January 26, 2010

January 26, 2010

Published Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Mine Safety & Health Law Special Institute – March 23-24, 2010
EMLF is pleased to announce that the EMLF and the US Department of Labor (USDOL) will cosponsor a two-day program on Mine Safety & Health Law at the USDOL Auditorium, 200 Constitution Avenue, NW, in Washington, DC.

Complete information and online registration is available at www.emlf.org.

The program provides 665 minutes or approximately 11-13 hours of Continuing Legal Education credits for attorneys.

The first day of the program covers the civil penalty case backlog resulting from operator contests of MSHA enforcement actions; mine plan approvals; reform of the MSHA respirable dust program, and MSHA enforcement – inspection issues: (1) 103(j) and (k) orders and accident reporting, (2) handling document requests during routine inspections, and (3) documenting the scene for litigation.  Also on the first day will be a featured session titled "Comments and Practice Lessons from a Panel of ALJs" of the Federal Mine Safety and Health Review Commission – general hearing procedures, new time frame orders, and trial techniques the ALJs find effective in hearings.  Questions for the ALJs can be submitted in advance for the Q&A session.

The second day includes an industry perspective on advances in mine safety and health, a primer on Section 105(c) complaints and temporary reinstatement, and a second session on MSHA enforcement – litigation issues: (1) developments in the law of Significant and Substantial, Unwarrantable Failures and Part 100 criteria; (2) Flagrant Violations and defenses and (3) use of the Pattern of Violations process.  

After lunch on Wednesday, March 24, the Federal Mine Safety and Health Review Commission, sitting in special session at the USDOL auditorium,  will hear oral arguments in Secretary of Labor v. Eastern Associated Coal Corp., with Edward Waldman for the Secretary and Hank Moore for Eastern Associated Coal, the issue being whether the Administrative Law Judge erred in finding that a violation of roof control requirements was not caused by the operator's "unwarrantable failure" to comply. 

The EMLF and the USDOL are pleased to be able to offer attendees this glimpse of the Review Commission, the Administrative Law Judges at the Commission, and a program representative of the issues facing the regulated mining community. Every effort has been made to create a balanced program that incorporates various perspectives from industry, government and labor on the challenges in providing a safe and productive mining environment. 

This is an opportunity for an intellectually honest examination of the legal issues related to mine safety and health law, and we invite you to listen, learn, and ask questions.  We hope to see you in Washington on March 23-24.