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Patrick W. Dennison

Partner, Pittsburgh
t: 412.822.6627
f: 412.774.6101


Patrick Dennison is a member of the firm’s SBA Loans Team, dedicated to advising employers on the inner workings of the complex CARES Act loan process during the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic.

Patrick Dennison is a partner in Fisher Phillips’ Pittsburgh office and is a member of the Workplace Safety and Catastrophe Management Practice Group. Patrick primarily represents companies challenging enforcement actions by the Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).  Patrick’s extensive knowledge of MSHA and OSHA laws and regulations combined with experience gives him a deep understanding of the industries he represents to provide sophisticated representation and counsel to his clients.

Patrick grew up in a small mining town in Pennsylvania, but today he defends companies throughout the country in proceedings before administrative law judges and in matters ranging from pre-trial discovery up through appeals to the United States Courts of Appeal.  Patrick has appeared in more than twenty cases before United States Courts of Appeals, including the Third, Fourth, Sixth, Seventh, Eighth, Ninth, Tenth, Eleventh and D.C. Circuits.

Patrick’s experience also extends to labor and employment issues, including representing employers in discrimination and wrongful termination cases. He also provides companies with training in safety, health, and employment-related matters.  Patrick guests lectures to doctoral level classes at Indiana University of Pennsylvania’s Department of Safety Sciences.


Reported Cases

Lower Court Proceedings and Reported Decisions

  • Consol Pennsylvania Coal Company, 40 FMSHRC 429 (ALJ Andrews March 2018)
  • Consol Pennsylvania Coal Company, 39 FMSHRC 572 (ALJ Steele March 2017)
  • William Beardslee v. Commonwealth of PA, et al., EHB Docket Nos. 2016-029-R, 2016-033-R, reported at 2016 WL 1566463
  • Bowie Resources, Inc, 35 FMSHRC 2957 (ALJ Manning Sept. 2013)
  • Northshore Mining Co., Docket Nos. LAKE 2011-664-M, et al., reported at 35 FMSHRC 1889 (ALJ Manning June 2013)

United States Courts of Appeal Cases and Reported Decisions

  • Canyon Fuel Co., v. Secretary of Labor, et al., 894 F.3d 1279 (10th Cir. 2018)
  • Consol Pennsylvania Coal Co., v. Secretary of Labor, et al., 666 Fed. Appx. 165 (3d Cir. 2016)
  • Cumberland Coal Resources, LP., v. Secretary of Labor, et al., 717 F.3d 1020 (D.C. Cir. 2013)
  • Dickenson-Russell Coal Co., LLC v. Secretary of Labor, et al., 747 F.3d 251 (4th Cir. 2014)
  • DQ Fire and Explosion Consultants, Inc., v. Secretary of Labor, et al., 632 Fed. Appx. 622 (D.C. Cir. 2015)
  • Emerald Coal Resources, LP., v. Hoy, et al., 620 Fed. Appx. (3d Cir. 2015)
  • Maxxim Rebuild Company LLC. v. Secretary of Labor, et al., 848 F.3d 737 (6th Cir. 2017)
  • Mike Sumpter, Rex Hartzell, Employed by, Oak Grove Resources, LLC, v. Secretary of Labor, et al., 763 F.3d 1292 (11th Cir. 2014)
  • Northshore Mining Co., v. Secretary of Labor, et al., 709 F.3d 706 (8th Cir. 2013)
  • Prairie State Generating Co., v. Secretary of Labor, et al., 792 F.3d 82 (D.C. Cir. 2015)
  • Rosebud Mining Company and Parkwood Resources, Inc., et al. v. Mine Safety and Health Administration, 827 F.3d 1090 (D.C. Cir. 2016)
  • Tilden Mining Co., v. Secretary of Labor, et al., 693 F.3d 1181 (10th Cir. 2012)
  • William F. Metz, v. Carmeuse Lime and Stone, Inc., et al., Fed. Appx. 309 (3d Cir. 2013)

Honors & Leadership

Honors & Awards

  • Listed to Pennsylvania Super Lawyers® Rising Star - Energy & Natural Resources Law since 2015

Professional Activities

  • Pennsylvania Coal Alliance
  • West Virginia Coal Association
  • National Lime Association
  • Pennsylvania Aggregates and Concrete Association

Community Activities

  • Leukemia & Lymphoma Society – Each year since 2009 when Patrick’s childhood best friend, Randy Frost, succumbed to Leukemia, Patrick has raised money for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society in Randy’s name.
  • South Fayette School District Mini-THON – Donate and volunteer for the 12-hour dance marathon, held at South Fayette High School, modeled after Penn State’s THON, which promotes student-run philanthropy committed to enhancing the lives of children and families impacted by childhood cancer.
  • Volunteer Youth Folkstyle Wrestling Coach, South Fayette Takedown Club
  • Volunteer Youth/High School Freestyle & Greco-Roman Wrestling Coach, Dirty Horseshoe Wrestling Club



