Kentucky Mineral Law Conference

October 17-18, 2018

Hilton Lexington/Downtown
Lexington, Kentucky

Program schedule
CLE Credits
Cancellation Policy
Registration form PDF
Brochure  PDF



Register Online

Click here: Sponsorships available 


 Program Schedule    

Sponsor Lanyards and Notepads

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

7:00 – 8:45 a.m.    Registration and Continental Breakfast


8:45 – 9:00 a.m.    Welcome and Introductions

  • Natalie N.  Jefferis, EMLF President, EQT Production Company, Pittsburgh, PA
  • Timothy J. Hagerty, Program Chair, Frost Brown Todd, LLC, Louisville, KY



8:45-9:30 a.m.        Keynote 

  • “Rusty” R. Hutson, Jr., CEO, Diversified Gas and Oil PLC, Birmingham, AL




9:30-10:20 a.m.        Department of Energy Emergency Powers    

  • James M. Van Nostrand, West Virginia University College of Law, Morgantown, WV  

The Department of Energy is considering a proposal to use emergency powers under Section 202(c) of the Federal Power Act and the Defense Production Act to enable certain coal and nuclear plants to continue operating to address claimed national security and grid resilience concerns. Is there a sound legal basis for this proposal? What are the expected impacts on the regional wholesale power markets, and on the profitability of competing generating plants? What are the costs of such a proposal, and who would bear them? This presentation will explore these and related issues regarding the impacts of coal and nuclear plant retirements.


        Van Nostrand

10:20-10:35 a.m.      Break   


10:35-11:25 a.m.        What’s a Justice (Going) to Do?

  • David L. Yaussy, Spilman Thomas & Battle, PLLC, Charleston, WV

As President Trump’s recent Supreme Court appointee, Judge Brett Kavanaugh, moves through the confirmation process, we discuss his previous environmental and energy opinions, and the likely effect of his replacing Justice Kennedy on the bench.


11:25 a.m.-12:15 p.m.         Managing Electricity Supply and Costs    

  • Michael J. Settineri, Vorys, Sater, Seymour and Pease LLP, Columbus, OH

Often, companies are not aware of opportunities to source electricity from sources other than the public utility in deregulated markets, or are not aware of opportunities and steps they can take in regulated states to manage and monitor electricity costs.  This session discusses how electricity can be sourced and tips in negotiating supply contracts in deregulated markets as well as information on navigating utility tariffs in regulated states, monitoring/participating in rate cases, and dealing with rural electric cooperatives.


Lunch Sponsor


12:15-1:45 p.m.        Lunch — Energy Market Update            

  • William P. Wolf, VP of Energy Markets, John T. Boyd Company, Canonsburg, PA




1:45-2:45 p.m.        Ethical Landmines for Landmen and Lawyers Who Work as or Hire Landmen

  • Keith B. Hall, Louisiana State University Law Center, Baton Rouge, LA

Landmen perform tasks that sometimes resemble tasks performed by lawyers.  Further, some lawyers work as landmen or hire landmen.  This raises a variety of ethical issues.  Can a landman’s work constitute the unauthorized practice of law [see ABA MRPC 5.5]?  If not, but a landman happens to be a lawyer, what significance do lawyer ethics rules have [e.g., ABA MRPC 8.4(c)]?  What are the ethical rules that apply when lawyers hire landmen [e.g., ABA MRPC 5.3 and 5.7]?  Lawyers generally must obey the law [ABA MRPC 8.4(b)] — does the law require a landman to have a real estate license?  What ethics rules govern landmen as landmen? 


2:45-3:00 p.m.      Break



3:00-4:00 p.m.        Energy and Environmental Policy Under the Trump Administration: Challenges
and Opportunities

  •  Timothy J. Hagerty, Frost Brown Todd LLC, Louisville, KY

President Trump’s election brought high expectations for dramatic changes in federal regulatory policy affecting the energy industry.  The Trump Administration promised to reverse many of the energy and environmental policies adopted over the preceding eight years and to create a more favorable environment for domestic energy production. But what does it take to bring about this kind of change? And how successful has the Administration been in its efforts?  This presentation will examine the statutory, regulatory, and litigation landscape affecting energy and environmental policy and will assess the Administration’s successes to date and the opportunities and obstacles facing it over the next two-plus years.



