Principled Advocacy For Families And Individuals With Disabilities And The Professionals Who Serve Them

John W. Whitcomb


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.

Practice Areas

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


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

Bar Admission

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

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


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

Classes & Seminars

  • Presented, Mental Health and Developmental Confidentiality Act, LAF, 05/14/2015 to 05/14/2015
  • Presented, Deposition Training, NITA/Chicago Bar Foundation, 2014 to 2014
  • Presented, Who Is Your Client?, Illinois Legal Aid Conference, 2011 to 2011
  • Presented, Sexuality and the Nature of Consent, Illinois Department of Public Health, 2008 to 2008
  • Presented, Guardianship, Advance Directives, and Mental Health Code, Department of Human Services, 2006 to 2008
  • Presented, Guardianship, Governor’s Conference on Aging, 2006 to 2006

Pro-Bono Activities

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

Past Positions

  • Equip for Equality, Senior Attorney

Professional Associations

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

Representative Cases

  • In Re Estate of K.E.J., 887 N.E.2d 704, 2008, 1 Dist. Ill.
  • Williams v. Quinn, 748 F.Supp. 2d 892, 2010, N.D. Ill.
  • Appeal of Weeks, 712 A.2d 907, 1998, Vt.
  • In Re Bill, 724 A.2d 444, 1998, Vt.
  • Thomas v. Sullivan, 801 F.Supp. 65, 1992, N.D.Ill.