About Our Firm
Higgins, Roberts & Suprunowicz, P.C., is heralded as one of the oldest firms in the state of New York, as well as the United States. While we take great pride in our great heritage of accomplished attorneys and champions of the law, we consider our greatest accomplishment the standard of exceptional legal representation we have provided the families and individuals of Schenectady, New York, for generations. Our commitment to meeting a high standard for our clients is reflected in the firm’s motto – Non ut sibi ministretur sed ut ministret – “Not to be served, but to serve.” Mk, 10:45
Generation To Generation Since 1837
The firm has withstood the test of time and remains committed to staying relevant and current as Schenectady estate planning attorneys continue to best represent our clients as legal climates change and evolve through the years. This is most visible in the passing of our services by clients from generation to generation. Higgins, Roberts & Suprunowicz, P.C., remains a cornerstone of trust and stability in the community, and we invite you to allow us to offer that same level of legal service to your family.
Time is merely one test of talent, integrity, knowledge and proper application of the law, but we believe it is a clear indicator of the ability of our firm to stay current and relevant in a constantly changing world.
Higgins, Roberts & Suprunowicz, P.C., traces its long and storied history to 1837 when firm founder David Cady Smith was admitted to the Bar. In the decades and centuries following, Smith has been succeeded by a long and continuous line of attorneys, judges and other elected officials. Our attorneys have played instrumental roles in the founding and development of Schenectady institutions.
Our firm has had a long-standing relationship with the Schenectady Savings Bank, now, through a series of name changes and mergers, Bank of America. David Cady Smith served as attorney for the bank. He was also a trustee and eventually president of the bank during the period 1875 to 1904. He was joined in the legal practice by his son, Everett Smith, who, like him, represented the bank and became its president. Everett Smith’s brother, Gerardus Smith, was the president of the Schenectady Bank that merged with and became a part of the Schenectady Trust Company in June of 1902, currently Trustco Bank. Gerardus Smith was also the owner of the Schenectady Gazette, currently The Daily Gazette.
State Senator Edwin Miller became a partner with Everett Smith in the practice of law in 1911. Senator Miller’s family owned the Union Book Company. After Everett Smith died, Senator Miller took Harold R. Beyerl as a partner in 1921. Harold Beyerl named his only child, Edwin J. Beyerl, after Senator Edwin Miller. Edwin Beyerl too became an attorney and joined the firm in 1956. He retired in 1987.
At the end of World War II, Frank S. Higgins joined the firm, followed by John Van Etten, James P. Houlihan, Richard E. Roberts and Edwin J. Beyerl in the 1950s. All of them were partners with Harold R. Beyerl. Robert J. Coan joined the firm in 1959 and retired in 2002. James H. Erceg joined the firm in 1964. He retired in 2005 after 41 years with the firm.
The firm name evolved and changed with the passage of time, but there was always a continuity of lawyers working together and providing high-quality legal services to Schenectady area clients. Beginning in 1964, except for a relatively brief period, the firm name has been Higgins, Roberts, Beyerl & Coan, P.C. This changed in 2012 when the firm became Higgins, Roberts & Suprunowicz, P.C.
During the 1950s, the firm enlarged the scope of its practice beyond bank and real estate law to include a concentration in estate and trust planning, estate and trust administration and elder law. The firm has since expanded into other areas of law, including corporate, nonprofit, personal injury, taxation, administrative, education, general litigation, insurance, adoption, bankruptcy, foundations, matrimonial and family law.
Several lawyers of distinction in the capital district have been associated with the firm as partners, associates and clerks. The present Schenectady County Supreme Court Judge, the honorable Barry D. Kramer and the present Schenectady County District Attorney, Robert M. Carney, are former partners of the law firm.
The men and women of Higgins, Roberts & Suprunowicz, P.C., believe that their experience and dedication, combined with the unprecedented history and continuity of the firm, bring a unique excellence to the delivery of legal services.
Ongoing Community Involvement
Higgins, Roberts & Suprunowicz, P.C., plays an active role in the community. Our attorneys have served on the boards of many of the area’s most active nonprofits and currently serve on the boards of such organizations as the Schenectady County Bar Association, the New York State Bar Association, the Schenectady Symphony Orchestra, the Union College Annual Business Campaign, the Schenectady Day Nursery, the American Red Cross of Northeastern New York Chapter, Living Resources, the Schenectady Community Home and the SI Group.
From our reputation as skilled Albany personal injury attorneys to our knowledgeable services in estate planning and family law, our broad and deeply experienced team seeks to provide you optimal legal representation.
A cornerstone of the community, we take seriously the responsibility to carefully and thoroughly represent our neighbors. Call today at 518-631-5609 or send an email to arrange an appointment to discuss how we can best represent your legal needs.