Lawyers Behind Famous Jingle Heading for 'Business Divorce'

Cellino of Cellino & Barnes is suing Barnes
By Michael Harthorne,  Newser Staff
Posted May 11, 2017 4:07 PM CDT

The days of "calling 8" after suffering a personal injury may be over. WGRZ reports Cellino & Barnes, a Buffalo-area law firm known for its omnipresent ads and catchy jingle, may be breaking up after Ross Cellino filed suit against Stephen Barnes on Wednesday. The suit calls for the dissolution of Cellino & Barnes, which Cellino's father started in 1958, according to the New York Times. It's unclear why Cellino is suing Barnes, but the Buffalo News reports it could hypothetically be for reasons ranging from the partners no longer agreeing on anything to financial improprieties. Barnes is due in court May 19 to explain why the law firm shouldn't be dissolved.

Barnes and Cellino have been practicing together for more than 30 years and now head, as People puts it, "one of the most well-known personal injury law firms." By spending heavily on ads—which include its "Don't Wait, Call 8" tagline and easily memorized 800-888-8888 phone number—Cellino & Barnes expanded to offices throughout New York and California and became a household name. “They basically invented themselves out of thin air with very thoughtful, successful, innovative advertising,” fellow Buffalo attorney Paul Cambria tells the News. He says their split will be the equivalent of "a huge business divorce." But social media users just want to know who gets custody of the jingle. (More law firm stories.)

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