Updates to our Terms of Use

We are updating our Terms of Use. Please carefully review the updated Terms before proceeding to our website.

Saturday, June 15, 2024 | Back issues
Courthouse News Service Courthouse News Service

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."

Categories / Uncategorized

Subscribe to Closing Arguments

Sign up for new weekly newsletter Closing Arguments to get the latest about ongoing trials, major litigation and hot cases and rulings in courthouses around the U.S. and the world.