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Morton A. Kier of Elmwood Park, respected attorney for over 50 years, died at age 88. He was also a talented and passionate trumpet player and music teacher. He is survived by his wife, Louise Olivo-Kier; his daugther, Cheryl (Mike Procter) Kier; and his son, Brian Kier. Services have been held.

Penny Nathan Kahan
Penny Nathan Kahan
Penny Nathan Kahan, nee Schwartz, formerly Penny Nathan Furhman, age 72, died after a long battle with ovarian cancer. She is survived by her husband Brian Burrows and sons Daniel Furhman (Claire Sebastian) and Noah Furhman (Karina).

She was born in Chicago, attended Sullivan High School, earned a B.A. from Roosevelt University in 1966, did graduate work at the University of Chicago, and earned a J.D. from Berkeley Law in 1978. She worked in the state's attorney's office and founded the law firm of Penny Nathan Kahan and Associates in 1983.

Her career as an attorney was focused on helping people who suffered from workplace unfairness and discrimination. She was one of the co-founders of The National Employment Lawyers Association in 1985 and the founder of its Illinois affiliate. In 2000 she was elected a Fellow of the College of Labor and Employment Law and a fellow of the American Bar Foundation in 2002. In 2008 she was recognized as one of the Top Ten Woman Lawyers in the state representing individual consumers of legal services. She closed her practice in 2010 due to complications from her illness.

In lieu of flowers please donate to the National Ovarian Cancer Coalition, Illinois Chapter, illinois@ovarian.org. A celebration of her life will be held at Chicago Jewish Funerals, 8851 Skokie Blvd (at Niles Center Road) on Sunday, February 19 at 2PM.

Eugene Dechter, Buffalo Grove, died at age 81. He is survived by his wife, Iris Sinitch; and sons Larry (Patti), Mark, and Bradley (Lisa) Dechter. He was a lawyer with the Chicago Park District, Ash & Dechter, and Dechter & Dechter, and a 50 year member of the Illinois State and Chicago Bar Associations. Services have been held.


Francis X. Mahoney
Francis X. Mahoney
Honorable Retired Judge Francis X. Mahoney of Freeport died Friday, February 3, 2017. He is survived by brothers Johnny, Tommy and David who all live in the Boston area; his son, the Honorable Judge P Michael Mahoney (Cris) of Freeport; grandchildren Dan (Kim) and Tim Mahoney both of Freeport; and step grandchildren Jeff Pukacz (Michelle) of Bloomington and Julie MacAllister (Matt) of Sycamore.

He attended St John's Prep and Boston College before he enlisted in the Navy in 1943. He served in the Navy from 1943 to 1946. After his discharge he attended Northwestern University Law School on the GI Bill and received his Law Degree in October of 1948. He moved to Ashland, Wisconsin in 1948 and he began practicing law there. In 1951 he moved to Park Falls, Wisconsin to practice law with Arthur DeBarteleben. In 1955 he moved to Freeport, and in 1962 he formed a law partnership with Harold Nettles.

James W. Ryan of Hillside, age 81, died January 28, 2017. He is survived by his wife, Theresa, and nephews and nieces Lynne (John) Rooney, Barbara (Joe) Martin, Chris (Colleen) Kamin, Patrick, Kevin, Kate and Bryan Kamin. He worked as a Cook County Assistant States Attorney for more than 50 years. Services have been held.

Michael White Clancy
Michael White Clancy
Michael White Clancy, accomplished attorney and ardent animal lover, died in Wayne, Illinois on February 4, 2017 at the age of 57. He is survived by his wife, Michelle; parents Wendell and Kay Clancy of Wayne; siblings Scott, Tim, and Susan (Boles); and 11 nieces and nephews.

He was born in Durham, North Carolina on June 29, 1959. He graduated from St. Charles High School in 1977, where he was class president and captain of the varsity hockey and baseball teams. He attended Amherst College in Massachusetts, graduating with honors in 1981 while playing on the hockey team.

Like his father, grandfather, and great-grandfather, he pursued a law degree, graduating from Boston College Law School in 1984. He practiced law in a large firm in Worcester, Massachusetts before founding his own firm near Cherry Valley, Massachusetts in 1987.

He relocated back to the Fox River Valley in 1992 to become a partner in the family law firm in St. Charles, where he practiced with his father, brother, and sister. Beginning in 2015, he operated a successful litigation and mediation practice in St. Charles. He was a frequent lecturer and author in the areas of litigation and trial practice. He actively supported animal rescue and welfare organizations. The Court Case Dog Program at Safe Humane was close to his heart.

Adam C. Motz has joined Stellato & Schwartz, Ltd. as a new associate. Motz, who was recently admitted to the Illinois bar, is a graduate of the Loyola University School of Law. He will be working in the firm's Chicago office.

K. Nykoel Dinardo
K. Nykoel Dinardo
K. Nykoel Dinardo with Froum Law Group, LLC in Evanston is the first-place winner in the ISBA’s 2017 Lincoln Award Legal Writing Contest. She received a cash award of $2,000 for her article “Accessing Digital Assets after Death or Disability.” Though the first-place article typically appears in the February Illinois Bar Journal, Nykoel's article will not because another article on the digital assets law appeared in the November 2016 IBJ. 

Second place winner is Joshua R. Gross, Springfield, whose article “Discharging Student Loans in Bankruptcy: Yes, it Can Be Done” appears in the February Illinois Bar Journal. Third place goes to Esther Seitz, Springfield, for “Growing Tolerance for Cannabis in Illinois; the Implementation of Public Act 099-0697.” The second place winner gets a $1,000 cash prize, and the third place winner receives $500.

Effective March 3, the Illinois Supreme Court appointed David W. Dugan  to fill the Third Judicial Circuit Court vacancy created by the election of the Hon. John B. Barberis, Jr. to the fifth district appellate court. The appointment terminates December 3, 2018.

Chief Judge Diane P. Wood of the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit recently announced the appointment of Stephen R. Welby as Federal Public Defender for the Southern District of Illinois headquartered at East St. Louis.

Welby earned his bachelor’s degree from St. Mary’s University in San Antonio, Texas and his law degree from Washington University School of Law in St. Louis, Missouri where he was on the Washington University Law Review and the Jessup International Moot Court team. He was both Order of the Coif and Order of the Barristers. He is admitted to practice law in Illinois and Missouri.

He has been in private practice focusing on criminal law for the last 13 years. Prior to that he was an Assistant United States Attorney in the Eastern District of Missouri.

Welby has been a guest lecturer in ethics classes at Washington University School of Law and at the FBI Academy in Quantico. He is on the Criminal Justice Act panel of lawyers for the United States District Courts for the Southern District of Illinois and the Eastern District of Missouri. He has been on the planning committee for the Eastern Missouri Criminal Justice Act Panel Annual Training Seminar and was a past Member of the Eastern Missouri Magistrate Judge Selection Panel.

He is a member of the Illinois Bar Association, Missouri Bar Association, National Associations of Criminal Defense Lawyers, Missouri Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, Bar Association of Metropolitan St. Louis and National Trial Lawyers. He has served as district chairperson and member of the board of directors for the Boy Scouts and was involved in starting five new Cub Scout packs in economically-challenged areas of St. Louis.