When two young attorneys named Ritchie T. Marsh and Charles C. Eaton joined forces in 1897 to establish the firm of Marsh and Eaton, they planted the seeds which would grow to become one of Erie’s most reliable, respected, and prestigious law firms. As the decades passed, such noted attorneys as John A. Spaeder and James E. Marsh joined the practice. Following the end of World War II, Robert Spaeder and Will Schaaf came on board, and soon the firm adopted the name of Marsh Spaeder Baur Spaeder & Schaaf. Today, the firm has expanded to include twelve partners, including descendants of co-founder Ritchie T. Marsh.
After many years in the Ariel Building, the firm moved its offices to the G. Daniel Baldwin Building, where it continued to practice until 1985. Recognizing the bayfront area for its potential as a center of development and commerce, the firm moved to the renovated 300 State Street building in 1985 and continues to thrive at that location in the heart of Erie’s downtown resurgence.
In 2020, the firm became known as Marsh Schaaf, LLP. The firm practices in all counties of northwestern Pennsylvania, including Erie, Crawford, Venango, Mercer, Warren, Forrest, McKean, Potter, and Elk. The firm’s members are equally at ease practicing in state or federal courts and have done so as recognized litigators for decades.
A substantial percentage of the firm’s business is devoted to wills and estate administration municipal law and zoning, bankruptcy, and family law. The firm also maintains an active business and corporate law practice, representing sole proprietorships, partnerships, and both large and small corporations and the creation of LLC’s for other entities for small businesses and real estate investors.
Due to their varied areas of expertise and interest, the firm’s attorneys are able to respond effectively to virtually any situation for which an individual or company may require legal services.
The firm has a long history of effectively representing both financial institutions and private individuals in residential and commercial real estate matters. Purchasing a home marks the first time an individual or family requires the services of a lawyer and is the biggest investment for many people and couples. Firm members are not only attuned to the needs of the home buyer; they are able to help their clients understand what may appear to be a confusing and complicated legal transaction. It’s a policy of the firm to make sure that every real estate client fully understands the nature of the transaction, as well as the various legal documents required to complete the closing.
The firm represents individuals in personal injury matters, workers’ compensation cases, and commercial litigation.
Recognizing their commitment to the Erie community, members of the firm participate in the Legal Aid Volunteer Attorneys Program administered by the Erie County Bar Association. This program provides free legal representation to those who need legal service but could not otherwise afford it.
Members of the firm participate in seminars and other programs designed to further their knowledge of the ever-changing legal system, as well as to provide the community with no-cost information on various changes in the legal system which affect its citizens on a day-to-day basis.
As the firm of Marsh Schaaf, LLP surpasses its 125th year, its priorities have remained the same as they were in the waning days of the 19th century when founders Ritchie T. Marsh and Charles C. Eaton were determined to build a distinguished law firm. Today’s partners and associates insist on continuing legal education for the members, as well as regular upgrading and modernization of the facilities, equipment, and techniques. Marsh Schaaf, LLP is a group that takes great pride in its tradition of service and is equally proud of its present-day personnel, is deeply interested in its clients and the community, and looks forward to the future with as much enthusiasm and anticipation as its founders did over one century ago.