MSHA

Steptoe & Johnson’s MSHA team attorneys regularly represent major mine operators, resource processing facilities and mine service providers before administrative law judges and regulatory agencies, including the Federal Mine Safety and Health Review Commission.

Team attorneys are supported by the deep bench strength of our labor and litigation departments. In addition, energy attorneys actively monitor legislative actions and proactively share knowledge with clients about the ever-changing regulatory environment.We regularly represent major coal operators and family-owned mines before administrative law judges and regulatory agencies, including the Federal Mine Safety and Health Review Commission.  Team attorneys are supported by the deep bench strength of our labor and litigation departments.  In addition, energy attorneys actively monitor legislative actions and proactively share knowledge with clients about the ever-changing regulatory environment.

How We Have Helped

MSHA team attorneys regularly counsel clients on issues including the following:

  • Part 50 audits
  • PPOV and POV
  • Internal training
  • Fatality and serious accident investigation
  • Criminal representation
  • Section 105(c) and 110(c) investigations
  • Decertification proceedings
  • 104 citations and orders
  • Conferencing of enforcement actions

Why Choose the Steptoe & Johnson MSHA Team?

  • 12th largest energy practice in the U.S.
  • Litigation strategies based on the client’s strategic goals
  • Cost containment strategies

17 Team Members

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Mining or MSHA Litigation

Know How

Webinar: March 2013 - Webcast Slides - MSHA Citations and Orders: Preparing for Negotiation & Litigation
Preparing to negotiate or litigate MSHA citations and orders is an increasingly tedious task.  Jonathan Ellis and Peter Raupp will discuss the litigation process for MSHA citations and orders, including tips on what you can do at the time of the MSHA inspection to prepare for the eventual negotiation and/or possible litigation of any citations and orders issued.Topics to be discussed:The litigation and negotiation process for MSHA citations and ordersTips on documenting to assist in defending against citations and ordersIssues related to spoliation of evidenceRecent FMSHRC decisions
Webinar: March 2013 - Webcast Presentation - MSHA Citations and Orders: Preparing for Negotiation & Litigation
Click the following link to listen to a recording of the webcast:  MSHA Citations and Orders Preparing to negotiate or litigate MSHA citations and orders is an increasingly tedious task.  Jonathan Ellis and Peter Raupp will discuss the litigation process for MSHA citations and orders, including tips on what you can do at the time of the MSHA inspection to prepare for the eventual negotiation and/or possible litigation of any citations and orders issued. Topics discussed: The litigation and negotiation process for MSHA citations and orders Tips on documenting to assist in defending against citations and orders Issues related to spoliation of evidence Recent FMSHRC decisions
Webinar: January 2013 - Webcast Presentation - Recap of 2012 Mine Safety Developments and Forecast for 2013
To watch and listen to a recording of this webcast, CLICK HERE.January 2013- Energy Keynote Webcast Recap fo 2012 Mine Safety Developments and Forecast for 2013 2012 brought many changes to the mining industry including regulatory enactments, such as the revised underground mine examination rule, and the anticipated pattern of violations rule.  These regulatory enactments along with MSHA’s “backlog” program and civil penalty parameters for administrative law judges will be discussed in this lead-off energy webcast for 2013.  Jeff Phillips and Jonathan Ellis will provide a recap of 2012 developments and discuss what 2013 holds for MSHA and the mining industry. In this webcast, Jeff Phillips and Jonathan Ellis will discuss:
Webinar: January 2013 - Webcast Slides - Recap of 2012 Mine Safety Developments and Forecast for 2013
2012 brought many changes to the mining industry including regulatory enactments, such as the revised underground mine examination rule, and the anticipated pattern of violations rule.  These regulatory enactments along with MSHA’s “backlog” program and civil penalty parameters for administrative law judges will be discussed in this lead-off energy webcast for 2013.  Jeff Phillips and Jonathan Ellis will provide a recap of 2012 developments and discuss what 2013 holds for MSHA and the mining industry.In this webcast, Jeff Phillips and Jonathan Ellis will discuss:Developments in the mining industry in 2012Legal decision regarding document production and flagrant violationsCriminal ramifications in light of the UBB accidentIndustry forecast for 2013
Webinar: November 2011 - Webcast Slides - MSHA Citation Defense - An Operator's Guide
MSHA Citation Defense - An Operator's GuideUnderstanding and handling MSHA citations and petitions can be a tedious task. Steptoe & Johnson attorneys have excellent insight into MSHA and how to handle citations and will share some of this knowledge with you this month. This webcast will address the litigation process of MSHA citations and petitions, how the negotiation process works with a Department of Labor attorney, and will give you tips as to what you can do at the time of inspections/citations to help your attorneys defend you. Discussion included: The litigation process of MSHA citations and petitions Update on the backlog project Demonstration of the negotiation process Your defense: what you can do to help    
Video: Mining or MSHA Litigation - Who Should Be Interviewed?
VIDEO TRANSCRIPTI’m Jeff Phillips of Steptoe & Johnson and I work in our Lexington, KY office. Today we’re going to talk about obtaining statements and those are statements from witnesses particularly in the coal mining industry. First consideration, and we’ll talk about four considerations, first consideration should be does the circumstance warrant that a statement actually be obtained, and that’s something as a coal operator you need to weigh. Is there significant enough risk that a witness ought to be identified and interviewed because of potential MSHA implications or other implications?

