BUFFALO, N.Y. – Just weeks after his daughter Elizabeth and brother, Buffalo attorney Steve Barnes unexpectedly and tragically died, Richard Barnes is taking over his brother's legacy.
He is launching the Barnes Firm, which officially opened for business in New York on Monday.
"His spirit and go-to attitude is here and that will be the legacy... the continued success of the firm that he worked so hard to prepare and we're ready to launch it today," said Richard, the firm’s president.
Steve Barnes died October 2, along with his niece, Richard's daughter. The plane they were in crashed in Genesee County. Steve's former business partner Ross Cellino spoke to Spectrum News in the days after the crash.
"I don't think many really know Steve Barnes other than through the commercials, but deep down, the man had a strong heart for the public, he wanted to do what's right for the public," Cellino said.
Cellino and Barnes took off in the 1990's to become one of the most successful personal injury law firms in the country.
After 20 years, the two legal giants parted ways last June. Now, Cellino law has 35 attorneys statewide. The Barnes firm has offices across New York state and California.
"You can have all the jingles and ads you want, but there has to be a record of success,” Richard said. “And I think that's what people will remember about Steve. He built a record of success. And we're going to go forward and amplify that record of success with the Barnes firm."