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Elizabeth Warren defender: “With this bombshell, I would no longer view the case against her as weak”

Elizabeth Warren defender: “With this bombshell, I would no longer view the case against her as weak”

Soon after my original post, Elizabeth Warren’s law license problem, Mark Thompson at The League of Ordinary Gentlemen wrote a post taking an opposite view, No, Elizabeth Warren Did Not Engage in the Unauthorized Practice of Law.

That post by Thompson was cited far and wide, including at Memeorandum as well as at friendly conservative blogs which wanted to present the case for Warren to provide balance.

In light of my post this morning that Warren represented a Massachusetts client in Massachusetts on an issue related to Massachusetts law, Thompson has concluded in a new post today:

Professor Jacobson has uncovered this morning a case in which Elizabeth Warren entered an appearance in a federal appellate court as a representative of a Massachusetts client in a case that appears to have clearly implicated Massachusetts law.  Although this is still a federal appellate court, because we’re dealing with a Massachusetts client and issues of Massachusetts law, this looks really, really bad for Professor Warren.  With this bombshell, I would no longer view the case against her as weak.

Thompson also has updated his original post:

UPDATE 4 9/27: Professor Jacobson has uncovered new facts that I view as a gamechanger.  Although I stand by my above analysis as applied to the facts known at the time, Professor Jacobson’s discovery this morning answers my objections to his arguments.

Making progress.

More to come.

Update:  Thompson emails, for attribution:

Professor Jacobson:

I couldn’t figure out how to leave this as a comment at your site, but I wanted to let you know ASAP that I concede that your discovery this morning answers all of my arguments and is a gamechanger. Your diligence in investigating this matter is commendable.


Mark Thompson

Jack Marshall at Ethics Alarms adds:

Prof Jacobson, on his blog Legal Insurrection, is in line for an Ethics Hero award with his tenacity regarding Elizabeth Warren’s dubious qualifications to engage in the practice of law in  Massachusetts. The overwhelming reaction by his colleagues in legal academia, and mine in the legal ethics community, has been to airily dismiss his arguments as trivial, far-fetched and thinly disguised political warfare, since Jacobson is an unapologetic conservative blogger (and a distinguished one.) Meanwhile, the mainstream media has, I think it is fair to say, completely ignored the story….

The rude brush off Prof. Jacobson is getting in this wagon-circling exercise is wrong in every way, and does injustice to every person and institution involved, including the Massachusetts legal establishment, the legal profession, ethical lawyers (which, believe it or not, the vast majority of them are), Senator Brown, the U.S. Senate, Massachusetts voters, and the American public….


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listingstarboard | September 27, 2012 at 11:16 am

BRAVO!! Professor Jacobson well done, sir. Your diligence, hard work and downright scary intelligence is amazing! Thank you for showing all of us that one person can indeed make a huge difference in this fight to save our Republic.

    Prof Jacobson’s tenacity demonstrates that an excellent attorney, with perseverance, frequently can find facts that demonstrate that a liar is lying. This usually is not an inexpensive exercise. The Prof has done a great job for America in this project of his. I will send him a donation.

    Bravo indeed. Great work Professor Jacobson! I am out spreading the news. I hope it makes a difference. Elizabeth Warren’s campaign site is still silent on this. Why did she give up her bar license in New Jersey on September 11, 2012? This not merely going inactive, she withdrew so if she wants it back she has to reapply again. Why would she do that?

    Elizabeth Warren’s supporters are now acknowledging she has some serious issues facing her with the legal work she did without being a member of the Masschusetts bar. Beyond the hypocrisy of Warren helping insurance companies getting cases dismissed for injured union workers with asbestos claims.

Well, well done, Professor. I shall send this out to the Boston Herald and other outlets.

    MaggotAtBroadAndWall in reply to Mercyneal. | September 27, 2012 at 12:18 pm

    It’s clear the Herald journalists reads LI regularly. I imagine the Globe reporters do too, they just won’t acknowledge it by printing what the honey badger has found.

Yes, keep up the good work, Professor J. It’s paying off. And thank you for all your efforts in this battle.

Just called Brown’s campaign, thank you!

    Mercyneal in reply to Moe4. | September 27, 2012 at 11:37 am

    When I called the Brown campaign on Monday to let them know about the first law license story, they said they had already read it and that they are regular readers of Legal Insurrection!!

      MaggotAtBroadAndWall in reply to Mercyneal. | September 27, 2012 at 12:14 pm

      “…they had already read it and that they are regular readers of Legal Insurrection!!”

      All the cool kids read Legal Insurrection.

And a big hats-off to Mark Thompson for his honesty!

    katasuburi in reply to Iowa Jim. | September 27, 2012 at 11:41 am

    Vivat to both Prof Jacobsen as well as Mr Thompson.

    Observer in reply to Iowa Jim. | September 27, 2012 at 11:52 am

    Yes, kudos to Thompson for acknowledging — in print — that Professor J was right and that he, Thompson, was not. I hope all the other legal analysts who dismissed the original UPL story as inconsequential will also concede their error now.

Yes, progress is being made against the fairy tale that Granny Warren is for the “forgotten man” (to borrow from another leftist who exploited the little people for political gain and for the cause of not Big Government but Enormous Government, St. FDR himself).

But how do you make progress against the incredibly stupid, my-default-setting-is-to-vote-for-the-Democrat-no-matter-the-evidence Massachusetts voter?

    9thDistrictNeighbor in reply to Frank Scarn. | September 27, 2012 at 3:53 pm

    I’m not sure how to make progress with the incredibly stupid, but there are plenty of folks (my in-laws included)in Massachusetts who would best be described as the liberal intelligentsia. Throw in a limousine with that as well. I can only think that they might be demoralized enough to stay home. The one thing that might work with them is what these (cumulative) revelations do to the reputation of Harvard. Most people probably don’t care, but surely so-called intellectual elites would.

    My only hope is that they stay home.

Months ago, Prof. Jacobson promised us “more to come”.

