Gardiner for 24 years. He is respectfully seeking a third term as Gardiner Town Justice. Bob holds a B.A. from SUNY Albany and earned his Juris Doctor degree from Albany Law School of Union University. Bob thereafter served as confidential law secretary to a New York State Supreme Court justice for two years before going into private practice. He has been a trial lawyer, concentrating primarily in the areas of personal injury and medical malpractice for more than 30 years. For the past several years, he has been recognized as one of the top attorneys in the Hudson Valley area by Hudson Valley Magazine. Martindale-Hubbell has recognized Bob with its highest (AV), preeminent rating in his field.
Prior to being elected as Town Justice, Bob served nine years on the New Paltz School Board, spending two years as Vice President and one as President. He was a founding member and served for many years on the board of directors of the New Paltz Central School District Foundation for Student Enhancement and is also a proud member of the New Paltz Rotary Club. Bob helped create the New Paltz Rotary Club Foundation, a 501(c)(3) charity, where he serves on the board of directors. Bob is also a founding member and Treasurer of Friends of Guirgho, a 501(c)(3) charitable organization that is working to provide solar power, running water and 21st-century technology to schools in remote villages in Burkina Faso, West Africa. In his free time, he sings Baritone for the Poughkeepsie New Yorkers Barbershop Chorus (where he is a Trustee on the board of directors) and Bass for The Four Reasons Barbershop Quartet.
Bob remains committed to equal access to justice for all Gardiner citizens, especially in these trying times, with the COVID-19 pandemic impacting the court and other municipal services in the town. He has learned a great deal while serving as Town Justice these past eight years, having presided over a vast array of criminal and civil matters, including many small claims, as well as traffic matters. He has faithfully kept himself up-to-date with the latest developments in the law, taking at least 12 hours of continuing judicial education every year, and as a member of both the New York State and Ulster County Magistrates Associations. Bob still considers it the highest honor and privilege of his legal career to sit as Gardiner Town Justice.