People

Kara H. Herrnstein

Kara Herrnstein meets the litigation and appellate needs of a wide range of clients, including producers, pipeline companies and industry groups. Throughout her career, she has assisted her clients in their efforts to build Ohio into a major mineral-producing state. She regularly litigates a variety of energy issues, including oil and gas disputes, mineral rights disputes and pipeline infrastructure disputes.

Kara also has a robust general commercial litigation practice, including in the areas of insurance and financial products. She represents clients nationwide in complex commercial litigation at both the trial and appellate level.

Prior to joining the firm, Kara served as a law clerk to the Hon. Alan E. Norris on the United States Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals and as a staff attorney at the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals in Atlanta, Georgia. She also served as a law clerk to the Hon. Michael H. Watson on the United States District Court for the Southern District of Ohio.

Experience

  • Oil and gas transactions and disputes

    Provide Ohio-specific legal counsel to Gulfport Energy Corporation on a variety of transactional and litigation matters primarily involving title issues and oil and gas lease disputes, including several appeals. 

  • Negotiation of a $1 billion electricity supply contract

    The Northeast Ohio Public Energy Council (NOPEC) is the largest public retail energy aggregation in Ohio, serving about 900,000 electric and gas customers across 14 counties. NOPEC’s electric supplier abruptly notified NOPEC that it was terminating its contract, thus leaving NOPEC’s nearly half-million electric customers to return to utility service at higher rates. Bricker attorneys sprang into action to prevent NOPEC's customers from paying these increased rates. The team negotiated a new complex electricity supply contract with NOPEC's replacement supplier (worth approximately $1 billion); and, within 10 days, our client had signed a new three-year contract. With our assistance, NOPEC obtained two waivers from the PUCO to meet the expedited enrollment timeline. Meanwhile, within two weeks, our litigation team settled a TRO and injunction case involving the original supplier, which resulted in a multi-million-dollar settlement payment to NOPEC. In addition, our energy litigation team dissolved an ex parte TRO issued against NOPEC to a competitor regarding the NOPEC customer enrollment process. We also obtained a complete dismissal of the competitor’s lawsuit on the basis that the PUCO had exclusive jurisdiction over the matter.  

  • Amicus in support of HHS interpretive rule

    Prepared an amicus brief on behalf of the American Hospital Association in support of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) interpretive rule providing guidance on the scope of the exclusion of orphan drugs from 340B discounts. 

  • False Claims Act defense

    Successfully defended, through appeal to the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit, a qui tam action brought under the False Claims Act on behalf of a hospital system who was alleged to have violated the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health (HITECH) Act by improperly certifying its compliance with the HITECH Act in exchange for receiving meaningful use payments.

  • DMA amicus briefs

    Filed amicus briefs on behalf of oil and gas clients in various Ohio appellate courts regarding the Ohio Dormant Minerals Act, including the Ohio Supreme Court.

  • Ohio Dormant Minerals Act appeals

    Represented oil and gas clients in various Ohio appellate courts, including the Ohio Supreme Court and various intermediate appellate courts regarding Ohio Dormant Minerals Act appeals.

  • Interference with business opportunity claim by physician group

    Defended hospital in lawsuit brought by physician group seeking to recover $8 million in lost future profits due to alleged interference with physician group's business relationship with referring physicians and patients. 

Professional & Community Activities

  • Board Member, Women's Energy Network
  • Member, Bricker & Eckler Diversity & Inclusion Committee
  • Co-Chair, Bricker & Eckler Women in Networking (WIN) group

Presentations & Published Works

  • Speaker, "Unlicensed Landmen and Ethical Issues," Ohio State Bar Association's 2018 Oil and Gas Update, November 2018
  • Speaker, "FERC Pipeline Update," Bricker & Eckler LLP's Energy Exchange: A Statehouse Update, October 19, 2017

Bar Admissions & Activities

  • Admitted, State of Ohio, 2011

Awards & Recognition

  • Rising Star, Ohio Super Lawyers (Business Litigation), 2018, 2020

Education

  • The Ohio State University (J.D., magna cum laude, 2011), Order of the Coif; Managing Editor, Ohio State Law Journal; Michael E. Moritz Leadership Award and Leadership Scholarship
  • University of Akron (B.A., summa cum laude, 2008)