The le­gal ea­gles

The Star Malaysia - Star2 - - Family -

FOR­MER high court judge Richard Talalla’s three sons – Mark, David and John – are all chips off the old block. The trio have fol­lowed in their father’s foot­steps and stud­ied law.

“Dad never forced to us to read law. We were given the free­dom to choose our ca­reers but my broth­ers and I ended up walk­ing down the same path as our father,” says Mark. His el­dest brother Richard was the only one who did not study law; he is a pi­lot.

Mark and his broth­ers’ in­ter­est in law started from a young age. When they were grow­ing up, the boys saw their father burn the mid­night oil, im­mers­ing him­self in le­gal cases and re­search ma­te­ri­als. They were aware that their father had the re­spon­si­bil­ity of up­hold­ing the law.

“As a high court judge, Dad served as a keeper of peo­ple’s rights, analysing the fac­tual and le­gal com­po­nents of each case he presided over. His de­ter­mi­na­tion and pas­sion for en­sur­ing that jus­tice was done fur­ther fu­elled my pas­sion to read law,” shares Mark, 52, who earned his law de­gree from Sus­sex Univer­sity in Bri­tain.

With four sons to pre­side over un­der his roof, the high court judge cer­tainly had to draw on his ex­pe­ri­ence of met­ing out jus­tice (and pun­ish­ments).

“We were bois­ter­ous boys who al­ways got into trou­ble. Dad was a stern man but he was al­ways fair. We’d get our knuck­les rapped and had to face the mu­sic when we were up to no good. You can say the ham­mer fell on us pretty of­ten,” re­calls Mark, laugh­ing at the mem­ory.

Though the three broth­ers stud­ied law, Mark is the only lawyer in the fam­ily. He is a part­ner at a law firm in Petaling Jaya.

Richard, 86, is based in Serem­ban but still drives to work thrice a week to con­sult on cases at Mark’s firm. Work keeps him ac­tive and his mind sharp, he says.

“I don’t be­lieve in re­tire­ment. I’m still pas­sion­ate about my job and en­joy han­dling le­gal cases. Plus, I have a con­nec­tion with the part­ners of the firm and I look for­ward to com­ing to work,” says the grand­fa­ther of five.

Mark says he is for­tu­nate to be able to work with his father. He gets to learn from his father as well as bond with him. “Dad’s room is next to mine. When­ever I need ad­vice, be it on le­gal or fam­ily mat­ters, all I have to do is walk a few steps to see him for a quick chat. An­other plus point about work­ing to­gether is we can go out for meals and spend qual­ity time with each other,”adds Mark, who has a 13-year-old daugh­ter.

An­other ben­e­fit of fol­low­ing in his father’s foot­steps is hav­ing him as a men­tor.

“Dad has trained me to be metic­u­lous and thor­ough with cases. He re­minds me that the core foun­da­tion of a law firm is ab­so­lute in­tegrity and hon­esty,” says Mark, who will spend Fa­thers Day with his par­ents.

— NORAFIFI EHSAN/The Star

For­mer high court judge Richard Talalla (left) and his son Mark are prac­tis­ing law to­gether.

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