The Buffalo News and two New York City tabloids have gone to court seeking to unseal the legal documents surrounding efforts to dissolve the ubiquitous Cellino & Barnes law partnership.
Joseph T. Giglia II, vice president and general counsel for The News, said the newspaper has joined the New York Daily News and New York Post in seeking the release of the documents now sealed by State Supreme Court Justice Deborah A. Chimes.
“We are asking to intervene because it is newsworthy, a matter of public importance, and the judge has ignored our requests to give the supporting legal foundation for sealing of the matter,” he said.
The motion filed by the newspapers claims that Chimes has no right to keep from public inspection details of the suit, in which Ross M. Cellino seeks to dissolve his partnership with Stephen E. Barnes.
The firm has become a household name throughout New York State and even in California through its pervasive advertising across a host of media.
“The mere fact that the parties agree to sealing, or that the case may involve embarrassing or sensitive details about a person or entity,” the motion states, “does not even begin to rise to the level of ‘compelling circumstances’ justifying sealing.”
Though The News has reported the case has been submitted to mediation, it is expected to be addressed again before Chimes on June 26.