Opinions in the magazine are those of the authors and
not necessarily those of the State Bar of Arizona, its
Board of Governors, the Editorial Board or staff. The
magazine provides an open forum for readers. Send your
own letter to firstname.lastname@example.org
When It’s Time to Leave…
The Pope resigned. This happens every 6oo years, so probably it’s old news to most of you, but it was
pretty stunning to me.
Not the fact of it; Pope Benedict XVI is 85 years old and has every reason to spend his days in a less stressful position, say, doing double shifts as an air-traffic controller. The man’s idea of relaxation would put me in a rocking chair
watching Real Housewives of Eloy for the rest of my days—his down-time is dissecting ecclesiastical scholarship in
ancient Greek or, an oxymoron, modern Latin.
I get his reasons for wanting out, but what interests me is what the letter looked like. Given that the practice of
law is in great flux lately, I am considering contract work on a per-unit, not hourly fee, basis. My niche would be writing difficult documents, of which resignation letters are an archetype. I have ghosted a few, although curiously so far
none were picked up. For example:
Resignation Letter of Andrew Thomas:
Goodbye Letter of General John R. Allen:
Dear People of Maricopa County,
I did not mean to abuse your trust and
violate my professional obligations. I was
captured by aliens (from Klingon, not
Mexico) and they ate my brain and were
working on my heart when, fortunately,
charges were brought, settlements reached and
the invading force left me, not contrite, but
ready to rise again. They don’t call it Phoenix
for nothin’! In the meantime, it is best that
I serve elsewhere, but hopefully not
time. And remember, after you
try everything else, honesty is
the best policy.
Dear America and Afghanistan,
Gosh, I am so sorry I didn’t understand how the Internet
works. Who knew digital stuff can just go anywhere and
never, ever dies? Hey, that sounds like a perfect weapon, but
oops! I turned it on myself!
The Pope’s Request:
This is my two weeks’ notice.
I know that I serve at your divine
instruction, but something has come up. I
am seriously old. I can’t get in and out of
the Pope Mobile like I used to, international
travel is a bear, and I can’t find SAS lace-ups
in red. I was thinking that maybe we could
renegotiate. I move to the side, somebody young, say 65, steps up, and you and
I get to talk more without the distractions of my being CEO. Also, I could
pick up a few more Masses on the weekend if that helps with scheduling.
The retirement package looks good—Vespa parking up front, small office
in the South and Swiss Guard coverage M–F are generous. If it’s not too
much trouble, I do need ancient Greek spell-check, and a new name. I was
thinking of Brad.
In closing, let me thank you for my selection; it was a lot of adulation,
but I tried to handle it humbly, and always as your faithful and loving
Roxie Bacon has been a lawyer in
Arizona since 1974, shortly after the
glaciers melted. She currently spends
time in New Zealand with border collies
who, she says, could teach attorneys
a thing or two about multi-tasking,
not to mention exercise!
Come to think of it,
this draft would be a
good model for very
senior law partners who
want out of increasingly
volatile private practice,
except that the salutation would confuse
them; they’d think they
were writing to themselves! AZ AT
Benedict XIV, aka Brad
P.S. Also, I know that deification usually follows Papal
departures, but I’ll trade for full medical/dental.