He has certainly delivered on his promise.

Warren has to be brought to answer for this, both formally and before the court of public opinion.

Well done – the Truth does matter to some people – we can only hope it is enough.

I wouldn’t be surprised if Rush mentioned your “fabulous work” once again.

Bravo Professor! Apparently this woman never learned how to follow instructions.

I also have limited faith in the discernment of Mass voters given their track record on voting for the Kennedys. However, Warren is not a Kennedy. Much will depend on how Scott Brown raises this issue in the debates. He needs to get her to tell a flat-out lie on this subject and then have the facts on hand to refute her statement. I am assuming, of course, that Scott Borwn has clean hands in this area. This is where Prof J’s work is very valuable. Independent Mass voters dislike proven liars.

You deserve a Breitbart Award — if there was such a thing. Not many out there who are doing this kind of work, certainly NO ONE in “professional” journalism.

    DemNoMore in reply to raven. | September 27, 2012 at 12:34 pm

    That’s an excellent idea. What a wonderful tribute it would be to Andrew Breitbart to have an award bearing his name to recognize important investigative work in areas shunned by the LSM.

JimMtnViewCaUSA | September 27, 2012 at 11:53 am

Would that we have members of the actual media willing to dig a bit…but no, “Dem operatives with bylines” is what we have…

    JimMtnViewCaUSA in reply to JimMtnViewCaUSA. | September 27, 2012 at 12:54 pm

    And it’s funny how we have facts…which Warren won’t respond to, won’t tell the truth about.
    They’ve got a tape…which Romney doesn’t deny but which has a gap in it at the critical point.

    Kinda says it all about truthfulness and hypocrisy…

Prof…you are a one man wrecking crew.I hated the Indian story for various reasons but this one has legs….long legs. What will this mean legally to Lieawatha?

Thompson is a twit. Even before seeing infor showing EW appearing as an attorney in Mass, it was clear that she was practicing law without a license in MA. This new revealation is not a bombshell and for Thompson just provides a convenient point to jump off the EW bandwagon – a good thing .

Prof Jacobson

Stellar work. I guess you could say it puts a new spin on her “lieawatha” nickname, no?

I think this comes down to the broad Supremacy Clause/Sperry/Surrick argument first made by Tribe to Mass Lawyers Weekly (and John Steele seems to take a similar position). The article below from May 2007 disagrees where state law issues are involved:

If this state‐based system of lawyer regulation means anything, it means that states can take action to
protect their citizens against unqualified lawyers. This must extend even to those lawyers who hold
themselves out as admitted only in federal court, since there are few legal issues that are exclusively
federal. Bankruptcy lawyers must consider options available at state law (e.g., fraudulent conveyance
claims, informal compositions of creditors); federal tax lawyers must take into account the state and local
tax ramifications of their actions; federal criminal defendants often face parallel state law charges or state
investigations. Because state law issues are implicated in all federal areas (immigration law is one
possible exception), a prohibition on state law practice should mean there is a prohibition on federal
practice in the same state as well ‐ at least where there is no federal statute to the contrary, as there was in
Sperry. Cases like Surrick that take the opposing view construe too narrowly the influence of state law on
federal court practice.

Shocking, but the big stickler is finding a Prosecutor that is willing and able to go after her. When Dems flout the law they ussually give each other cover.

You would be a voice in the wilderness without the diligent work you have done to establish this forum as a credible source.

Well done, Professor Honeybadger!

Professor William A. Jacobson: the ‘Perry Mason’ of the law library.

It will be a pleasure to see Elizabeth Warrnen’s law license suspended or even better, revoked.

    “It will be a pleasure to see Elizabeth Warrnen’s law license suspended or even better, revoked”

    She does not have a law license to be suspended or revoked. Prison is the answer 🙂

    turfmann in reply to Lambchop. | September 27, 2012 at 1:49 pm

    Would that be Perry Mason, the William Jacobson of the law library?

    Well done, Professor.

Maybe the Professor should be nominated for someone protecting the citizens of Massachusetts from lawyers who are practicing law without a license in Massachusetts in support of big business. The “Little Guy” owes you a debt of gratitude!

Knew you could do it, KID! I’ll let Vinny and Angie know to cool it. 🙂

I don’t know why, because it has been some years since I saw the movie Ben Hur, but lately I’ve been recalling the battle between the Romans and Macedonians at sea. On a Roman ship and below deck, there are the rowers. A Roman sits at the front banging a drum. The rowers are to keep pace with the beat of the drum. At one point, there’s a call for “battle speed”, then “attack speed,” and then “ramming speed.”

While I’ve been thinking of this in terms of Romney’s campaign (that it really, really needs to move beyond “We Were Sailing Along”), it now seems applicable to the Warren situation as well. The progression of the case against Warren now seem to be at “attack speed”. Looks as though it won’t be long before her “ship is sunk”!

For those who haven’t seen the movie, here’s a link to the scene:

Standing ovations, Professor!

Let’s demand the major media cover this. Comments on their websites. Etc.

Kudos to Jack Marshall and others who are willing to put principal ahead of politics.

But I did find Mr. Marshall’s quote telling…

“Have we really reached the point where distinguished professionals will advocate ignoring serious misconduct within their own profession if the individual raising the issue is from a different side of the political divide?”

You mean about scientists doctoring global warming data
to conform to their agenda?

As they say in Mass, “Dawn breaks on Marblehead.”

Making “positive” progress. Revealing a deception which undermines and, in fact, corrupts the integrity of a system is a positive outcome. It is not simply an outcome or progress, which are qualitatively ambiguous concepts.

Bruce Mann, her husband, does not appear to be licensed in Massachusetts either

Massachusetts Board of Bar Overseers
99 High Street
Boston, Ma. 02110
Attorney Status Report

Results of search for.. Bruce Mann .

No matches found.

Great work, Professor. You are schooling a Harvard Professor and many of her supporters. I wonder if they’re capable of learning?

