The law firm of Newcomer, Shaffer, Spangler & Breininger is the successor to a country law office founded by M.M. Boothman, a veteran of the American Civil War. Mr. Boothman lost a leg in the Battle of Jonesboro near Atlanta, Georgia. Upon returning to Williams County, he served as County Auditor and was later elected to serve in the United States Congress.
Commencing in the later 1890’s, Chauncey L. Newcomer began to “read law” in the office of Mr. Boothman. After studying in that law office for several years, Mr. Newcomer took the bar exam and was admitted to the practice of law. A few years later, he became associated with A.L. Gebhard in a law firm called Newcomer & Gebhard.
In the 1920’s, Mr. Newcomer was elected Common Pleas Judge of Williams County. After serving one term in that office, he returned to the firm. In 1939, Arthur S. Newcomer became associated with the firm, but shortly afterward, he was called to serve his country in the U.S. military.
Following World War II, Arthur S. Newcomer returned to Bryan to practice law with his father, Chauncey, under the name of Newcomer & Newcomer. In 1949, Wayne E. Shaffer joined the firm and a year later it became known as Newcomer, Newcomer & Shaffer. With the addition of J. Robert Geesey and James A. Hutton, the firm’s name became Newcomer, Shaffer, Geesey & Hutton. David C. Newcomer joined the firm in 1972.
Several changes took place in the 1980’s. John S. Shaffer became a member of the firm in 1981. With the retirement of J. Robert Geesey, the tragic death of James A. Hutton in an airplane crash, and two more lawyers, Steven R. Bird and Michael W. Spangler joined the firm, the name of the law office became Newcomer, Shaffer, Bird & Spangler. Michael A. Shaffer joined the firm in 1990. The name remained Newcomer, Shaffer, Bird & Spangler until 1997, when Steven R. Bird was elected Williams County Probate Judge. Ryan S. Breininger joined the firm in 1998, and in 2004 the name was changed to the present Newcomer, Shaffer, Spangler & Breininger. David C. Newcomer retired in 2013. The four partners, John S. Shaffer, Michael W. Spangler, Michael A. Shaffer, and Ryan S. Breininger, continue to practice today.
The firm has gradually grown to become one of the largest and most diversified law firms in Northwest Ohio. From its beginning, the firm engaged in general civil and criminal trial practice, including personal injury, wrongful death, commercial litigation, workers’ compensation, family law, and criminal defense. The firm continues to provide quality legal services to a wide cross-section of people in Williams and surrounding counties. The attorneys are active in civic and Ohio State Bar Association activities.