Sam Maislin, veteran defense attorney and former Amherst justice - The Buffalo News

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Sam Maislin, veteran defense attorney and former Amherst justice

Nov. 26, 1945 – July 12, 2014

Sam Maislin, a veteran defense lawyer whose ubiquitous advertisements touted his expertise in drinking-and-driving cases, died Saturday in his Amherst home. The former Amherst town justice was 68.

A Montreal native, Mr. Maislin moved with his family to the Buffalo area at age 12.

He graduated from Bennett High School and the University at Buffalo, where he was a philosophy major. He later earned his law degree from the Chase College of Law, now part of Northern Kentucky University.

During law school, Mr. Maislin worked as an investigator for the State of Ohio. He returned to this area in 1973 and took a job as an Erie County assistant district attorney. In 1975, he joined the law firm that became Leader, Maislin & Gaffney, where he practiced law for 21 years before striking out on his own in 1996.

The ads for his practice reassured prospective clients that “sometimes good people make mistakes” and, with his distinctive, shaved-head appearance, Mr. Maislin himself featured prominently in the advertisements.

He served as an Amherst town justice from 1992 to 1999 and he taught criminal justice at SUNY Buffalo State for 30 years, authoring several criminal justice textbooks.

Mr. Maislin was a member of the Erie County Bar Association, the New York State Bar Association, the Trial Lawyers Association and the New York State Magistrates Association. An avid golfer and tennis player, Mr. Maislin also enjoyed riding motorcycles.

Survivors include his wife of 33 years, the former Karen Kegel; three sons, Seth Maislin, James Campbell and Blake Maislin; and a daughter, Erin Curtin.

A memorial service will be held at 11 a.m. Tuesday in the Amherst Memorial Chapel, 281 Dodge Road, Amherst.

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