Prominent Chatham lawyer succumbs to cancer

David Jacklin died early Wednesday morning after a battle with cancer. (Photo sourced from Blenheim Blades Facebook).

There may not be a physical presence of famed Chatham attorney David Jacklin at the Ontario Superior Court of Justice, but the memory of him will never fade.

Overnight on Tuesday, the 70-year-old lost his battle with cancer. About two months ago, Jacklin stopped appearing in courtrooms and checked into hospice. On Wednesday, his colleagues at O’Brien, Jacklin and Sulman law firm were notified about his death.

According to Doug Sulman, a co-worker and life-long friend to Jacklin, said he passed in his sleep surrounded by his wife Jan and children, John, Stephanie, and Peter.

“He passed quietly and peacefully with his family around him,” said Sulman. “That’s what he wanted.”

Jacklin was called to the bar in 1978, and for over 40 years he was a fixture in high profile cases across Ontario. A notable case included the accidental death of a 10-year-old boy in Wallaceburg. Although some may remember Jacklin for being tough in the courtroom, Sulman said what they should never forget is the person inside the hardened exterior was a man who cared about people.

“He acted with such dignity,” said Sulman. “He continued to go out and see people and even as he got weaker and weaker he still managed to visit people and have people visit him.”

On some occasions, Sulman said Jacklin was known to give some of his money to help those in need, without wondering where it would go. It was his “service to others” that will stick with Sulman.

Greg McGivern, a colleague of Jacklin’s who also works at the law firm, said although his relationship with the deceased did not span decades, he will always consider Jacklin a friend and a mentor.

“Certainly what I’ve learned under him I could never measure,” said McGivern. “You know, he was a brilliant lawyer but he was great with everybody that he interacted with… he treated everybody with respect and I think that’s part of what made everybody love him.”

Aside from being a highly-touted criminal lawyer, Jacklin will be remembered by the justice community for  his love for his family and the ability to tell a great story.

Family will receive friends at McKinlay Funeral Home in Blenheim on September 2, 2019 from 7 p.m. until 9 p.m. and on Tuesday from 2 p.m. until 4 p.m., and from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. A Masonic Service will be held Tuesday at 6:45 p.m. and a funeral service will be held at Glad Tidings Community Church in Blenheim at 11 a.m. on September 4.  Interment will follow at Evergreen Cemetery.