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OSHRCOccupational Safety & Health Review Commission

Administrative Law Judges

National Office

Image: Chief Judge Covette RooneyChief Judge Covette Rooney:   was born and raised in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. She joined the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission in 1996, and on March 14, 2011, she was named Chief Administrative Law Judge. Judge Rooney was previously a U.S. Administrative Law Judge at the Social Security Administration in Hattiesburg, Mississippi. Her prior work experience includes employment with the Philadelphia Regional Office of the Solicitor, Region III, U.S. Department of Labor, from 1980 until 1994. In that capacity, she served as Regional Counsel for the Mine Safety and Health Administration and the Black Lung Program. She was also a Senior Trial Attorney during her tenure with the Office of the Solicitor.

Judge Rooney earned her undergraduate degree at Colgate University, and she received her Juris Doctor at Temple University School of Law. After law school, she was a law clerk for the Honorable Paul A. Dandridge, First Judicial District of Pennsylvania, Court of Common Pleas, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. She is admitted to the Pennsylvania Bar, the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit.
 

Image: Judge Dennis PhillipsJudge Dennis L. Phillips:   joined the United States Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission as a judge in Washington, D.C. on September 1, 2007. He previously served as a Supervisory Administrative Law Judge at the Office of Medicare Hearings and Appeals in Miami, Florida. Judge Phillips was a trial attorney at the Fraud Section, Commercial Litigation Branch, Civil Division, United States Department of Justice at Washington, D.C. where he practiced before federal district, bankruptcy and appellate courts, and the U.S. Court of Federal Claims, throughout the nation for more than 15 years. He also served as a trial attorney at the U.S. Army's Office of Chief Trial Attorney where he practiced before the Armed Services Board of Contract Appeals for 5 years. He retired as a Lieutenant Colonel from the United States Army's Judge Advocate General's Corps after completing 21 years of active service. He was awarded the Legion of Merit upon retirement.

Judge Phillips received his Master of Laws in Government Procurement Law from the George Washington University National Law Center, his J.D. (magna cum laude and Order of the Coif) from Syracuse University's College of Law, and his Bachelor of Science from the United States Military Academy at West Point, New York. He also completed the Program Manager's Course, a Joint Service graduate-level program in major system acquisition management, at the Defense Systems Management College and the LL.M.-Equivalent Graduate Law Course (ABA approved), at the Judge Advocate General's School, Charlottesville, Virginia (Commandant's List).

Judge Phillips is admitted to practice in the courts of New York and Pennsylvania, U.S. Supreme Court, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, U.S. Court of Federal Claims, and other federal courts. He is a member of the American Bar Association (Public Contract Law Section: co-chairman Procurement Fraud Committee from 2001 through 2007) and American Association for Justice. Judge Phillips is currently serving as the President and Chief Executive Officer of the Forum of United States Administrative Law Judges.

Judge Carol A. Baumerich:   was appointed as an Administrative Law Judge with the Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission (OSHRC), in Washington, D.C., in August 2011. Judge Baumerich has many years of experience as a mediator, adversarial trial specialist, and litigation manager. Since 1997, Judge Baumerich has served as a mediator. Her experience includes mediating disputes for several state and federal agencies and for the Circuit Court for Baltimore County, Maryland. Judge Baumerich has received extensive mediation training through the Harvard Law School Program of Instruction for Lawyers, the Center for Dispute Settlement, and The Maryland Institute for Continuing Professional Education of Lawyers, Inc. (MICPEL), among other programs. On many occasions, Judge Baumerich served as a teaching facilitator / critiquer for the MICPEL Mediation Workshops.

Prior to her judicial appointment, Judge Baumerich accrued 29 years of litigation experience in complex, adversarial proceedings, working first as a trial specialist and later as a Deputy Regional Attorney, for the National Labor Relations Board, Region 5, in Baltimore, Maryland. Judge Baumerich’s litigation experience includes first chair responsibility in many adversarial proceedings before the National Labor Relations Board, U.S. District Courts, and U.S. Bankruptcy Courts. While Deputy Regional Attorney, Judge Baumerich’s responsibilities included trial training, from pre-trial witness preparation to post-trial and appellate briefing, and second chairing newer attorneys during initial trial assignments.

Immediately before her judicial appointment with OSHRC, Judge Baumerich served as an Administrative Law Judge, beginning in June 2008, with the Social Security Administration, Office of Disability Hearings and Review, in Cleveland, Ohio, and Baltimore, Maryland.

Judge Baumerich is a native of New Jersey. She graduated from Rutgers Law School — Newark. While in law school, she served as a staff member and editor on the Rutgers Law Review. She graduated, summa cum laude, from Upsala College, majoring in history. She is a member of the New Jersey, Maryland, and District of Columbia bars. She resides in Baltimore, Maryland, with her husband of 29 years. They are the proud parents of two adult daughters.

