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CLARKSBURG, WV -- On September 1, the law firm of Steptoe & Johnson will acquire the energy practice group of the western Pennsylvania firm of Culbertson, Weiss, Schetroma and Schug, P.C., currently led by Russell Schetroma, an influential authority on oil and gas transactions, most notably within the Marcellus shale.

With this affiliation, Steptoe & Johnson will acquire a Meadville, PA office which will facilitate the continued provision of legal services to Steptoe & Johnson's regional Appalachian clients. Meadville is Steptoe & Johnson's first Pennsylvania office. The firm also has offices in West Virginia, Ohio and Kentucky. The firm plans to open a second Pennsylvania office in Southpointe (Canonsburg) in the fall.

With the addition of Culbertson, Weiss, Schetroma and Schug's energy practice group, the rapidly growing Steptoe & Johnson Energy Team will field approximately 190 attorneys and paraprofessionals who will provide legal services to Appalachian energy industry clients throughout the nation. The firm's army of energy practitioners focuses on services to the energy sector including coal, oil and gas and renewables. Its attorneys regularly assist clients throughout the region with acquisitions and divestitures, financing, due diligence reviews, permitting, title evaluation, litigation, public utility law, FERC regulatory matters, mediation and arbitration, land use challenges, and midstream legal issues.

"Establishing a physical presence in Pennsylvania was a natural decision for our firm as our Energy Team comprises one of the largest and most diverse practices in the region," stated Susan Brewer, CEO of Steptoe & Johnson.

Sharon Flanery, Steptoe & Johnson's Energy Team chair commented, "Our Energy Team currently provides legal services throughout the Appalachian Basin, including in the Marcellus shale, so our physical expansion into Pennsylvania and the addition of Russ Schetroma and the other members of his team strengthens our ability to provide timely and cost effective legal services on target with our client?s strategic objectives."

Schetroma received his Juris Doctor cum laude from the Dickinson School of Law and has more than 30 years experience practicing Pennsylvania oil and gas law. In 2007, he received the Energy and Mineral Law Foundation's John L. McClaugherty Award, its highest honor, which is awarded each year to a member who exemplifies high standards for commitment and accomplishment to the EMLF, the legal profession, and the natural resources industry. He is listed in The Best Lawyers in America® for his work in oil and gas law, and he is a prolific writer, lecturer and published author on topics related to the unique aspects of Appalachian oil and gas law and transactions. He chairs the Land Title Standards Committee of the Crawford County Bar Association. He recently completed service to the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania as a senior hearing board member in lawyer disciplinary matters. Schetroma has also been recognized by the Pennsylvania Bar Association with its award for "outstanding contributions to the pro bono service in Pennsylvania."

About Steptoe & Johnson's Energy Practice Group,78.aspx
Steptoe & Johnson's energy group assists clients in competitive wholesale and retail markets to develop, operate, finance, sell, or acquire energy assets to meet their energy needs. Firm attorneys have worked in government, assisted in structuring and implementing the regulations governing competitive markets, and worked as in-house counsel for energy companies. As a result, the group brings a comprehensive perspective to complex problems and efficiently crafts value-added solutions for clients. With nearly 100 years of hands-on involvement in the energy industry, Steptoe & Johnson has acquired deep experience and valuable industry knowledge. Attorneys routinely help clients overcome challenges to major national energy initiatives and are highly skilled in transactions, regulatory work, litigation, and the environmental aspects of energy law.

About Steptoe & Johnson PLLC
Steptoe & Johnson PLLC is a regional business-focused firm with particular strengths in energy, labor, employment and litigation. It comprises over 180 lawyers resident in locations throughout West Virginia, Ohio and Kentucky and soon in Pennsylvania. For nearly a century, Steptoe & Johnson has demonstrated its commitment to quality, devoting personal attention, experience, skill, and resources to client-focused service.

For more information, contact Betsy Spellman, Director of Client Services at (304) 624-8000, or via email: Visit the firm?s Web site at:

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Betsy Spellman

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