Cellino & Barnes

If you are a regular viewer of “Fox Rochester” — it’s our Fox affiliate on cable television here in Prince Edward Island even though it’s a thousand miles away — you’ll recognize the name of the law firm Cellino & Barnes as they have been heavy advertisers. A “personal injury” law firm, their ads were of the “you’ve been run over by a bus — we’ll help you get your money” variety.

And if you’ve really been paying attention, you’ll have noticed that in recent days the ads have changed: gone are “Cellino & Barnes,” replaced by “The Barnes Firm.” Cellino is nowhere to be seen.

What happened?

Business First of Buffalo reports:

The decision of the Appellate Division, 4th Department, of New York State Supreme Court confirmed widespread speculation that the two personal-injury attorneys, partners in Cellino & Barnes PC, were the subject of a disciplinary investigation brought by the 8th Judicial District Attorney Grievance Committee.
The big news was that Cellino has had his legal license suspended for six months and Barnes was censured by the court — serious, public consequences for the two lawyers but a far cry from the disbarment that many observers, casual and otherwise, were predicting for one or both of them.

And later in the same story:

The most immediate impact of the court’s decision to temporarily revoke Cellino’s license is the removal of Cellino’s name and image from all firm communications, including its letterhead and the more than 100 Cellino & Barnes billboard ads that line roadways around Buffalo, Rochester and Erie, Pa. As of Wednesday, radio ads for newly christened The Barnes Firm were running in place of Cellino & Barnes spots.

So now you know.


Josh Kline's picture
Josh Kline on August 2, 2005 - 20:21 Permalink

umm. what the heck. I love cellino & barnes- but not apart. together they are immortal. I loved their theme song. what am I going to sing now? because “cellino & barnes, the injury attourney, call four-five-four, twenty twenty” is forever immortalized in my soul and I’m having it sung at my wedding & funeral. you must tell me what is to become of this catastrophe, I have been losing sleep since I saw the first “Barnes firm” commercial. I can’t eat either. I mean, they sort of compensate for eachothers’ physical weaknesses. I mean, barnes is BALD. wth. and cellino had huge effing eyebrows. so together they made the perfect match, like- britney & justin, bonnie & clyde, mermaid man & barnacle boy… dirty harry and his freakin monkey!!! so to say the least, I am appalled & greatly disgruntled.

Jesse Johnson's picture
Jesse Johnson on August 5, 2005 - 19:55 Permalink

I know! Where the hell did Cellino go to? I can’t possibly enjoy Simpsons reruns knowing that Cellino is without his Barnes! Jesus, bring the lawyer duo back together!

A Gallagher's picture
A Gallagher on August 6, 2005 - 23:11 Permalink

Thank you so much. We loved seeing the Cellino & Barnes ads every time we cross the border into Buffalo so to see “The Barnes Firm” splashed across the billboards was an abomindation. Together, they were our favorite scumball lawyers! We could not fathom what had happened. Thank you so much for the info. What a relief to see that they are living up to their potential. We look forward to seeing Cellino’s name rightfully returned to billboards in the near future.

Ron Henry's picture
Ron Henry on August 22, 2005 - 15:32 Permalink

What’s the scoop on the demise of that firm of shyster lawyers?I’ll be blown away if the reason does not begin and end with money. Does anybody know?. Maybe Cellino got bent out of shape when Barnes told him that he was charging up to the firm the cost of his hair restoration treatment, which, I’m told, at the last estimate, approaches what it costs for each space shuttle mission!

Buffalo Bill's picture
Buffalo Bill on August 29, 2005 - 05:33 Permalink

Just thought I’d let you PEI folks know about the Cellino controversy…
they were diverting money to clients before settlement.

Cellino & Barnes Disciplined
WBEN Newsroom — Friday, June 10, 2005 04:15 PM

Albany, NY (WBEN) — Two high profile personal injury attornies have been disciplined by the Appellate Division of the State Supreme Court for violating the Code of Professional responsibility.

Steve Barnes was censured, allowing him to continue practice. Ross Cellino has been suspended for a period of six months and until further order of the court.

In incidents between 1994 and 1999, Cellino and Barnes improperly advanced money to clients. After learning their actions violated disciplinary rules, Cellino and Barnes circumvented the rule by arranging for a company owned by Cellino’s cousin to continue the practice of extending loans to clients.

