Kerri C. Sturm, Partner

Kerri Coriston Sturm
412-456-8135 fax
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Kerri Coriston Sturm is a partner in Bernstein-Burkley’s Pittsburgh office. Her practice focuses on high-stakes commercial litigation for plaintiffs and defendants, both at the trial and appellate levels. Kerri has tried and managed cases in state and federal courts across the country involving a variety of claims, including oil and gas disputes, breach of contract, fraud, Uniform Commercial Code matters, breach of warranties, fraudulent conveyances, and business torts. She derives great satisfaction from exceeding her clients’ expectations in terms of the result obtained and the cost of achieving it.

Prior to joining Bernstein-Burkley, Kerri worked for several AmLaw 200 firms and spent several years with a Texas-based energy boutique firm. In 2014 and 2015, the Pittsburgh Business Times recognized Kerri as a Who’s Who in the Pittsburgh Energy Industry. A native of Youngstown, Ohio, she graduated with Honors from Grove City College and from the Ohio State University College of Law, where she was the Public Relations Editor of the Ohio State Law Review, Order of the Coif and a member of the National Moot Court Team.


  • Born in Youngstown, Ohio
  • Grove City College, B.A. in Economics, Cum Laude, 1999
  • The Ohio State University College of Law, J.D., Order of the Coif, Law Review, Moot Court, 2002
  • Admitted to the bar of Pennsylvania in 2002
  • Admitted to the bar of Ohio in 2004
  • Admitted to the bar of Florida in 2010

Notable Experience:

  • Defended large energy producer in quiet title actions seeking to terminate leases for alleged failure to produce oil and gas in paying quantities.
  • Defended energy company in private arbitration involving resolution of disputes over ownership of subsurface oil and gas rights.
  • Successfully defended AmLaw 100 law firm against malpractice claims arising from dual representation in failed real estate transaction.
  • Earned dismissal on preliminary objections of action against trustee brought by contingent beneficiary regarding trust distribution.
  • Represented manufacturer of basketball merchandise in its claims of trademark infringement against competing manufacturers.
  • Successfully defended AmLaw 100 law firm against claims brought by adversary law firm related to settled litigation and distribution of settlement proceeds.
  • Represented national rating agency against claims arising from subprime mortgage matters.  Federal Home Loan Bank of Pittsburgh v. J.P. Morgan Securities, LLC, et. al., 19 Pa. D. & C. 5th 32 (Pa. Com. Pl. 2010).
  • Successfully resolved litigation by granite and counter top manufacturer against supplier for violations of exclusive territory and most favored pricing provisions. Vangura Kitchen Tops, Inc. v. C&C North America, Inc., et. al., 2008 WL 4540186 (2008).
  • Trial counsel for international logistics company pursuing claims for conversion and unjust enrichment as a result of erroneous shipment of goods.
  • Counsel for pension plan against claims brought pursuant to the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA).
  • Counsel for individual and class action provider claims against a Medicaid managed care organization for payment of out-of-network reimbursements.  Mutual Aid Ambulance Service, Inc. v. Unison Health Plan of Pennsylvania, Inc., GD-02-004077 (Allegheny County, Pa.); Tristate Emergency Systems v. Unison Health Plan of Pennsylvania, Inc., No. GD-06-018902 (Allegheny County, Pa.).
  • Successfully defended large energy company against wage-hour claims, including claims under the Fair Labor Standards Act and state wage-payment laws.
  • Defended advertising agency against claims for tortious interference with non-compete agreement by employee of competing agency.
  • Defended national bank against claims raised by customers alleging forgeries, stolen checks, alterations, imposters, fictitious payees and wrongful dishonor of checks.
  • Counseled national bank on matters relating to U.C.C. Article 3 and 4 matters.
  • Defended coal mining company against claims for statutory violations, breach of implied contract/unjust enrichment, breach of contract, negligence, misrepresentation, unfair trade practices, trespass in property damage and subsidence actions by landowners.
  • Successfully defended coal mining company in state court litigation by land owners, involving breach of contract, fraud and civil conspiracy claims in connection with lease disputes.
  • Represented trustee of billion-dollar trust against claims for misappropriation of trust assets by purported trust beneficiary.
  • Represented private university against former professor in relation to development of proprietary microwave technology.

Affiliations and Memberships:

  • Allegheny County Bar Association
  • Pennsylvania Bar Association
  • Energy & Mineral Law Foundation