Max L. Corley, III


Max Corley has over 25 years of experience as a litigator in West Virginia. He has achieved many important victories for his clients in complex litigation and disputes, including defense of claims involving medical professional liability, wrongful death, mass torts, product liability, premises liability, employment law, workplace safety, and MSHA and OSHA regulatory investigations and enforcement. Max is conscious of the high stakes for many of his clients, whether reputational or existential. No matter the size of the case, Max rolls up his sleeves to provide a robust representation focused on client needs. He brings sharp attention to detail and facilitates teamwork among all involved in a case.

With in-depth knowledge of the potential workplace and litigation issues impacting professional and corporate clients, Max has helped many clients navigate the perils of litigation and successfully protect their vital interests. He has a unique defense perspective. He knows the prosecution tactics and strategies utilized by opposing counsel, having spent three years on the plaintiff’s side of the bench. His knowledge adds valuable insights to litigation strategies to achieve favorable outcomes.

Outside work, Max spends time with his wife and twin sons. He loves trail running, trout fishing, and reading history. As a sports enthusiast, he follows Marshall University and West Virginia University football and basketball programs and is a lifelong fan of the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Professional Expertise

  • Represented municipality in an arbitration of a union grievance regarding the disciplinary suspension of an employee and received a favorable arbitration decision upholding the employee’s suspension for just cause
  • Represented municipality in an arbitration of a union grievance regarding employee seniority and received a favorable arbitration decision upholding the municipality’s decision to carry over an employee’s seniority to a new division
  • Represented an employer in an OSHA civil penalty proceeding and informal conference related to a workplace accident resulting in an amputation and obtained a favorable penalty reduction on behalf of the employer
  • Represented a trucking company employer in an OSHA fatal accident investigation of a service van explosion
  • Represented manufacturing client in an age discrimination case under the West Virginia Human Rights Act and obtained summary judgment on the client’s behalf following discovery
  • Represented coal and metal/nonmetal mine operators and contractors in fatal and non-fatal MSHA accident investigations
  • Represented coal and metal/nonmetal mine operators in administrative evidentiary hearings and civil penalty proceedings before Administrative Law Judges
  • Represented mine operators and management personnel in numerous MSHA Section 110(c) special investigations and individual penalty assessments
  • Represented thoracic surgeon as co-counsel at trial and obtained a defense verdict
  • Represented emergency physician at trial as co-counsel in a plaintiff-friendly venue and obtained a verdict awarding substantially less damages than demanded



  • West Virginia University College of Law  (J.D., 1997)
    • Associate Editor and Member, West Virginia Law Review
    • Marilyn E. Lugar Trial Association
  • Marshall University  (B.B.A., magna cum laude, 1994)
    • Outstanding Student Award for the College of Business Accounting Department
    • Dean's List
    • Recipient, Walter C. Treanor Memorial Scholarship

Bar Admissions

  • West Virginia


  • Supreme Court of Appeals of West Virginia
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit
  • U.S. District Court for the Northern District of West Virginia
  • U.S. District Court for the Southern District of West Virginia

Professional Affiliations

  • West Virginia State Bar 
  • West Virginia Association for Justice (WVAJ), Member, 2019 – 2022
  • West Virginia Defense Trial Counsel

Charitable & Civic Involvement

  • Putnam County Chamber of Commerce
    • Board of Directors (2005-2010)
  • American Red Cross, Central West Virginia Chapter
    • Board Directors (2005-2010)
  • United Way, Past Member of Citizen Review Panel 


  • "The OSHA vs. MSHA Sibling Rivalry and Its Impact on Employers: An Enforcement and Safety Law Update," 13th Annual Southeast US Mining Safety & Health Conference (2018)
  • “Impact of the New Administration on the Mining Industry and Mine Safety Law Update,” Virginia Transportation Construction Alliance (VTCA) – Winter Safety Webinar Series – Roanoke, VA (2017)
  • “Workplace Examinations for Metal / Nonmetal: A Practical Approach for Miner Operators,” Virginia Transportation Construction Alliance (VTCA) – Richmond, VA – Winter Safety Meetings – Fredericksburg, VA and Roanoke, VA (2016)
  • “MSHA Section 110(c) Special Investigations in Metal / Nonmetal: What Mine Operators Need to Know,” Virginia Transportation Construction Alliance (VTCA) – Richmond, VA – Safety Webinar (2016)
  • “MSHA Inspection Series – Parts I & II: Making the MSHA Inspection Process Work for You,” AGG1 Academy / National Stone Sand & Gravel Association (NSSGA) – Nashville, TN (2016)
  • “Workplace Examinations: a Riddle Wrapped in a Mystery Inside an Enigma,” Indiana Mineral Aggregates Association (IMAA) – 2016 Winter Meeting (2016)
  • “The Rising Tide of MSHA Section 110(c) Special Investigations in Metal / Nonmetal,” Aggregates Academy & Expo (AGG1 Academy) / National Stone Sand & Gravel Association (NSSGA) – Baltimore, MD (2015)
  • MSHA Enforcement Trends for Metal / Nonmetal Mine Operators (2012)