Joseph Sollitto, who served for over 40 years as the clerk of the Dukes County Superior Court, announced last week that he is coming out of retirement to join the law firm of Brush, Flanders & Moriarty in West Tisbury. The announcement of his retirement in 2018 was met with great respect and reverence for his long and illustrious career on-Island. Sollitto was elected to the Superior Court for seven consecutive terms before his retirement.
Sollitto, a former Oak Bluffs selectman, also served on the town police force, in the Marine Corps, and was an associate in the Edgartown law office of Philip J. Norton Jr., Esq.
Sollitto says that after the hustle and bustle of a lifetime of hard work, retirement was a bit of an adjustment. “I’ve been working since I was 14, so it was a little shock not to be doing something every day,” said Sollitto. “After I retired, I took about a month and a half off; my wife and I went on a trip to Ireland, and when I came back last summer, I worked for the county, helping them with their parking tickets.”
After a chance encounter with Carol and George Brush last fall while out to dinner, he reconsidered his retired status. George invited him to join the firm, and Sollitto, after some consideration, took him up on his offer.
“I started in the beginning of February, and, of course, everything hit the fan coming in March, and things slowed down until the beginning of June,” said Sollitto. “I am what they call, of counsel. I come in for a couple of hours every morning, and I work mostly with Timmy Moriarty and Caroline Flanders, doing research and whatever else they want me to do.”
Sollitto has logged a long career of storied work on the Island. “At 14, I was delivering groceries. I did other things all through college, and then, when I was in law school, I worked weekends at the police department down in Oak Bluffs,” said Sollitto. “Of course, back then, there weren’t a lot of places open. I think there were only two places you could get a drink on the entire Island — either Ritz Cafe or the P.A. Club. I did a little studying at night, too. It worked out well.”
Sollitto said the firm reopened for limited in-person appointments around early June.
In a press release distributed recently, the firm praised Sollitto’s experience, and expressed excitement about his joining the group.
“Few people know the law, the courts, and this Island better than Joe Sollitto,” said Brush, the founding member of the firm. “We’re thrilled to have Joe join our team, and we look forward to the added value and wisdom he will bring to our practice.”
Sollitto is glad to be back to work and to put his expertise to use. “I missed people. It was time that I retired, I know that, but I missed the people that I worked with. They’re all a good bunch of people,” said Sollitto.