Longtime local attorney, community advocate Milt Younger dies at 86

September 6, 2017 | 9:30 am


Milton Younger, a former esteemed attorney and partner of Chain | Cohn | Stiles, who spent 53 years at the law firm, died Sept. 1 at age 86.

“Milt was not only a leader in Kern County’s legal community for many decades, but he was also a leader through his generous volunteerism with many other local organizations,” said David K. Cohn, nephew of Younger and current managing partner at Chain | Cohn | Stiles. “Above all else, Milt stood for the working man and woman, and always believed in the fight for the ‘little guy.’ It is that mission that drives our law firm to this very day. He’s an inspiration to many, including myself, as he is the reason I entered the legal world.”

Younger was born July 8, 1931, in Bakersfield, attending Bakersfield High School, and returned to his hometown after graduating from Stanford University, where he received a bachelor’s and master’s degree in political science.

Milt joined the law firm founded by Morris B. Chain full time in 1956, and took over leadership in 1964. In 2008, He separated from the firm, and the law firm’s name was changed from Chain Younger to Chain | Cohn | Stiles.

Younger was a leader of community service, becoming active in local and statewide Democratic politics, labor unions and the arts. The Bakersfield Symphony Orchestra and CSU Bakersfield were especially close to his heart. In addition, his law firm promoted diversity in its workforce, becoming one of the first locally to hire Latino, black and Asian attorneys. He followed Morris Chain’s legal mission, in becoming an apprentice, to stand up for the ‘little guy.’

Among awards, Younger received the Presidential Award of Merit from Consumer Attorneys of California, the prestigious Bench and Bar Award from the Kern County Bar Association, Lifetime Achievement Award from the Kern County Democratic Party, an honorary doctorate from CSUB, and many more. His successes in court led to safety improvements in machinery and equipment in oilfields and other industries. He was most proud in his efforts to make child safety seats both safer and mandatory.

Milt leaves behind his wife Betty and three daughters, Lynda, Lisa and CeCe.

Update: A chapel service will be hosted at 10 a.m. Thursday (Sept. 6, 2017) at Greenlawn Funeral Home Northeast, 3700 River Boulevard. A private graveside service will follow. 

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