Samuel James Ervin III (March 2, 1926 – September 18, 1999) was a United States federal judge and the son of U.S. Senator Sam Ervin.
Ervin was born in Morganton, North Carolina. He received a B.S. from Davidson College in 1948 and an LL.B. from Harvard Law School in 1951. He served in the United States Army from 1944 to 1946 and from 1951 to 1952. He was in private practice of law in Morganton, North Carolina from 1952 to 1967. He was a Solicitor for the Burke County, North Carolina Board of Commissioners, from 1954 to 1956. He was a Member of the North Carolina House of Representatives from 1965 to 1967. He was a judge of the Superior Court of North Carolina from 1967 to 1980.
Ervin was a judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit. Ervin was nominated by President Jimmy Carter on April 2, 1980, to a new seat created by 92 Stat. 1629; he was confirmed by the United States Senate on May 21, 1980, and received his commission on May 23, 1980. Ervin also served as chief judge of the court from 1989-1996. He served on the court until his death on September 18, 1999, in Morganton. Among others, he was survived by his son, Sam J. Ervin IV.