The Herald News

Here’s a hearty congratulations to the law firm I have christened “the dandy dozen.” But their official legal shingle says Mahoney, Silverman and Cross.

The law firm is celebrating seven years of good growth, which now makes gives the firm an even dozen lawyers.

Back in ’98, I broke bread with these three lawyers when they left a big downtown legal firm and went out on their own. As we talked that day, they were seated in lawn chairs in one shared Shorewood office that was stacked full of cardboard boxes. And they wondered about their legal future.

Well, George Mahoney III, David Silverman, and Tom Cross have came a ways since then. As the firm grew with more lawyers, they moved out of that little office into larger quarters with seven offices on Black Road.

Now they’ve moved once again into spacious offices on Infantry Drive. Their numbers will be an even dozen as soon as the two newest lawyers join the staff.

This week “the dandy dozen” are celebrating their success and growth with an open house.

Mahoney, who is known as Biff to many, and Silverman are old friends of mine. Seems like I’ve known them most of my professional life.

I used to ride with Silverman when he was a Shorewood police sargeant. I can vividly remember him attempting to save an old man’s life in a snowstorm after an accident.

As for Mahoney, he has helped my family out with legal matters many times through the years. He has checked on me at least once a week since I was diagnosed with cancer. Biff was one of the first people I talked with after a doctor gave me the bad news.

Although I don’t know Cross as well, he represented a client in a case close to my heart. When a homeowners association wanted to stop a mother from flying a U.S. Air Force flag in honor of her son, Cross took that case to court and won.

He won it for the rights of a proud mother, who refused to give in to a silly rule. Cross is a local state representative and now the Illinois House’s Republican leader.

I’ve met some of the other attorneys in this firm. Men like Jim Murphy, Walter Yurkanin and Eric Hanson. They are cut out of the same kind of mold as Mahoney, Silverman, and Cross, which means they’re darn good people.

That’s why I have christened them “the dandy dozen.” The rest of them include Gary Davidson, William Peithmann, Justin Fredin, and Angela Major-Hart.

I recently asked Mahoney and Silverman about their firm goals for the furture.

“Our mission statement as we’ve kicked it around is simply to always exceed the client’s expectations,” Silverman said.

“We have some exceptionally bright and nice people who have community spirit,” Mahoney said. “All of us are involved in community activities.”

The firm does no criminal work. They work for corporations, businesses, government and land development clients. They represent 15 local governmental units varying from village boards and fire districts to library districts and housing authorities.

Jim Murphy, one of “the dandy dozen,” told me how close they are as friends. When he was new to the firm, he bought a house that needed a lot of repairs.

“All of the guys showed up on Saturday to help me knock out walls and paint,” hes said. “Yes, this is a good place to work.”

As a firm, the lawyers go on annual retreat to talk about the direction the firm is going. At work, they have an open door policy asking each other questions and sharing legal wisdom.

“Every day that I walk in through the door is a proud moment for me,” Silverman said. “Proud because I can look around and see the quality of the people here with us.”

“Our goal is to be the best firm in the area,” Mahoney added. “We’ve grown rapidly but carefully, too.”

In the past seven years, they have become one of the country’s largest law firms.

As we sat there talking in the conference room, I couldn’t help but look at the big bronze plaque hanging on the wall. That plaque is dedicated to the Walter O. Herschbach, the senior partner of their old firm.

He was a mentor to Mahoney, Silverman and Cross as young laywers. Now they are mentors to a whole new crop opf young lawyers.

In my opinion, “the dandy dozen” might just take the punch line out of all those cutthroat lawyer jokes.

You can contact John Whiteside by writing to 300 Caterpillar Drive, Joliet, IL .

Joliet/Main Office

822 Infantry Drive, Suite 100
Joliet, Illinois 60435

Phone: 815-730-9500

Oswego Office

126 South Main Street
Oswego, Illinois 60543

Phone: 630-554-7800

Morris Office

116 E. Washington Street
Morris, Illinois 60450

Phone: 815-513-5437