University of Buffalo Professor of Law Lee Albert tells NewsRadio 930 WBEN the actions will put the firm under increased scutiny.

The story can be read at http://www.wben.com/newsroom/f…

If anyone’s free, be sure to come on down to Buffalo this Labor Day weekend for the National Buffalo Wing Festival.

And finally, if you can’t get enough of the “dynamic duo,” here’s a link to one of their billboards.

Reminds me so much of home.

P.S. — Go Sabres !

Me's picture
Me on August 31, 2005 - 21:45 Permalink

here in Buffalo it’s eight-five-four twenty-twenty.

my lawn hasn’t ben the same since the billboards came down and I lost all that shade!!

canadian eh's picture
canadian eh on September 13, 2005 - 18:29 Permalink

I am from niagara calls canada and everytime i go across the peace bridge i looked forward to seeing the ugly mugs of BOTH cellino and barnes .. i went to buffalo for a recent comeback kid , from autumn to ashes and rise against concert and i almosth ad a heartattack when i saw the new billboards … i wanted to go right home and find the reason why my fav buffalo duo have been seperated … now i know .. so in six months when i go to buffalo again i hope to see some fimilar faces .. LONG LIVE CELLINO AND BARNES

jimmyhankjr's picture
jimmyhankjr on September 18, 2005 - 04:10 Permalink

Barnes is one of the hottest lawyers on American cross-border TV, and I’m including Judge Alex.

And by hot, I mean those eyes, that skull, that mouth, that voice.

J Man's picture
J Man on October 18, 2005 - 01:03 Permalink

The Heavy Hitters are all you need! Call 1-800-LAW-1333!! Alexander & Catalano Rule!!! Who needs that cheatin’ Cellino anymore!! Why didn’t he loan me any money?

Alex's picture
Alex on November 4, 2005 - 00:29 Permalink

I also miss Cellino…but not like I miss the veins popping out of Jim “the hammer” Shapiro’s forehead. Now that guy was cool.

pdm's picture
pdm on November 13, 2005 - 01:32 Permalink

I haven’t even seen any of the “big head” billboards around lately — the once where you could tell from the back that C&B were on the other side — the slightly bumpy Cellino head and the aerodynamic BarnesDome.

Jim Porto's picture
Jim Porto on November 16, 2005 - 02:20 Permalink

First the Beatles broke up, now this!!! Actually, I was hoping that Cellino was injured on the job.

Richard Brown's picture
Richard Brown on November 19, 2005 - 03:13 Permalink

does anyone know when Mr.Cellino’s suspension is over get C&B back tohether!!!!!!

terry's picture
terry on November 29, 2005 - 22:55 Permalink

i just cant beleive how many people care about this…i thougth i was the only one…i went researching what happened to the dynamic duo and came across this site…..this is amazing….theyll be back

Shoebox's picture
Shoebox on December 4, 2005 - 02:33 Permalink

I echo the sentiment of Terry — I didn’t know so many would be looking for this either. I was just looking at the lonely face of Barnes staring at me from the back of my phone book and decided to research what went wrong…


Isaac's picture
Isaac on December 5, 2005 - 18:40 Permalink

Thanks for the information. I was wondering what had happened to Cellino. I thought perhaps he had died.

Milosh's picture
Milosh on December 8, 2005 - 17:52 Permalink

THE HEAVY HITTERS ARE ALL YOU NEED CALL 1-800 LAW 1333! Alexander and Catalano run shit in this town, these ambulance chasers are king of kings. Has anyone seen these commericals stoned? They can give seizures. These two jabronis run around on a football fields, somehow play an 11 man game of baseball between the two of them, I mean this shit is ridiculous. But I love the scumbags!