Here is a potential scenario as to why Elizabeth Warren so recently resigned her NJ law license. Feel free to correct me or chime in – this is merely a hypothesis:

1. The Supreme Court requires that lawyers be certified to argue cases before the court – and to get certified, attorneys must provide a letter from their state bar clerk saying that they have been members in good standing for at least three years.

2. Since Elizabeth Warren appeared before the Supreme Court in 2009, it is highly probable that she was a member in good standing of the New Jersey bar from at least 2006 to 2009. Otherwise she couldn’t have been certified to appear.

3. In 2010, New Jersey changed its rules on maintaining a law license that required people who were renewing to submit additional paperwork.

4. Elizabeth Warren – as is her habit – blew off the paperwork and let her New Jersey law license expire. Her lack of interest in ever joining the MA bar and her inactive status in Texas meant that Warren no longer had an active license to practice law in any state.

(4a. Hunch: Warren didn’t think allowing her NJ law license to lapse was a big deal because at that point in time, she thought she was going to D.C. to be director of the new consumer protection agency.).

5. The D.C. job did not work out, so as a booby prize the party functionaries decided to ‘give’ Elizabeth Warren the Massachusetts senate seat. Although Warren had never run for public office before, apparently no vetting or background checks were done and no oppositional research performed on the neophyte candidate.

6. The unexpectedly hard-fought senate campaign is in full swing when suddenly lots of questions start getting asked about Elizabeth Warren’s legal work. In-house conversations turn up the fact that Warren is not licensed to practice law in any state and has not been since 2010.

7. To cover her tracks and hide the fact that she has no active law license and has been unlicensed at the state level since 2010, Elizabeth Warren resigns her membership in the NJ bar on September 11, 2012.

I am not a lawyer, so apologies for the fine points of jargon and procedure that I no doubt have gotten wrong.

What do people think? Would this scenario account for Warren’s strange behavior regarding her NJ bar membership? Any other thoughts?

    janitor in reply to Cassie. | September 27, 2012 at 2:01 pm

    Cassie, do you know when Warren was first admitted to practice before the USSC? Was it in 2009?

    Texlaw in reply to Cassie. | September 27, 2012 at 2:54 pm

    Good summary. I am also licensed in New Jersey and checked the New Jersey CLE requirements.

    The question is: Why did Elizabeth Warren give up her bar license in New Jersey on September 11, 2012? The following is a possible answer:

    Effective January 1, 2010, all lawyers holding a license to practice law in the State of New Jersey were required to participate in the mandatory continuing legal education (CLE) program.

    Unless otherwise exempt, every active New Jersey licensed attorney in good standing was required to complete 24 credit hours of continuing legal education every two years. Of those 24 credits, at least four must be in ethics and/or professionalism. BCLE Reg. 201:1

    Attorneys will certify compliance on the Annual Attorney Registration and Billing Statement (Annual Report) and must postmark that certification of compliance by the initial deadline imposed for submitting that Annual Registration and Billing Statement (generally the end of April each year). BCLE Reg. 401:1.

    Every attorney is permanently assigned to one of two compliance groups, determined by their birthday. Compliance Group 1, those born from January 1 through June 30, will certify compliance in even-numbered years and Compliance Group 2, those born from July 1 through December 31, will certify compliance in odd-numbered years. BCLE Reg. 401:2.

    Elizabth Warren’s birthday is apparently June 22, 1949, which means she is in Compliance Group 1. She, therefore, would have had to certify compliance with the New Jersey mandatory CLE requirements when she filed her Annual Report for 2012 no later than April 27, 2012.

    If she missed the April 27, 2012 deadline, then Final notices were likely mailed to her in July 2012.

    Attorneys who fail to comply with the filing and payment requirements by the deadline printed on the Final notices will be placed on the NJ Bar Fund’s Ineligible to Practice List.

    If the above facts are right and she received a Final notice in July 2012, it is likely that the deadline for filing the Annual Report and certifying ocmpletion of the mandatory CLE would have been sometime in August or September 2012.

    Attorneys who fail to comply with filing the Annual Report may be administratively ineligible to practice. BCLE Reg. 402:1 and 402:3

    If, as reported, she filed to give up her bar license in New Jersey on or about September 11, 2012, that would be consistent with her not being able to certify completion of the mandatory CLE for the prior 2 year period and deciding to give up the license rather than try to comply.

Outstanding. I hope some members of the elite media make note about how real investigative reporting can actually make real change that makes a real difference in people’s loves.

    Exactly – it was a Freeper on “Free Republic” who outed the memo from Dan Rather’s “Memogate” as being fraudulent as the memo was reportedly typed on an IBM typewriter with several superscripts; the problem being that IBM typewriters that existed on the date of the memo did NOT yet have superscript ability.

    No wonder the gubmint gets pissed at dogged conservative truth seekers and wants to “control the internet”.

My concern now is this: what is the deadline for the Massachusetts Democratic Party to replace her on the ballot? Not the deadline on the books, but the realistic, hail-mary-beg-the-judge-to-do-what’s-right-for-the-voters deadline.

Amazing work, Professor. In the words of Biden, this is a pretty big f-ing deal!

When you get that pundit contract at Fox, I’ll be able to proudly say “I knew him when” — from the beginning. — Spedvet

Jack The Ripper | September 27, 2012 at 1:52 pm

Could the Native American head dress photo on the following page (you have to scroll down it) possibly be real?

I guess that this is another example of, “Where there is smoke there is often fire.”

Now the question remains to as will Warren simply brush this off since the MSM will ignore it anyway.

Nothing will give me more pleasure than seeing her go down in flames but will she???

leeatmg | September 27, 2012 at 1:39 pm

My concern now is this: what is the deadline for the Massachusetts Democratic Party to replace her on the ballot? Not the deadline on the books, but the realistic, hail-mary-beg-the-judge-to-do-what’s-right-for-the-voters deadline.

“Deadline?” for a Demo politician in MA? surely you are not so naive as to think that any mere laws will apply to a Dem candidate…their hired judicial stooges will do whatever serves The Party.

