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District Court Judges appointed

6 April 2005

District Court Judges appointed

The appointment of John McDonald of Rotorua and Tony Zohrab of Wellington as District Court Judges was announced today by Attorney General Michael Cullen.

Mr McDonald will sit in Whangarei and Mr Zohrab in Nelson.

Mr McDonald graduated from Auckland University with an LLB in 1974 and began practice in Auckland, for most of the time with Meredith Connell practising in litigation. He joined Davys Burton in Rotorua in 1981, becoming a partner in 1983. At Davys Burton he continued his litigation practice, appearing for the Crown at jury trials, as well as in civil and family litigation.

From 1985 he took over the planning files for the Rotorua District Council and ceased family law work. In 1994 he was appointed Crown Solicitor, and his recent practice has been almost exclusively acting for the Crown, predominantly prosecuting jury trials. Outside the law he has served as Chairman of the Westbrook Primary School Board of Trustees and is currently Chair of the Lynmore Primary School Board of Trustees. Mr McDonald will be sworn in on 29 April in Rotorua.

Mr Zohrab graduated from Victoria University with a BA in 1983 and an LLB in 1985. Since 1998 he has been in sole practice in Lower Hutt, specialising in litigation, particularly criminal and employment law.

He has also been an instructor at the Institute of Professional Legal Studies in Wellington and on the Prosecutor Training Programme at the Royal New Zealand Police College. He is a contributing author to Brooker’s Law of Transportation. He served as a member of the residual Employment Tribunal from October 2000 to June 2001.

Before establishing his own practice he had been a Senior Associate at Rudd Watts & Stone where he was involved in tax and commercial litigation. He also worked for Gaskin Avison for 10 years where he was a partner with an emphasis on general litigation. His voluntary contributions have included providing legal advice at the Lower Hutt Citizen’s Advice Bureau, at Rimutaka Prison and for the Hutt Old Boys Rugby Football Club. Currently he is the licensee and Chairperson of the Nga Tamariki Childcare Centre. Mr Zohrab will be sworn in on 21 April in Lower Hutt.


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