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Suspended Attorney Can’t Be a Judge, Court Rules

(CN) - An attorney elected as a circuit judge in Florida isn't eligible for the position, because his law license had been suspended for 91 days, the state Supreme Court ruled.

William S. Abramson was elected as a circuit judge in August 2008. He was scheduled to begin his term on Jan. 6, 2009.

Four days before that date, Abramson began serving a 91-day "rehabilitative suspension" from practicing law.

In a requested opinion to Gov. Charlie Crist, the justices said Abramson cannot sit on the bench.

"You are not authorized to commission a circuit judge-elect if he fails to satisfy the constitutional eligibility requirements of that office," the justices wrote to Crist.

In determining whether a suspended lawyer satisfies those requirements, the justices wrote that they relied on common sense: "One may not be a judge in a court in which one's own practice as a lawyer would be disallowed."

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