Notable Chapter Brothers

Bro. Leslie Isaiah Gaines

Leslie Isaiah Gaines, Jr. was born on February 13, 1945 in Washington, DC, to Leslie and Bernice Gaines. The family moved to Montgomery Co., Maryland where Leslie received his early education in a segregated school system. Les graduated from Maryland State College in 1967 and matriculated to Howard University School of Law, receiving his Juris Doctorate in 1971.


Leslie began his spiritual experience at an early age at Sharp Street United Methodist Church in Sandy Spring, Maryland; and as an adult, was a member of Allen Temple AME Church in Cincinnati for more than 30 years. During the 1990‖s, Les established his own church, “Everybody‖s Tabernacle.” In 2012, he recommitted himself to Allen Temple AME Church.


Les was always creatively industrious. He often joked about his first earnings being “a penny a minute.” Leslie‖s entrepreneurial experiences included hosting a successful radio show on 700 WLW; owning his own record label, “Justice Unlimited”, authoring and producing numerous records such as “Shake N Blake”, the “Insane Hussein Blues” and “Reaganomics Blues”, and also wrote several books.
In law school, Les and Deborah K. Brown became a team for moot court, study group and took on the school political scene where he became President of the Student Bar Association. Upon gradua- tion, they came to Cincinnati, Ohio as Reginald Heber Smith Fellows, assigned to the Legal Aid Society by the Neighborhood Legal Services Program. In 1973, Gaines and Gaines, Attorneys at Law came into existence. The firm was quite successful serving as a launching pad for both he and Deborah to become judges in Hamilton County Municipal and Domestic Relations Courts.


Les loved the thrill and excitement of defending the victims of unjust or questionable accusations. He was always ready to argue any issue whether it was driving under the influence or homicide. Every client received 100% of Les and staff. He won his first ―not guilty of murder‖ charge in the early 1980‖s which had not happened in Hamilton Co. in quite some time. When he came out of the courthouse as a victor, the news people shut down their cameras and went home without a word to him. From that day forward, Les became his own public relations person and mastered the skill.


Leslie and Deborah were married in 1971. From that union, Leslie I. Gaines, III and Deborah Denise were born. From Les‖ second marriage to Jennifer Patrick, his daughter, Maliyah Joyce Maxine Gaines was born. He cherished his relationship with all of his children, loved the concept of family, and was very protective of his sisters.


Leslie was the recipient of innumerable awards including an Honorary Doctorate from Maryland State University, Eastern Shore, lecturer at the Melvin Belli Institute, Past Chairman of the Criminal Law Division of the Ohio Academy of Trial Lawyers, founding Board Member of the Black Lawyers Association of Cincinnati, member of the National Academy of Criminal Defense Lawyers and guest on the Charlie Rose “Night Stories.” Leslie was a member of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity and the Masonic Lodge.


In the Cincinnati community, Les spoke frequently at schools, churches, graduations and around the country as a motivational speaker. Les and Deborah sponsored three little league baseball teams and Gaines & Gaines Jets (semi-pro) football team. He never met a stranger and his usual greeting was “Hello my Brother/Sister” followed by a big hug or firm handshake.


Leslie leaves to cherish his memory: his children, Leslie III (Shawana), Deborah Canady, Maliyah J.M. Gaines, stepson, Teddy Starks; grandchildren, Nathaniel and Kenyah Canady, Sabre‖ Gaines and Adam Starks; devoted fiancé, Patricia Hicks; sisters, Gwendolyn Bell (Adville), Winifred Barnes, Joyce Gaines and Barbara Winfield (John). In addition, Leslie has a host of nieces, nephews, cousins and friends.


Les appreciated the University of Cincinnati for allowing him the opportunity to spend many evenings at the College of Medicine studying the human body. The information he obtained aided him in winning many high profile murder cases. He requested that his body be donated to the Department of Anatomy, University of Cincinnati College of Medicine.

Leslie Isaiah Gaines