The Transition Lawyers Committee (TLC) was established to provide information, guidance, and resources to Bar members, who are transitioning into or out of the practice of law, or who are contemplating the closure or sale of a law practice.

Who is a transitioning lawyer?

     At the outset, the TLC tried to assess the needs of attorneys in the private practice of law, primarily solo and small firm practitioners, who were contemplating a professional change to government practice, nonprofit employment, corporate practice, non-legal employment, or retirement.  In the assessment, the TLC recognized the longevity of employment has continued to increase as Hawaii's population retains its enviable life expectancy projections due to an increased awareness of "quality of life" factors such as diet and exercise.  The TLC reviewed other Bar Association webpages to identify trends of Mainland counterparts.  In addition, the Office of Disciplinary Counsel and the Attorneys Assistance Office were consulted and asked to be a part of the local endeavors.  It was then decided that a dedicated webpage consisting of articles by Hawaii and out-of-state authors would meet its mission.

     The articles posted provide general background information for HSBA members.  It is not intended to serve as a substitute for legal counsel.  For specific legal advice on individual situation, legal counsel should be consulted.  When reviewing articles authored by out-of-state contributors, keep in mind that the Rules of the Supreme Court of Hawaii, the Hawaii Rules of Professional Conduct, formal opinions or advisories issued by the Office of Disciplinary Counsel, and other Hawaii statutes, rules, regulations and case law precedents should also be reviewed as appropriate.  The posting of these articles does not constitute an approval or endorsement by the HSBA, and the HSBA will not be responsible for any damages, claims, losses, liabilities, costs or expenses that may arise from the use of the articles.

Succession Planning: It's Never Too Early!
The Art of Client Succession Planning Stephanie Hood, Esq. Hemenway & Barnes, LLP
Are You Prepared? John W. Olmstead, Esq. Olmstead & Associates, Senior Lawyers Division of American Bar Association
Thriving During Transition Linda Albert, Esq. The Psychology Center, Senior Lawyers Division of the American Bar Association
With Small Changes, One Solo Finds Way Into Retirement Texas Bar Association Lawyers’ Assistance Program,  Senior Lawyers Division of the American Bar Association
Succession Planning: Rewarding the Senior Lawyer Roy Ginsburg, JD Wolf Management Consultants, LLC., Minnesota State Bar Association
Succession Planning Preparing your Law Firm's Future David French, Esq., D. French Advisors, LLC, Tim Eigo, M.A., J.D, Arizona State Bar Association

When to Start Receiving Social Security Jane Yamamoto-Burigsay, Social Security Affairs SpecialistGenerations Magazine

Common Misconceptions about Medicare Daniel Bonilla,MedData, Generations Magazine 

Don’t Wait to Save for Retirement Michael W. K. Yee, Financial & Certified Financial Planner, Generations Magazine

Goodbye to All that: Thought on turning 67 and knowing when to quit, Charles T. Hvass, Donna Law Firm,  Bench&Bar of Minnesota

A Recipe for A Family Disaster Scott A. Makuakane, Esq., Est8Planning Counsel, LLLC. Generations Magazine

How Law Firms Can Prepare for Partner Retirement Brian McMahon, Major, Lindsey & Africa’s, Bench & Bar Minnesota


Closing A Law Practice: Crossing the T's & Dotting the I's
Turning Out The Lights Video Series Transitioning Lawyers Committee, North Carolina Bar Association
Closing Your Law Practice: Ethical Considerations Raphael Nemes, Esq., Michael Downey, Esq., Downey Law Group, LLC.,  Senior Lawyers Division of the American Bar Association
Guidelines for Closing a Law Practice Jay Foonberg, Esq. State Bar of California, Yvonne Shinmura, Esq., Office of Disciplinary Counsel
Guidance on Closing Your Office Jay Reeves, Esq., Lawyers Mutual Inc. North Carolina Bar Association

Transitioning Clients and Setting Compensation for Partners Approaching Retirement  Joel Rose, Esq. Joel A. Rose & Associates, Senior Lawyers Division of the American Bar Association
I Closed My Private Practice Twice. Here’s What I Learned. The Honorable Richard C. Goodwin, Maryland Administrative Law Judge, Senior Lawyers Division of the American Bar Association
Surrogate Attorneys: Designating a Successor in Case the Unexpected Happens  Raphael Nemes, Esq., Downey Law Group, LLC, Senior Lawyers Division of the American Bar Association
Tips for Starting a Mediation Practice Michael Downey, Esq. Downey Law Group, LLC, Senior Lawyers Division of the American Bar Association
Selling a Law Practice Under ABA Model Rule 1.17 Michael Downey, Esq., Downey Law Group, LLC, Senior Lawyers Division of the American Bar Association
Why Everyone Needs A Firm Emergency Plan Warren Savage, Esq. Bailey and Dixon, North Carolina Bar Association
Plan Ahead For Closing A Law Practice Lawyers Mutual Insurance Company, North Carolina Bar Association
How Does Your Capital Look? Stephanie Hood, Esq. Hemenway, & Barnes, LLP

Ethical Considerations: Doing It Right!
The Importance of Business Succession Planning Donna J. Jackson, Esq., Jackson & Associates,  Senior Lawyers Division of the American Bar Association
Ethics of Law Form Dissolutions James W. Ozog. Esq., Michael P. Luongo, Esq., Seth L. Laver, Esq., Goldberg Segalla

How to Handle Files upon Retirement Carol Richelieu, Esq.

