John W. Whitcomb


John W. Whitcomb

Chicago, Illinois

Mr. Whitcomb brings over 25 years of experience to Monahan Law Group, LLC, advocating for individuals with disabilities, children, and older adults.  He focuses his practice in guardianship and probate, mental health law, risk management, elder law, civil rights, and child welfare. 

Mr. Whitcomb is an experienced litigator, appearing before both the circuit and appellate courts in contested matters.  He has been instrumental in improving law related to guardianship and the welfare of individuals with disabilities. For example, his involvement in the groundbreaking case, In re K.E.J., resulted in a new statutory provision that instructs guardians as to how to make reproductive decisions for their wards.  Mr. Whitcomb is regularly asked to speak with organizations throughout Illinois on topics such as guardianship, advance directives, the Americans with Disabilities Act, the Illinois Mental Health and Developmental Disabilities Code, ethical services and the nature of consent for people with disabilities, and child abuse and neglect litigation.

Mr. Whitcomb’s commitment to individuals with disabilities has been recognized by several leading disability rights organizations.  In 2012, he received Access Living’s Lead On! Award, which is awarded to leaders who have helped improve the understanding of people with disabilities and remove barriers that have excluded them from everyday life. Mr. Whitcomb has also twice received the Equal Justice Award from the Legal Assistance Foundation.

Prior to joining Monahan Law Group, LLC, Mr. Whitcomb was a senior attorney at Equip for Equality, Illinois’ protection and advocacy agency for people with disabilities, where he specialized in litigation involving contested matters of confidentiality, guardianship, parenting rights, residential services, and government accommodations for seniors and individuals with disabilities.

Areas of Practice

  • Litigation & Appeals
  • Child Welfare/Juvenile Law
  • Civil Rights Law
  • Elder Law
  • Guardianship
  • Mental Health & Confidentiality Law
  • Probate & Estate Administration
  • Risk Management

Bar Admissions

  • Illinois
  • Vermont
  • U.S. District Court Northern District of Illinois
  • Supreme Court of the United States of America


  • Tulane Law School, New Orleans, Louisiana
    • Juris Doctor
  • Oberlin College, Oberlin, Ohio
    • Bachelor of Arts
    • Major: English and History

Published Works

  • Author, The Effect of Domestic Violence on Unemployment Compensation, The Women's Advocate, 9:5, 1988
  • Author, Environmental Ethics and Political Ethics Go Hand in Hand, Tulane Law School, 1991


  • Presented, Mental Health and Developmental Confidentiality Act, LAF, May 14, 2015
  • Presented, Deposition Training, NITA/Chicago Bar Foundation, 2014
  • Presented, Who Is Your Client?, Illinois Legal Aid Conference, 2011
  • Presented, Sexuality and the Nature of Consent, Illinois Department of Public Health, 2008
  • Presented, Guardianship, Advance Directives, and Mental Health Code, Department of Human Services, 2006 - 2008
  • Presented, Guardianship, Governor’s Conference on Aging, 2006

Honors and Awards

  • Equal Justice Award, Legal Assistance Foundation, 2004 and 2006
  • Lead On! award by Access Living, 2012

Professional Associations and Memberships

  • Illinois State Bar Association, Member
  • The Chicago Bar Association, Member, 1990 - Present
  • Chair of the Chicago Bar Association Mental Health and Disability Law Committee

Past Employment Positions

  • Equip for Equality, Senior Attorney

Pro Bono Activities

  • Evanston Baseball & Softball Association, Coach for Girls Softball, Boys Baseball & Boys Traveling Baseball, 2007 - 2015
  • Chicago Bar Association of Mental Health and Disability Law Committee, 2002 - 2003