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Steve Barnes’ Death and the Limits of Legal Power

A Large Figure, Beset by Ethical Concerns?

Rest In Peace Los Angeles Injury Attorney Steve Barnes, A Large Figure, Beset by Ethical Concerns. A prominent attorney in the New York area died in a plane crash yesterday. Steve Barnes, of the law firm Cellino & Barnes, may be best known to NY area residents due to their television and radio commercials. Fox News reported on the death near Pembroke, New York.

Barnes was piloting the single-engine aircraft, journeying from Manchester New Hampshire to Buffalo, NY. While Barnes and his law firm enjoyed a certain level of notoriety, Barnes and his partner were also the subjects of significant ethical questions, especially over the treatment of other attorneys. In some ways, we had a case of famous for running a whole bunch of ads on the television and radio airwaves.

A Little Background and History of Cellino & Barnes, California Personal Injury Attorneys.

Understanding More About the Legal World

After anyone dies, we must consider their personal life and family. The same crash that killed Steve Barnes also killed his niece. Our best wishes go out to Barnes’ entire family as they process this loss.

Cellino and Barnes advertised themselves as personal injury attorneys based out of Los Angeles, CA in California on their Cellino and Barnes website and marketing materials. And they also marketed as attorneys licensed to practice law in Buffalo New York, in their east coast ads and website. After the two partners split up, Barnes appears to have continued marketing himself as a California personal injury attorney in west coast marketing materials, changing his corporate name back to the name it had around the time he and Cellino appealed their New York State Bar ethics convictions.

Cellino and Barnes Consumer Complaints
Cellino and Barnes Consumer Complaints

This also calls into attention the entire nature of the personal injury law field. Most lawyers his age and in his type of law, experience handling personal injury cases and studying the law extensively. However, there is always more for attorneys to learn.

Most good ones have learned this many times over. Perhaps the largest item that people must keep in mind s the way that clients and other attorneys are treated. We got into the legal profession to help those in need, not just to line our pockets.

Consumer Complaint against Barnes Firm

Whether these reviews are true is unknown. But the fact of the matter is, this looks more and more like a huge boiler room operation that became unwieldy, with a focus on money.

When faced with significant obstacles, we must remember the entirety of our legal obligations. Lawyers studied and understand the law in order to make their clients whole after an accident. Or to hold a negligent company or driver accountable.

After the two partners split up, Barnes appears to have continued marketing himself as a California personal injury attorney in west coast marketing materials, changing his substantially similar New York and California corporate name back to the name it had around the time Barnes and Cellino appealed their New York State Bar ethics convictions. (Source). “(See Matter of Cellino 2005 NY Slip Op 04943 [21 AD3d 229] June 10, 2005, Per Curiam, J. Appellate Division, Fourth Department – Published by New York State Law Reporting Bureau under Judiciary Law § 431. As corrected through Wednesday, November 16, 2005.)”

Barnes had recently announced that he was leaving the law firm that made him and his partner, Cellino famous, and many say “infamous.” Indeed, in 2017 there was a prominent lawsuit between his partner Ross Cellino and Mr. Barnes. Barnes had been planning to reopen the duo’s former office in Buffalo as The Barnes Firm again. And this makes sense after the damage consumer rating websites have done to the duo, Cellino, and Barnes.

“‘Barnes was known as the brains and the marketing expert. Insiders say he was a driven man, whereas Cellino was more laid back and go with the flow. Cellino asserted that Barnes was basically a control freak. According to papers filed with the court, Cellino maintains that in one of the many shouting matches between the two, Barnes screamed at him, “Why the fuck would you want to fuck this up when you are making $10 million a year?!”‘ (Source).

Alleged quote by Barnes.

However, there is always more for attorneys to learn. Most good ones have learned this many times over. Perhaps the largest item that people must keep in mind s the way that clients and other attorneys are treated. We got into the legal profession to help those in need, not just to line our pockets.

Understanding that there are limits to attorneys’ power– to their reach in both New York and even California, is key. Attorneys are not gods, and law school does not prepare them to be. Instead, each attorney must keep in mind their ethics, even when dollar signs are calling them to go down a dark path.

Works Cited.

Fox News: Prominent NY attorney Steve Barnes, niece, killed in small plane crash
The New York Times: Steve Barnes, of Cellino & Barnes Law Firm, Dies in Plane Crash

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