Haté no stranger to zealous advocacy
Toronto personal injury lawyer Rohan Haté says the changing nature of the practice area in Ontario gives him an opportunity to differentiate himself using trial and litigation skills.
“I know it’s unusual for others of my vintage, but I spend a good deal of time, either in court arguing, or building towards that as part of the adversarial process, by conducting examinations for discovery,” he explains.
His partners have complimented him on his calm demeanour and ability to think on his feet.
“Those are qualities that are very important when you’re at trial or arguing a motion,” Haté says. “I’m also very fact-oriented, focusing on conveying my client’s point of view to the judge, rather than getting emotional.”
He set his sights on a career in the legal profession relatively early, after a high school co-op spent working at a law firm opened his eyes to a potential career in the field.
At California’s Santa Clara University School of Law, where Haté studied, the proximity to Silicon Valley meant that a strong emphasis was placed on intellectual property rights. And while he excelled in that area, winning the school’s prestigious High Tech Law Certificate in Intellectual Property, Haté says he found himself drawn to the law of torts.
“Its applicability to everyday life is what drew me to the tort law,” he explains.
Almost a decade on, and following his call to the Ontario bar, Haté says he enjoys guiding typically inexperienced plaintiffs through the maze of the legal system.
“The first thing I want them to understand is that I’m here to make their lives easier,” he says. “They have so much to deal with without the hassle of fighting with their insurance company, so I can take care of that while they focus on seeing their doctor and getting themselves better.”
In addition to acting for plaintiffs in all kinds of insurance-related claims, including slips and falls, long-term disability, fire losses and class actions, a smaller component of Haté’s practice involves advising major insurers on all aspects of insurance claims, including occupiers’ liability, motor vehicle tort and accident benefits claims, and insurance coverage.
“It’s a different experience working for sophisticated clients who expect constant reporting about the progress of files,” says Haté, who adds that the work also benefits his plaintiff clients.
“It keeps you on top of developments on both sides of the fence,” he adds.
Haté appears regularly before the Ontario Superior Court of Justice on contested and prominent motions, trials and has also represented clients before the Financial Services Commission of Ontario and the License Appeal Tribunal.