When a suspended lawyer is readmitted to practice before a federal court but has not yet won reinstatement of his state license to practice, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court cannot thwart that order by prohibiting the lawyer from opening an office, the 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled.

The ruling in Surrick v. Killion is a victory for attorney Robert B. Surrick, who was hit with a five-year suspension by the Pennsylvania Supreme Court but later persuaded the federal judges on the Eastern District of Pennsylvania bench to impose only a 30-month suspension.

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