Federal Mine Safety and Health Review Commission Withdraws Simplified Procedures

The Federal Mine Safety and Health Review Commission
(“Commission”) announced that it intends to withdraw its
simplified proceedings rule effective November 25, 2019. The
Commission’s Federal Register announcement is found

The simplified proceedings were originally published in a final
rule by the Commission on December 28, 2010. The Commission’s
intention was to streamline its increasing caseload by making the
administrative process more efficient for the simplest cases,
sharply limiting discovery and implementing compressed timeframes
for proceedings. The Commission also expected that the simplified
proceedings would better support settlement efforts by the Mine
Safety and Health Administration and mine operators.

The Commission has since determined that simplified proceedings
settle at approximately the same rate as those governed by
conventional procedures. In addition, the Commission had given
simplified proceedings priority over more complex cases, which
resulted in disproportionate Commission attention to the simplest

Given the Commission’s return to conventional procedures, we
urge mine operators to exercise discretion in how they choose to
handle their cases. While they often can continue to represent
themselves before the Commission, they may be more comfortable
consulting with experienced counsel before proceeding too deeply
into formal litigation.

If you have any questions about the content of this post or
about Commission proceedings generally, please reach out to Stoel
Rives attorney Willa B.

Source: FS – Mining B.
Federal Mine Safety and Health Review Commission Withdraws Simplified Procedures

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