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WDAY: The News Leader

Published August 25, 2011, 02:59 PM

After Same-name Obit Appears in Paper, Duluth Attorney Takes Out Ad Saying He's 'Alive And Well'

DULUTH - The reports of Duluth attorney Robert M. Kaner’s death were greatly exaggerated. To make that clear, Kaner took out an unusual advertisement in Wednesday’s obituary section of the News Tribune, saying he is “alive and well.”

By: Brandon Stahl, Duluth News Tribune

DULUTH - The reports of Duluth attorney Robert M. Kaner’s death were greatly exaggerated.

To make that clear, Kaner took out an unusual advertisement in Wednesday’s obituary section of the News Tribune, saying he is “alive and well.”

Kaner, 63, who has practiced law in Duluth for 35 years, said it was the best he could do to correct the erroneous, and apparently widespread, belief that he had died, after an obituary in Tuesday’s paper reported the death of 67-year-old Robert L. Kaner.

The two Kaners are in many ways alike: Both are attorneys who went to the same law school, they’re about the same age, both are single, both grew up in the area and are members of the same synagogue.

“I received many calls from concerned friends and clients expressing concern that I had died,” Kaner said. “When they heard my voice, I think they were somewhat shocked.”

Kaner said he got so many of those calls from around the country that he was worried he’d start losing business.

“Anybody reading that would logically think it was me,” he said. “All those calls from concerned clients and friends led me to believe I should announce that I am alive and still practicing law in Duluth.”

In the ad, Kaner also expressed thanks to those who called him, as well as condolences to the family of the other Robert Kaner.

That Kaner, who grew up in Cloquet, started practicing law at the public defender’s office in Duluth in the early 1970s, along with the other Robert Kaner, said Fred Friedman, who now heads the office.

Duluth’s Robert M. Kaner said he was a “distant relative” of the other Kaner, who went on to practice law in Minneapolis. Kaner said he planned to attend his relative’s funeral, which was held Wednesday afternoon.

Despite the ad, Kaner said he’s still gotten a few calls Wednesday from people wondering if he was dead, but he was mostly getting comments from people saying they were glad he was alive.

“It’s like attending your own funeral,” he said. “It’s a comforting thing to know that people do care about you.”

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