Barnes Claim to Stop Cellino's Daughter's Use of Name in New Law Firm Rejected

Barnes claimed Ross Cellino was secretly starting new firm with his daughter

August 05, 2019 - 5:45 pm

Buffalo, NY (WBEN) The Law Offices of Anna Marie Cellino LLP won a ruling in federal court in Rochester today when a judge dismissed attempts by Buffalo attorney Stephen E. Barnes to temporarily block the Cellino firm from using its name and advertising its services.

U.S. District Court Judge Elizabeth A. Wolford ruled that Barnes did not have proper standing to bring an action of this sort. The judge’s decision is “without prejudice” and allows Barnes to continue to pursue his case in state Supreme Court in Buffalo before Justice Deborah A. Chimes. Judge Wolford also did not rule on the Cellino firm’s contention that because it voluntarily changed its name from Cellino & Cellino that Barnes’ action against the firm was moot.

“We are obviously pleased with the court’s position today,” said Jeanna Cellino, of the firm, with her sister Annmarie, and their mother. “We also believe because we voluntarily changed our firm’s name, phone number and advertising, so there is no possibility of confusion with any other law firm, this whole effort is baseless. Our firm is prospering, and we are concentrating on our clients.”

The decision, which came after arguments Friday before Judge Wolford, means that for the immediate future, the Law Offices of Anna Marie Cellino can operate as the firm has been since the name was changed June 21.

“The federal rule involved here required Mr. Barnes to get permission from his firm’s board, or an equivalent authority, to institute this action against the Cellino law firm,” said the attorney who argued the case, Julia Hilliker of the Hodgson Russ law firm. “In this case, Mr. Barnes needed to obtain permission from Judge Chimes, and did not.”

It is the latest in the ongoing feud between Ross Cellino and Steve Barnes as their partnership has been dissovling.

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