Christopher D. Pence

Chris Pence is a native of South Charleston, West Virginia and a graduate of Marshall University and the West Virginia University College of Law.  In his practice, Mr. Pence focuses on litigation, where he has represented individuals and companies throughout the United States.  He has significant experience defending coal operators and other mining companies in civil litigation and administrative proceedings pending before the Federal Mine Safety and Health Review Commission and the West Virginia Board of Appeals.   In this capacity, he defends citations issued by the Mine, Safety & Health Administration (MSHA) and West Virginia Office of Miners’ Health, Safety & Training (WVOMHST).  He also responds to accidents and represents clients in connection with investigations conducted by the various enforcement agencies.


In addition to his work for the mining industry, Mr. Pence has also represented clients in cases alleging professional negligence, insurance coverage disputes, commercial contract disputes, auto accidents, premises liability and other personal injury actions.


Mr. Pence has been designated as a West Virginia Rising Star in general litigation by the Super Lawyers publication for several years. He has served as a speaker at the Pennsylvania Coal Alliance/Pennsylvania Coal Mining Institute of America Conference, the West Virginia Coal Association, and various legal seminars.  Mr. Pence received the Order of the Coif, Patrick Duffy Koontz Leadership Award, Paul L. Selby Law Scholarship and the Steptoe & Johnson Law Scholarship at the College of Law.



Professional Experience:

• Jackson Kelly, PLLC (Associate 2002-2006)

• Betts, Hardy & Rodgers, PLLC (formerly Allen, Guthrie & Thomas) (Associate 2008-2009, Member 2010-2012)


Professional Affiliations:

• West Virginia State Bar

• Past President, Kanawha County Bar Association

• Defense Trial Counsel of West Virginia

• West Virginia Coal Association


Court Admissions:

• Supreme Court of Appeals of West Virginia

• United States District Court for the Southern District of West Virginia

• United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth, Seventh and District of Columbia Circuits


Representative Reported Decisions:

Secretary v. Mach Mining, LLC, 33 FMSHRC 763 (2011)

Secretary v. Performance Coal Company, 34 FMSHRC 587 (2012)

Secretary v. Dana Mining Company of Pennsylvania, LLC, 33 FMSHRC 2295 (2011)

Secretary v. Michael Vira, employed by Black Castle Mining Co., 32 FMSHRC 132 (2009)



500 Lee Street, East
Suite 701
Charleston, WV  25301


PO Box 2548
Charleston, WV  25329

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