Judge Keith E. Bell:   is a native of Staten Island, New York who received his Bachelor of Arts degree with honors in 1988 from North Carolina Central University in Durham, NC. Thereafter, he earned his Juris Doctorate degree from North Carolina Central University’s School of Law in 1991. He was appointed as an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) with the Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission (OSHRC), in Washington D.C., in January 2012. Prior to joining OSHRC, Judge Bell did a brief stint in the Social Security Administration’s Office of Disability Adjudication and Review in Columbia, Missouri where he decided appeals filed by applicants for disability benefits.

Prior to his appointment as an ALJ, Judge Bell enjoyed a distinguished career in the Department of Labor’s Office of the Solicitor, Mine Safety and Health (MSH) Division where he most recently served as co-counsel for Trial Litigation. He also served as the national coordinator for the Mine Safety and Health Administration’s Alternative Case Resolution program that trained non-attorney mine inspectors to represent the Secretary of Labor in cases before the Federal Mine Safety and Health Review Commission. During his sixteen year tenure with the MSH Division, Judge Bell litigated complex cases involving mine fatalities and violations of various health and safety standards. He also served on the Solicitor’s committee to address the growing backlog of mine safety cases. In 1998, Judge Bell was appointed to be a Special Assistant United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia in Alexandria where he successfully litigated cases at the trial level and on appeal. Judge Bell began his legal career as an Assistant District Attorney in the Philadelphia District Attorney’s office.

Judge William Coleman:   joined the United States Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission in Washington, D.C. in May 2012. He was originally appointed a U. S. Administrative Law Judge in July 2011 by the Social Security Administration, with assignment in Madison, Wisconsin. Judge Coleman had previously served eleven years as a state administrative law judge for the Wisconsin Division of Hearings and Appeals. In the nineteen years before his appointment as a state administrative law judge, Judge Coleman held a variety of public and private sector positions where he concentrated on trial, appellate, and administrative litigation. Judge Coleman is retired from the U.S. Army Reserve with 30 years of commissioned service.

Judge Coleman received his J.D. from the University of South Carolina and his undergraduate degree from Davidson College. He is a member of the South Carolina and Wisconsin bars.

 

Atlanta Office

Judge Sharon Calhoun:   is a native of Hot Springs, Arkansas.  She was raised in Hot Springs, Arkansas and Denver, Colorado.  Judge Calhoun received her Juris Doctorate in 1987 from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock.  She also received a Master of Arts Degree in Interpersonal and Organizational Communication from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock in 1981.   Judge Calhoun graduated from Henderson State University in Arkadelphia, Arkansas in 1980, where she received a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Public Administration.   Judge Calhoun has nineteen years of trial litigation experience.  She also has two years of appellate litigation experience with the United States Department of Health and Human Services, Office of General Counsel.  Immediately prior to joining the Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission in April 2010, Judge Calhoun served as an Administrative Law Judge with the Social Security Administration, Office of Disability Adjudication and Review.

Image: Judge John B. GattoJudge John B. Gatto:   joined the United States Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission as a judge in Atlanta, Georgia in August 2013. Immediately before his judicial appointment with the Commission, he served as an Administrative Law Judge, beginning in January 2012, with the Social Security Administration in Tampa, Florida.

Prior to his federal appoint, Judge Gatto served as an Administrative Law Judge, beginning in April 1995, with the Georgia Office of State Administrative Hearing in Atlanta, Georgia. As a Georgia Administrative Law Judge, he presided over 300 different types of contested cases involving most of Georgia’s state agencies, departments, commissions, and regulatory boards. In that capacity, he presided over sanction and licensing cases, candidate qualification challenges, election law and ethics law violations, as well as complex litigation involving environmental permit issuance and enforcement actions, banking and finance and securities violations, and special education litigation under the federal Individuals with Disabilities in Education Act.

Judge Gatto has been a frequent speaker and panelist at continuing legal and judicial education seminars in Georgia and nationally. He is a current member of the Judicial Section of State Bar of Georgia, and has been a past chair of the Administrative Law Section of State Bar of Georgia and past vice president of the Georgia Association of Administrative Judiciary.

Judge Heather Joys:   is a native of Milwaukee, Wisconsin. She received her Juris Doctorate and Master of Science in Industrial Relations from the University of Wisconsin. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from St. Olaf College. Prior to being appointed to the Review Commission, Judge Joys served as an administrative law judge with the National Labor Relations Board and the U. S. Social Security Administration in Atlanta, Georgia.

Prior to her judicial appointment, Judge Joys served over 17 years as a litigation attorney with the U. S. Department of Labor, Office of the Solicitor. She began her career with the DOL in the Civil Rights Division of the Office of the Solicitor in Washington, D.C., where she was responsible for litigation of cases arising under E.O. 11246 and Section 503 of the Rehabilitation Act. She was a trial attorney in the Cleveland Office where she served as lead counsel for numerous cases involving the enforcement of the OSH Act. In this capacity, she participated in the negotiation of several nationwide settlements. She also handled litigation for client agencies before the Federal District Courts and other administrative bodies. In her last years with DOL before her judicial appointment, she served as counsel for the Mine Safety and Health Administration, and various whistleblower program areas within the Atlanta Regional Solicitor's office.

