By Mark Heath
As the Fall Symposium — f/k/a the Kentucky Mineral Law Conference — approaches its 50th year in 2025, the conference, to be hosted at Lexington’s all-new Central Bank Center, has become one of the longest running continuous programs on Energy Law in the country.
The first Mineral Law Conference was held at what is now University of Kentucky Rosenberg College of Law on October 15-16, 1976.
The Mineral Law Center was then established at the UK College of Law in January 1983. Along with the Mineral Law Conference, the UK Mineral Law Center also published a treatise on Kentucky Mineral Law to which many EMLF members contributed chapters. Over the years, EMLF members also helped plan the Mineral Law Conference before EMLF’s involvement and spoke at the October conference each year. In those days, the conference was held all day Friday and 1/2 day on Saturday at the law school or local hotel meeting space.
In the 1990s, the UK College of Law Continuing Legal Education office continued to host the Mineral Law Conference with the UK Mineral Center. At times, conference sponsors also included the Kentucky Bar Association Natural Resources Section and ABA Section of Natural Resources Energy and Environment Law Committee.
Throughout, the conference generally followed an all-day Friday and ½ Saturday format. The 11 am Saturday morning speaking spot then competed with the Call To The Post at Keeneland at 1 pm or so.
In fact, one year a speaker and several law partners had purchased a claimer horse and it was running at Keeneland after the conference. When one of the owners spoke that Saturday morning, he ignored his law partner and co-owner’s advice and talked about the horse as a great bet. That afternoon the horse sort of raced at Keeneland — it fell coming out of the starting gate at Keeneland and while thankfully uninjured, finished last in its race. That was the last horse racing predication given at the Mineral Law Conference.
Starting with the 21st Annual Conference on Mineral Law in October 1996, the conference was co-sponsored by the UK College of Law Continuing Legal Education office and the then Eastern Mineral Law Foundation. The program that year noted that EMLF was now located at the UK College of Law Mineral Law Center. This reflected that initially EMLF had offices in the UK College of Law when it moved to Lexington from Morgantown, WV.
Going into the new century, EMLF became the Energy and Mineral Law Foundation and continued to put the Mineral Law Conference together with UK Law Mineral Law Center and CLE Office through the 28th Mineral Law Conference in October 2003.
Beginning with the 29th Mineral Law Conference held in October 2004, EMLF was and continues to be the sole organizer of the fall conference.
“The Mineral Law Conference has a long history in Kentucky and other key energy states as it approaches its 50th anniversary in 2025,” said Mark Heath, a UK Law grad with Spilman, Thomas & Battle in Charleston, WV, who began serving on the planning committee in the early 1990s. “EMLF’s involvement helped expand the program into all areas of energy law and helped make it a premier event for energy lawyers.”
In addition to hosting the event at Central Bank Center, we are offering different hotel accommodations for our attendees: the Hyatt Regency Lexington, which is connected to the convention center.
Make room reservations by September 18th!
Click here or call 800.233.1234 and ask for Code G-EMLX.