• Ohio, 1984
  • U.S. District Courts:
      -Northern District of Ohio
      -Southern District of Ohio
      -Eastern District of Michigan
  • U.S. Supreme Court


University of Toledo, JD, 1984

University of Toledo, MBA, 1978

The Ohio State University, BA, 1975


“The object is not for me to win your case in court; the object is for us to win in such a way so that we do not need to go to court.”

The name Brian P. Barger is well known in the surface mining industry for his decades of work on its behalf which includes: 

  • twenty-five years as legal counsel to the Ohio Aggregates & Industrial Minerals Association.
  • former executive with one of the state’s largest aggregates and industrial minerals producers where he was involved with all facets of the business.

Currently he is an of counsel attorney at Eastman & Smith who runs the Aggregates and Industrial Minerals Practice Group. Simply put, when Mr. Barger and his team work to solve your problem—whether it is zoning for additional reserves or a greenfield site, permitting, a contractual dispute or an employment matter—there is NO learning curve.

Mr. Barger understands that clients do not consider litigation to be a profit center and every effort is made to accomplish the client’s goals without having to go to court. To this end, Mr. Barger calls on his years of experience and his contacts throughout the industry and all levels of government to bring creative and practical solutions to the table, understanding that businesses run on relationships and a win-win is usually the best solution.  

However, when the practical is not possible, there is the hammer. Mr. Barger’s experience extends to representing clients:

  • on permitting and enforcement matters before administrative agencies such as the Ohio EPA and the Ohio Department of Natural Resources;
  • at all levels of courts throughout Ohio including the Supreme Court of Ohio where he has won significant cases involving zoning and annexation for surface mining companies;
  • before the U.S. Department of Labor (MSHA), federal district courts, U.S. Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals and the Office of the Governor of Ohio as well as the Ohio General Assembly.

Recognizing that the best way to help the industry move forward is to be involved in drafting the very laws and agency rules regulating the industry, Mr. Barger decided early in his career to be involved in the legislative process.  Notably, Mr. Barger was the principal author of:

  • the comprehensive laws and rules updating the entire surface mining regulatory program;
  • numerous general environmental permits regulating air emissions and water discharges;
  • the Ohio’s Great Lakes Compact (the most significant amendment of Ohio’s water law in state history); and the
  • special procedure for zoning surface mining activity at the township and county levels—to name but a few of the legislative enactments.

Representing the surface mining industry is but one of Mr. Barger’s passions. Sailing is another. He has sailed in the Caribbean and Mediterranean as well as throughout the Great Lakes. When combining his passions, Mr. Barger refers to his boat as the Firm’s Catawba Island office, where he can be found much of the summer.

Honors & Affiliations

Community/Professional Affiliations

  • American Bar Association
  • Columbus Bar Association
  • National Stone Sand & Gravel Association's Council of Counsels
  • Ohio Aggregates and Industrial Minerals Association
  • Ohio Farm Bureau's Healthy Water Ohio work group
  • Ohio Forestry Association
  • Ohio State Bar Association

Honors & Awards

In 2016, Mr. Barger was appointed by Governor Kasich to the Executive Order of the Ohio Commodore.  Membership in this organization is available to people who have positively affected economic development in Ohio.  He is listed in Best Lawyers in America® for Natural Resources Law and in Ohio Business Magazine's Ohio Leading Lawyers, 2024.

Publications & News

Events & Speaking Engagements

Publications & Newsletters