Friends of Gregory T. Miller this weekend are recalling the president of the Erie County Bar Association as a man who recognized the special requirements of his profession.
“Being a lawyer alters your world view and perspective on matters big and small,” he once said, “because of the degree of responsibility that you have to others.”
Miller, an Orchard Park resident with deep roots in the local legal community, died Friday at South Buffalo Mercy Hospital after a heart attack. He was 46.
As recently as February, Miller commented on the importance of an independent judiciary in the Another Voice column of The Buffalo News, prompted by the controversy over President Trump’s restriction on travel from several Muslim nations into the United States.
Miller noted that while the Constitution allowed the president to issue such an order, citizens also were entitled to challenge an order in court.
“An independent judiciary is the ultimate protector against those who would assail its role in our government,” he wrote. “If there is disagreement with the result, so be it. However, that disagreement must not be accompanied by actions that undermine our trust in the very institution that serves as the foundation of our constitutional democracy.”
The Rochester native was elected the Bar Association’s 110th president last year, and he became a lawyer after a short career as a teacher. A partner in the firm of Roach, Brown, McCarthy and Gruber, he specialized in medical malpractice and product liability cases.
The Bar Association on Saturday said Miller was “an integral part of our law community” who emphasized collaboration with his alma mater, the University at Buffalo Law School. He was also noted for assisting small and solo practitioners, and for making the association “an essential component of legal practice in Erie County.”
“While the practice of law is an individual task,” the association recalled him as saying, “the advancement of law is our collective responsibility.”
Miller was graduated from Rush-Henrietta High School in 1988 and Bowling Green University of Ohio in 1992, where he earned a bachelor of science degree in education. He obtained his law degree from UB in 1997.
Named by New York SuperLawyers magazine as a top medical malpractice lawyer, he also made U.S. News and World Report’s “best lawyer” list every year since 2010.
He was admitted to practice in the western and northern districts of federal court in New York, as well as U.S. Bankruptcy Court, and he guided cases as far as the Court of Appeals. He was active in various law school activities at UB, including as president of the Buffalo School of Law Chapter of the American Trial Lawyers Association.
He was an associate in the limited membership of the Association of Defense Trial Attorneys.
Miller was also well-known around the Orchard Park community he called home for the last 20 years. He coached baseball and basketball at Nativity of Our Lord School, and he served as a Little League and travel baseball coach as well.
He enjoyed golf, reading, landscaping, tennis, and had a reputation as a fan of Jimmy Buffet and James Taylor.
Miller is survived by his wife, Angela; a son, David; his mother, Judith; and two brothers, Theodore and Benjamin.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be offered 10:15 a.m. Wednesday in Nativity of Our Lord Catholic Church, 26 Thorn Ave., Orchard Park.