Seminars & Speaking Engagements

Patrick is an active member of the Pennsylvania Coal Alliance, National Lime Association, Pennsylvania Independent Oil and Gas Operators and Pennsylvania Aggregates and Concrete Association.  He has also presented at numerous events since 2012 on topics involving both MSHA and OSHA related matters:

  • Pittsburgh Coal Mining Institute of America and Pennsylvania Coal Alliance Greensburg, PA, June 14, 2012 – “Pre-assessment Conferencing and Mass Settlement Conferences”
  • Pittsburgh Coal Mining Institute of America and Pennsylvania Coal Alliance Greensburg, PA, June 20, 2013 – “Special Assessment of Penalties - Current Developments and Challenges to MSHA's Special Assessment Process”
  • West Virginia Coal Mining Institute Annual Fall Meeting, The Greenbrier, White Sulphur Springs, WV, Oct. 2013 – “Review of Recent Circuit Court and Federal Mine Safety and Health Review Commission Decisions”
  • Pennsylvania Coal Association, Greensburg, PA, June 2015 – “Ventilation, roof control & other plans”
  • International Society of Mine Safety Professionals, West Palm Beach, FL, July 2015 – “Emergency Response & Crisis Management”
  • Pennsylvania Independent Oil and Gas Association (PIOGA), Cranberry, PA, Apr. 2016 – “OSHA Silica Rule”
  • National Lime Association, Charleston, SC, June 2016 – “Emergency Response and Crisis Management”
  • Pennsylvania Coal Alliance, Greensburg, PA, June 2016 – “Science and Enforcement of the Rock Dust Standard”
  • Illinois Mining Institute, Marion, Ill., Aug. 2016 – “Science and Enforcement of the Rock Dust Standard”
  • Energy and Mineral Law Foundation Mine Safety & Health Law Special Institute, Las Vegas, NV, Sept. 2016 – “Case Law Update”
  • Lycoming County Gas Taskforce, Montoursville, PA, October 2016 – “OSHA Silica Rule”
  • Northeast Mine Safety Conference, Columbus, Ohio, March 2017, - “Accident Response and Crisis Management”
  • Pennsylvania Coal Alliance, Greensburg, PA, June 2017 – “Regulatory Update”
  • Pennsylvania Independent Oil and Gas Operators, Pittsburgh, PA, September 2017, - “Root Cause Analysis, Accident Response and Crisis Management”
  • Pennsylvania Aggregates and Concrete Association, State College, PA, Proposed February 22, 2018 – “Root Cause Analysis, Accident Response and Crisis Management”
  • 2019 SME/PCMIA Annual Joint Meeting, Canonsburg, PA, October 2019 -



  • Author, “Lack of clear jurisdiction leads to inconsistent enforcement” Aggregates Manager magazine, April 2018.
  • Author, “Judicial Stalemate: How the split Commission thwarts the expeditious, fair and legally sound adjudication of mine safety cases” Aggregates Manager magazine, December 2017.
  • Author, “U.S. Court of Appeals Checks MSHA’s Unlawful Overreach of Jurisdiction” Aggregates Manager magazine, April 2017
  • Co-author with Benjamin J. Ross, "Share feedback on MSHA's proposed workplace exam rule," Aggregates Manager magazine, Sept. 2016
  • Author, "The Review Commission may have provided a road map for POV litigation," Aggregates Manager magazine, Dec. 2015
  • Author, "Who needs rulemaking?," Aggregates Manager magazine, Sept. 2015
  • Author, "Will a new Supreme Court ruling mean put an end to the doctrine of deference?," Aggregates Manager magazine, July 2015
  • Author, "Escort Required: Denial of walkaround rights during impact inspection may lead to vacated citations," Aggregates Manager magazine, Sept. 2014
  • Author, "Operators should be diligent in contesting special assessments and seeking justification for penalty calculations," Aggregates Manager magazine, Sept. 2013
  • Author, "Section 103(k) Shutdowns - MSHA's Expansive Use of Section 103(k) Orders is a Derogation of the Purpose and Intent of an Enforcement Tool," Aggregates Manager magazine, March 2012
  • Author, "No Notice Required - MSHA's Disregard for Rulemaking Authority Makes Its Way to the Review Commission," Aggregates Manager magazine, Oct. 2011
  • Co-author with R. Henry Moore, "Developments in the Requirements for Unwarrantable Failure and Significant and Substantial Under the Federal Mine Safety and Health Act of 1977, EMLF 32 Energy & Min. L. Inst. 17, 2011


Bar Admissions

Court Admissions

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