Jakala, Stanley Was a legend as a lawyer because of his fierce advocacy, his cross-examination skills and long career. Mr. Jakala died Wednesday at his home in Berwyn at the age of 86. He practiced law for 56 years after graduating from Northwestern University School of Law in 1957. He received his bachelor's degree from Loyola University. Mr. Jakala graduated from Weber High School in Chicago in 1945 and was immediately drafted into the U.S. Army. He served stateside delivering orders around the country. When he returned from the war, Mr. Jakala enrolled at Marquette University in Milwaukee for a year and then returned to Chicago to attend Loyola. He excelled at Loyola and was voted "senior who has done the most for Loyola" and was an outstanding debater. After graduating from law school, Mr. Jakala taught five years at St. Philip Basilica High School and practiced law on the side. He later went to work for a law firm in Summit before starting his own law practice. Mr. Jakala was best known for his work representing public employees in disciplinary matters, particularly police officers. He represented the Chicago Fraternal Order of Police and the state FOP for many years as well as national FOP. One of his proudest moments as a lawyer was being called to negotiate a police strike in Virginia in the 1980s. The strike made national news. Mr. Jakala also was in the national spotlight in 1987 when he represented a Des Plaines police officer who was fired after he left his post to go home to his family during a flood. In that case, Mr. Jakala appeared on the Phil Donahue Show. Mr. Jakala was well respected for his appellate work. He argued eight times before the Illinois Supreme Court. He was particularly proud to have won an employee privacy case in the Illinois Appellate Court which led to the establishment of HIPAA. He also established the law in Illinois for police and firefighters seeking disability pensions. Throughout his career, Mr. Jakala saw himself as a champion of the little guy. He was known for his fearlessness and was never intimidated by the prestige of any law firm he was up against. Mr. Jakala was named to Illinois Super Lawyers, a peer recognition program to which only five percent of lawyers in the state are elected, for the past five years, in 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, and most recently for 2013. "I thought he was a fine lawyer," said Jack Siegel, a lawyer who has practiced municipal law for 62 years. "He was very much interested in protecting the rights of police, firefighters and public servants. It was a pleasure to work with him." Mr. Jakala worked up until the day he died. He loved the law and would not consider retirement. Besides the law, Mr. Jakala also loved the Chicago Cubs. He also was known for his wit, his love of a good steak and his work ethic. The only child of Kazimiera and Stanislaw Jakala, who were Polish immigrants, he was born November 24, 1926 in Chicago. Mr. Jakala was always proud of his Polish background and loved to celebrate Casmir Pulaski Day. He is survived by his wife, Ruth; sons, Daniel (Karen) of Kenosha, Wis., and Steven of Florida; and stepdaughter Carol Chasnoff (Ira) of Evanston. He was predeceased by his son, James. Three grandchildren and three step grandchildren also survive. Visitation Sunday, July 21, 2013 from 3:00-8:00 p.m. Mount Auburn Funeral Home, 4101 Oak Park, Stickney, IL. Funeral service Monday, July 22, 2013, chapel service 10:30 a.m. Mount Auburn Funeral Home. Interment Mount Auburn Memorial Park. 708-749-2033
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Published in Chicago Sun-Times on July 19, 2013