Margaret S. Lopez

Profile

Margo Lopez is the Managing Shareholder of the Washington, D.C. office and a long time workplace safety lawyer representing mining companies in the coal, metal, stone, sand and gravel industries. She is a highly successful litigator and regularly presents company and industry cases before Administrative Law Judges, Federal Review Commissions and the United States Court of Appeals. In a recent high profile Court of Appeals case, Margo effectively saved the mining industry from severe limitations on its rights to manage its workforce, involving potentially millions of dollars, by successfully arguing that temporary reinstatement of miners in discrimination cases must end when MSHA decides not to take the case.

Margo represents mine operators in federal investigations and cases arising out of mine incidents and agency enforcement actions under the Federal Mine Safety and Health Act. She has been lead counsel in the aftermath of serious mine accidents and she represents companies and witnesses in MSHA special investigations and safety discrimination cases. She also has represented companies in investigations and litigation involving the Occupational Safety and Health Act.

She has extensive experience in assisting manufacturers of safety equipment in MSHA and NIOSH product certification investigations and related litigation. She also assists companies and trade associations with response to agency policies and rulemakings, including cases in federal court challenging agency rules and MSHA/OSHA jurisdiction decisions.

Margo also regularly provides legal services to trade associations and professional societies on a wide variety of topics including employment law, organizational governance, contracts, government relations and intellectual property.

She took principal responsibility for editing Ogletree Deakins authors' chapters for the 2008 edition of Occupational Safety and Health Law Manual (Government Institutes), and, herself, is the author of chapters in that volume as well as articles in multiple safety industry publications. Margo is a frequent speaker on safety law topics and she provides training for companies on responding to safety and health law enforcement.

A graduate with Distinction from the University of Virginia, Margo received her law degree with Honors from George Washington University where she was an Editor of The George Washington Journal of International Law and Economics. She has a Masters degree in National Security Studies from Georgetown University.

Education and Honors

Education: 

J.D., with honors, George Washington University, 1996
M.A., Georgetown University, 1989
B.A., with distinction, University of Virginia, 1984

Professional Activities

Professional Activities: 
  • American Society of Association Executives
  • National Stone, Sand & Gravel Association’s Safety and Health Committee and Council of Counsel
  • National Mining Association
  • Energy and Mineral Law Foundation
  • Maryland State Bar Association
  • District of Columbia Bar Association
  • American Bar Association
  • National Association of Women Lawyers
Speeches:
  • Western Mine Safety and Health Conference - "Contractors and Mines - MSHA & Civil Liability" - Reno - 2012
  • Southeastern U.S. Mining Safety and Health Conference - "Contractors and Mines - MSHA & Civil Liability" - Birmingham - 2012
  • Missouri Mine Safety & Health Conference - "MSHA Inspections, Investigations & Penalties" - Osage Beach - 2011
  • Energy and Mineral Law Foundation and Department of Labor Joint Legal Symposium - "Developments in the Law: Definitions of ‘Significant and Substantial’ and ‘Unwarrantable Failure’ and Application of the Part 100 Penalty Criteria" - Washington, D.C. - 2010
  • Pulverized Minerals Division Conference, National Stone, Sand & Gravel Association - "MSHA Critical Issues" - Alexandria - 2009
  • AGG-1 Academy, National Stone, Sand & Gravel Association - "MSHA-101 for Supervisors" - Orlando - 2009
  • Mine Safety and Health Law Special Institute, Energy and Mineral Law Foundation - "Is This Really a Mine? MSHA Jurisdiction Issues – The Mine Operator’s Perspective" - Las Vegas - 2008
  • Legal Symposium, National Stone, Sand & Gravel Association - "Responding to MSHA’s Aggressive Highwall Enforcement Actions" - Las Vegas - 2008
  • Legal Symposium, National Stone, Sand & Gravel Association - "Surviving a Tougher Playing Field after Twentymile" - San Francisco - 2007
  • Environmental, Safety and Health Forum, National Stone, Sand & Gravel Association - "How to Conduct Self-Audits Without Creating Adverse Evidence" - Denver - 2006
  • Environmental, Safety and Health Forum, National Stone, Sand & Gravel Association - "Is This Really S&S?" - Washington, D.C. - 2005

In The News

Published Works:
  • January 23, 2012 - Ogletree Deakins Publication - "Mine Safety Disclosures Required in SEC Reports"
  • September 28, 2010 - Ogletree Deakins Publication - " “Broken” Pattern Enforcement “Fixed”"
  • 2008 - Occupational Safety and Health Law Handbook - "Voluntary Safety and Health Self-Audits and The Rulemaking Process"
  • 2008 - International Society Mine Safety Professionals - "Will There Be an Act II? Update on S-MINER Act"
  • 2006 - Energy and Mineral Law Foundation - "MSHA’s Excessive History Policy: Avoiding the Civil Penalty Quagmire"
  • 1996/1997 - Journal of Natural History and Environmental Law - "Application of the Audit Privilege to Occupational Safety and Health Audits"