Daniel W. Wolff, Partner Washington, D.C.
Phone: +1 202.624.2621
1001 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20004-2595

Dan Wolff is a trial and appellate litigator. He is a partner in Crowell & Moring's Washington, D.C. office and chairs the firm's Administrative Law & Regulatory Practice, which is composed of practitioners from a cross-section of all of the firm's regulatory groups. Dan's practice is heavily concentrated on litigation arising under the Administrative Procedure Act transcending multiple practice areas. As a member of the firm's Environment & Natural Resources Group, Dan's practice encompasses enforcement defense in a number of areas of environmental and natural resources law as well as the federal occupational safety and health laws and regulations affecting the firm's industrial and mining clients. His practice also extends to other regulatory and litigation practice groups whose members call upon him for his administrative law and litigation experience and counsel.

Dan regularly appears in federal district and appellate courts around the country and before a host of administrative tribunals, and counsels clients on their rights and obligations under a number of federal regulatory programs. A big part of his practice is enforcement defense, and in helping clients respond to government investigations of workplace accidents, fatalities, supervisor liability, whistleblower complaints, and requests for company records. He speaks and writes frequently on all aspects of mine and general occupational safety and health compliance and enforcement, as well as on broadly applicable issues of administrative law. More broadly, Dan routinely teams with attorneys from other practice groups on litigation matters, especially in confronting arbitrary and capricious government action arising in any number of regulated areas.

Representative Engagements

  • Challenging an FAA airworthiness directive (AD) in the D.C. Circuit on grounds the agency, among other things, failed to explain the basis for the AD.
  • Successfully argued on behalf of a health care provider before the District of Columbia Court of Appeals that an administrative law judge (ALJ) with the D.C. Office of Administrative Hearings applied the wrong standard of review in overturning what had been a favorable decision from the D.C. State Health Planning and Development Agency (SHPDA); the Court of Appeals agreed that the ALJ applied the wrong standard by improperly hearing and weighing the evidence for herself instead of deferring to the expertise of the SHPDA, and therefore reversed her decision, finding that she erroneously overturned the SHPDA order.
  • Obtained summary judgment on behalf of a North Dakota mine operator as intervenor-defendant in a lawsuit filed by a non-governmental organization in federal district court in the District of Columbia against the U.S. Forest Service as part of an effort to stop the client’s much-needed gravel mining operation from moving forward. Prior to obtaining summary judgment, successfully defeated a motion for TRO and subsequent motion for preliminary injunction.
  • Represented a government contractor in federal district court in the District of Columbia in a lawsuit and motion for a preliminary injunction filed against the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs for arbitrarily suspending the contractor from all federal procurement; after a two-day hearing on our request for a preliminary injunction, the court facilitated a mediation leading to a favorable settlement and lifting of the suspension.
  • Represented a large mining company before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit challenging the validity of a mandatory health standard promulgated by the Department of Labor's Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA).
  • In a lawsuit recognized by the Financial Times in its report on "U.S. Innovative Lawyers 2013," Dan was part of the ENR litigation team that represented independent oil and gas producers in a successful injunction action against the U.S. Forest Service to block the government's unauthorized ban on oil and gas development in the Allegheny National Forest and in successfully defending that injunction on appeal to the Third Circuit.
  • Represented a group of coal mine operators in a lawsuit filed in federal district court in the District of Columbia against the U.S. Department of Labor for due process violations in the government's handling of ventilation plan approvals and obtained a groundbreaking decision from the court denying the government's motion to dismiss for lack of jurisdiction, ultimately leading to a favorable settlement.
  • Defended a mine operator in federal district court in the Eastern District of Kentucky in the first-ever (and still only) attempt by MSHA to shut down a mine for a pattern of violations, resolving the matter in a favorable settlement without an injunction being issued.
  • Counseled multiple mining companies in connection with both federal and state investigations into workplace fatalities.
  • Have argued appellate matters before the U.S. Courts of Appeals for the D.C., Fourth, Seventh, and Eleventh Circuits.

Dan has been recognized annually by Super Lawyers Magazine in the area of environmental law since 2013.

Dan serves on the firm's Public Service Committee and maintains an active pro bono practice in a wide variety of areas, including due process litigation on behalf of special needs students under the Individuals with Disabilities in Education Act, asylum, habeas corpus, landlord-tenant, rights of the disabled under the Americans with Disabilities Act, fair wages, and common law torts. On such matters he has appeared in the federal courts, the U.S. Immigration Court, and the courts of Maryland and the District of Columbia.

