The Boston Globe is being dragged kicking and screaming to facts regarding Elizabeth Warren’s private law practice history, including her representation of Dow Chemical which Warren never previously disclosed to the press (emphasis mine):
Warren, a Harvard Law School bankruptcy specialist, released a list of 13 cases Monday night, just 15 minutes before the start of her second debate with Brown. Her campaign described those often complex cases in brief, flattering terms. But the list did not include all the clients Warren has consulted with or represented over the years that may not have appeared on court dockets.
Instead, Warren’s list was partial. She included all clients she represented since 2008, information that was already public in disclosure forms she filed when she went to Washington to lead a congressional panel and then serve in the Obama administration.
The cases she included from before 2008 were those already available from other publicly searchable databases, when she represented a client in court.
That meant her list excluded cases in which she may have consulted or served clients in other ways. A 2002 affidavit, first posted on the conservative blog Legal Insurrection, shows examples of some of those consulting clients not mentioned in Monday night’s release. That affidavit shows that among them were Dow Chemical “in the early days of the Dow Corning bankruptcy,” according to Warren’s 2002 affidavit, filed as part of another case. The campaign confirmed that Warren, an expert in bankruptcy trusts, consulted for the company, but did not provide details, citing attorney client privilege. In that period, the company set up a trust to pay plaintiffs who claimed in lawsuits that silicone breast implants had led to health problems.
Warren’s campaign would not say why it would not disclose the full list of her clients.
The Dow Chemical representation is yet another case in which Warren sided with big companies, along with Travelers and LTV Coal. Although the Globe did not include a link, Warren’s failure to disclose the Dow Chemical representation was exposed in my post, Elizabeth Warren issues incomplete list of cases based on Warren’s 2002 Affidavit in a bankruptcy case where she was hired to provide “professional legal services” (that case along with others also were not dislosed by Warren).
Since Dow Corning filed for bankruptcy in 1995 when Warren already was Cambridge, and this would be yet another legal representation Warren undertook from Massachusetts without being licensed in Massachusetts.
The Dow Corning bankruptcy was to protect against claims from women suffering the health effects of silicone breast implants manufactured by Dow Corning, Dow Corning In Bankruptcy Over Lawsuits
Overwhelmed by injury claims filed against it by hundreds of thousands of women who used silicone breast implants, the Dow Corning Corporation filed for bankruptcy protection in a Federal court in Bay City, Mich., today.
Dow Corning’s legal move will abruptly halt all new lawsuits and indefinitely delay settlement of existing litigation against the company. Dow Corning said that seeking the protection of the bankruptcy court was the only way it could devise an enforceable plan to deal with the billions of dollars of claims against it. The decision also means, however, that the bankruptcy court will have the final say in how much Dow Corning pays to compensate claimants.
Rob Eno at Red Mass Group asks the pertinent question about Warren’s failure to disclose the Dow Chemical legal work:
Why was Elizabeth Warren trying to hide her work for Dow Corning? What was the nature of that work?
While Warren refuses to disclose what she did for Dow Chemical, it is pretty easy to surmise. Warren offered legal advice to the parent company of a company in or about to go into bankruptcy. That advice almost certainly concerned how to protect the parent company, Dow Chemical, from claims of women against Dow Corning. If Dow Corning did not have the assets to pay these women, Elizabeth Warren likely was helping make sure the women could not claim against the deep pocket, Dow Chemical.
There is nothing wrong with Elizabeth Warren representing a large chemical company to insulate it from the health claims of women. It’s what lawyers do, and it was legal for a lawyer who held the necessary licenses.
What is wrong is for Elizabeth Warren to play the “War on Women” card and to pretend she is something she is not.
More to come. For sure.
Update 10-10-2012: Elizabeth Warren’s implausible Dow Chemical claim