Bysiewicz goes to court to prove AG qualifications

John O'Brien Apr. 16, 2010, 2:00pm


HARTFORD, Conn. (Legal Newsline) - Connecticut Secretary of State Susan Bysiewicz testified in a lawsuit she filed against herself this week, with the Democrat hoping to prove she is qualified to run for attorney general.

Bysiewicz claims she has met the 10-year requirement of active law practice needed to run for attorney general, while the state's Republican party has intervened to argue that she hasn't.

Bysiewicz is an attorney, but she has been secretary of state since 1988.

The Hartford Courant has been following her testimony. Bysiewicz wants her time as secretary of state to qualify as an "active practice of law."

Attorney General Richard Blumenthal has already weighed in with his opinion. He is running for U.S. Senate.

"Had the General Assembly intended only that the Attorney General be a member of the Connecticut bar for 10 years, regardless of whether he actually practiced law, it could have said so without using the words 'active practice,'" Blumenthal wrote.

"Maintenance of active bar status requires only compliance with mandatory filings and payment of certain professional fees, and does not require that an attorney engage in the practice of law at all."

Bysiewicz took a 50-percent exemption from an annual $110 fee by saying she did not practice law as an occupation from 2006-2008.

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