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Driver charged over death of young Auckland lawyer

Tom Dillane, NZ Herald,
Publish Date
Tue, 13 Jun 2023, 12:14pm
31-year-old Telise Martin died in Auckland. Photo / Supplied.
31-year-old Telise Martin died in Auckland. Photo / Supplied.

Driver charged over death of young Auckland lawyer

Tom Dillane, NZ Herald,
Publish Date
Tue, 13 Jun 2023, 12:14pm

A 62-year-old woman has been charged with careless driving leading to the death of young Auckland lawyer Telise Martin.

The 31-year-old litigator at Martelli McKegg Lawyers died on April 18 after being hit by a vehicle on Corinthian Dr, Albany, just outside North Shore District court.

The family of Martin gathered in that same district court this morning, just metres from the site of the accident, for the first appearance of the woman charged with careless or inconsiderate vehicle operation causing death.

The 62-year-old woman charged did not enter a plea and was granted interim name suppression until her next court hearing.

Her legal representation in court said the woman was undergoing counselling following the accident and had been unable to work since.

The court heard the woman had not yet received legal advice.

Martin was described as an “incredibly talented” young lawyer by her colleagues at Martelli McKegg Lawyers following her death and had been a high-achieving student at one of Auckland’s top girls’ schools - St Cuthbert’s College.

Martin’s husband Tim also has a child from a previous relationship.

Martin’s colleagues at Martelli McKegg Lawyers, where she was a senior associate on the litigation team, described her as possessing “that rare combination of talent and heart, empathy and tenacity required of great advocates”.

“Telise was a great person - the light shone out of her with great radiance and touched everyone she came across. Her rays of sunshine will be greatly missed by us all,” the tribute read.

Martin attended the University of Auckland, where she obtained degrees in law and accounting before being admitted as a barrister and solicitor of the High Court in 2015.

After just eight years of practising, her firm said her star was “very much on the rise” and she showed every hallmark of a leader.

She was a member of the ADLS Family Law Committee, where she had just been elected as a member of the council of ADLS, and was also a member of the Auckland Women Lawyers’ Association and the New Zealand Law Society (NZLS) family law section.

“Telise had a great enthusiasm for every aspect of her life and this spilled over into her practice as a lawyer,” the tribute read.

“She was somebody who touched every member of the Martelli McKegg team and was deeply respected by every one of us. We will hugely miss her presence, guidance and support, particularly the litigation team... Rest in peace our dear friend.”

Her colleagues at Martelli McKegg extended their condolences to her husband and her wider family.

They also acknowledged first responders, those members of the public at the scene and the judges, staff and lawyers from the North Shore District Court.

Emergency services responded to the crash at 9.43am on April 18.

Martin died after being transported to Auckland Hospital in critical condition following the crash.

St Cuthbert’s College principal Justine Mahon said the whole school community was “deeply saddened” by the news of Martin’s death.

“Telise was simply an exceptional young woman, with a very bright future in front of her. She is remembered at the college as being a great listener, encouraging of others, and was always thoughtful in her approach.

“I personally remember Telise as being a very optimistic young woman, who showed real ability to adapt and thrive in new situations. During her time with us, she threw herself into college life, participating in the annual production, tutoring younger students, and was a talented writer.”

Mahon said Martin spent the final year of her secondary school education boarding at St Cuthbert’s and “impressed all those who knew her with her wry sense of humour and her ready smile”.

“As a student at the college, Telise demonstrated the skills required to excel in the legal profession.

“She was quick to understand new concepts and to draw conclusions, and was always willing to attempt complex problems which required original and lateral thinking, explaining her rationale in an articulate and clear manner. She will be deeply missed by all who had the privilege of knowing her.”

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