Willa Perlmutter has more than 30 years of experience as a litigator, focusing for the last 20 on defending mine operators across all sectors of the industry in administrative enforcement proceedings brought by the Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) for alleged violations of the Mine Act. In addition, she regularly counsels clients on a broad range of issues that affect their mining operations, from personnel policies and actions to compliance with a broad range of federal statutes. Willa regularly defends companies and individuals facing investigations and formal legal proceedings for alleged safety and health violations under both the Federal Mine Safety and Health Act of 1977 and the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, whether those arise out of a catastrophic event, such as an accident, or in the course of a regular inspection by MSHA or Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). She has successfully defended a number of mining companies in whistleblower cases brought under the Mine Act.
From Alaska to California and all points east—above ground and beneath—Willa is accustomed to working effectively and efficiently with in-house counsel and business representatives of mining companies at both the corporate and plant level.
Even with an affinity for litigation, Willa recognizes that clients may be best served by a direct approach to regulators and legislators. Her experience on Capitol Hill and in the federal government provides a solid foundation for seasoned advocacy. She maintains positive and constructive relationships with policymakers and operational staff at MSHA, OSHA and the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), as well as with the administrative law judges and staff at the Federal Mine Safety and Health Review Commission.
Prior to joining Stoel Rives, Willa served as counsel at Crowell & Moring LLP and at Patton Boggs, LLC in Washington, D.C. Prior to that she was an attorney-adviser for the U.S. Department of the Interior and supervising attorney in the Juneau office of Alaska Legal Services Corporation.
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