Time for WAJ to go full-time blogger. That Cornell gig is just holding him back.

On her resume, revised in June 2008, she lists her Bar memberships in New Jersey and Texas.

But the Texas Bar says she’s been inactive since 1992. Shouldn’t she have put (inactive) after Texas? Was she inactive in New Jersey in 2008 as well?

    The State Bar of Texas states in its annual membership statement that:

    “The following list includes those members who are deemed to be engaged in the ‘practice of law’, and therefore, not eligible to be granted ‘inactive’ membership status. This list is not meant to be exhaustive, but provides common examples:

    * Members engaged in providing private legal services in any state whether such services are compensated or uncompensated.”

    The State Bar then provides the following caveat:

    “Note: The above examples apply only to attorneys using their Texas law license to practice and do not hold an active license in another state.”

    It follows that when a Texas lawyer files for inactive status, he/she cannot thereafter use the Texas license to practice law in another state and must instead rely on another bar license to practice law in such other state. Stated another way, you likely have to certify that you are not using and will not use the Texas bar license to practice law in any state as a pre-condition of getting ‘inactive’ status.

    In answer to your question, the State Bar of Texas would likely say you are correct and that you cannot state you have a Texas bar license after you go inactive (without showing the license as inactive) because doing so implies you are practicing law, at least in part, under the Texas bar license. The State Bar of Texas would likely view this as a misrepresentation in contravention of State Bar rules.

How sweet this is. Well done, Professor.

Great job! Be on the lookout you will now be a huge target for Dems – they hate journalism like this!

Jack The Ripper | September 27, 2012 at 2:33 pm

Does working with a person who is not a licensed attorney vitiate attorney-client privilege?

Are plaintiffs attorneys now going to go after her notes, thoughts, impressions, work product?

Did Elizabeth Warren have a client trust fund account?

Did Elizabeth Warren improperly use student assistance on these cases?

Did Elizabeth Warren ever split fees or receive part of another attorney’s fee, whether for work or some type of referral arrangement?

Did she declare all of the income?

She she deduct on her Schedule C’s expenses relating to the practice of law?


Duty of candor to the court or tribunal?

Did she try to be a fact witness and an advocate in any matters?

Did she give legal advice to students, to Occupy Wall Street, to the law school, to the university, to individuals involving family law, divorce, taxation, contracts, leases, liens, UCC filings, deeds to secure debt?

Did she draft, file or cancel any security instruments in any state or territory?

Did she draft or help negotiate legal documents, settlement agreements, dismissals?

Did she talk about the legal matters she was working on in class or write about them? Remember the issues surrounding attorney-client privilege for Claus von Bulow?

Did she ever have sole possession of evidence or file any affidavits as an officer of the court? Conduct discovery?

Was she ever the sole representation for natural or artificial persons in instances in which only an active member of the bar can serve as an advocate, such as courts of record or certain executive branch agencies, tribunals, etc.?

Lobbying activities? Legislative activities? Registered as a lobbyist or preceding under some bar member exception?

Possible client conflicts?

Jack The Ripper | September 27, 2012 at 2:37 pm

Did she have malpractice or E&O insurance?

If not, were clients led to believe she had coverage?

If so, did she represent anywhere on the applications for insurance coverage that she had licensure or licenses or misrepresent the status of any professional privileges?

Thank you Professor, for what you do.

Story today from State News Service which appeared in the Sentinel and Enterprise:

“According to Warren’s campaign, the Harvard law professor is not licensed to practice in Massachusetts, but is a member of the Texas bar and is licensed to practice in federal court and before the Supreme Court. She recently gave up her membership to the New Jersey bar.”

Read more:


What the campaign isn’t saying is that her Texas license has been inactive since 1992 and god knows when her NJ license was inactive.

It was Warren herself who said in an interview on the radio this past Monday that her license in NJ had “been inactive for years and years.”

Listening to Prof. Jacobson on Howie Carr right now–Howie went right to the Professor at the opening of his show.

Commenters at The League Of Ordinary Gentlemen are trying to make light of Warren’s malfeasance, basically saying it isn’t as bad as a non-lawyer practicing without a license, so there ya go. LOL. I can imagine what would happen if, as physician, I just parked myself in, say, Texas and began practicing without getting properly credentialed.

Holy cow, Warren is bad news. If this doesn’t sink her I don’t know what will. She’s a criminal (yes, LOOG commenters, not a bad as a murderer)! Spread the word.

Oh, and Professor…splendid work.

I’m not clear on how representing one Mass. client in 2001 compels the conclusion that EW established a “systematic, continuous presence” for the practice of a Mass.-based law practice. Seems to me the argument that she was required to be a member of the Mass. bar still depends on treating her law professor office as an office established for the practice of law. Still no indicia of anything systematic or continuous (e.g., letterhead, website, employees, IOLTA accounts, business cards, a sign or “shingle,” listing in bar directories, membership in Boston or Mass. bar associations, etc.)

I would agree that it’s curious that she was able to represent Schlictmann in that one case without being admitted pro hac vice. She may not have been within the 1st Circuit’s rule for who may practice there on that occasion. However, I wouldn’t think of that as exactly scandalous. I have personal knowledge of a case in which a lawyer rather innocently fell through cracks in terms of appearing before the 1st Circuit without being formally admitted, and it wasn’t discovered until after the fact. At that point, it was just disregarded; no consequences flowed from it whatsoever.

BTW, I checked various databases (PACER and a legal research site) to see if I could come up with any other EW court appearances in Mass. I couldn’t find any. Unfortunately, there’s no way (at least that I know of) to check ALL cases at the trial-court level (i.e., not appeals), so it’s conceivable EW represented somebody in District Court on a speeding ticket or dog-bite case but there would be no way to turn that up in an internet search unless you knew who the defendant was (or perhaps the dog?) and searched for it that way.

I did check the Schlictmann case itself at the trial court level. EW did not appear in that case, it seems, until it got to the 1st Circuit.

