Rich Barnes, President of The Barnes Firm
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Get To Know Buffalo Injury Lawyer Rich Barnes

Trying to summarize over forty years of legal experience, in addition to all the other parts of my life, will be challenging but I will do my best! Buffalo has always been near and dear to my heart having grown up in the suburbs, attending undergraduate school here, and jumping right back into law school to complete my J.D. in 1980.

Though much of my litigation experience comes from private practice, I did spend about five years prosecuting felonious violent crimes as a Senior Assistant District Attorney. The Chief Criminal Judge in that district called on me to prosecute a triple homicide case after I pivoted into private practice, however, I quickly realized that my litigation passion was more suited for personal injury. Eventually, I made my way to Cellino & Barnes to work alongside my brother, Steve, who also founded The Barnes Firm in California and New York. Looking back, and now even as I think about the future, I am excited and proud to lead a team of exceptional attorneys to help each of our clients get the best result possible.

In addition to courtroom and negotiation table accomplishments, I was also previously elected by my peers as President of the Western New York Trial Lawyers Association. Currently, I am serving as President of the Board of Directors for the Erie County Aid to Indigent Prisoners Association.

I also hold deep respect for our nation’s servicemen and law enforcement, especially given the history with Steve as a Marine. As such, I am proud to serve as both special counsel to the Buffalo Police Benevolent Association, as well as a legal instructor for the Erie County Central Police Training Services.

My wife and I love Chestnut Ridge Park. It is a beautiful natural oasis year-round. It’s only minutes from my home and a great place to get exercise and fresh air walking or running (my knee issues made me give up the later a few years ago). Also provides lovely picnic space for family get togethers in the summer and fall seasons

Lincoln, by Gore Vidal. Although technically “historical fiction”, it’s a fascinating look into the very difficult and troubled life of our greatest President. Sometimes when I think I am having a “bad day”, I reflect on what unimaginable problems and personal tragedies Lincoln endured both personally and politically in leading the nation through its most difficult period in its history. Mine don’t even come close.

Watching the old standup routines of George Carlin and Richard Pryor. Two incredibly funny and brilliant people who could weave serious social commentary into their stuff and still remain hilarious.

Took a trip to China with my family. It was fascinating and eye opening to see this vast country and its people. A country and culture that for better or worse will have to be reckoned with by America and the West for many years to come.

Play my guitars (badly) and read.

My late brother Steve and I obtained what we believe to be the largest personal injury settlement in a products liability case in New York State legal history for a young boy who was horrifically burned and brain damaged by a terribly defective and dangerous product. While the settlement could not return the child to health, we were able to provide the finest level of care and living conditions possible for he and his family.

The best way is to email me at or call (800) 800-0000.