What’s in a song? Divorce of Cellino and Barnes may bring end to legendary jingle

Posted at 8:07 PM, May 11, 2017
and last updated 2017-05-11 20:07:44-04

MANHATTAN — There are commercials that — to put it simply — are legendary to New Yorkers.

Behind those that stick in our heads is a creative jingle that survives the test of time.

In the realm of creative jingles, there is one on the airwaves that can compete with any of the great ones from the past, "Cellino and Barnes, injury attorneys..."

As you read this, you probably have the jingle playing in your head without even thinking about it.

If not the soundtrack you desired at the moment, apologies.

However, that specific jingle may soon be no more. The two partners Ross Cellino and Stephen Barnes are splitting up, with Cellino filing a civil suit against Barnes to dissolve the firm.

Alton Abramowitz's reaction?

"If they want to sell me that phone number and jingle I might be interested in buying it."

Abramowitz just happens to be one the city's top divorce attorneys. He is also the former president of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers. Abramowitz says when a law firm splits, the division is never easy, "It's as challenging as a divorce between two spouses."

However, what makes this case unique is the value of the marketing behind their success.

When asked how much value in this case, is something like the phone number to Cellino and Barnes? Abramowitz, with little hesitation, said "Probably extremely valuable because the jingle has become so embedded in everybody's mind."

Cellino and Barnes did release the following statement in response to the internal legal battle that has been made public, "In response to recent legal action (index # 806178-2017, County of Erie, NY, Civil Supreme Court) 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."

Later in the full-page statement the firm added, "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."