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Interview of the Month

With Kathy Trist, Chair of Mediation Sub-Committee. Extract from Devon and Somerset Law Society newsletter January 2015

Why did you join Devon & Somerset Law Society?
I am a bit of an activist so if there is a body to move things forward I am in - but also as a pragmatist and know if something “needs a changing” you cannot just sit on the side-lines expecting everyone else to do it.

What is your dream job?
Sad I know but to do what I do now, helping all, regardless of whether they can afford it with real problems that need legal assistance. I would have to be able to split my tie 50/50 though with 50% advocate and 50%  Mediator – helping people find a resolution to their dispute and avoiding the tie and expense of court – that  would be living my dream. So shameless self- promoting for myself and the panel – more mediation referrals please people. If I could build in a bit of travelling to see different parts of the country and the world – that would also be nice and maybe only turn up at the office twice a week.

What has been the most embarrassing moment during your professional career?
A. There have been so many – the most memorable – walking in thinking I was going to get a possession order
before a certain local Judge to be told in front of the opponent in no uncertain terms that I had no chance,
what on earth was I thinking even asking as I must be joking, as the papers were completely wrong. I have to say – it was not my file, nor my firm’s but I should have spotted the obvious error sooner – would have saved a lot of embarrassment.
B. I suppose was when I was chased out of the Castle by a guy whose house I was trying to repossess (as agent) calling me a blood sucker – luckily the security guard said he had me covered.

Which sort of work gives you the most job satisfaction?
Mediating – seeing if you can see the solution two people are trying to find but cannot find it themselves
without your guidance. As a Lawyer – seeing the right result happen for deserving clients.

What gets you up in the morning?
A beautiful day.

What do you do in your spare time?
Spare time – what’s that! Spending time with my huge family doing whatever the youngest considers fun.

What book are you reading at the moment?
I normally have two or three that I dip in and out of and it can be anything from historical stories, biographies or thrillers.

What is the most recent film you have seen?
At the pictures – I took the kids to see The Box Trolls.

What are your favourite food/restaurant?
Anything I do not have to cook is pretty much a winner – but there is a little place near the Blackdown Hills called the Blagdon Inn where the food is amazing.

Where is your favourite holiday destination?
Florida – Disneyworld – you just go wow all the time.

What is your favourite pet?
Someone else's.

What is your passion?
My family, followed by my work and all that know me will know mediation is key as far as I am concerned.

Which famous person, dead or alive, would you most like to spend a day with?
Robbie Williams – because I think you would spend all day laughing. If I was feeling in a more serious mood
Margaret Thatcher an intelligent and formidable lady who may have some tips that could prove to be of use.

Tell us a couple of interesting facts about yourself.
At the age of 8 I wrote to the then Prime Minister, Margaret Thatcher due to my concern about nuclear
weapon. I also advised her she ought to look out as I also wanted her job. I did receive a reply from
her private secretary – but ultimately decided that maybe Prime Minister was not my dream job after all.

Extract from Devon and Somerset Law Society newsletter January 2015.