I saw in another site where someone said Prof. Randy Barnett (the conservative attorney who argued against Obamacare at the SCOTUS) did the same thing as Warren: Represented people from his (then) Boston U. Law School office without ever becoming a member of the Mass. Bar. Apparently, this is true. He’s an inactive (since this year, apparently) member of the Illinois Bar, and he appears as counsel in a SCOTUS case involving medical marijuana from 2003 using his Massachusetts (B.U.) address. I’m not sure on what basis one could argue that EW was engaged in UPL in Mass. but Barnett wasn’t. I’m really having a hard time conceiving that a prosecutor, regardless of political orientation, would look at either Warren or Barnette and think: “That person belongs in jail.”

For the record, I still think EW is a menace to freedom and shouldn’t be elected to anything. But I remain unconvinced as to the claim that her various appearances as an attorney in federal court are proper and viable grounds for incarceration.

    William A. Jacobson in reply to Conrad. | September 27, 2012 at 4:34 pm

    Nice moving of the goal posts. The Mass represesentation never was part of my argument, it’s just to rebut the argument made by Warren defenders. She regularly for almost 15 years represented clients and rendered legal services from her Cambridge office and held that office out as her office for the practice of law in court filings and with the Texas Bar. She had no other office. That’s enough, even if all her work was on out of state cases She should reveal the full extent of her legal services if she’s going to maintain the out of body argument that when she was practicing law in her office in Cambridge, she wasn’t practicing law in Massachusetts.

      I’m not moving goalposts. I’m responding to the idea that that the representation of a single Mass. client in case that has something to do with Mass. law constitutes a “game changer” in the evaluation of EW’s supposed “law license problem.” I’m simply saying I don’t see how it changes the overall analysis of the situation (i.e., whether she had established a “systematic, continuous presence” for the practice of law in Massachusetts.

      My personal “goalposts” on this issues are firmly anchored in the fact that (a) Warren didn’t, AFAIK, have a regular law office with all normal things I associate with that (letterhead, a sign, marketing, etc.) and (b) wasn’t generally serving a Mass.-based clientele or counseling people in Mass. law. My interpretation of the rules is that they tolerate a lawyer who holds a valid out-of-state license to practice at some level within the territorial boundaries of the Commonwealth as long as it’s not a “Massachusetts” practice. Obviously, you disagree and think the rules are mainly concered with a lawyer’s physical location on the globe rather than the substantive nature of the practice or the client base being served. Fine; we’ll continue to disagree. But I haven’t moved the goalposts.

Professor: Well done and let’s hope that some sanity and clarity of thought grabs hold of Ms. Warren.

OTH: What have you done for us recently! 🙂 🙂


Insufficiently Sensitive | September 27, 2012 at 4:09 pm

It isn’t that hard. The prosecutor already exists, in the form of the Board of Registration (or whatever it’s called in Mass) for legal professionals.

The first step that must be taken is someone with proper standing to submit a formal complaint to that Board, for unlicensed practice of law. That ‘proper standing’ might just include a Mass citizen, but a better complainant would be an attorney already licensed in Mass, and in good standing. And a swarm of complainants would be better yet.

Surely there must be some Mass attorneys who aren’t blighted by the blue-Kennedy-cult groupthink.

So this blogger can’t read on to the next subparagraph of the Massachusetts rules, which say that “(c) A lawyer admitted in another United States jurisdiction, and not disbarred or suspended from practice in any jurisdiction, may provide legal services on a temporary basis in this jurisdiction that:

(1) are undertaken in association with a lawyer who is admitted to practice in this jurisdiction and who actively participates in the matter; ”

Do you have any cases where she was the only attorney? Even one where she was the attorney of record? I don’t see any – all list her as “of counsel” or similar language. Unless you have a case where she’s the only attorney listed, I don’t see how she runs afoul of anything. Her services were temporary in each case (no long-standing relationship with a firm or client), and she was not the only attorney handling any of them.

I agree with Conrad above – Does she hang out a shingle? Does she advertise? Who pays for the “office” you claim is a law practice? Who pays the electric bill? Who pays the secretary? The copying charges? The Westlaw bill? Does she accept clients off the street? Has she ever stated she has a license to practice in Mass? Is this her main job? What does it say on her business card?

Take off your “I hate liburrralls” hat for a minute and use some common sense. Sheesh. If this is what passes for “clinical” legal education at Cornell, I’m glad I went to Buffalo.

And before the inevitable attacks: I’m a libertarian, not affiliated with either Democrats or Republicans, and live in NY, so I have no interest in this race at all.

    William A. Jacobson in reply to BullsLawDan. | September 27, 2012 at 4:21 pm

    “I’m a libertarian, not affiliated with either Democrats or Republicans, and live in NY, so I have no interest in this race at all” — We have been flooded with concern trolls (look it up) since my story broke Monday. Bye-bye.

      legacyrepublican in reply to William A. Jacobson. | September 27, 2012 at 5:23 pm

      If it walks like a duck, looks like a duck, and quacks like a duck — it is a duck!

      And Warren ducks!

      LOL… So I make a post which asks you several direct questions, none of which you can apparently answer, and preemptively explain that I really do not have strong feelings about this race.

      You declare me a “troll” and ban me from posting.

      Can you give me a case where EW acted as the sole attorney, or not? Can you answer any of the other questions, or not? UPL is a fact-based inquiry, and you seem dramatically short on these highly relevant facts, not to mention having failed to read the very next subparagraph in the Massachusetts rules, apparently.

      Of course, you won’t answer, you’ll simply ban me again, probably delete this post, and this exchange will be nothing more than a funny story at our law school anniversary gala tonight. But in those actions, you’ve exposed all anyone needs to know about the veracity of your claims versus your political predisposition.

        William A. Jacobson in reply to BullsLawDan2. | September 28, 2012 at 12:29 pm

        When someone new shows up, starts out by hurling insults, shows that they have not read my prior post (where I addressed in great detail the “temporary” exception you claim I never read) and then ends with concern troll language, they are banned not because they disagree (read the comments, there is plenty of disagreement) but because they fit the definition of a concern troll. Enjoy your gala.

