We interview local Solicitor and musician Tony Cox of Carty & Cox Solicitors and Conveyancers, and discover that he marches to the beat of his own drum.
What made you come to Bellingen?
I was working for a firm of Solicitors in Coffs Harbour and wanted to run my own practice. The Bellingen firm of Habgood and Greenland came up for sale and I took the opportunity in 1995.
How did Carty & Cox Solicitors and Conveyancers begin?
John Carty and his wife Vivian had a practice in Bellingen named Carty and Co. We all decided to join forces and form a partnership. Unfortunately, due to circumstances out of my control, the partnership dissolved and I bought John and Vivian’s share. The name remains to keep the Status Quo.
Who works with you now?
Linda Dalton is the other Solicitor. She is celebrating 20 years as a Family Law Accredited Specialist this year. She is also an accredited Mediator and long term Bellingen local of 25 years.
Katherine Mamone is our Licensed Conveyancer and a local from Nambucca/Macksville area.
Jill Littlely is the Office Manager and has lived in Bellingen for 25 years and is the backbone of the business.
Meike Elzer is a law student/legal secretary and a long time local. Our former legal secretary Jan Blayney now works part time and can handle any matter at short notice. They make up the best support staff any business could hope for and are all very committed, loyal and hard working women.
Can you talk about any famous cases?
I had an 8 week Criminal Trial in Sydney. One witness was giving evidence about men trying to break down the front door of a flat whilst he was hiding in a closet. The Crown played the 000 emergency call to the Police. The Crown Prosecutor said to the witness “You must have been terrified with those men bashing down the door. Who was screaming?” The witness replied, “Oh, I accidentally bumped a Tickle Me Elmo soft toy and it went off screaming.” The Crown moved on to more important questions after that.
Is your passion law or being a musician?
I have worked in the law since leaving school at 18. I went straight into the NSW Petty Sessions Courts and worked my way up to being the Clerk of the Court in country NSW. I was appointed as a Coroner in 1985. I have had my own practice now for 22 years, but I have spent a lot of my spare time playing, practicing or learning music. I guess I lean towards music.
What instruments can you play?
Like a lot of musos do you have a problem with your hearing?
Have you played with any famous musicians?
Two of the guys from INXS at various times, Denis Tek from Radio Birdman and Delta Goodrum’s former squeeze Brian McFadden once got up and sang a couple of songs with the band.
What is the verdict on your singing?
We would not get any gigs if they let me sing.
What band are you currently in?
I am still in the Groove Robbers after 16 years. This is actually The Groove Robbers Mk III. Just like Spinal Tap, we have had a number of different Drummers and Keyboard Players over that time. I have been a member of 8 local bands over the past 20 years (6 of which I started).
Which has been your most memorable gig?
That has to be the opening of the 5 star boutique hotel the QT in 2012, above the State Theatre and the old Gowings building in Sydney. They gave us a ridiculous amount of money to fly down and set up our gear in their presidential suite and pretend that we had been living there and rehearsing. We were fully decked out in our makeup and glam gear and every 20 minutes they brought up another group of dignitaries to check out the suite.
Has the band thought about breaking up so you can have a comeback tour?
Sure, we break up regularly over important issues like makeup, wigs or not enough Marshall stacks.
Have you ever been accused of misbehaviour backstage?
Please send me the witness statements.
Best memory of childhood was?
My best friend seeing Jimi Hendrix and reminding me constantly that I did not. I don’t hold grudges.
Friends say that you…
Go one step too far.
What are you reading right now?
‘Grant and I’ by Robert Forster and ‘Born to Run’ by Bruce Springsteen.
It is alleged that your favourite TV show is Judge Judy?
I think you will find I have a water tight alibi for every episode.
Your most embarrassing moment was?
A spinal tap moment at the Federal Hotel where I stupidly decided to get a band member onto my shoulders whilst trying to play a solo. My spindly legs gave way and we ended up on our backs looking at the ceiling.
What really annoys you?
The best lesson my parents taught you?
You have to make your own way in life.
How do you relax?
Scuba diving in exotic locations, underwater photography and gradually sending myself deafer playing guitar too loudly.
Which shire eatery has the most appeal?
Alas, it was No 2 Oak Street.
Best coffee in town?
Which holiday destination is best for arrest?
Cruising the Maldives on a Liveaboard and diving with Whale Sharks, giant Manta Rays and 3 metre Reef Sharks.
In the movie Tonygate, who would play you? Definitely Rod Stewart.
Now that would be hard to prove in a court of law!