He wanted to become a lawyer so passionately that he put himself through four years of night school while working a full-time job and raising two children.
Now, the 34-year-old counsel who owns Tilton & Tilton Law spends extra hours in the office to carry on the legacy of the first firm to open in Jensen Beach.
“We have files going back quite a ways,” says Lee Tilton, referring to a client base three generations deep. “We stay extremely busy, and that’s how we prefer it.”
Tilton & Tilton Law was established in the 1960s by C. Norris Tilton, who at age 94 remains active with the Florida Bar and still consults with clients. The grandfather-grandson operation provides legal services related to real estate, trusts and wills.
“He has more of a relaxed role, not seeing as many clients as before,” Lee Tilton says of his partner. “He’s still keeping things going and staying sharp, more power to him.”
The family’s ties to the Treasure Coast date to the early 20th century, when Warner “Pop” Tilton, Lee Tilton’s great-grandfather, pioneered the Martin County of today. The Navy pilot-turned-statesman trekked to Tallahassee in 1925 to have then-Gov. John Martin sign documents incorporating the area, leading him to a term on the initial board of county commissioners. The elder also founded the debut bank in Jensen Beach and started the Jensen Beach Chamber of Commerce.
“He had his hand in many different organizations,” Lee Tilton says. “He was looking for new opportunities in an undeveloped area, took notice and saw the possibilities.”
Tilton & Tilton Law’s location on Northeast Ricou Terrace sits next to the now-closed Inn at Tilton Place, an old Florida home where C. Norris Tilton was born.
“I am very proud of my family and to be a part of the history of this great city,” Lee Tilton says. “There’s really not that same friendly atmosphere anywhere that Jensen Beach has.”
How does it feel to be Jensen Beach royalty?
Ha, ha! I don’t know about royalty, but it is an honor and humbling to be part of a family that has significant accomplishments and contributions in our community.
To what do you attribute the success of the firm?
The feedback we get from clients is very positive. I owe that to my grandfather setting such an excellent example as an attorney for me to follow.
What does the future look like for Tilton & Tilton Law?
Possibly a new office in Stuart, but the Jensen Beach office always is going to be central to our existence. We have clients who walk in, colleagues who walk in, and we do our best to make ourselves available. It is an open-door policy that has always been with the firm.
Where can you be found when you are not working?
[My wife] Claudia, [daughter] Layla, [son] Allan and I love to visit Disney and the Keys as often as our schedule permits. However, there is no place like home. Frequently, we can be found going to the local movie theater and visiting our favorite restaurants.