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Deceased Lawyer Still Takes Calls

Tucked away in a cemetery in Paramus, N.J. is the gravesite of prominent Manhattan defense attorney John Jacobs, who died two-and-a-half years ago at the age of 60.

The headstone has the usual markings: his name, birth and death dates, and the words "Rest in Peace."

And, reports Scott Rapoport of CBS station WCBS-TV in New York, it has something else: Jacobs' cell phone number.

When you call it, his voicemail picks up, promising to return the call.

The account is active to this day.

"That's a little unusual," Rapoport remarked to Jacobs' widow of 21 years, Marion Seltzer.

"It is," she agreed. "But so was my husband."

Seltzer says putting the phone number on the headstone was her idea: It helps her stay close to Jacobs: "I call him now. If I'm happy. If I'm sad. And I think there are probably a good number of people who were very close to him who periodically call him."

Throughout his career, the outgoing and larger-than-life Jacobs represented high-profile defendants, such as mob boss "Fat Tony" Salerno.

Jacob's cell phone was constantly ringing. He was inundated with calls. So, asks Seltzer, why stop now?

"He would love this," she observed. "He liked attention."

Seltzer says she has no idea how many people have called her husband since his death, or what they've said, since she doesn't have his "PIN" number, so she can't hear his messages.

"Whatever they've said is private," Seltzer told Rapoport. "I've never heard a message."

She says Jacobs was buried with his cell phone - the battery fully-charged, of course.

Making Jacobs, Rapoport concludes, perhaps the only lawyer in the world who might hear from his clients 24/7 - for all eternity!

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