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Former Justice Kevin Dillon dies; served as district attorney

Photo from Erie County Bar Association

Kevin Dillon, a former judge, district attorney and prominent criminal defense lawyer, died after a long and debilitating illness. He was 65. 

Dillon was one of the region’s most respected lawyers who came from a distinguished legal family. He followed in the footsteps of his father, Mike Dillon,  to become Erie County district attorney and later a state supreme court judge.

Dillon is probably best known as the defense lawyer with law partner Mark Mahoney for ".22 Caliber Killer" Joseph Christopher.

Well-known attorney Paul Cambria talked with WBFO about Dillon’s legacy.

"He was a really terrific judge," Cambria said.  "Thoughtful. Considerate. Very temperate, which is a premium these days. There are a lot of judges that lose their temper and so on. He wasn’t one of them. He was a fantastic guy. It’s such a shame we lost him so early."

Cambria knew Dillon for more than 40 years. While the two men found themselves on opposite sides in many cases, as defense lawyer and district attorney, Cambria said Dillon was always fair and had a firm grasp of the law.

Mike Desmond is one of Western New York’s most experienced reporters, having spent nearly a half-century covering the region for newspapers, television stations and public radio. He has been with WBFO and its predecessor, WNED-AM, since 1988. As a reporter for WBFO, he has covered literally thousands of stories involving education, science, business, the environment and many other issues. Mike has been a long-time theater reviewer for a variety of publications and was formerly a part-time reporter for The New York Times.