Outside of the firm, Dan is president and sits on the Board of Trustees of the Energy and Mineral Law Foundation (EMLF), is a member of the Rocky Mountain Mineral Law Foundation, and is a member of the ABA and involved in its Sections on Administrative Law & Regulatory Practice, Labor and Employment and its Safety and Health subcommittee, and Environment, Energy and Resources.

Dan graduated from the University of Wisconsin in 1992, where he earned a B.A. from the School of Journalism. He graduated from the University of Dayton School of Law, summa cum laude, in 2001. While in law school, Dan served as an editor on the University of Dayton Law Review and was active with the Environmental Law Society. Immediately following law school, he clerked for two years in the Southern District of Ohio for the Honorable Walter H. Rice.

Dan is licensed to practice in the District of Columbia and Ohio and is also a member of the bars of multiple federal courts, including the U.S. Supreme Court.


Admitted to practice: District of Columbia, Ohio; U.S. Supreme Court, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit, U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit, U.S. District Court for the District of Colorado, U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, U.S. District Court for the Northern and Southern Districts of Ohio

Highlights, News & Knowledge

Speeches & Presentations

  • "Update on Key Mine Safety Issues," National Stone, Sand & Gravel Association's Legal Symposium, Nashville, TN (March 23, 2016). Speaker: Daniel W. Wolff.
  • "Looking Left and Right of a Major Mine Accident or Fatality: Preparing for Crisis Management Before the Crisis Occurs," IMA-NA Industrial Minerals Technology Workshop, San Diego, CA (March 16, 2016). Speaker: Daniel W. Wolff.
  • "Recent Developments in Mine Safety and Health Law," ABA Occupational Safety and Health Law Committee 2016 Midwinter Meeting, Santa Barbara, CA (March 10, 2016). Speaker: Daniel W. Wolff.
  • Energy & Mineral Law Foundation 36th Annual Institute, Amelia Island, FL (June 21-23, 2015). Program Chair: Daniel W. Wolff.
  • "Got Chemicals? The State of Play on Chemical Security Regulations," Crowell & Moring Webinar (December 17, 2014). Presenters: Warren Lehrenbaum, Daniel W. Wolff, and Evan D. Wolff.
  • "MSHA Respirable Coal Mine Dust Rules," Kentucky Mineral Law Conference, Lexington, Kentucky (October 22-23, 2014). Speakers: Edward M. Green and Daniel W. Wolff.
  • "Regulatory Update," 5th Law of Shale Plays Conference, Pittsburgh, PA (September 4-5, 2014). Panelist: Daniel W. Wolff.
  • "MSHA Inspection/Investigation Authority, Part A: The Scope of MSHA’s Authority Under 103(a) and (h)," EMLF Special Institue on Mine Safety and Health Law Conference, Washington, D.C. (April 22-23, 2014). Program Chair and Moderator: Daniel W. Wolff.
  • "Special Inspection Initiatives and MSHA Documents Request Authority: The Gifts That Keep on Giving and Taking," Colorado Mining Association, 116th National Western Mining Conference & Exhibition, Denver, CO (April 14-17). Speaker: Daniel W. Wolff.
  • "Litigation Forecast Webinar: Environmental Regulation and Litigation Risks 2014," Crowell & Moring Webinar (March 4, 2014). Presenters: Susan M. Mathiascheck, Kevin C. Mayer, Kirsten L. Nathanson, and Daniel W. Wolff.
  • "Energy Litigation Update," Energy & Mineral Law Foundation Winter Workshops on Energy Law, Fort Lauderdale, Fl (February 9-11, 2014). Moderator: Kirsten L. Nathanson; Panelists: Chet M. Thompson and Daniel W. Wolff.
  • "Energy Litigation Update," Energy & Mineral Law Foundation Winter Workshops on Energy Law (February 11, 2013). Panelists: Kirsten L. Nathanson, Chet M. Thompson, Daniel W. Wolff, and Thomas (Tim) C. Means.


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Firm News & Announcements

Nov.30.2016 Super Lawyers Recognizes 71 Crowell & Moring Lawyers Across United States
Oct.27.2015 Super Lawyers Recognizes 90 Crowell & Moring Attorneys
Sep.30.2014 Super Lawyers 2014 Recognizes 90 Crowell & Moring Attorneys
Sep.01.2013 Super Lawyers 2013 Recognizes 64 Crowell & Moring Attorneys
Jan.17.2013 Crowell & Moring Elects Seven New Partners and Promotes Twelve Attorneys to Senior Counsel and Counsel Positions
Apr.01.2004 Crowell & Moring Prevails Before U.S. Supreme Court in Long Running Western Mineral Rights Controversy
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