BUFFONE SAMUEL JOHN BUFFONE On Good Friday, April 3, 2015, Sam Buffone, 68, passed away with dignity, peaceful at home, surrounded by the love of his family. Sam was one of the just few; a man who dedicated his life's work to being a champion of justice, a loving husband for 40 years to Susan Buffone, father to Anna Buffone Hurst and Samuel Buffone Jr., their spouses Michael and Sarah, grandfather to Harrison Hurst, James Hurst and Maxwell Buffone, and a devoted lifelong friend to many. He was born in New Kensington, a small industrial town outside of Pittsburgh, to Sam and Virginia Buffone on October 3, 1946. Sam was the first of his family to graduate college. After college at the University of Pittsburgh, Sam moved to D.C. and obtained a law degree from Georgetown University. Over a 45 year legal career Sam's cases and clients were as diverse as he was, ranging from Enron executives to torture victims, from Google to the Navajo Nation. He was a man who truly loved his work. His accomplishments are long and varied: he worked on Bill Dobrovir's team that first obtained the Nixon tapes and laid the case for impeachment; his client obtained the only acquittal for bribery in the Abscam trials; he won the acquittal of an Enron executive and successfully appealed a re-trial on double jeopardy grounds all the way to the Supreme Court in U.S. v. Yeager; and he won a criminal trial in Italy representing Google executives in a case that helped define the law governing the Internet. But two cases most embodied the justice Sam always advanced. Along with Michael Tigar, he represented the spouses of Orlando Letelier and Ronnie Moffit, the victims killed in a car bombing on Sheridan Circle by agents of Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet's secret police. Sam would work on this case for 28 years, eventually working on the arrest and unsuccessful extradition of Pinochet from London and recovering millions for victims of Pinochet's torture. Sam also represented the Navajo Nation in a lawsuit against the U.S. government for failing to properly manage tribal trust funds under federal control. The case was resolved just months before his death when the Navajo Nation received a settlement of 554 million dollars, the single largest settlement with a single American Indian tribe. Sam's work extended beyond the victories he obtained in the courtroom. He loved to mentor young attorneys, was a dedicated friend, and a trusted advisor. He was a partner at Tigar & Buffone; Asbill, Junkin, Meyer, & Buffone; Ropes & Gray, and BuckleySandler. As an incredible cook, avid runner and a world traveler, most weekends you could find Sam with his loving wife, Susan, enjoying the C&O canal, entertaining in their home, and engaging in political debate. He was diagnosed with duodenal cancer in December of 2011 and battled his cancer with the same vigor he battled opponents with in the courtroom. In the last three years his greatest joy was the time and love he shared with his three young grandsons. He was comforted knowing that he was able to pass on his legacy through them. A memorial services will be held at Sidwell Friends School in Washington, DC on Sunday, April 12 at 3 p.m. To honor Sam Buffone donations can be made out to the "Buffone Family Gastrointestinal Cancer Research Fund" at Johns Hopkins Medicine. Please send donations to FJHM Department Programs, 550 North Broadway, Suite 701B, Baltimore, Maryland 21205. To honor Sam Buffone donations can be made out to the "Buffone Family Gastrointestinal Cancer Research Fund" at Johns Hopkins Medicine. Please send donations to FJHM Department Programs, 550 North Broadway, Suite 701B, Baltimore, Maryland 21205.
Published by The Washington Post from Apr. 8 to Apr. 12, 2015.