in memoriam

Meadville, PA, March 12, 2015 - Russell L. Schetroma, a well-known and highly respected oil and gas attorney, passed away peacefully in his sleep in Houston, Texas on March 12, 2015. He was 67.

For more than 30 years, Mr. Schetroma, known by his friends and colleagues as the “Dean of Pennsylvania Energy Law,” was also a sought after speaker and author on energy issues. He was a nationally recognized figure in the field of energy law and a driving force behind Steptoe & Johnson PLLC’s expansion into Texas and the Mid-continent. He was also member of the Executive Committee, the governing body of the firm.

“Words cannot describe the grief and heavy hearts we all have this day,” Steptoe & Johnson CEO Susan S. Brewer said. “Russ was a joy to be around, a true jurist who loved the law, and he loved the people he worked with. He was always energetic, gregarious, and entertaining. Few attorneys have influenced our firm the way Russ Schetroma did. Russ was more than a partner – he was family.”

His career began in 1972, when he joined with Stuart A. Culbertson and E. Max Weiss to form the firm of Culbertson, Weiss and Schetroma P.C. in Meadville, Pennsylvania. When Mr. Culbertson retired in 1975, Willis E. Schug joined the partnership, establishing the firm as Culbertson, Weiss, Schetroma & Schug, P.C.

In August 2010, Culbertson, Weiss, Schetroma & Schug P.C. joined Steptoe & Johnson PLLC, headquartered in Bridgeport, West Virginia. This move expanded Steptoe & Johnson’s presence in Pennsylvania, while also strengthening the firm’s energy practice with the addition of Mr. Schetroma. He served as the Managing Member of the Steptoe & Johnson Meadville office and also the firm’s Houston office located in The Woodlands.

“Not only was Russ an excellent attorney, but a wonderful friend who was also great with people,” said Sharon O. Flanery, Chair of Steptoe & Johnson’s Energy and Natural Resources Department. “Being a people person is a big part of this business, and he was understanding and wanted to help. He was respected and admired by his clients and his colleagues.”

Mr. Schetroma graduated from Elon College and earned his law degree from the J.D. Dickinson School of Law.

He is survived by his brother, Richard Schetroma, and his beloved dog, Hachiko.

Memorial services are set for Friday March 20th at 11:00am at Stone United Methodist Church in Meadville.


Russell Lane Schetroma
August 15, 1947 - March 12, 2015

Son of Anthony F. and Bernice E. Schetroma

A.B., Elon College, cum laude

J.D., Dickinson School of Law, cum laude

Certificate: East/West Law and Relations, McGeorge School of Law, University of the Pacific (in coordination with the Austro-American Institute, Vienna, Austria and the Eötvös Loránd University, Budapest, Hungary)

Certificate: Negotiation
Program of Instruction for Lawyers-Harvard University

Certificate: Mediation
Program of Instruction for Lawyers-Harvard University

A Founding Partner: Culbertson, Weiss, Schetroma and Schug, P.C.

Member: Steptoe & Johnson PLLC

Member: Executive Committee, Steptoe & Johnson PLLC

Solicitor: City of Meadville

Lay Leader: Stone United Methodist Church

Corporator; Greendale Cemetery

Member, Meadville Literary Union, Round Table and Essayists Club

Recipient: John L. McClaugherty Award, Energy & Mineral Law Foundation

Recipient: Pennsylvania Bar Association Award In Recognition of Outstanding
Contributions to Pro Bono Services in Pennsylvania

Human Companion to the Following Canines:
Duke ("Dude")

“I can only hope to have been as good a person as each of my canine friends thought I was.”
– Russ Schetroma