Honorable Richard (Dick) Failla
Judge Dick Failla started his legal career in the military, where he served as a lieutenant in the Navy’s Judge Advocate General’s Corps for five years. While stationed in the Philippines and in Vietnam, he often volunteered to defend sailors who were facing discharge due to their sexual orientation.
Judge Failla was the first openly gay person appointed to the New York City Criminal Court as well as the first openly gay person elected to the New York State Supreme Court. Judge Failla also served as vice president of the Gay Men’s Health Crisis in the late 1980s.