Maria Ortiz's picture
Maria Ortiz on January 1, 2006 - 07:09 Permalink

This is a description of what happened I have an eight year old son and his name is Marc he is enrolled in a program and the program is T.I.L.C the program is based on children with disabilites and my son has Down Syndrome and my son is assigned a one on one counselor and at the time of the accident my son was unsupervised that specific day the program took the students on a field trip and the only reason my son did not go was because he gets out of school a little later than the other students at the program they do activites and some of the activites involve running but this day my son was not supervised because he would not have hurt himself Marc conselor was not paying Marc any attention because they building was not doing any activites so Marc was not suppose to be running and the assigned counselor did not tell Marc to stop running and because he did not tell Marc not to run this resulted in my son breaking his knee and tearing his ligament

Richard's picture
Richard on January 4, 2006 - 04:31 Permalink

Number 1:What does that have anything to with Cellino and Barnes and Number 2:The Six months are now up and Going on seven months And Still Nothing has Changed it is still the Barnes Firm we want answers!!! and when are we gonna get em? Who really cares about Alexander and Catalano,I have e-mail the Barnes Firm 3 times trying to get answers and I ask for them to e mail me back with answers and I got NOTHING!!!Cellino’s Suspenion is up when are we gonna see the Billboards and the Commercials of Cellino and Barnes? for the last month or so all I seen were Steve barnes on a football feild and it is the same 1 over and Over and Over again I hope that the next Commercial by them is one By Cellino and Barnes NOT the Barnes Firm!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Cellino and Barnes 4 Ever!!!!

Richard's picture
Richard on January 4, 2006 - 04:46 Permalink

Me again Don’t you think that Cellino and Barnes sounds a lot better the The Barnes Firm?

Philip's picture
Philip on January 22, 2006 - 08:26 Permalink

I live in Toronto and watch the Fox affliate from Buffalo. For weeks I’ve been wondering whatever happened to Cellino? Was he rubbed out by the Mob?…Was he himself the victim of a serious personal injury? Who would have guessed that I would get my answer from ‘little ol’ P.E.I.

By the way, for such a small population how come you get 4, count em, 4 federal MP’S?

Jennygirl's picture
Jennygirl on January 30, 2006 - 16:40 Permalink

Hey — on the C&B front … did anyone read in the Buffalo News on Sunday, January 22nd that another C&B attorney was in trouble. Apparently the atty lied about being a medical doctor when his medical license was suspended years and years ago.

And I agree .. I miss seeing the “Gruesome Twosome” on the commercials — Barnes just isn’t fun without his sidekick!!!

Buffalo Bill's picture
Buffalo Bill on March 19, 2006 - 05:12 Permalink

More details on the Supreme Court’s ruling…

The Court concludes that the attorneys circumvented codes of professional responsibility by extending loans to clients through Cellino’s cousin, but he did not break the law. This was done to pay off medical bills and rehab for a client’s son. Despite such a noble thought, the Court had genuine ethical concerns over the practice. Barnes sent a letter for business to a hospital victim, but the Court felt that the victim was in no condition to exercise reasonable judgment.

The Court weighed the evidence, as well as the firm’s track record: “The record before this Court reveals that after more than 20 years in the practice of law, respondent Cellino has an unblemished record and respondent Barnes has received one letter of caution. The hearing testimony of eight character witnesses, all respected members of the bench and bar, demonstrates that respondents are competent trial attorneys who have represented clients effectively and have obtained favorable results on their behalf…”

The Court ordered suspension of Cellino for 6 months “and until further notice,” which may explain the delay. If any of you have access to a law library, the case is available online. The citing is 21 A.D.3d 229, or 798 N.Y.S.2d 600. It is interesting reading. Barnes was also censured in Ohio, where I believe he is licensed to practice law.

I’m hoping this thing can get resolved soon. Cellino did a lot of good things for the WNY community, and I don’t think society is helped by not having a stellar attorney practice law.

And by the way, did anyone catch that ad featuring William Shatner ? He’s advertising for some attorney in Buffalo, but I didn’t catch who it was. It sounds very convincing when Captain Kirk and Mr. Boston Legal, esq. are pitching your firm.

Chris's picture
Chris on May 24, 2006 - 01:04 Permalink

Cellino never blinks!

robert's picture
robert on September 26, 2006 - 21:20 Permalink

hurt in a car? Call william mattar” thats a good one too

Trisha's picture
Trisha on December 28, 2006 - 21:04 Permalink

Okay, what’s the latest? it’s been a very very very stretched out six months, nothing has changed!

paul's picture
paul on January 30, 2007 - 04:33 Permalink

I feel much better knowing what happened to Cellino. I thought he and Barnes had a falling out. It has to be a lot harder for Barnes to chase those ambulances all by himself.

