seems default jQuery bind is called and not wrapped by hotKey. Check that your hotKey plugin is loaded ok and compatible with 1.4 jQuery which is bundled with RichFaces. And b.t.w. you should not load external jQuey to the page. Conflicts with bundled version will appears.
The version of jQuery hotkeys I am using is compatble with jQuery 1.4.2. When I load jQuery 1.4.2 and the compatible version of jQuery hotkeys without any RichFaces component on the page, the key binding works. So you are right, it must be incompatibility with the jQuery version that RichFaces loads.
I have also found another version of jQuery hotkeys (version 0.7.9) in google code (pointed to by the jQuery web site), but it also does not work. It is supposed to be compatible with jQuery 1.3.2.
Can you point me out to a version that is compatible with jQuery 1.4 (which is used by RichFaces 4.0.0.Final)?