Since 1973, the lawyers at Higinbotham & Higinbotham have represented and assisted the citizens of Marion County and North Central West Virginia in a multitude of different subject matters. The Higinbotham offices, started by brothers George R. Higinbotham, Jr., known by most only as “Pete”, and John C. Higinbotham, originally opened on the second floor of the Professional Building on Adams Street in downtown Fairmont and have never moved far, still located today less than a block away.
Although originally specializing in municipal law with its first client, the City of Fairmont, Higinbotham & Higinbotham began handling personal injury cases since its inception. In addition to various subject matters, the firm has also had different complexions during its existence.
Higinbotham worked in conjunction with the office of Duranti & Kuhn in Philippi, West Virginia in 1974 and began doing coal title work for the Hillman Coal Company, assisting in the development of the locally-famed Martinka mine. Higinbotham also did oil and gas work for Allegheny Land & Mineral that same year.
In 1975, Higinbotham, Jones & Higinbotham was formed and the office was moved to the fifth floor of the Deveny Building, the current home of the firm. At that time, Higinbotham picked up more municipal work on a piecemeal basis and began representing the Fairmont-Marion County Housing Authority. However, the firm could not seem to steer away from its desire to help individuals with the wrongs that had been committed against them and began representing local contractors in construction arbitration disputes. In 1976, Higinbotham represented the Charter Board in the new form of city government in Fairmont and, with the well-being of injured citizens in mind, developed the program of prosecuting drunk driving cases before juries in Circuit Court.
In 1978, because of, for those who may recall, the economy of the times, Paul Parker left the practice. It was at that time that the firm re-emerged as Higinbotham & Higinbotham and, at least in name, has remained the same ever since.
Founding partner John C. Higinbotham continued in the Higinbotham tradition of lending assistance to the citizens of Marion County and served as mental health commissioner until 1987. In 1983, Jo Marie Pitrolo came on board as the firm’s first law clerk and, after graduating from the WVU College of Law in 1984, began practicing as the first Higinbotham associate attorney at which time she also served as an Assistant Prosecuting Attorney in Marion County for two years.
Later into the 1980’s, the firm moved to 201 Adams Street into the space formerly occupied by the shoe store and remained at that location until the Summer of 2008. During that time period, the Higinbotham firm elected to discontinue its involvement in mineral work and began concentrating more and more on personal injury cases, carrying on a significant appellate practice and always having at least one case before the Supreme Court of Appeals of West Virginia in Charleston.
Today, nearly 100% of the Higinbotham workload is made up of its efforts in personal injury cases, strengthened by the additions of Road Safety lawyers Sean J. Sawyer, now a partner, in 1996, and Forrest A. “Andy” Bowen in 2009. And as history has shown, although the office of Higinbotham & Higinbotham may move from its current location at 320 Adams Street, or it may change the look of its personnel from time to time, one thing is certain – as long as Higinbotham exists, the citizens of Marion County and West Virginia abroad, whether injured by car wreck, defective product or otherwise, will always have somewhere to turn for help.