Richard is Head of Gallo Vitucci Klar LLP’s “Maritime and Admiralty Department”, and also works in the firm’s Transportation Law Group. Richard grew up in Puerto Rico from where he enlisted in the U.S. Coast Guard. While in the U.S. Coast Guard, Richard was involved in operations afloat/underway and multiple large marine casualty/accident investigations, including but not limited to: vessel collisions and allisions, vessel groundings, passenger/crew personal injuries, port state control inspections, pollution investigations, suspension and revocation actions, merchant mariner licensing actions, and United States Coast Guard and National Transportation Safety Board investigations. Richard retired from active duty service from the U.S. Coast Guard, having achieved the rank of Lieutenant Commander (LCDR).
Prior to joining Gallo Vitucci Klar LLP, Richard worked at a midtown law firm, where he handled multiple admiralty and maritime disputes, including but not limited to vessel casualties, liability defense, limitation of liability actions, mariner licensing, property/vessel damage, mariner personal injury, charter party agreements, maritime contracts, maritime insurance coverage, State Pilot defense and cargo disputes. Additionally, Richard worked with a local insurance company (as ‘in-house counsel’) where he handled motor vehicle accidents, personal injury, property damage, and premise liability defense cases.
Richard received his LL.M. with a specialization in Maritime Law, from the University of London (Queen Mary-University College London).
When not in the office, Richard participates in obstacle course races and endurance events, practices Gracie Jiu Jitsu, Aikido and is an active volunteer with the Fraternity of Phi Gamma Delta (FIJI).
Prior Work Experience
- Recipient of multiple awards from the U.S. Coast Guard, including but not limited to: Commendation Medal (four); Achievement Medal; Letter of Commendation Ribbon; Presidential Unit Citation; Good Conduct Medal; National Defense Service Medal (two); Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal (Haiti); Global War on Terrorism Service Medal; Humanitarian Service Medals (two); Cutterman Insignia; and, the Marine Safety and Environmental Protection Insignia.
- Throughout his U.S. Coast Guard active duty military career, Richard held numerous command and leadership positions of increased responsibility, including in: Marine Casualty Investigations and Enforcement, Pollution Incident Investigations, Energy and Facilities Regulations, Maritime Homeland Security, Waterways Management, Deck Watch Officer (underway), and as a Maritime Law Enforcement Boarding Officer. Richard was lead prosecutor and investigator for numerous U.S. Coast Guard licensing suspension and revocation actions against U.S. merchant marine personnel. He also worked closely with federal and state law enforcement, regulatory and investigatory agencies in the investigation of high profile maritime accidents, casualties, and environmental pollution/crimes.