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“It is a huge relief to have Avi and his team on your side. Their preventive training, strategic thinking and responsiveness have helped us enhance safety and reduce liability. The experienced team is unsurpassed in the industry when it comes to dealing with regulators.”

Lee Morrison, Corporate Director of Security, Retired, Klondex Mines

Overview

Avi focuses his practice on complex investigations, workplace safety and health matters, and litigation.

When a crisis or accident occurs, Avi and his team provide rapid-response crisis management. He brings years of experience managing complex investigations, interacting with government agencies, and preparing for potential litigation to address serious and fatal accidents and white collar issues.

He also helps clients navigate all types of workplace safety and health issues. His proactive advice and training help companies comply and keep employees safe. When enforcement occurs, he represents clients during inspections, investigations, informal conferences, litigation, strategic settlements and rulemakings.

He has successfully defended and settled penalty cases involving hundreds of citations, helping clients present a vigorous defense while maintaining cooperative relationships with agencies. He has significant experience building coalitions and leading complex, multi-party meetings and negotiations.

Avi works across federal and state agencies, dealing with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA), Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation Board (CSB), U.S. Department of Labor (DOL), U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT), U.S. Coast Guard, Federal Railroad Administration (FRA), National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), U.S. Department of State, U.S. Agency for International Development, the White House, National Security Council and U.S. Congress, among others.

Avi also has experience advising companies on complex antitrust issues and representing them in major antitrust actions in federal district and appellate courts.

“It is a huge relief to have Avi and his team on your side. Their preventive training, strategic thinking and responsiveness have helped us enhance safety and reduce liability. The experienced team is unsurpassed in the industry when it comes to dealing with regulators.”

Lee Morrison, Corporate Director of Security, Retired, Klondex Mines


Industries

Services

Recognition

  • Capital Pro Bono Honor Roll, 2018

Education

  • J.D., Georgetown University Law Center
  • B.A., Columbia University

Admissions

  • District of Columbia
  • Maryland
  • U.S. District Court, District of Maryland
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Fifth Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Sixth Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Eleventh Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, District of Columbia Circuit

Professional Associations and Memberships

  • National Stone, Sand and Gravel Association
  • Portland Cement Association
  • Industrial Minerals Association – North America
  • Maryland Transportation Builders and Materials Association
  • National Mining Association
Experience

Manufacturing accident – A fireball explodes inside a factory . . .

  • After a combustible dust explosion in a factory, a team of federal investigators landed on site. Avi and his colleagues successfully led a months-long forensic investigation, managing leading experts, numerous employee interviews and extensive document collection. Their efforts resulted in only minor enforcement and a cost recovery lawsuit to recoup the client's expenses from the manufacturer of the malfunctioning equipment.

Healthcare accident – When a hospital loses one of its own . . .

  • When a hospital maintenance worker died at work, Avi and his team led a complex expert and Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) investigation. In response to significant OSHA citations, Avi represented the company's leadership through a successful informal conference, ultimately reaching a favorable settlement that protected the company's reputation, worker safety and relationship with OSHA.

Mining/moving equipment accident – An experienced miner dies in a mysterious accident . . .

  • When an experienced miner collapsed and died in a mysterious equipment accident, the company called on Avi and his team to lead a privileged expert investigation. They interviewed dozens of witnesses, collected thousands of documents, engaged medical expertise, handled a team of government investigators and advised on a workers' compensation settlement. In response to serious Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) citations and penalties, the team's robust litigation strategy led to government investigators admitting that they could not explain the accident. A strong summary judgment motion positioned the case for a favorable settlement the night before trial.

Other successful investigation experience includes managing . . .

  • Medical expertise: determining cause of death or addressing health issues.
  • Workers' compensation strategy: helping companies and insurers reach settlements to both compensate families and protect employers.
  • Avoiding criminal charges: mitigating false statements, falsified documents or evidence tampering.
  • Complex forensic analysis: partnering with leading experts.
  • Data forensics: learning about accident causes and defending against enforcement.
  • Crisis communications: internally to employees and their families, and externally to the media and community.
  • Getting business running again: navigating site closures.

Health and safety advice, counsel and representation

  • Provided advice and representation on-site or remotely, on the shop floor or in the courtroom.
  • Assisted with government inspections and agency outreach, engaging OSHA and MSHA leadership on complex problems.
  • Contested citations and penalties, and litigated them from start to finish.
  • Investigated and defended against whistleblower complaints handled by OSHA or MSHA, as well as complaints under 22 different statutes covering environmental, transportation, and consumer and financial protection laws that OSHA handles.
  • Lifted withdrawal or shutdown orders.
  • Avoided pattern of violations (POV) sanctions.
  • Reviewed/developed company safety policies and handbooks.
  • Trained client teams to handle inspections and investigations successfully.
  • Prepared MSHA petitions for modification (PFM).
  • Navigated National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) studies involving company employees and sites.
  • Participated in rulemakings on safety and health issues (assisting companies and trade associations with comments, expert analysis, hearings and court challenges).
  • Advised on due diligence regarding the safety and health aspects of mergers and acquisitions.

Achieving litigation settlements

  • Strategized and negotiated dozens of successful settlements of OSHA and MSHA citation challenges involving hundreds of citations, including serious and fatal accident cases.
  • Achieved client objectives through negotiation by reducing penalties, severity of citations or willful charges; developed innovative abatement solutions that were more feasible, safe and/or economical; and secured protective nonadmission and exculpatory language.
  • Supported successful antitrust settlement meetings to obtain substantial recoveries for industrial clients who were the victims of price squeezes in various commodities markets.

Building and managing diverse coalitions

  • Helped clients amplify and leverage their voices by partnering with others in broad coalitions.
  • Led and managed Husch Blackwell's Mining Coalition, a group of top, pro-safety companies working together to promote mine safety and health, develop innovative policy ideas and support sound regulation and enforcement.
  • Founded and led the Alliance for Middle East Peace (ALLMEP), a coalition of over 100 nongovernmental organizations (NGO) building people-to-people cooperation in the Middle East. Developed and oversaw advocacy initiatives and strategies that resulted in over $230 million in funding.
  • Created and led conferences, meetings and events for several thousand participants, including diplomats, NGO leaders, congressional staff and other policymakers.
Thought Leadership
Blog Posts
FedEx VP Tapped to Lead OSHA
November 02, 2017
Staying Cool for Safety
August 08, 2017
View all
Outside the Office

With three boisterous daughters, Avi jokes that the office is sometimes the only place he can get quiet time.


In truth, he relishes time with his girls, as well as his wife and high-school sweetheart, Dana. The family enjoys spending long weekend afternoons together. Avi also loves learning languages and reading. He’s picking up piano again since taking lessons as a kid. Fitness keeps him sane, and he’s never met a day so tough that a long swim can’t fix it.

 

Community Leadership

Avi is the founder and board president of the Alliance for Middle East Peace.


Building cooperation and promoting nonviolence between Israelis and Palestinians, Alliance for Middle East Peace (ALLMEP) is a coalition of more than 100 nongovernmental organizations. The alliance raises their profile and visibility, and scales up their resources so they grow from impacting tens of thousands of lives to millions. Since 2004, the alliance has successfully advocated for more than $230 million in U.S. funding.

Avi led the organization through its founding, professionalization and strategic growth. He spearheaded and launched its core policy initiatives and continues to represent ALLMEP in Washington and internationally. As board president, he offers ongoing strategy and vision within the organization. ALLMEP is also a Husch Blackwell pro bono client.

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