268 THE ADVOCATE
VOL. 79 PART 2 MARCH 2021
was hard slogging. Ron followed his usual approach in questioning, low key
and with a friendly tone.
After the answer to one of Ron’s questions, the witness apparently realized
he was in trouble and added a further sentence. The interpreter hesitated
and then mentioned he was not sure what the witness meant. Ron
indicated for the interpreter to continue. The interpreter translated the witness’s
last statement: “In my culture, telling little white lies is sometimes
Ron then, through the interpreter, asked if that was the witness’s philosophy.
There was dead silence. At that point, Ron knew the witness’s credibility
was dead, said he had no further questions, thanked the witness and
The judge hearing the trial commented later on the cross-examination
and said Ron was “an outstanding lawyer”. This was an opinion shared by
many, including Ron’s partners.
Ron had high moral and work standards. He expected others to practise
law to the same high moral standard and follow his dedication to clients, the
court and his law firm. Ron’s dedication to his firm showed in many ways.
When juniors needed help, he gave it, however busy he might be. The help
that Ron provided did not stop at answering a question. As the Honourable
Mr. Justice Walker recently put it, “I can remember going into his office
many times to ask one question that I thought might take 15 minutes to discuss
only to leave three hours later with the entire case ripped apart and
analyzed six ways to Sunday.”
Ron practised law at a time when there were relatively few women in the
profession. One of those women juniored Ron in her early years at Guild
Yule. Some of the clients did not want to talk to her. They wanted the “real
lawyer”. Ron had a standard answer for all of them. If they were not prepared
to talk to his junior, he would no longer act for them. End of story.
Ron was at his best in his speeches at Guild Yule dinners. His quickness
of wit always had his fellow firm members convulsed with laughter. No dinner
was complete without a speech from Holmes.
Ron simply did not lose his temper or show anger. He didn’t need to. With
his broad shoulders and 6'2" height, he could look intimidating.
The closest he came to losing his temper was when he and his wife
Naomi coached a T-ball team for the YMCA. The children in the league were
about six years old. However, even at that level, some coaches were out to
win, no matter what. One of those coaches, also a lawyer, had taught his
team to sing a derogatory song about their opponents. That Saturday morning,
Ron’s team was the opponent. When the singing started and Ron’s team