December 19, 1924 - January 22, 2017
Passed away on Sunday, January 22, 2017.
Beloved husband of 65 years to Barbara Jacobs; devoted father of Robin (Cary) Cohen, Jody (Bill) Resnicow and Suzy (Dan) Eckstein; adored grandfather to Zachary, Tyler, Joshua, Audrey and Mia; brother to late twin brother Robert and Lewis. Son of the late Dorothy and Joseph Jacobs. Harvey especially enjoyed his family, golf outings, and his love of dogs. In later years as an attorney he enjoyed volunteering at the Montgomery County Circuit Court Self Help Clinic.
In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to a charity of your choice. Services will be held on Tuesday, January 24, 11 a.m. at the Shaare Torah Congregation in Gaithersburg, MD. Burial will follow at Garden of Rememberance in Clarksburg, MD. Shiva will be observed at the home of Jody and Bill Resnicow on Tuesday and Wednesday.
I was out of state when Harvey Jacobs passed away, and could not attend his funeral. He was my law partner for 12 years, although we had an age difference of about thirty years and our practices had nothing in common. Looking back, I could see where in my thirties and forties I was brash and ambitious, and Harvey was patient and tolerant. What I then viewed as his old school ways I see now as integrity and dedication to a calling, not a business.
Harvey was tall and handsome. I don’t think I ever saw him without a suit and tie, his fraternity tie clip always proudly part of his dapper appearance. One of my military-affiliated clients was filming a commercial, and needed someone to play a general. The owner of the company asked Harvey if he would agree to play the role. Harvey was flattered and agreed. The commercial was scheduled to play in the southwest region of the country, so we never got to see it on television here, but I understand that Harvey was convincing and authentic.
He was a fan of details that once cost him dearly. Another of his partners, Henry Weil, reported to me that Harvey, in representing a wife in a hotly-contested divorce case based on adultery, engaged the services of a private detective. When the invoice arrived, it had a charge for the detective’s having been serviced at a house of ill repute, as Harvey would say. When Harvey asked what the charge was all about, the detective told him that he had followed the husband there, but to provide Harvey with the degree of proof Harvey insisted on having, he thought he should follow the husband in and listen from the next cubicle—and the only way he could get into the next cubicle was to engage a prostitute himself. So he only thought it fair that Harvey pay his bill.
Harvey’s clients loved him, and he loved his clients. To this day I get calls from people asking how to find him, because their relatives still speak so highly of his honor and dedication. And his dedication was immense. After I was divorced, he told me that I “was a catch,” and I should stop staying home and get myself out again. I told Harvey that I had no interest in bars or singles places. He knocked on my office one day and triumphantly said that he had studied The Washington Post and seen that people were running personal ads. I protested, but not to be dissuaded, Harvey wrote up an ad for me that started with something like “successful, smart and slender.” He really liked the alliteration. Harvey’s ad got so much attention, The Washington Post asked if it could continue running it even after I was remarried, because it brought in so much money. Harvey said yes, but only if we could get a cut. “It’s only fair,” he said.
Harvey was dedicated to his wife, his three daughters, including our own Suzy Eckstein, his grandchildren, and the Woodmont Country Club. He said that he never needed to travel or have a second place, because Woodmont was like a vacation home to him. He was kind to my children, and once told my eight year old daughter that he would wait for her to grow up and be his law partner, too. With his encouragement she sat at his desk and wrote up with crayons a business card that said “Jacobs, Jacobs, Farber and Adams, “and now as a senior associate at the large law firm of Proskauer, still has that card.
Harvey never sued a client for money, because he said that if the client was not willing to pay for his services, there had to have been something he as an attorney had done wrong. He was courtly to the most humble of his clients, and a friend to all of them. He was loyal even when we had our differences: when a large company moved next door to us, he promptly introduced himself to the owner and said there was no question that they should use me for all their employment work. They are still my client twenty years later.
Looking back, with the wisdom of getting older myself, I see how fortunate I was to have worked with Harvey. He was a lawyer’s lawyer, and we have lost not only a member of the greatest generation with his death, but a great man himself.
By Mindy Farber