Attorney Ross Cellino is on the other side of the bench this time, as Thursday he sat listening as attorney's argued his case to split from longtime legal partner Steve Barnes and dissolve the Cellino & Barnes Law Firm...one of Western New York's premier law firms.
Attorney's for Barnes claim Cellino has engaged in a "pattern of self-interested, outrageous and reckless conduct which caused and continues to cause catastrophic damage to Cellino & Barnes reputation and brand."
E-mails filed with the court Thursday show Cellino tried to recruit current Cellino & Barnes employees to join him in a new firm.
The e-mail says, "If Steve or Daryl reaches out to you to recruit you to his new firm, please contact me so that I may have a fair opportunity to express why you should consider joining my future firm."
Earlier this week, the court granted a temporary restraining order, prohibiting Cellino from engaging in any behavior harmful to the brand, but that restraining order was lifted Thursday.
"They sought to expand the restrictions on the individuals in connection with this litigation who they talk to what they talk about how they go about their business," said Cellino's attorney Terry Connors. "It was an effort to try to expand that and put it into an injunction you have to meet the criteria and they did not."
Attorney's for Barnes say the company is running like a quote "well-oiled, multi-million dollar machine" -but that the firm has lost clients due to the publicity surrounding the case.
Barne's attorney's declined to comment. They requested a gag order that was denied.
The next court date is September 25. The judge says she will rule on dissolution after that.