It is always fun to sit in on those conference presentations where the speakers tell tales of corruption and incompetence and reveal their successes and failures while selling their services. Three presentations at the 2008 SME conference emphasized these lessons learnt while telling fascinating tales:

B. Glass of Gallagher & Kennedy told us how to avoid falling foul of aggressive enforcement of the United States Foreign Corrupt Practices Act. Seems mining companies have been and are falling foul of the basic provision: do not bribe foreign locals for the SEC and other enforcement agencies will get you.

E. Hiser of Jorden Bischoff & Hiser told us how to avoid the perils of the federal New Source Review regulations which illogically seem designed to force a new permitting round every time you touch a mine facility that potentially emits into the air.

K. Fabricant of Akerman Senterfitt told us who to negotiate with regulators such as those at the EPA who can make or break your mine by with-holding or granting the permits and permission you need to mine.

These three lawyers are to be congratulated for their courage in standing before a group of miners and telling them to obey the law or else. Regardless, they impressed me enough to say that if I were faced with any of the issues they addressed, I would phone them up immediately for help.