I am the Chief Trial Counsel for The Barnes Firms offices in New York and California.
I began practicing law in 1989. Since I began working for Cellino & Barnes in 2004, I have focused my practice to the representation of people who have been injured by the negligence of others. In more than 30 years of being a personal injury trial attorney, I have won numerous million dollar verdicts and settlements for my clients.
Although my best results are subject to confidentiality agreements, here are some of the many cases in which I have successfully obtained settlements or verdicts:
- In April 2020, my partner Alex Bouganim and I obtained a gross settlement of more than $9,000,000 for a worker badly injured in a New York City construction accident.
- In February 2020, I won a $650,000 award for an airline pilot who slipped while exiting his aircraft and sustained a serious injury to his ankle.
- In November 2018, I obtained a $24,600,000 award for a client that lost his leg and severely injured the other in an accident involving a snowmobile.
- In October 2018, my partner Timothy Hedges and I successfully negotiated a settlement in the amount $1,600,000 for the driver of a truck that underwent three surgeries to his neck to correct injuries caused by a negligent driver.
- In March 2017, I negotiated a $2,000,000 settlement for a client that was struck on the head by an ceiling tile that fell from the food court at the Walden Galleria Mall. Our work on this case was recognized as a 2017 Million Dollar Verdict Winner, and a Top Verdict in New York.
- In May 2016, I obtained a million dollar settlement for a worker that fell from a ladder that collapsed.
- In September 2015, I negotiated a $2.2 million settlement of a construction accident that caused career ending injuries to our client.
- In January 2015, I secured a sizable jury verdict for a young lady who suffered a disc protrusion in her cervical spine from a motor vehicle crash in 2010. The insurance company refused to offer my client anything more than $65,000. Although my client did not have surgery and was able to return to her job 18 months after the crash, the jury awarded her $50,000 for past pain and suffering and $432,000 for thirty years of future pain and suffering.
- In 2013, I lead the team of trial attorneys to a verdict that held the County of Monroe and the Rochester Airport Authority accountable for causing the death of a 17 year old girl and significant injuries to many more in a 36 car collision that occurred adjacent to the a runway on I-390. The jury found the County and Airport Authority 100% liable for failing to install snow fences that would have prevented the death and injuries on a sunny cold day in February 2008.
- One of my greatest experiences was working as trial counsel with Johnnie L. Cochran in the claim against the local Galleria Mall in 1998. The Mall denied access from urban bus routes onto the Mall property which forced a young African American single mother to cross a major highway to get to her job in the food court. Tragically she was struck and killed on her way to work. The lawsuit not only resulted in damages for her young son but as forced the Mall to change its policy and promote equal access to the Mall for everyone.
I travel to Albany to lobby the New York State Assembly and Senate for the preservation of the rights of accident victims and consumers.
I give my clients my cell number to contact me whenever the need arises, and I am committed to excellence in the representation of my clients in order to bring them the justice they deserve and the compassion they need.
Honors & Professional Organizations
I have been listed as one of the Top 50 lawyers in Upstate New York in 2017, 2016, 2015, 2014, 2013 and 2011. Some of my other awards and recognitions include:
- Best Lawyers in America, 2022
- Best Lawyers in America, 2021
- Best Lawyers in America, 2020
- In 2016, 2015, 2014, and 2013, I was recognized as one of the Legal Elite in Buffalo by the Business First Magazine.
- In February 2016 I was welcomed as a member of the American Board of Trial Advocates, ABOTA. A national association of experienced trial lawyers and judges dedicated to the preservation and promotion of the civil jury trial right provided by the Seventh Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.
- In 2015, I was selected to become a Member of the National Association of Distinguished Counsel which consist of the Nation’s Top One Percent of Trial Lawyers. The NADC is an organization dedicated to promoting the highest standards of legal excellence. Its mission is to objectively recognize attorneys who elevate the standards of the Bar and provide a benchmark for other lawyers to emulate. Members are vetted by a research team, a blue ribbon panel of attorneys, and a judicial board review. By virtue of the incredible selectivity of our appointment process, only the top one percent of attorneys in the United States are awarded membership in the NADC.
- I am a member of The National Trial Lawyers Association which limits its members to the top 100 Trial Lawyers in each state of the nation.
- I am included in 2011 Who’s Who in Personal Injury Law.
- I am included in the Who’s Who in American Law.
- I was invited to join the distinguished National Academy for Trial Advocacy Group. The Academy has brought together the nation’s foremost personal injury litigators to help serve those individuals with serious injuries recover fair and just compensation through settlement or trial.
- I am a Past Regional President of the New York State Trial Lawyers Association which is dedicated to promoting a safer and healthier society, assuring access to the civil justice system by those who are wrongfully injured and advancing representation of the public by ethical well trained lawyers. I am also a member of the regional and statewide Board of Directors. I am a past member of the Board of Editors of the statewide monthly report on personal injury law.
- In 2010, I received a Top 10 Verdict Award from the New York Law Journal for obtaining an award of $3,810,000 for a man injured in a motor vehicle crash.
- In 2009, I received a Top 50 Verdict Award from the New York Law Journal for obtaining an award in the amount of $1,310,000 for a worker injured in a crash.
- In 2009, I received a Top Verdict Award from the New York Law Journal for representing a worker that was injured in a complex construction site accident and resulted in a $1,000,000 settlement.
- I am a member of the Million Dollar Advocates Forum, and the Multi-Million Dollar Advocates Forum which limits its membership to Trial Lawyers who have demonstrated exceptional skill, experience and excellence in Advocacy by achieving a trial verdict, award or settlement in the amount of One Million Dollars or more.
- Top Verdict in New York magazine’s Leading Personal Injury Attorneys, 2017 Million Dollar Verdict Winner