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Larry Kane is direct: "This is a hard business." But he adds, "I tell my clients that any time both parties can agree the case is over. The difficult thing is getting them both to agree, and that always takes too long."
In practice more than 45 years, Kane observes of his profession, "A lawyer is a legal salesman. We're selling our client's position to the other side and to the court. How do you sell something? You figure out what's most important to your client and what's most important to the other side."
He recalls a case in which he was representing the husband. "And no matter what happened, I knew the wife wanted to keep the big, huge house in Evanston. The husband got so many more things that were much more valuable. But while the case was pending, he couldn't see that. Eventually, he was very happy," he says with a chuckle. He adds that even in cases that are successful, the results can be mixed. "In order to come to a fair agreement, everyone has to be a little unhappy."
Among his achievements, Kane was the leader in drafting legislation for Illinois in 1991 that changed the way maintenance is awarded, and that clarified property settlement awards in family law cases. Before then, matters were far different. "Below I-80, ex-spouses didn't pay maintenance. There was a threshold that had to be met that was prohibitively difficult to achieve."
Looking back on his career, Kane misses the standards of collegiality and courtesy that used to prevail in legal work. He still upholds the traditions he considers fundamental, particularly in mentoring.
"I love being a lawyer, despite everything, including opponents and clients who lie. If someone wants to play games, I know how to respond . . . but I always try to do what I think is right. And I get very upset if someone doesn't want to do the same thing. My goal is to see both clients walk together down the aisle with their children. The kids suffer enough, no matter what happens in court, and I would like each case to go reasonably well enough for the parents to be able to put aside everything else for the sake of the children."
U.S. District Court of Northern District of Illinois, 1965
Date of Birth: 1940
Law School: DePaul University College of Law, J.D., 1965
Undergraduate School: University of Illinois, B.S., 1962
Bar/Professional Association Involvement:
- American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers
- Illinois Chapter
- Board of Managers, 1980-1996, 1999-2005
- Admissions Committee, 1988-1994, 1998-2009
- Seminar Chair, 1997-1999, 2004
- National Chapter
- Forensic Resource Guide Committee
- Focus on Forever Committee, 1998-2003
- Chicago Volunteer Legal Services
- Board of Directors, 2000-2006
- Cook County Circuit Court
- Domestic Relations Management Advisory Committee, 1986-1993
- Domestic Relations Executive Committee, 1986-1993
- Calendar Management Subcommittee
- Attorney Registration and Disciplinary Commission of the Supreme Court of Illinois
- Hearing Officer, 2002-present
Awards; Honors; Distinctions:
- Listed, The Best Lawyers in America
- "100 Top Consumer Lawyers in Illinois," Leading Lawyers Magazine - Consumer Edition
- Leading Lawyers Member selected by peers in Family Law
Published Legal Writing:
- Consulting editor, Nichols Illinois Civil Practice, Family Law Volume, 1999
*Mr. Kane has lectured for the following organizations since 1980:
Illinois Institute for Continuing Legal Education
Illinois State Bar Association
Chicago Bar Association