    Pasturized in reply to BullsLawDan. | September 27, 2012 at 4:54 pm

    Someone who moonlights in a licensed trade/profession doesn’t need to concern themselves with rules governing provision of those services only those who pursue it as their principal employment? Really?

    Word of mouth, garage base, appendectomy service here I come!

    I agree. I think the Professor is mistaken. I am concerned that he will get pissed off and ban those of us who disagree with him

    Nice try concern troll. But you have a (self described) Consumer Advocate candidate Elizabeth Warren who helps insurance companies dismiss asbestos claims from injured union workers. She gets paid $675 an hour for doing so. And she may not have been legal to do it.

    The hypocrisy of Elizabeth Warren alone should make you choke.

    Mercyneal in reply to BullsLawDan. | September 27, 2012 at 6:12 pm

    Sorry, not buying for a minute that you have no interest in this race at all. Otherwise, I doubt you would have commented and attacked liberals.

    kalendjay in reply to BullsLawDan. | September 27, 2012 at 7:52 pm

    So now we have someone who admits to being a law school graduate? Kindly elucidate the meaning of the word “may” in the statute you cited. The permissive use of words in legal language (the word “shall” being the most discussed and problematic in English — se for yourself in the Corpus Juris Secundum)are not an absolute protection in law from a superior or well established legal obligation. If Warren acted by mistake, or in an emergency to practice law without a license, she would have a legal defense, not an absolute protection. It is within the discretion of the judge to stop or move forward with a case, if errors occur. Among them, out-of time motions, improper appearances, etc.

    The long and the short is there are too many cut rate lawyers leasing shingles. Figure that since the MA provisions deal with out of state lawyers, this is a nod to the difficulties of one state suing another, or otherwise opening cans of worms across state lines. And since this is a federal case, what are Warren’s habits on registering as a federal appellate lawyer?

    Of course Warren hopes that her prestige will shield her from all. But you say you are a libertarian, and don’t have a dog in this election betweeen Brown and Warren? Well I would think that since you have a Senate that can’t pass a budget but entertains amending the First Amendment, and have a president who rules by fiat and omission on such matters as DOMA and amnesty for under 30-ish Mexican undocs, you might have a Chihauha at least.

      “Of course Warren hopes that her prestige will shield her from all.”


      She’s a 3rd rate Marxist law professor who sincerely believes that the purpose of government is the enslavement of productive individuals for the benefit and enablement of the unproductive.

      She got hired at Harvard because she’s a she instead of a he, and because she was willing to fraudulently claim genetic descent from a group of people the left likes to pretend are inferior and therefore cannot compete on equal footing with everyone else.

      With prestige like that, who needs infamy.

    Right 10 years must be temporarily permanent

Here’s the Randy Barnett appearance, btw.

Also, it occurred to me that while Warren was one of (I think) four attorneys listed as representing Schlichtmann in that 1st Circuit case, and while the CASE involved application of Mass. law, there’s no particular reason to think that EW’s contributions to the brief had anything to do with the Mass. state law issue(s). She might have been –in fact, presumably was — in on the case for her supposed bankruptcy expertise. Again, I still don’t see why she shouldn’t have been admitted pro hac vice in order to have an appearance in that case, but as far as the UPL issue is concerned, the fact that she was only one of four lawyers on the brief and apparently on it for purposes of the bankruptcu stuff doesn’t make this the smoking gun everyone thinks it is.

    Pasturized in reply to Conrad. | September 27, 2012 at 4:55 pm

    You’ve convinced me.

    Randy Barnett is not getting my vote for senate.

      Nor is Waren getting mine. Now, do you think they should both be incarcerated for engaging in UPL or not, because that’s what the discussion is about.

        Throat Wobbler Mangrove in reply to Conrad. | September 27, 2012 at 7:45 pm

        Since when are tu quoque arguments probative of anything?

        Pasturized in reply to Conrad. | September 27, 2012 at 7:59 pm

        Incarcerated, no. Fined maybe. Sanctioned perhaps. Oh wait, not being members of the Massachusetts bar the bar can’t sanction them. See how that works. If you let long time residents flout your regulatory regime you lose control of the system. And sometimes regulatory regimes really do have good reason for being.

    Barnett also filed amicus curiae briefs in Lawrence v Taylor, Thomas More Law Center v Obama and a brief in the national federation of business v sebilius to the court of appeals.

    Barnett also filed amicus curiae briefs in Lawrence v Taylor, Thomas More Law Center v Obama and a brief in the national federation of business v sebilius to the court of appeals.


{Breitbart smiles}

Would it be fair to say The Perfesser got Lizzy’s scalp?

I have the sneaking suspicion that practicing law without a licence is not a disqualifier for a Democrat in Massachusetts. After all, Barack Obama has been posing as a president for four years and he is certain to win big in Massachusetts.

cicerosdaughter | September 27, 2012 at 4:30 pm

You want a bombshell?


Warren AND her husband contracted to represent their architect for their residence in Cambridge, he sought to vacate order for attorney fees, went all the way to MA Appeals Court.

cicerosdaughter | September 27, 2012 at 4:34 pm

Want to know what’s worse about this? Someone deliberately changed the title of the case. The Mass App site says Walker v. Warren & Elizabeth. She doesn’t show up in a party search. This is exactly why she and her campaign have been quiet as mice. Meanwhile, I don’t think this type of representation falls under her SCOTUS bar admissions. Maybe.

