New Zealand Law Society - Lawyers in Lockdown: Gary Gotlieb

Lawyers in Lockdown: Gary Gotlieb

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We asked lawyers around the country how they are getting on during the lockdown: what they’re doing to cope with the lack of office working and dealing with technology at home. Here is renowned Auckland barrister Gary Gotlieb.

How are you getting round the lack of face-to-face meetings, team meetings et al, and continuing (if you are) to work productively?

Gary: Coping. I can communicate with clients by phone, text, email, FaceTime etc. so I can fairly adequately communicate. Half the time is explaining whether the case will be adjourned so I’m not being terribly productive but that’s the same for all criminal practitioners.


How are you coping with technology?

Gary: Not too bad for an old boy but I can get a little in need of assistance on occasions. I’m up with the video link. When I became a councillor for TCDC (Thames-Coromandel District Council) I immediately tried to get a conferencing system up. Kept nagging (“it’s going to cost too much etc. etc”), and finally they had me do a Skype link, the first time for an elected member. Then I kept on about it till finally they were largely underway so we’ve now been able to have two council meetings in lockdown. Not that I told you so!

What’s the most intriguing thing you’ve learned about yourself during the lockdown so far?

Gary: How much I miss swimming. (As Gary said in this LawPoints profile he has competed in various triathlons, Ironman and open-water swimming events, including nine world championships with immense success in his age groups.)

Any funny/quirky tales to tell?

Gary: I was asked by a journalist if I worried about going to court as I’m over 70. Well, I said, I’m still an active surf lifesaving lifeguard and keep myself pretty fit. I don’t have a problem going to court and if it’s good enough for Winston it’s good enough for me.

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