 

Denver Office

Image: Judge Patrick AugustineJudge Patrick B. Augustine:   serves as First Judge of the Denver Regional OSHRC office and was appointed a United States Administrative Law Judge on September 27, 1997. From his initial appointment as a United States Administrative Law Judge until he joined the Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission in February 2009, Judge Augustine was a Judge with the Social Security Administration, Office of Disability Adjudication and Review. During his tenure with the Social Security Administration, Judge Augustine served as the Regional Chief Judge (Acting) of the Boston Region, Assistant Regional Chief Judge of the Denver Region and the Hearing Office Chief Judge of the Denver Hearing Office. From 1985 until 1997, Judge Augustine practiced law with Denver, Colorado firms which specialized in representing financial institutions before federal and state courts and administrative tribunals. He has also served as Presiding Municipal Court Judge for the town of Elizabeth, Colorado. Judge Augustine is a magna cum laude graduate of Washburn University School of Law where he ranked first in his class. He also holds a Bachelors of Arts degree magna cum laude in Political Science from Washburn University. Judge Augustine also holds The Certificate in Judicial Development — Administrative Law Adjudication Skills and The Certificate in Judicial Development — Dispute Resolution Skills awarded by The National Judicial College. Judge Augustine is admitted to practice before the U.S. Supreme Court, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit, U. S. District Court of Colorado, Colorado Supreme Court and the Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia.

 

Image: Judge SchumacherJudge John H. Schumacher:   has served as an Administrative Law Judge with the United States Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission in Denver, Colorado, since July 2011. He joined the Commission in Washington, D.C. on May 6, 2005 as an Administrative Law Judge. He previously served as an Administrative Law Judge with the Social Security Administration in Detroit, Michigan, and as a Senior Trial Attorney with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms in Washington, DC, where he specialized in civil litigation. Prior to becoming a judge, he served thirteen years on active duty as a Judge Advocate with the United States Air Force. He joined the U.S. Air Force Reserves after separating from active duty and retired from the reserves as a Lieutenant Colonel in 2004. The judge is the author of Mumbo Jumbo, a light-hearted lampoon of the legal profession. He also co-authored a novel titled Seventh Psalm.

Judge Schumacher received his J.D. from the University of Nebraska, his MBA from the University of Phoenix and his undergraduate degree from Columbia College in Denver, Colorado. Judge Schumacher is admitted to practice before the Supreme Court of the United States, the Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces and the Colorado Supreme Court.

In August 2012, Judge Schumacher received a Certificate in Judicial Development (Dispute Resolution Skills) from the National Judicial College, Reno, Nevada. Judge Schumacher is now pursuing a Master's Degree in Judicial Studies through the University of Nevada-Reno.

Image: Judge Brian DuncanJudge Brian A. Duncan:   was appointed a Federal Administrative Law Judge with the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission in 2012. Prior to his appointment at the Commission, Judge Duncan served as a Federal Administrative Law Judge with the Social Security Administration, Office of Disability Adjudication and Review, in Wichita, Kansas. During his legal career before becoming a judge, he served as a Supervisory Attorney Advisor with OSHRC in Denver, Colorado; a Senior Trial Attorney with the U.S. Department of Labor, Office of the Solicitor, in Dallas, Texas; and was in private practice in Norman, Oklahoma. Judge Duncan obtained his Juris Doctorate, with distinction, from the University of Oklahoma, and is admitted to the Oklahoma Bar, the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Oklahoma, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit, and the U.S. Supreme Court. Judge Duncan is also a licensed private airplane pilot.

 

Image: Judge Peggy S. BallJudge Peggy S. Ball:   joined the United States Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission as an Administrative Law Judge in the Denver Regional Office in September 2013. Prior to joining OSHRC, Judge Ball was an Administrative Law Judge with the Social Security Administration - Office of Disability Adjudication and Review for eleven years most currently serving in the Colorado Springs, Colorado office.

Prior to her being appointed an Administrative Law Judge, Judge Ball practiced law in Denver, Colorado with Pryor, Carney and Johnson where she was a Shareholder and also Chair of the firm's Employment and Labor Law Committee. She also had affiliations with Lapuyade, Washington, Molk, L.L.C. Denver, Colorado, and Montgomery, Greene, Jarvis & Kolodny, Denver, Colorado, where she was actively involved as lead counsel in national asbestos litigation.

Prior to moving to Denver, Colorado to pursue her private practices, Judge Ball served as Deputy\Chief Deputy District Attorney, Twenty-First Judicial District, Colorado and as a Special Assistant United States Attorney. Judge Ball also served as a Municipal Judge for the City of Fruita, Colorado.

Judge Ball also brings experience in alternative dispute resolution to OSHRC. She served as an Arbitrator for the Colorado Department of Education where she arbitrated cases subject to The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), Section 504 of the of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and Parts 300 and 301 of Title 34 of the Code of Federal Regulations. Judge Ball graduated from the University of Idaho College of Law where she served as Associate Editor of the Law Review. She holds a Master of Arts Degree from the University of Northern Colorado and a Bachelor of Science degree from Colorado State University.