Can you tell us one thing that people would be surprised to learn about you?
I grew up in Iran and I was one of the first people to be blacklisted during the Islamic coup d’état because I was writing, marching, speaking out and fighting. I was in my late teens at the time and I was always in their faces. Then my death warrant was issued by the government and I fled the country. I went to Spain because I am half Spanish but before I could do anything, I had to leave to get away from abuse, so I came to Canada and I never went back. I have always fought against oppression in any form and that has made me unpopular at times, but I cannot sell my principles for anything. It’s not in my DNA.
What areas of law do you specialize in?
I opened my own practice in Toronto right after my call to the bar and I had to take on any case that came my way just to pay my student loan and business loan, so I ended up practicing in all areas of law. At first, I did it out of necessity, but eventually, I just kept on doing it because I had done it for so many years. My main areas of practice are now civil, family and criminal law litigation, but I also do Canadian Human Rights Tribunal litigation.
At some point, housing became too expensive in Toronto and my husband and I wanted to have a family, so we had to look for a place that was more affordable. That’s how we ended up in Cobourg. We moved here at the end of 2011 but I kept my office in Toronto and by 2013, I had opened a second office in Cobourg.
How do you manage being a parent and a business owner?
When I became a mom, I was already practicing law with two offices so I had to make time for my daughter. It was not easy to do both at first, but right from the beginning, we knew that my husband needed to be the one who spent most of the time with her because he has more flexibility in his schedule. It became much easier when she started going to daycare.
Over the years, I have had to learn to share responsibility with my husband. So he does all the driving and takes our daughter to all her extracurricular activities, but I make sure I have my morning time with her before she goes to school. I make her breakfast, pack her lunchbox, brush her hair and all of that. And in the evening, I try to make it home for supper and if I can’t, I’ll make it home for her bedtime routine. I also try not to take work home and I don’t work over the weekend unless I am in the middle of a trial. She is eight years old now and she does ballet, choir, piano practice and all kinds of other activities. If she has a concert, I will make sure I go home early to do her hair and makeup, I’ll attend the event and I’ll give her flowers when she is done. I make time for things like that. I feel it’s important for my daughter to know that it’s not always about dad working and mom being home. Sometimes in life, it’s the other way around and our daughter understands that.