Judge-elect Abramson denied office - Fox29 WFLX TV, West Palm Beach, FL-news & weather

Judge-elect Abramson denied office

By Chuck Weber email

WEST PALM BEACH, FL (WFLX)-He challenged a sitting judge, and won-- after three recounts. But on Wednesday, the state Supreme Court ruled William Abramson cannot take the bench in Palm Beach County Circuit Court.

"I'm disappointed," said Abramson. "You know I had my day. We made our argument."

This past fall, Abramson won a nail-biter race over Judge Richard Wennet. Ironically it was Abramson's behavior in Wennet's courtroom months earlier that led the state's highest court to suspend Abramson's law license for 91 days.

To be a judge, the state constitution only says one has to be a member of the Florida Bar, which Abramson is. The Supreme Court, though, in its majority opinion, cited cases in other states. Calling it "a common sense understanding," the justices wrote, "one may not be a judge in a court... where "one's own practice as a lawyer would be disallowed."

"Obviously I have a difference of opinion as did my attorneys," responded Abramson. "But that's the ruling of the Supreme Court. They are the Supreme Court."

Since Abramson cannot take the bench, the governor will have to appoint a replacement. It's now the fourth judicial vacancy in Palm Beach County's courts, and could not come at a worse time in light of recent budget cuts.

As for Abramson's future, he says he's concentrating on getting his law license back, engaging in the rehabilitation process required by the Florida Bar. He said he'll take a professionalism workshop, pay some fees, and do volunteer work.

Abramson says he hopes to go back to work representing people again. "I have to admit there's a lot of emotions," he said. "The whole process was exciting, but I had my day in court. And it's time to move forward."

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