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Arizona lawyer who wants to vote here loses again

The California Supreme Court denied the petition for review of an Arizona lawyer who also belongs to the State Bar of California and wants to run for and vote in its elections.

Louis J. Hoffman, a patent attorney who practices in Scottsdale, Ariz., had already lost his case three times — in federal court and in California superior and appellate courts.

Hoffman, represented by Boalt Hall law professor Stephen Barnett, argued that he had a fundamental right to vote for bar officers because he is an active member of the State Bar of California. Characterizing the case as a right-to-vote matter, he said that because he has the same obligations and pays the same dues as attorneys who practice in the state, he should be able to vote in bar elections.

The Court of Appeal ruled unanimously in November that Business & Professions Codes §§6015 and 6018, which require that attorneys maintain their principal place of business in California in order to vote in bar elections, violate neither the equal protection or free speech protections of either the state or federal constitutions.

The Superior Court denied Hoffman's petition in January 2003, a year after a federal judge rejected his arguments.

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