The Florida Bar

Florida Bar News

January 1, 2024 Letters

Letters

Retirement

When I received the December News, I was drawn to the cover article on retirement. I was hoping it would contain some instructional information on The Florida Bar retirement process. Instead, it contained nothing helpful.

So let me voice what attorneys thinking about retirement need to know.

As attorneys, I think that we can all agree that one of the worst things in our capitalist society are monopolies. Despite this, and while most attorneys will not openly admit this, as Florida attorneys, we are forced to join, pay fees and be subjected to one of the worst and archaic monopolies in the country: The Florida Bar.

As I approach my 70th birthday and over 40 years in private practice, I look forward to my retirement and naturally assumed that process would be seamless with The Florida Bar. Wow, was I wrong.

To “retire” one must actually file a written petition with The Florida Bar and get its consent. What hubris organization thinks that it has to grant you permission to retire?

The only other “retirement alternative” is to become “inactive.” Under this designation, an attorney continues to pay Bar fees but does not have to take CLE courses. And like retirement, the attorney, who probably has 40 years plus experience, cannot render any legal advice. To the Bar, the knowledge we have obtained is worthless. Rather than embrace our knowledge and skill, they kick us to the curb.

To avoid these draconian rules, an attorney has to pay full fees and comply with CLE requirements.

Can we be honest? To most of us, CLE is worthless. As required, I complete it every three years and not one CLE has any remote relevance to my area of practice, which is securities law. And I am sure that I am not alone in the opinion that most CLEs are a complete waste of time. But I guess The Florida Bar believes that advice from a 28-year-old attorney who completed CLE is better than that of a retired attorney with 40+ years of experience who no longer takes CLE.

So in the next few months I will decide which course of action to take. To be sure, I will not ask The Florida Bar permission to retire. Not going to happen. My inclination is to just send The Florida Bar a letter informing it that I have retired. I urge all attorneys in similar situations to do the same and not bow down to The Florida Bar when it comes to filing a petition to retire.

Eric P. Littman
Miami

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