Representative Experience

  • Contested multiple citations in defense of coal company during settlement negotiations with MSHA
  • Defended coal operators in fatality and injury investigations by MSHA, the Kentucky Office of Mine Safety & Licensing and the West Virginia Office of Miners Health, Safety & Training
  • Represented companies charged with more than $1,000,000 in MSHA fines
  • Defended mine operators in the contest of "flagrant" MSHA violations totaling more than $2 million in penalties
  • Assisted mining companies in investigations of discrimination complaints
  • Defended mine operators and mine supervisors in MSHA 110(c) investigations
  • Defended coal companies in wrongful discharge cases
  • Represented a major coal operator in a dispute with MSHA concerning MSHA's search and inspection of employee's vehicle on mine property
  • Represented coal companies in federal MSHA enforcement cases
  • Represented coal companies before the Federal Mine Safety & Health Review Commission regarding "flagrant violations," "imminent danger" orders, and forced production of company records
  • Involved in collaborative strategy sessions concerning "pattern of violations" issues
  • Defended coal operators in numerous Section 105 proceedings
  • Represented coal companies with pattern of violations issues, Part 50 audits, and 105(c) claims
  • Defended coal mine employees in decertification proceedings before the West Virginia Coal Mine Safety Board of Appeals
  • On-site assistance to mine operators during MSHA investigations following fatalities and traumatic injuries
  • Litigated 104(d) orders and 104(a) citations for mining companies
  • Handled multiple 110(c) special investigations representing mining companies and mine employees

100

Steptoe & Johnson PLLC is a U.S. energy firm with core strengths in labor & employment, litigation and transactional law. In 2013, Steptoe & Johnson celebrated 100 years of helping clients reach their goals.

 

Did you know?

Leaders in our Field

22 of us are ranked as “Leaders in their Field” by Chambers USA.

Leaders in our Field

Steptoe & Johnson was the first firm to successfully secure regulatory approval for a multi-lateral Utica shale well.

Face-to-Face Client Interviews

25+ face-to-face client interviews are conducted every year by our CEO and firm management to learn how we can do better (so please give us an earful).

One Firm

Ours is a client-of-the-firm culture, service model and compensation system that matches the best talent to the assignment and puts your economic interest ahead of ours.

10.5 Years

equals the average tenure of our client relationship. We'd like to be in it for the long haul with you too.

15 Offices Throughout the U.S.

15 offices throughout Colorado, Kentucky, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Texas and West Virginia.