    It looks like she and her husband were the parties in that case, and they were represented by outside counsel. Even if they weren’t represented by a third party, people are generally free to represent themselves in court (“pro se”) even if they aren’t lawyers. I’d say IF a lawyer represents himself in court, they would probably be subject to bar discipline for running afoul of ethicals proscriptions (e.g., lying to the court); but they wouldn’t be doing anything wrong simply by representing themselves in a court that sits in a state where they aren’t a member of the bar.

      cicerosdaughter in reply to Conrad. | September 27, 2012 at 5:50 pm

      You’re right. I assumed that they represented themselves, and I know pro se is allowed. So how they would get attorney fees other than having outside counsel is beyond me, unless they billed themselves, which seems absurd, but who knows. I failed.

legacyrepublican | September 27, 2012 at 4:41 pm

What I have learned from this whole thing is what I would tell Scot Brown to put into an ad —

Lie about being a native american and you too can earn $675 an hour practicing as an unlicensed lawyer in the state of Massachusetts. Yes, that is right, $675 an hour … again … $675 AN HOUR as an unlicensed lawyer just by claiming your mom said you have high cheek bones just like an alleged native american in your family tree! I am Scot Brown, and I approve of this message of truth which is that liars should never get to gain from their lies and deceit.

cicerosdaughter | September 27, 2012 at 5:05 pm

I’m wrong. Rushed to read the case. Misread it.

It appears to be a misdemeanor:


Section 41 Unauthorized practice of law; solicitation of business; penalty

Section 41. Whoever has been so removed and continues thereafter to practice law or to receive any fee for his services as an attorney at law rendered after such removal, or who holds himself out, or who represents or advertises himself as an attorney or counsellor at law, or whoever, not having been lawfully admitted to practice as an attorney at law, represents himself to be an attorney or counsellor at law, or to be lawfully qualified to practice in the courts of the commonwealth, by means of a sign, business card, letter head or otherwise, or holds himself out or represents or advertises himself as having authority or power in behalf of persons who have claims for damages to procure settlements of such claims for damages either to person or property, or whoever, not being an attorney at law, solicits or procures from any such person or his representative, either for himself or another, the management or control of any such claim, or authority to adjust or bring suit to recover for the same, or solicits for himself or another from a person accused of crime or his representative the right to defend the accused person, shall be punished for a first offence by a fine of not more than one hundred dollars or by imprisonment for not more than six months, and for a subsequent offence by a fine of not more than five hundred dollars or by imprisonment for not more than one year.

1. According to Mark Thompson:

Although this is still a federal appellate court, because we’re dealing with a Massachusetts client and issues of Massachusetts law, this looks really, really bad for Professor Warren. With this bombshell, I would no longer view the case against her as weak.

I agree, and I note that he does not say the case is foregone.

Afaic you have first and goal at the one-yard line.

2. This is Massachusetts. I can picture the following sequence: Warren gets elected. The bar association and the state cannot avoid acting against her. Warren is unable to set foot in the state because of warrants against her. Warren gets reelected.

Like I said, this is Massachusetts.

3. I continue to suspect that the political knockout blow is in Warren’s client list. The licensing matter is significant in itself, but it should also be used to attract attention to the undisclosed client list.

4. I hope that LI commenters like Conrad, HDarrow and others will address Bill’s new results.

    gs in reply to gs. | September 27, 2012 at 5:25 pm

    Oops, Conrad has responded higher in the thread. Thank you, C.

    As a juror in a preponderance-of-evidence situation, yesterday I’d have sided with Conrad. Today I’d side with Jacobson.

      Conrad in reply to gs. | September 27, 2012 at 5:44 pm

      It’s nice to know someone is interested in what I have to say, even if we disagree.

      To be clear, as I stated above, I’m at a loss to understand how EW got to enter an appearance in the Schlictmann case sans at least pro hac vice admission to the 1st Circuit. I’m wondering if someone in the clerk’s office either didn’t check to see if she was admitted OR if they simply assumed it wasn’t relevant because there were (I think) three others attorneys on the brief, perhaps all of whom were member of the Mass. bar. However, I DON’T think this amounts to a breach of ethics (unless there was some conscious misrepresentation involved). It seems clear that she COULD have been admitted pro hac vice as a matter of routine had anyone seen the necessity for it.

      All of that said, I don’t think the Schlictmann disclosure makes any difference to the overall analysis of her situation. She perhaps shouldn’t have done THAT, but doing THAT doesn’t prove, or even add to, the claim that the other stuff she was doing was against the rules.

      If and when we learn that EW had a regular, ongoing Massachusetts-oriented law practice going on, then of course she should be found to have committed UPL in Massachusetts. Again, I think the basic elements, in general, lay terms, would consist of (1) a systematic effort to provide legal services to Mass. citizens in the courts of Massachusetts (including federal courts, btw); and/or (2) making a regular practice of advising or representing people in regard to Massachusetts law. Note: The Schlictmann case doesn’t SEEM to present the second element, because (although I’m inferring this to some extent), even tho the CASE involved Mass. law, I doubt that her role in the case was to analyze state law. TO the contrary, all of her professional background seems to be in bankruptcy and “consumer law,” so I reckon she was on the brief to share her brilliance on the federal issues involved.

        Spoken like a man of sense, and like a pro with the prudence not to goad an opponent into becoming an enemy. The blogosphere could use more of that attitude.

Excellent work, Professor. Being from Michigan you could argue that I don’t have a dog in this fight, but somehow she just epitomizes everything liberal–“laws are for thee, not me” and she needs to come clean before the electorate. At the rate you’re going she won’t have any dirt left by election day as you will have her scrubbed clean by then….

    Henry Hawkins in reply to pianoman. | September 27, 2012 at 7:53 pm

    In that we hope to establish a GOP majority in the US Senate, and given the power the US Senate has over issues and policies that affect the entire country, everybody in America has a dog in this fight.

Great work Professor J! But perhaps whether you are practicing without a license in Massachusetts has to do with Warren’s state of mind. It’s like being a Native American. If you believe you are, then you are. So, if Warren felt she was a Massachusetts lawyer, she is one. Let’s not get technical about what the records at the MA Bar say.

In fact, Warren’s family members told her she has cheek bones just like Oliver Wendall Holmes. Now clearly Holmes was a member of the MA Bar. So Warren is too! Stop attacking her family!!

