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Overview

Erik is laser-focused and resourceful – navigating regulatory mazes, red tape and safety hurdles so clients can get down to business.

Erik focuses on administrative and regulatory law, with an emphasis on workplace safety and security in critical infrastructure sectors such as mining, energy and aviation. He has hands-on experience in the field, with a keen familiarity of mining and other heavy operating equipment.

Erik represents mine operators in Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) enforcement actions and investigations. He also advises chemical, energy and manufacturing companies on responses to Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) investigations following workplace accidents, incidents and whistleblower cases.

With a lengthy military background, Erik’s insight into the intelligence community ties directly into his ability to advise government contractors on transactional matters, bid protests and civil litigation. As technology advances, he recognizes the larger role that cybersecurity and data privacy play in everyday business operations. To keep up with the trend, Erik is pursuing an advanced degree in cybersecurity law and is involved with many professional intelligence-sharing organizations.


Industries

Services

Recognition

  • Defense Superior Service Medal for service as Commanding Officer at U.S. Pacific Command, Joint Intelligence Operations Center Reserve Unit, Minneapolis, MN, 2017
  • Meritorious Service Medal for service as Commanding Officer at Office of Naval Intelligence Reserve Unit, Salt Lake City, UT, 2015
  • Joint Service Commendation Medal for service on the military faculty at National Intelligence University, Washington, DC, 2014
  • Meritorious Service Medal for service as Executive Officer and Senior Intelligence Officer at Naval Mining and Antisubmarine Warfare Command, 2011
  • Joint Service Commendation Medal related to Operation Enduring Freedom, 2009
  • Rocky Mountain Land Use Institute, Annual Prize for Academic Excellence in Land Use Planning, 2007

Education

  • J.D., University of Denver, Sturm College of Law
    • Order of St. Ives
  • B.A., Cornell University

Admissions

  • Colorado

Professional Associations and Memberships

  • Association of the United States Navy
  • Colorado Bar Association
  • Colorado Springs Chamber of Commerce, Aerospace & Defense
  • Denver Metro Chamber of Commerce
  • Information Sharing and Analysis Organization - Standards Organization
  • InfraGard, Rocky Mountain Chapter
Featured Case Study

State OSHA Agency Backs Off on Enforcement Penalty

Erik defended a company facing enhanced enforcement action by the California Occupational Safety and Health Administration after a workplace injury. He advised the client on a scientific, data-driven defense, coupled with the strategic use of discovery requests. The result was a 90 percent reduction in the enforcement penalty and elimination of 40 percent of the alleged violations.  


Additional Experience
  • Counseled national security industry client on response to letter of investigation from Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). Convinced FAA to close investigation with no enforcement action or penalty.
  • Persuaded FAA to reduce proposed civil penalty by 79 percent. Informal settlement saved client money and avoided unfavorable media coverage.
  • Defended multiple employers during OSHA enforcement actions related to amputation injuries, resulting in dismissals, modifications of citations and substantial reductions in penalties.
  • Advised employer during FAA investigation of alleged violation of hazardous materials regulations. Case was closed with no adverse findings or penalties assessed against employer.
  • Advised airline operator that prevailed against frivolous whistleblower claims raised by OSHA, demonstrating that airline's proper use of disciplinary policies were not linked to alleged protected activity.
  • Defended pilots and operators during FAA enforcement actions and provided collaborative representation for Colorado community's safety concerns about specific airport landing patterns.
  • Served as co-counsel for government contractor's bid protest before the Court of Federal Claims involving classified information.
Outside the Office

Erik likes to keep active, and living in Colorado provides endless possibilities.

He dabbles in CrossFit, even though he is a self-proclaimed “CrossFit flounder.”  Road cycling and mountain biking are also at the top of his list. Denver has an abundance of options for biking – trails and mountain roads that lead to quiet solitude and breathtaking views.

Community Leadership

Since retiring from the Navy Reserve as a captain with 30 years of combined active and reserve experience, Erik is able to give more time to his pro bono practice. He assists local nonprofits like UAS Colorado and the Colorado Association of Black Professional Engineers and Scientists.

Aviation

With more than 20 years of experience as a Navy and commercial pilot, Erik is exceptionally positioned to advise aviation clients.

He has received specialized training from the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) and previously worked as a military and commercial flight instructor. Erik draws on his unique background in advising airlines, pilots, certificate holders and aircraft manufacturing suppliers on Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) inspections, Department of Transportation (DOT) enforcement actions and litigation. He also provides valuable insights to clients through training, speaking engagements and frequent contributions to industry blogs.