About Us

History

Both Schneider, Smeltz, Ranney & LaFond LLP and Spieth, Bell, McCurdy & Newell Co., L.P.A. began practicing law in the mid 1800's as Cleveland was rising to industrial greatness. The two firms have since combined to form Schneider Smeltz Spieth Bell LLP. Our practice areas include: business law, real estate, litigation, family law, taxation and trusts and estates.

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History of Schneider, Smeltz, Ranney & LaFond LLP

The history of Schneider, Smeltz, Ranney & Lafond LLP began at the crest of Cleveland's industrial heyday, when a prominent Cleveland lawyer, John M. Henderson, opened a law office in one of the city's new skyscrapers, The Cuyahoga Building, on Superior Avenue overlooking Public Square. He called his new firm "Henderson & Quail", including the name of his young partner and cousin, Frank A. Quail.

Over the next 150 years this small firm would play an integral part in many of the commercial, real estate and civic advances through which this city so eagerly and expansively took hold of its moments in the sun. We have been lawyers for members of the Rockefeller family, for Alexander Winton and his Winton cars, for Kent Smith, one of the founders of Lubrizol, for the Halles and their venerable department store, and for Leonard Case and the Case Institute of Technology which he founded.

Henderson was an incorporator of Cleveland Trust, of the Sterling & Welch department store, and of Case School of Applied Science. He founded Cleveland Trust's Trust Department. He was also the founder of the Cleveland Bar Association and an early member of the Union Club where he ate lunch every day. His 99-year "Henderson Lease" solved a big problem facing a boom town: how to build offices and stores without forcing property owners to sell. A Henderson Lease was long enough for businesses to confidently build, yet not so long as to deprive a land owner of his interest.

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History of Spieth, Bell, McCurdy & Newell Co., L.P.A.

In 1867, lawyers Robert E. Mix and Conway W. Noble opened a law office on 150 Superior Avenue in Cleveland, Ohio, known as Mix & Noble. Despite tremendous change in the nation and world in the century and a half since 1867, Mix & Noble has continued in uninterrupted succession, and since 1975 has been known as Spieth, Bell, McCurdy & Newell Co., L.P.A.

John Griswold White joined the firm in 1870 and the firm’s name expanded to Mix, Noble & White. In 1886, Conway W. Noble, one of the firm’s founders, became a Judge of the Common Pleas Court and the firm’s name was changed to Mix & White. At the time Judge Noble took the bench in 1886, it was written that the “the firm was the oldest in the city and its business ramifications extended into all the commercial centres of the east.

Its admiralty practice was especially large and for a decade or more the firm had been retained upon one side or the other of nearly all the admiralty cases pending in the United States courts here. Very rarely were the individual corporate clients of Mix, Noble & White disappointed by defeat, and [there were a] number of regular suitors whose patronage testified to [the firm’s] vigilance and resources of learning and skill.”Vol. VI, The Magazine of Western History, pp. 166-67 (May, 1887).

Awards & Recognition

ACTEC Martindale-Hubbil Best Lawyers Primerus Super Lawyers