4:00-5:00 p.m.        Safeguarding Client Data – Attorneys’ Ethical and Legal Duties in a Breach-a-Day World

  • Mary L. Fullington, Wyatt, Tarrant & Combs, LLP, Lexington, KY
  • David G. Ries, Clark Hill PLC, Pittsburgh, PA

Confidential data in computers and systems used by attorneys faces greater security threats today than ever before—and they keep growing! These threats are a particular concern for attorneys because of their ethical duties of competence in technology and confidentiality. This session will explore current threats, attorneys’ duties to address them, and how to comply with ethical and legal duties. It will include recommendations for safeguarding electronic communications and managing third-party risks.




Reception Sponsors


5:00 – 6:30 p.m.     Hosted Reception


Thursday, October 18, 2018

7 a.m.    Registration and Continental Breakfast     


Track 1        
8:00-9:00 a.m.        OSHA Jurisdiction Over Inactive and Abandoned Mine Properties 

  •    Mark E. Heath, Spilman Thomas & Battle, PLLC, Charleston, WV

With the closing of many mines throughout the region, we now have situations where coal companies own or manage properties that are actually governed by OSHA, not MSHA. This session answers the questions, “When does MSHA jurisdiction end?” and “What do I need to do to comply with OSHA?”


9:00-9:45 a.m.         Coal Law Update    

  •  Noelle Holladay True, Williams, Kilpatrick & True, PLLC, Lexington, KY            

This topic will cover updates and developments in coal litigation that have occurred over the past year.  The presentation will include a discussion of the Secretary v. Jones Brothers, Inc. case, recently decided by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit, holding that the appointments of administrative law judges for the Federal Mine Safety and Health Review Commission are unconstitutional under the Appointments Clause. 



9:45-10:00 a.m.        Break    



10:00-11:00 a.m.        Intersection of Coal Mining and Alternative Energy Development

  • J. Steven Gardner, PE, SME-RM, ECSI, LLC, Lexington, KY
  • Brian D. Zoeller, Frost Brown Todd LLC, Louisville, KY

Development of solar power sites on reclaimed mountaintop mine sites in Appalachia has been gaining interest as a new economic opportunity for the region. Project evaluation includes addressing technical, terrain, regulated power markets, financing, legal, land and mineral ownership and environmental issues. The speakers will discuss these matters as well as potential project barriers such as severed mineral ownership, possibility of future mineral development, perceived environmental liabilities, remote locations, and potential subsidence as well as potential project opportunities such as having access to large tracts of underutilized land, early bond release, existing power infrastructure, and growing corporate and utility company sustainability goals.




11:00 a.m.-Noon        Employment Law Trends 2018    

  • Jill E. Hall, Jackson Kelly PLLC, Charleston, WV

The session will address recent developments in employment law.  Topics will include drug testing, worker classification issues, guns in the workplace, and the recent U.S. Supreme Court decision sanctioning the use of class waivers in arbitration agreements.


Track 2        
8:00-9:00 a.m.        Oil and Gas Law Update    

  •     Robert L. Burns, Buchanan Ingersoll & Rooney PC, Pittsburgh, PA

Given continued development in the upstream, midstream and downstream markets, the oil and gas industry in Appalachia continues to be subject to new regulatory developments as well as subject to enforcement and other challenges and disputes in both the civil courts and before administrative tribunals.  This session will highlight significant developments in the last year in civil, administrative and regulatory litigation impacting  Appalachian oil and gas plays in Kentucky, Pennsylvania, Ohio and West Virginia.


9:00-9:45 a.m.        Delayed Pipeline Construction in Appalachia  

  •  Jennifer M. Thompson, Reed Smith LLP, Pittsburgh, PA

Interstate pipeline companies exercising their eminent domain authority under the Natural Gas Act have faced strong opposition from landowners and various interest groups.  This discussion will focus on the current state of the law regarding condemnation under the Natural Gas Act, and the arguments being raised in opposition to condemnations under the Natural Gas Act, including direct and collateral attacks on the FERC Certificate, constitutional challenges, and environmental challenges.