From Hamilton, Ontario, Canada's picture
From Hamilton, ... on February 16, 2007 - 19:32 Permalink

Oh THANK GOD I now know what happened! You have no clue how this mystery bugged my husband and I. Now we can back to living again.

Amy's picture
Amy on April 9, 2007 - 03:14 Permalink

What Cellino & Barnes did, was 100%. It can definitely cause a conflict of interest. And speaking of interest. They were using their cousin’s loan company to front their client’s money before they received the money for the verdict or settlement. They would not only deduct their share, but also a huge amount of interest from that loan they fronted them. It wasn’t at all a noble idea. It was intended to be a way to make more money off of their clients in my opinion, and help their cousin’s business out as well. This made their clients less likely to change attorneys if they weren’t satisfied…and their is were it gets conflicting and unethical.
What I understand is that the advertising has seen a jump in results to the greater ever since Cellino’s name and face was removed. Barnes has a more trustworthy face, along with that bald head of his.
All other attorneys in the same area resent and loathe them. Part of it is jealousy, but I think most of their feeling is valid.
On a side note, I know a girl who’s dating a nephew of either Cellino or Barnes (can’t remember which one) and he’s a complete dirtbag drunk.

Karen's picture
Karen on July 28, 2007 - 04:25 Permalink

Oh there is joy in Western NY today —- Like the first robin of spring, like the thaw of ice on the Niagara River, like Christmas morning come at last….. Cellino is back!

Saw the first TV Commercials this week. He looks none the worse for wear, and I can hardly wait to see the bactrian billboards (two hump)once again replacing the dromedary dome (one hump) billboards on my frequent drives from Rochester to Cleveland!

Del's picture
Del on July 31, 2007 - 01:10 Permalink

Well, there is joy in Toronto too. I just saw a CELLINO & Barnes commercial — what?!? is this a rerun? — scramble to internet — find this thread — it’s true — Cellino’s back — he’s really back. And looking quite dapper too — nice tan. Equilibrium has returned! All’s right with the world.

mike thorne's picture
mike thorne on August 23, 2007 - 02:40 Permalink

What do you call 10,000 lawyers at the bottom of the sea? A good start! -Loaded Weapon 1

Sherri's picture
Sherri on September 11, 2007 - 01:17 Permalink

They’re a bunch of crooks. I had them for a case and they screwed me. My lawyer tried to get me to borrow money from one of their loanshark friends w/an interest rate of 25%. But I’m sure if I told someone that they’d ask if I had proof. I also don’t think I got the amount of money I was supoosed to. I think they were paid off by the insurance company I was suing. I told my lawyer I wanted to take the company to court but he told me that I would probably end up having to pay the court cost. Me not knowing what to do after having had them as lawyers for over 4 years for the case decided to take what was offered to me. There’s a place for them in HELL!!!!!

CURT's picture
CURT on November 20, 2007 - 23:55 Permalink

I am happy as heck to hear that Cellino is back! Go Cellino & Barnes And “Go Buffalo Bills GO”.

fred's picture
fred on December 10, 2007 - 00:16 Permalink

After watching the never-ending ads of the Celli-Barnes duo telling the same old story, I am considering developing a black box that will change channels for 15 seconds to send them into oblivion. Think this is a good idea???

Raven's picture
Raven on January 24, 2009 - 18:15 Permalink

What is your problem? It is a law company? They screw people out of their money and they are ugly.

mrud's picture
mrud on February 24, 2011 - 22:19 Permalink

I saw your post regarding Cellino & Barnes. We’ve been conducting an investigation into some similar claims. If you are interested in discussing this matter with us, we’d greatly appreciate it.

Shamar Holmes's picture
Shamar Holmes on August 30, 2012 - 02:01 Permalink

This also happend to me. Not only did they settle out of court without a legal parental consent they did an off the records deal with my father whos rights and guardian ship is and been completely terminated I actually have a witness whos signature is on the settlement that is willing to admit to the court there illegal transactions and i have all the illegal paperwork they used i just need a lawyer because i have a solid case and i am going to sue there firm