No More Jingle? No More Billboard? Cellino & Barnes Might Be Done

Ross Cellino files an order to show cause

Richard Root
May 11, 2017 - 3:37 am
Cellino and Barnes Suit

WBEN

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Buffalo, NY (WBEN) - The famous Cellino and Barnes jingle and their, huge, smiling faces on billboards might be a thing of the past. 

They've been a part of Buffalo's scenery and airwaves for over 18 years.  However, an order to show cause obtained by WBEN, filed in State Supreme Court Wednesday, threatens to put an end to all of that.

Court documents show that Stephen Barnes is due in court May 19th to give reasons why Cellino and Barnes should not be dissolved.  Ross Cellino, Junior, is listed as the petitioner, while Cellino and Barnes P.C. and Stephen Barnes are listed as the respondents.

The document shows that all documents will remain sealed unless the court orders otherwise. This means that claims Cellino may be making against Barnes aren't available and the reasons for the order to show cause remain a mystery.

The firm issued a statement Thursday afternoon: In response to recent legal action and media reports regarding the ongoing ownership structure of our firm, we want to assure our employees, our clients and our business partners that Cellino & Barnes continues to operate around the clock in a fully functional manner. We commend our 300 staff members for their understanding and professionalism, and appreciate their consistent commitment to providing quality service to our clients. As the administrative issues in question are addressed, we can confidently state that the firm intends to sustain its positive growth track and the substantial momentum we have achieved in recent years. Mr. Barnes and the firm plan to aggressively oppose the dissolution papers filed by Mr. Cellino; however, we reiterate that regardless of outcome, the firm will continue to do business in the many markets we serve. As we respect the legal proceedings, it is the firm’s policy not to comment on ongoing litigation. Our firm remains proud of the longstanding service our principals, attorneys and staff have provided in creating one of the largest personal injury law firms in the country—and that feeling remains unchanged. We encourage any personal injury victim in need of representation to contact our firm. The attorneys at Cellino & Barnes continue to take calls and are available to help clients achieve the best possible results for their case.

WGRZ first reported the filing and Barnes' attorney, Terrence Connors, did not respond to their requests for more information.

If Cellino and Barnes split up, this wouldn't be the first time. In June, 2005, Cellino had his law license suspended and Barnes was censured for violating Disciplinary Rules of the Code of Professional Responsibility - rules which govern the conduct of lawyers in New York State.  The business operated as "The Barnes Firm" in the mean time.

Cellino's suspension was lifted in January, 2007.  Cellino and Barnes reappeared not too long after that.

Other than the famous jingle and billboards, Cellino and Barnes has been known for their philanthropy, donating millions to various causes and charities.  This includes their Cellino and Barnes Community Scholarship, which they established in 2004 and a $1,000,000 gift to the University at Buffalo Law School in 2009.

Cellino and Barnes is one of the largest personal injury law firms in the region, and currently has offices in Buffalo, Rochester, Long Island, San Francisco, L-A, and San Diego.

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