    Cassie in reply to Malonth. | September 27, 2012 at 6:25 pm

    Yes, asking about Warren’s state of mind is an excellent question. I am starting to wonder if all her talk about the need for increased government regulation isn’t just an elaborate form of projection.

    Here is a comment from CatoRenasci on the Ordinary Gentleman blog that sums up the inexplicable aspect of Warren’s behavior:

    “What is especially astonishing, and damning, is the simple fact that Professor Warren could easily have been admitted in Massachusetts on motion if she’d been admitted and in good standing in any state and had been practicing or teaching law for 5 of the 7 years preceding her motion for admission.

    Why, Elizabeth? Why?”

    Why indeed.

as a practicing attorney in cornfield hell Illinois, who has been admitted in fed courts in other states, it is not easy to do, but requires that certain procedures be followed. And, contrary to what one of the posters has implied, being admitted to the US Supreme Court bar does not mean ANYTHING in any other court. It only means that you can appear in the SC. As an example, when I represented a local Illinois man in a Michigan criminal case, I filed a pro hoc vice petition. The chief judge, rather that grant that, had me apply for full admission to the district bar, which required another form, a certificate of good standing from IL, and a petition from a local counsel, which I was able to accomplish with the help of a co-defendant’s counsel. All of that is public record, as is the order admitting me. But I am a nobody, and they were really happy not to have to pay a public defender. Had the same experience in doing a Kentucky state case. It really is a normal procedure.

I’m not a lawyer, but I get this whole issue.

Warren wasn’t licensed to practice in MA, her defenders say so what, she represented cases at the federal level, and she is licensed in TX and NJ. She never represented cases in MA, at a state level. Fair enough. I got that, and even agreed with it.

Now, the information comes out, that she did practice cases in MA, without a MA law license.

I know for doctors, they cannot practice in a state without a state license, so here we have Warren representing MA cases, at the state level, yet she has no law license to practice in MA.

If a doctor did this, he would be charged criminally. So will Warren be charged? Or are the laws of MA only for the little people??

    George Kaplan WBNW in reply to alex. | September 27, 2012 at 9:03 pm

    Important to note that she has been “inactive” in TX since 1992 or all the time she’s been at Harvard in Mass.

    That leaves the New Jersey Bar that she resigned to last week -a very suspicious move by the way.

    It is very possible that she had been inactive in NJ for years – this may be why she resigned: to hide that fact and delay its discovery for as long as possible.

    So forget the lack of a Massachusetts license, it is also possible that some of those $675/hour gigs were performed without ANY law license.

John Nolte of unequivocally said you, Professor, deserved a Pulitzer. I wholeheartedly agree.

    I absolutely agree, I learn from this website and the professor’s work more than I ever did from the liberal lying LSM.

    But from what I understand the Pultizer prize is only reserved for lefties, so not sure how that will work out.

[…] and his reporting on the Elizabeth Warren law license problem. His top notch reporting on the issue got this comment from an initial Warren defender: …I wanted to let you know ASAP that I concede that your discovery this morning answers all […]

Kudos. You are doing great work! Yay, Professor!! You deserve all the positive recognition and respect! (And may the leftist drones, trolls and h8ers eat your dust! Ha!)

….oh, and you seem to be enjoying it! 😀 Good on ya!

(BTW-I commented in the tips comments on a great mini-documentary on Obama’s betrayal of Israel (my words). Via The Right Scoop; it’s called Perilous Times. As Scoop says, it NEEDS to go viral!)

I know you are quite busy, but I also know Israel is one of your special subjects you focus upon……… Perilous, indeed.

[…] UNAUTHORIZED PRACTICE: Elizabeth Warren defender: “With this bombshell, I would no longer view the case against her as we… […]

Return of the Pretendian.

I have a question that is about Senate rules more than Mass law. In the (hopefully unlikely) event that Ms. Warren was to be elected, and was found to have broken the law, what would happen then? Would she be censored? Would she be expelled?

Raquel Pinkbullet | September 28, 2012 at 5:43 am

“Ugh. My people live on this land long before paleface come from across Big Water; we practice jurisprudence according to word of Great Spirit, not recognize stains on big white leaf that Paleface call his ‘laws’. – Liz “Sitting Bull” Warren

Raquel Pinkbullet | September 28, 2012 at 5:45 am

Hey Professor maybe Lizzie is licensed to practice Tribal law???

Raquel Pinkbullet | September 28, 2012 at 5:46 am

Besides I’m sure Lizzie Warren will be around shortly to tell us that her mommy told her she passed the bar exam and it’s part of her “Heritage”

[…] Elizabeth Warren defender: “With this bombshell, I would no longer view the case against her as we… […]

How does a non-lawyer, get to practice law in a Mass. courtroom? Where has the courts procedures failed to prevent this from happening?

my brother-in-law is a lawyer in Illinois, I live in Indiana. He won’t give me the tiniest bit of legal advice because he doesn’t have a license to practice in Indiana. Even if it is a very broad based question, he won’t budge which can be aggravating at times.


[…] But it is nice to see it coming from some not on the Right. […]

Good job following this issue back to its den and burrowing it out.

Is it too much to ask that we have politicians who don’t have to parse and contort and waiver and excuse in order to their job?
Instead of all these people perusing the laws and standards and interpreting the circumstances, why didn’t she just get a damn license to practice in Massachusetts? She lives there for goshsakes!

If she had just put down her race correctly she wouldn’t be engaged in this raindance trying to justify her minority/non-minority status.

With this much fudgery going on, there’s tons more hidden away.

[…] that’s not even touching on the Law License business Share this:TwitterPrintRedditDiggStumbleUponEmailFacebookLinkedIn opinions powered by […]

[…] Elizabeth Warren defender: “With this bombshell, I would no longer view the case against her as we… […]

[…] there needs to be an exception to the regulation. An example of this is liberals’ curious insistence that left-wing law professor Elizabeth Warren did not need to comply with Massachusetts bar […]