9:45 – 10:00 a.m.    Break               


10:00-11:00 a.m.        Write What You Mean; Mean What You Write: Drafting Meaningful Dispute Resolution

  • Wesley R. Abrams, Vorys, Sater, Seymour and Pease LLP, Cincinnati, OH
  • Philip F. Downey, Vorys, Sater, Seymour and Pease LLP, Akron, OH

This session discusses the scope and application of contract provisions directed to resolution of disputes when they arise, including: mediation, arbitration and other alternative dispute resolution clauses; forum selection clauses; and choice of law provisions, as well as considerations and strategies for including and crafting dispute-resolution contract provisions; mandatory vs. permissive clauses; and the implementation and enforcement of dispute-resolution provisions when the need arises.




11:00 a.m.-Noon        2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act — The Impact on FERC Gas Pipeline Shipper’s Rates    

  • Kurt L. Krieger, Steptoe & Johnson PLLC, Charleston, WV

As a result of the passing of the federal 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act lowering the overall federal corporate income tax rate from 35% to 21%, FERC initiated proceedings that changed its policy on pipeline MLP recovery of federal income tax expense in rates, and to implement a process for potentially lowering interstate natural gas pipeline rates, to the extent based on the higher income tax rate.  FERC has issued final pronouncements on how it intends to address these impacts on cost-based and negotiated rates for service.



Noon    Kentucky Mineral Law Conference Adjourns


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Click here to register online directly with Hilton Lexington/Downtown

Accommodations for the conference are at the Hilton Lexington/Downtown, 369 West Vine Street, Lexington, KY 40507. The room rate is $177 plus tax, currently at 13.4 percent, for reservations made through September 24 or sell out.

Call 1.859.231.9000 or toll free 1.877.539.1648 and ask for the EMLF Group rate. Or click on the link above for online registration. Check-in time is 3 p.m. and check-out time is noon. Cancellations must be made by 3 p.m. the day prior to arrival. Failure to cancel a guaranteed reservation prior to 3 p.m. on the day prior to arrival will result in a no-show charge.

With a stay at Hilton Lexington/Downtown, you’ll be centrally located in Lexington, steps from Lexington Visitors Center and Lexington Convention Center. This hotel is within close proximity of Victorian Square Mall and Lexington Opera House. Enjoy recreational amenities such as an indoor pool and a fitness center. Additional features include gift shops/newsstands, wedding services, and a television in the lobby.

Grab a bite at one of the hotel’s three restaurants, or stay in and take advantage of room service (during limited hours). Quench your thirst with your favorite drink at a bar/lounge. Featured business amenities include a 24-hour business center, express check-out, and dry cleaning/laundry services. A roundtrip airport shuttle is complimentary at scheduled times.

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Registration fees

Register online
Download registration form (PDF)

The full conference registration includes all program materials in electronic format online, continental breakfasts, Wednesday lunch, refreshment breaks and hosted reception on Wednesday. Registrants choosing to have program materials in looseleaf binder at the time of the program for an additional $65 should mark that choice on the registration form. 

Through Oct. 1
After Oct. 1
Non-member Registration Fee
EMLF Member Fee
Government and Young Lawyer (3 years or less)
Law Students and Retirees
Printed Program Materials (Conference Registrants Only)

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Mandatory CLE and Professional Credit

Conference accreditation is pending from states with mandatory Continuing Legal Education and with the AAPL. Please indicate on your registration form where you are seeking credit. Application will be made for 555 minutes of continuing education, including 2 hours of ethics. In states which calculate 50 minutes as a CLE hour, this will be 11.1 hours of CLE.  In states which calculate 60 minutes for a CLE hour, this will be 9.250 hours of CLE credit. Complete information for reporting your credits will be available at the conference. Additional fees may be required for certain states/organizations.

Cancellation policy

Full refunds less a $75 administrative fee will be given for written registration cancellations received by October 10. No registration refunds will be made thereafter, but substitutions can be made by calling the Foundation at 859.231.0271. Persons not entitled to any refund will receive meeting materials. EMLF members who cancel their registrations after October 10 receive materials and a $100 credit toward a future program.

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