Richard A. Appelbaum

Rear Admiral Dick Appelbaum, U. S. Coast Guard (retired).

Admiral Appelbaum has been exclusively of counsel to Keesal, Young & Logan since his retirement from active duty in the United States Coast Guard in 1996.  His principal role in the firm is as a conduit to federal departments and agencies, advising and representing the firm and its clients in matters with federal officials.  This includes, but is not limited to, supporting the submission and adjudication of claims and applications, participating in hearings and meetings, gathering information, arranging client meetings with regulators and enforcers, and facilitating outcomes.

Admiral Appelbaum resides in the Washington, D.C., area, and has interfaced with numerous Capital Area entities, including the several agencies within the Department of Homeland Security, the U. S. Coast Guard being the agency with which he deals most frequently.  However, he has also interfaced with entities within the Departments of Justice, Defense, Interior, Commerce, Transportation, Energy, and State.

Admiral Appelbaum deals with a very broad range of subjects.  The list of his activities would include, but would not be limited to, marine pollution, environmental protection, maritime industry regulation, maritime law enforcement, marine safety and security, mariner credentialing, and waterways management.

A significant part of Admiral Appelbaum’s activity has been with the U. S. Coast Guard’s National Pollution Funds Center (NPFC), which, in 1991, the Commandant of the Coast Guard tasked him to create.  He was the NPFC’s first Director/Commander and the first Administrator of the Oil Spill Liability Trust Fund.



  • J.D. (with honors), George Washington University (1970)
  • B.S. (with honors), U.S. Coast Guard Academy (1961)


  • Military Active Duty (1961–1996)
    • Seven sea-going tours (three commands)
    • Shore command
    • Regional Chief Legal Officer
      • Southwest (1970–1973)
      • Southeast (1982–1986)
    • Chief of the Law Faculty and Professor, U.S. Coast Guard Academy (1973–1977)
    • Chief Military Judge (1978–1980)
    • Regional (District) Commander
      • Great Lakes District (1988–1990)
      • Southwest District (1995–1996)
    • Commander/Director, National Pollution Funds Center (1991–1992)
    • Chief of Operations, U.S. Coast Guard Headquarters (1990, 1992–1994)

Bar Memberships/Admissions

  • District of Columbia (1970)
  • Florida (1970)