A member of Husch Blackwell’s Technology, Manufacturing & Transportation team, Erik focuses on administrative/regulatory law, with an emphasis on heavily regulated industries and government contractors. He represents mine operators in MSHA enforcement actions, energy and industrial companies in OSHA enforcement actions, and advises airlines and their pilots challenging FAA and DOT enforcement actions. Erik advises government contractors on transactional matters, bid protests and civil litigation. He holds an active security clearance and has 20 years of experience in the aviation industry as both a Navy pilot and a commercial pilot. Erik is a co-chair of Husch Blackwell’s Unmanned Aircraft Systems practice group.
Erik is well-known for his representation of mine operators during MSHA enforcement actions, challenging the legal and factual bases of the allegations and eliminating or dramatically reducing the gravity of the violations and the associated penalties. He counsels mine operators during fatality investigations, special investigations targeting individual mine managers and responses to MSHA’s attempts to place the operators on its Pattern of Violations enforcement program. Erik has represented various chemical, energy and manufacturing companies in response to OSHA investigations following workplace accidents, incidents and whistleblower cases.
Erik has represented government contractors, pilots, certificate holders and aircraft manufacturing suppliers during FAA inspections and civil litigation. Erik spent 10 years as a Navy pilot. He later spent 11 years at United Airlines flying Boeing 757s and 767s. While working at United as a pilot instructor and FAA-designated evaluator, Erik was elected for two terms as the Vice Chairman and Chairman of the Airline Pilots Association (ALPA) Local Executive Council at United’s Flight Training Center, and was heavily involved in airline training and safety issues, labor relations and bankruptcy matters. He also completed specialized training with the Transportation Security Administration for aviation security.
Erik’s service continues with the Navy Reserve as an intelligence officer holding the rank of Navy Captain. He has completed tours with the Office of Naval Intelligence, NORAD/Northern Command, the Naval Mining and Antisubmarine Warfare Command, and the Defense Intelligence Agency, where he was on the faculty of the National Intelligence University. During 2008 and 2009, he returned to active duty and deployed with a joint special operations task force in Afghanistan. Erik is currently the Commanding Officer of the PACOM Joint Intelligence Operations Center reserve unit in Minneapolis, Minnesota.