Apr 24, 2007 Erin Smith Uncategorized
Farrell, Martin & Barnell has been an institution in the Baldwinsville community since 1946. And their offices are hard to miss as one reaches the intersection of routes 48 and 31 in the village, also known as the four corners.
Despite name changes during the past 70 years, the law firm continues to offer a wide range of legal expertise including banking, litigation, real estate traffic, wills, trusts and more. And even though Baldwinsville remains close to the firm’s heart, Farrell, Martin & Barnell has also served more than 90 percent of the 62 counties in the state of New York.
The law offices opened in 1946 with the late County Court Judge Ormand Gale and Winnifred Stone as partners. Stone moved away and in 1952 Gale partnered with Simeon Farrell, when the firm became Gale & Farrell. In 1963, the name changed again to Farrell, Martin & Barnell and the firm moved into its current building at the four corners. Besides a two year hiatus in 1977 due to a fire, the law firm has been in the building ever since.
“We’ve been a fixture on this corner forever,” said Charles Farrell, who has served as an attorney at the office for 31 years. “Law practices survive on reputation, so we must be doing something right.”
Charles, Norman Martin and Paul Martin are the attorneys serving in the office now. However, Norm plans to retire soon at which point the firm hopes to recruit some new blood.
Charles’ expertise is primarily in family law, focusing on wills, estates, trusts and Medicaid planning.
He said many people have trusts prepared by large law firms, but don’t understand what they have done.
“I explain (the trusts) to them and they leave here knowing what has been done, and more importantly why,” Charles said.
Paul Martin’s expertise is in handling closings, real estate transactions and traffic issues.
“This office has always been big in real estate,” Charles said.
Clientele includes many of the big Baldwinsville businesses such as Seneca Federal and Anheuser-Busch.
Although the firm used to handle criminal cases, it no longer does due to time constraints.
“After Tom Barnell died, we stopped doing criminal because of a time crunch,” Charles said.
A community cornerstone
To contribute to the community, the firm helps out local organizations like the Baldwinsville Volunteer Center, Meals on Wheels, Canton Woods Senior Center and Baldwinsville churches by preparing and filing tax exemption forms. Charles was instrumental in securing the building for the Canton Woods Senior Center in the late ’70’s as a member of the Northwest Human Services Council, one of several volunteer organizations he has participated in over the years.
In all capacities, the firm has proven to be a cornerstone in the community serving several generations of Baldwinsville families.
“We’re at a point of transition — hopefully we can add a couple of names to the letterhead that will help us be here for another 60 years,” Charles said.