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Should retired lawyers have to indicate they are retired?

Senior Editor Top Stories

The Florida Bar Protecting Rights, Pursuing Justice, Promoting Professionalism sealFlorida lawyers could still use the “Esquire” honorific in their twilight years, but they would have to indicate their retired status under a proposed amendment to Bar Rule 1-3.5 (Retirement).

The Board of Governors will weigh the proposed amendment on first reading at an October 1 meeting. A final recommendation is not expected until later this year and the Supreme Court will have final say.

Bar member inquiries about the appropriateness of using “Esquire,” or “Member, Florida Bar,” or similar indicia post-retirement prompted the Rules Committee proposal, according to a staff analysis.

A proposed new subsection would state, “Retired members must affirmatively represent their retired status when any statement of Florida Bar membership is made, e.g., when in writing, Esquire (Ret.) or Member, Florida Bar (Ret).”

Under another provision of the proposed amendment, retired lawyers would still be prohibited from practicing law, “unless reinstated to active membership in good standing by the executive director, or unless certified as an emeritus lawyer under chapter 12 of these rules, but only for those activities permitted under chapter 12.”

Florida lawyers who seek “permanent retirement” are not eligible for reinstatement, and retired lawyers remain subject to disciplinary action for acts committed prior to their retirement date.

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