Ethical Challenges and Responsibilities and Responsibilities When Working with Clients with Diminished Capacity Kerry Peck, Esq.  Peck Ritchey, LLC., Senior Lawyers Division of the American Bar Association

Alzheimer’s Statistics and Early Symptoms Kerry Peck, Peck Ritchey, LLC, Seniors Lawyers Division of the American Bar Association

Chart – State by State Caretaker Rules When Lawyer Disappears, Dies, or Is Declared Incompetent ABA Center of Professional Responsibility Standing Committee on Client Protection.2015
ABA Formal Ethics Opinion 92-369 - Disposition of Deceased Sole Practitioners’ Client Files and Property ABA Commission on Ethics and Professional Responsibility. December 7, 1992
ABA Formal Opinion 03-429 - Obligation with Respect to Mentally Impaired Lawyer in the Firm ABA Commission on Ethics and Professional Responsibility. June 11, 2003

ABA Formal Opinion 03-431 - Lawyer's Duty to Report Another Lawyer Who may Suffer from Disability or Impairment  ABA Standing Committee on Ethics and Professional Responsibility. August 8, 2003
ABA Model Rules of Professional Conduct Client - Lawyer Relationship Rule 1.3 Diligence Comment ABA Standing Committee on Ethics and Professional Responsibility

ABA Policy on Advance Designation of Caretaker or Surrogate Lawyer ABA House of Delegates . August 14, 2007
ABA Model Rules for Lawyer Disciplinary Enforcement, Rule 28 (Appointment of Counsel to Protect Clients’ Interests When Respondent Is Transferred to Disability Inactive Status, Suspended, Disbarred, Disappears, or Dies) ABA Center of Professional Responsibility

Health and Well-Being: Keeping Mentally & Physically Fit!
A Gentle Landing: LAPs, Cognitive Impairment Robert J. Derocher, Esq. Journalist, ABA Bar Leader Contributor, American Bar Association Division of Bar Services

Lawyer Impairment and Related Ethical Consideration Lennes N. Omuro, Esq., Goodsill Anderson Quinn & Stifel, LLP. This article was first published in the February 2017 issue of the Hawaii Bar Journal.  The copyright is retained by the author.

Becoming a "Dementia-Capable" Attorney James H. Pietsch, Esq., William S. Richardson School of Law. This article was first published in the 2015 13th edition of the Hawaii Bar Journal.  Copyright retained by author.
Long-Term Care in Hawaii Scott C. Suzuki, Esq., Law Offices of Scott Suzuki.  This article was first published in the 2015 23rd edition of the Hawaii Bar Journal.  Copyright retained by author.
What Happens When an Attorney Dies or Becomes Incapacitated? Donna J. Jackson, Esq., Jackson & Associates, Senior Lawyers Division of the American Bar Association
The Importance of Advance Health Planning for Your Clients and Yourself Nathan Kottkamp, Esq., McGuireWoods, LLP, Senior Lawyers Division of the American Bar Association
A Wellness Guide for Senior Lawyers and their Families, Friends and Colleagues State Bar of California, Solo & Small Firm Section
How Lawyers Can Avoid Burnout and Debilitating Anxiety Leslie A. Gordon, Esq. Law Offices of Leslie A. Gordon, ABA Journal,  American Bar Association
Aging and Transitioning with Dignity Pamela Powell, Esq., Powel Law P.C., Susan L. Godwin, Esq., Law Office of Susan Godwin Esq., James P. McCollom Jr., Attorney at Law, Ellen Plaze, Driftwood Pain Recovery, Max E. Wright Kelly, Hart & Hallman, LLP Texas Lawyers’ Lawyer Assistance Program, Senior Lawyers Division of the American Bar Association
State of HI Executive Office of Aging

Aging, Adiversity & Resilience Margaret A. Perkinson, Ph.D, Center on Aging Director, UH Manoa, Generations Magazine

Home Healthcare: Buyer Beware Eileen Phillips, RN,  Generations Magazine

Senior Discounts Aug-Sept 2017, Generations Magazine

Gray But not Retired: Ways to Stay engaged in the Law, Charlie  T. Hvass, Donna Law Firm, American Bar       Association News.


If you have any suggested articles or videos for webpage inclusion, email your suggestion with attribution information to Evelyn Gomez at