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Crabbs & Crabbs is a general practice law firm located in Hanover, Pennsylvania.

Its attorneys, who have combined experience of nearly 70 years practicing law, have deep roots in the Hanover, Pennsylvania area. The attorneys at Crabbs & Crabbs primarily focus their practices in civil litigation, criminal law, family law, wills and estates, real estate transactions, business incorporations, and contract law. They also maintain strong relationships with attorneys in other jurisdictions and practice areas with whom they can collaborate as necessary.

About Us

Crabbs & Crabbs is a general practice law firm servicing primarily York and Adams Counties.  Its practice areas are far-reaching, including family law (adoption, divorce, prenuptial agreements, custody), estate planning and administration, civil and criminal law, real estate transactions, and business and contract law.  The attorneys at Crabbs & Crabbs strive to be your lawyers for life, providing guidance and assistance in whatever circumstances you find yourself.


The attorneys at Crabbs & Crabbs have deep roots in the Hanover, Pennsylvania community.  John Crabbs, a second-generation attorney, was raised in Hanover.  His father Jesse L. Crabbs practiced law in Hanover from his return from World War II until his death in 1988.  John’s grandfather had also been a prominent figure in the community, serving as Chief of Police, auctioneer, constable, and as the head of Crabbs Detective Agency.

John and Muriel have practiced law in Hanover for over 30 years and raised three children there. Ruth Crabbs Gunnell was raised in Hanover, where she now practices law and is raising a family of her own. Together, John, Muriel, and Ruth offer an extensive list of legal services, coming from decades of experience.

Practice Areas

Family Law

From adoption to pre-marital agreements through divorce, including equitable distribution (Court-ordered division of property upon divorce), spousal and child support, alimony, and separation agreements, family law affects countless individuals in our community.  Our lawyers have extensive experience, both in Court and out, in this weighty, emotionally charged area of the law.

Real Estate Law

The purchase of a home is, for most, the single largest purchase of a lifetime, where something as simple as the failure to provide a disclosure statement can lead to the loss of a sale under a written contract for sale of real estate.  Our experience includes the preparation of contracts for purchase and sale of real estate and related documents, negotiation and preparation of residential and commercial leases, representation of buyers or sellers in real estate closings, and negotiations and litigation concerning property rights and neighbors’ disputes.

Contract Law

We have broad experience in preparation and negotiation of contracts of all types, as well as in-Court resolution of disagreements with respect to rights under contracts.  Although the law recognizes the enforceability of oral contracts, it is usually preferable to commit important agreements to writing both as an aid to ensuring that all significant issues are covered and a protection against the fallibillity of memory.  We have helped many businesses and individuals in the negotiation of agreements as well as resolving disputes that arise in connection with them.

Social Security Disability

The laws surrounding Social Security disability generally relate to the decision of whether one qualifies for benefits, for what type(s) of benefits he or she may be eligible, and  to who much the individual is entitled.  Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Social Security Income (SSI) are federal programs over which the state and local courts do not have jurisdiction.  Any disputes regarding Social Security benefits should be handled with the assistance of a qualified legal representative.

Criminal Defense

In America, a person charged with the commission of a crime has a Constitutionally guaranteed right to assistance of counsel.  Our attorneys have experience representing individuals accused of offenses from minor summary matters disposed of in the District Courts, to more serious crimes including murder.  There are numerous benefits to having experienced legal representation when facing the entire apparatus of the state’s criminal justice system.  In the criminal law, perhaps more than anywhere else, “a man who is his own lawyer has a fool for a client.”

Wills, Trusts & Estates

Our lawyers have prepared hundreds of wills and administered or assisted in administering countless estates.  The duties of an executor can be simply stated:  “gather and liquidate the assets of the estate, pay creditors, pay taxes, and distribute the balance according to the will or the intestate law.”  Although easily stated in general terms, depending on the specifics of the situation, proper administration can require prosecution of lawsuits, collection of debts, negotiation of disputed obligations, sale of real estate, liquidation of other assets, as well as preparation of Inheritance Tax Returns, Federal Estate Tax Returns, and Fiduciary Income Tax Returns.  Our years of experience in these areas allow us to assist in efficient and timely dealing with these and other problems.We also recommend and routinely prepare powers of attorney for our clients.  This advance planning can ease the burden of a sudden and unexpected incapacity.

Business Incorporation & Law

Various rules, regulations, and technicalities surround the creation of a new business and the  many transactions in which that business will be involved over time.  Crabbs & Crabbs can assist with the choice and creation of a business entity and with the hurdles that the business encounters.

Civil Litigation & Trial

Disputes that fall within the umbrella of “civil litigation” include landlord/tenant issues, personal injury claims, medical malpractice, neighbor disputes, and employment and labor disputes, just to name a few.  These types of proceedings can include Court filings, written discovery and depositions (for the gathering of evidence), pretrial conferences with the Court, mediation or arbitration, and, ultimately, a trial.  Having experienced representation in such a significant proceeding is invaluable.

Unemployment Compensation

Sudden loss of employment can be extremely stressful for an individual or family.  Our firm has represented both employers and employees in this realm of the law.  Frequently, valid unemployment compensation applications are denied by the state.  In such a case, we can assess your case and provide guidance on whether to appeal the decision and, if so, prepare your appeal paperwork, collect evidence for your case, and represent you at the hearing before the Unemployment Compensation referee.

There are a great many situations one may encounter in life for which consulting a legal expert is strongly advised, and the attorneys at Crabbs & Crabbs are familiar with the intricacies and nuances that present themselves in these situations.

Enlisting the expertise of a qualified attorney can help, whether it is just to provide guidance in making an important decision, or going to battle for you in court. If you are even considering whether legal representation would be valuable in your particular circumstances, contact us today. We’re here to help!

Our Team

The seasoned attorneys at Crabbs & Crabbs have a combined total of over 70 years of experience providing support and representation in a wide variety of legal areas, including family, business, real estate, employment, and civil and criminal law.

John M. Crabbs
Muriel Anne Crabbs
Ruth Crabbs Gunnell

The attorneys at Crabbs & Crabbs have extensive experience in a broad range of practice areas.

They are equipped to guide clients through any number of circumstances in which they may find themselves over their lifetimes – from adoptions, to civil litigation, to unemployment, to business transactions, to divorce and custody, to estate planning and estate administration, and life events in between.

Our Office

Crabbs & Crabbs is located in downtown Hanover at 202 Broadway.  We offer daytime, as well as evening appointments for your convenience.