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Samuel J. Buffone


In Memoriam: Samuel J. Buffone, 1946-2015

Our beloved colleague Sam Buffone passed away this morning at home with his family by his side.  Sam has been fighting cancer courageously for over three years.  During much of his battle with cancer Sam continued to serve on the firm Executive Committee providing the leadership and guidance that has helped us become the firm we are today. During this period,  he also led to conclusion the firm’s highly successful representations of senior Google executives in a criminal trial in Italy and the Navajo Nation in its pursuit of breach of trust claims against the United States government.   

I have had the privilege of knowing Sam as a neighbor, trusted advisor, litigation adversary, partner, professional colleague and close friend. When BuckleySandler was founded in March 2009,  the very first lateral partner that we pursued was Sam.  His decision to join the firm was a watershed moment in the credibility of the firm.  Sam was simply about the best lawyer with whom many of us have ever worked. He was an even better husband, father, grandfather and friend.  

For Sam, litigation advocacy was a craft.  Whether the relevant law addressed human rights, Indian law, criminal procedure, sentencing requirements or banking mattered not.  Nor did it matter if a case was pending in a state or federal trial or appellate court, the EEC, Italy, Chile or Spain or even the United States Supreme Court.   Sam would pour his soul into crafting and delivering effective written and oral advocacy.  He loved the practice of law and mentoring young lawyers (and even senior partners) more than anything other than his family, wife Susan, children Anna and Sam Jr., their spouses Mike and Sarah, and his grandchildren, Harry, James, and Max.  He was so committed to the firm and its clients that over the last several weeks of his life he would actively quiz me on current cases and firm management issues and weigh in when he had a view.  In typical Sam Buffone fashion, his perspective on his hard fought but ultimately unsuccessful battle with cancer was gratitude that he lived for more than three years after his initial diagnosis, and therefore experienced Sam Jr.’s marriage, the birth of three grandchildren, and the successful resolution of the Navajo case with its transformational impact for the Navajo people.  

Andrew L. Sandler

April 3, 2015

Sam's professional biography is available here.

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