Daniel Haig, Solicitor at Bolt Findlay, former acting officer in charge at Lismore Sheriff’s Office
What did your role in the Lismore Sheriff’s Office involve?
I was the acting officer in charge, which involved looking after operations at Lismore and seven other court houses and assisting the management of juries in the District Court. This took the form of planning, rostering, and liaising with the judges and magistrates about security matters and general HR management.
What is the best thing about working in Lismore?
I love the social benefits of living in a smaller place. I grew up in country towns. A big plus is the cheaper cost of living and the lack of traffic. It’s easier to get to know people in regional towns and see the impact your job has. It makes it more rewarding.
What are the biggest challenges working in the country?
In the country there are often fewer training and employment opportunities, so it can be harder for young people to stay where they’ve grown up because they want to pursue their job and study goals. The distance can be a disadvantage for clients who struggle to access court services. On the North Coast, there is a lot of casual work. This lack of secure employment has a ripple effect on people’s wellbeing, which flows through to why people end up in court in the first place.
While working in the Sheriff’s Office, what was the weirdest thing you witnessed?
The strangest thing I saw was a self-represented litigant in the District Court who was wearing a sarong, a camo-coloured jacket and green face paint. He brought in a large stuffed bear called Mr Ted to act as his solicitor for the hearing. The hearing was even more bizarre – he made some very interesting submissions.
Uniform or suit, what’s your preference?
I’ve spent nearly 10 years in uniform, so I’m looking forward to trying something new and wearing a suit in my new role as solicitor.
What is your local coffee shop?
La Baracca Espresso Bar & Trattoria on Keen St.