Len Tillem, who provided legal advice on KGO, dies at 77

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Len Tillem, the longtime Sonoma attorney who provided free legal advice on regional radio, died of a brain hemorrhage Jan. 13, the Press Democrat reported. He was 77 years old.

Tillem made his radio debut in the 1990s on Napa’s KVON and Santa Rosa’s KSRO before bringing his words of wisdom to San Francisco’s KGO in 2000 on a Sunday afternoon show, “The Len Tillem Show”.

When a guest called, he asked in a Queens accent, “Why are you calling a lawyah?”

He was good at prompting people to share the details of their situation and then giving advice with humor and compassion.


“He was a great guy and I loved listening to him on the air and having him as a guest on my show,” the KGO host said. Ronn Owens wrote on Facebook. “He had a wonderful way of informing his listeners about the law and entertaining them at the same time. My deepest condolences to his family. »

Tillem’s show was canceled in 2011 when KGO switched to a news format. He brought his show at KKSF NewsTalk 910 AM San Francisco in 2012 and 2013 and went on to produce a podcast form.

Tillem opened his law firm Len Tillem & Associates in 1994 and later partnered with Rosamonde McNichol and David A. Brown to form Tillem McNichol & Brown, the firm’s website. said. He then retired in 2016, the Press Democrat said.

Tillem specialized in elder law, focusing on the needs of older adults, from estate planning to elder abuse.

With McNichol, he wrote the newspaper column “The Elder Advocate,” offering insight into a wide range of legal topics impacting older adults, his firm’s website says. The column appeared weekly in several Bay Area newspapers, including the Napa Valley Register, the Vacaville Reporter and the Kenwood Press.

Tillem was born and raised in New York City and moved to Sonoma County in the early 1970s, his company’s website says. He attended Brooklyn College as an undergraduate and earned a law degree from NYU School of Law.

Tillem is survived by his wife, Susan Fegan; his two daughters, Freya and Phoebe; his sister, Susan; and his two brothers, Jack and Herb, the Press Democrat said.

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