The Energy & Mineral Law Foundation lost a great friend and colleague last week when Russ Schetroma died peacefully in his sleep in Houston. A quiet ending for a dynamic personality that challenged thinking among his colleagues and helped shape energy law in the Appalachian Basin and beyond.
Russ was an esteemed partner with the law firm of Steptoe and Johnson PLLC and a nationally recognized attorney in the natural resources field of law.
For those of us closest to the EMLF, we knew Russ as a devoted member of our organization since its inception. Russ’s knowledge of the history of the EMLF was unparalleled and he most recently shared his EMLF recollections as a featured speaker at the 35th Annual Institute dinner at the Greenbrier in 2014. Russ’s commitment to the energy bar, the EMLF and the legal profession was recognized a few years ago when he was awarded the Foundation’s most prestigious award, the John L. McClaugherty Award for service to the community, the EMLF and the legal profession. Russ was a long time member of the EMLF board of trustees and a current executive committee member. He will be missed.
Russ epitomized the mission of the EMLF through his intense and unwavering commitment to thoughtful and intellectually honest legal scholarship in the areas of energy, mineral and natural resources law. Russ was a part of every mineral title program that the EMLF ever sponsored. He had a way of speaking which captured his audience, no matter how obscure the legal issue he was exploring, and his reputation brought speaking invitations from all over the country. Russ was a frequent contributor to EMLF Annual Institute publications and a regular speaker at EMLF conferences.
His published EMLF articles over the years from Annual Institutes included exemplary coverage of diverse issues: Quiet Title Actions: Tools to Address Select Appalachian Title Defects (2013); General Reflections Upon the Evolving Eastern Oil & Gas Lease (2009); Conflicting Rights and Interests Among Oil and Gas Lessees, Surface Owners and Other Interest Holders (2003); and Oil, Gas and Mineral Titles: A Short Analysis of Available Curative Actions for Common Title Defects (1999). Russ relentlessly identified new and cutting edge legal issues of importance to our membership.
The EMLF intends to honor and preserve Russ’s memory. We plan to recognize Russ’s contributions to the EMLF through the creation of a fund in his name. A small group of colleagues within the EMLF will thoughtfully examine the most appropriate uses for a “Russ Schetroma Memorial Fund.” We intend to announce the details concerning the fund at the 36th Annual Institute on June 21 – 23, 2015 at Amelia Island, Florida.
Please consider making a donation to the EMLF in memory of Russ. Gifts can be made payable to the EMLF at 340 South Broadway, Suite 101, Lexington, KY 40508, with the notation that it is for the Russ Schetroma Memorial Fund. One hundred percent of the funds received will be invested in the fund to ensure Russ’s contributions to the EMLF and natural resources legal scholarship are permanently recognized.
Kevin K. Douglass, EMLF President
Sharon J. Daniels, EMLF Executive Director
Arrangements have been finalized in Meadville for Russ’s funeral. The funeral will be held at the Stone United Methodist Church, 956 South Main Street, Meadville, PA at 11:00 a.m. on Friday, March 20. A period of visitation will be held at the church from 9:30-11a.m. that morning. The funeral service will be followed by lunch at the church. The church is located at the south end of Meadville’s town square (Diamond Park). There is limited street parking available around the church, as well as around Diamond Park and the side streets coming off of the square, so allow yourself time to locate parking. If you plan to attend the lunch, please email Tracey Korrell so that we can provide the church with an approximate number of attendees (firstname.lastname@example.org).