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Herbert M. Balin, retired lawyer who helped shape LI development, dies at 86

Herbert M. Balin, a retired law partner of

Herbert M. Balin, a retired law partner of Balin Adler & Hyman in East Meadow, died Friday, Jan. 9, 2015 at Winthrop-University Hospital in Mineola after a brief illness. He was 86. Photo Credit: Newsday / Photo by James Carbone

Herbert M. Balin, a retired law partner of Balin Adler & Hyman in East Meadow who distinguished himself in the areas of commercial real estate, environmental law and land use, has died.

Balin died Friday at Winthrop-University Hospital in Mineola after a brief illness. He was 86.

"His use of urban renewal laws to create well-balanced planned communities helped shape the region's development," said Debra Scala-Giokas, a spokeswoman for the law firm.

Balin was exceptionally active in the community and worked to merge the Nassau and Suffolk divisions of the American Cancer Society in the 1960s and served as its first chairman.

Among his most valued professional achievements was Balin's role in the creation of the law that enabled the Shelter Rock Library to be built, Scala-Giokas said.

A longtime resident of Bay Shore, he was born in Berlin and immigrated with his parents to the United States in 1939, when he was 11.

He earned his bachelor's and law degrees from the University of Michigan. He was admitted to practice in New York State, the U.S. Supreme Court and the Court of Appeals, Second Circuit, as well as the Eastern and Southern U.S. District courts.

He came to Long Island when he started his legal practice in 1952. He retired in 2012 -- the same year that the Nassau Bar Association honored him for his 60 years of legal service. Balin and two partners merged with the Certilman firm in 1981.

In 2010, Balin was honored at the 13th annual Robert Moses Master Builder Award Gala, hosted by the Foundation for Long Island State Parks and the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation.

In 2004, he was appointed by Republican Gov. George Pataki to the Long Island State Parks Commission, of which he was a member until 2011, including a term as chairman.

Survivors include his wife of 50 years, Barbara; daughter Wendy of Newport Beach, California; sons Kenny of Burlington, Vermont, and Joey of Los Angeles; and 10 grandchildren.

Services will be Sunday at noon at The Riverside Nassau North Chapel in Great Neck. Burial will follow at the New Montefiore Cemetery in West Babylon. The family will observe shiva at the Balin home in Bay Shore after the service. More days will be announced at the service.

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