In January 1954, Nathaniel Barbera teamed up with Attorneys Clarence Shaver and Daryle Heckman and established the law firm of Shaver, Heckman & Barbera in Somerset. With the passing of Mr. and Mrs. Shaver and the addition of Nathaniel’s brother, John, in 1963, the firm officially became known as Barbera & Barbera. The firm’s tremendous successes and key additions of lawyers Samuel Clapper in 1972 and James Beener in 1977 and paralegals Mary June Gross and Joseph Polakoski necessitated the relocation of the firm’s offices to its present address at 146 West Main Street. The additional office space allowed the firm to further expand its practice over the next decade and a half with the strategic additions of Attorneys Daniel Rullo, Vincent Barbera, Melanie Barbera, Matthew Melvin, Patrick Svonavec, and Annette Barbera.
In 1993, the firm changed its name from Barbera & Barbera to Barbera, Clapper, Beener, Rullo & Melvin, LLP. The firm welcomed the addition of lawyers Craig Sperlazza in 2010 and Michael Barbera in 2011 to its team. The firm continues to grow with the addition of Beth Smith in 2017. Effective January 1, 2018, long-time partner Daniel Rullo departed the firm to assume his newly elected position as judge of the Court of Common Pleas of Somerset County. The firm changed its name to Barbera, Melvin, Svonavec & Sperlazza, LLP. In November of 2018 Craig Sperlazza left the firm to relocate to California with his family. The firm Barbera, Melvin, Svonavec & Sperlazza, LLP, has now changed its name to Barbera, Melvin, & Svonavec, LLP, doing business as “Barbera Law.” After an extremely successful year in 2018, including a $7 million wrongful death verdict
achieved by the team of Vincent and Melanie Barbera, Craig Sperlazza and local counsel Kevin Barth in Charleston, South Carolina, the firm looks forward to a bright future.
Our Firm Today
Today, the law firm of Barbera, Melvin & Svonavec, LLP promotes the services of eight highly qualified attorneys and ten hard-working and competent staff members. Since our inception in 1954, our firm has been blessed with the opportunity to continually and vigorously serve the people of Somerset County as well as clients all over the United States. These clients include individuals, businesses, school districts, and municipalities. Our practice areas include personal injury, business and general litigation, business law, real estate, energy leasing, estate planning and settlement, and more. Please see our Practice Areas page for more information. As we celebrate our 65th anniversary, we would like to take this opportunity to thank all of our clients and friends whom we have had the pleasure of serving over the many years and we look forward to carrying on that tradition well into the future!