The Cellino vs. Barnes court battle moved one step forward this week as a state judge turned down a request to end the litigation in favor of attorney Stephen E. Barnes.
State Supreme Court Judge Deborah A. Chimes turned down Barnes' request to make a summary judgement in his favor, keep the high-profile Cellino & Barnes law firm together and hear no additional testimony about Ross M. Cellino Jr.'s request to dissolve it.
In a short ruling issued on Tuesday, the judge said she does not yet have enough information to rule on the request that Cellino made last May to break up the firm. Chimes said she will schedule a hearing in the case.
Cellino and his attorney, Terrence M. Connors, have argued that there are harsh differences of opinion between Cellino and Barnes that make it impossible for the two men to continue working together. Barnes has argued that the differences can be worked out and that dissolving Cellino & Barnes would be unfair to its employees and clients.
"This ruling does not affect the day-to-day operations of Cellino and Barnes," Robert J. Schreck, managing attorney of the law firm, said Wednesday. "We're looking to continue building on 2017, which, financially speaking, was the best year in the history of this law firm."