Image 01 Image 03

Elizabeth Warren represented Massachusetts client in Massachusetts

Elizabeth Warren represented Massachusetts client in Massachusetts

For how long will Warren defenders maintain the charade that she did not practice law in Massachusetts?

In my post on September 24, Elizabeth Warren’s law license problem, I detailed how Elizabeth Warren had used her Harvard office in Cambridge for the practice of law for over a decade in numerous cases in which she appeared as “Of Counsel” or counsel, and how she identified that office in filings with various courts.

Even though Warren refused to disclose the full extent of her legal practice, I argued that her use of the office in Cambridge for the practice of law, and her systematic and continuous presence in Massachusetts for the practice of law, would be a violation of Massachusetts law since she was not licensed in Massachusetts.

In response, defenders of Warren tried to make distinctions which make no difference to whether Warren improperly maintained an office for the practice of law or a systematic and continuous presence in Massachusetts for the practice of law.

Warren defenders argued that if she only represented non-Massachusetts clients in non-Massachusetts cases which did not involve Massachusetts law, she was not practicing law “in Massachusetts” even if she was practicing law in Cambridge.  Other strawman arguments included that as long as Warren complied with federal court admission requirements, Massachusetts could not require her to be licensed.  For reasons I have explained, those arguments are wrong.

Warren defenders were bolstered by the unusual “personal” commentary offered by Michael Fredrickson, the General Counsel of the Massachusetts Board of Bar Overseers which seemingly exonerated Warren, even though Fredrickson admitted he was just “speaking hypothetically” and not specifically as to Warren because “I know so little about Elizabeth Warren and her practice.”

Despite the pushback, the point of my original post is growing stronger with each passing day.  Even the author of a post at The League of Ordinary Gentlemen, which has been cited as the definitive rebuttal, has admitted:

… I want to make clear that I agree with Jack Marshall that Jacobson’s allegations are being treated with insufficient seriousness by Warren’s sympathizers.  That neither she nor her campaign have directly responded to the allegations is disappointing and irresponsible at minimum.  In the last few days, my post has been linked far and wide as if it were the definitive debunking of Jacobson’s allegations.  While I stand by my arguments, neither my original post nor my additional arguments below are exactly a detailed ethics opinion, either.  In particular, as Jacobson’s response correctly notes, I did not attempt to address his central argument that Professor Warren maintained a “systematic and continuous” presence in Massachusetts for the practice of law….

Similarly, Jack Marshall at Ethics Alarm writes:

… I am dismayed, if not shocked, that the legal establishment, as well as legal ethicists who should know better, are letting their political biases dictate their analysis. It is true that Jacobson is an openly conservative blogger as well as a long-time critic of Warren, but he raises legitimate questions that deserve to be taken at face value, whatever their source. The fact Fredrickson, the BBO General Counsel, felt it necessary to personally defend Warren in the absence of sufficient facts strongly suggests a pro-Warren bias in the disciplinary system, where it really shouldn’t matter who breaks the rules, but whether or not they have.

In just the last few days even more information has come forward which supports my original position.  We learned that Warren represented to the Texas Bar that her “primary practice location” was in Cambridge.

We also learned that Warren had a law practice going beyond brief writing, including being hired to provide legal advice to various creditors’ committees in bankruptcy cases, in which she represented to the Court that her “Billing Statement is in the same form regularly used by Professor Warren to bill her clients” and in which the work was performed, at $675 per hour as of 2002, from her Cambridge office.  There will be more such examples detailed in coming days.

Yet still, Warren defenders persist in defending on the basis that Warren just wrote a few Briefs for out of state cases and never did anything for a Massachusetts client in Massachusetts, much less on a Massachusetts issue of law.

I consider that test irrelevant, but in any event, Warren did represent a Massachusetts client in Massachusetts on a Massachusetts legal issue.

The case was an appeal in the First Circuit Court of Appeals in Boston in the case of Cadle Company v. Schlictmann.

The case involved a dispute as to a lien on a contingent fee earned by Beverly, Massachusetts lawyer Jan R. Schlichtmann, who was the subject of the film A Civil Action.  The issue in the case was whether a creditor or Schlictmann was entitled to the contingency fee earned in a case which started prior to Schlictmann’s personal bankruptcy but did not conclude until long after the bankruptcy.

The lien enforcement arose out of state law.  Even though there were bankruptcy related issues, the question was whether the state law lien survived.  As noted on the court docket and in the ultimate decision, the case only was in federal court because of what is called “diversity jurisdiction,” which permits a plaintiff to file in federal court if the plaintiff is a citizen of a different state than any of the defendants, and the dollar amount exceeds a minimum threshold (now $75,000).

The First Circuit ruled in favor of the creditor.

Based on the First Circuit docket available through PACER, it appears that Warren and three other Harvard Law professors were brought in to try to convince the First Circuit to reconsider its decision.  The Schlichtmann representation is not a case previously disclosed by the Warren campaign.

Warren specifically entered an appearance:

 Warren’s name appears as one of the counsel of record:

The docket entry leaves some unanswered questions, specifically on what basis and using what license Warren entered her appearance.  There does not appear to be any request by Warren for permission to appear in the case.  Perhaps some enterprising reader can dig out the First Circuit appearance rules as they existed in August 2001, when Warren entered her appearance.

Regardless, the issue is not whether Warren was authorized under First Circuit rules to enter an appearance in the First Circuit.  That is the strawman issue used by Warren defenders to distract.

The issue is whether Warren defenders can continue to maintain the charade that she did not maintain an office for the practice of law, or maintain a “systematic and continuous presence” in Massachusetts for the practice of law.

Warren defenders have proposed the standard that Warren never represented a Massachusetts client in Massachusetts or on any issue involving Massachusetts state law.  Now we know she did.

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


Donations tax deductible
to the full extent allowed by law.


This story is fascinating & still not really being covered here in MA. Thank you for your research. I’m certainly passing it along to as many individuals as I can.

FreshPondIndians | September 27, 2012 at 8:46 am

…..and boom goes the dynamite. Great job, professor!

Deeper and darker. I shore would not like to be Lyin’ Lizzie in these circumstances.

    Ragspierre in reply to Ragspierre. | September 27, 2012 at 10:13 am

    ” Senator Brown has targeted Mrs. Warren’s phony claims of ‘Indian’ heritage; her $350,000-plus salary at HLS; her work for an insurance company in matters involving (yikes) asbestos; and other trivia. What he hasn’t said and probably won’t say: she is a nag. A scold. An ideologue. An advocate of a nanny state beyond a Swedish socialist’s wildest imagination. A bureaucratic Bruegel who paints an America of victims—pathetic figures in a landscape of unremitting hostility. Also, Professor Warren is an economic idiot.”

    So. A typical Collectivist.

Jack The Ripper | September 27, 2012 at 8:51 am

Attorney-client privilege?

Duties to tribunal?

Client conflicts?

Structural conflicts when one Harvard Law Professor and another are on opposite sides?

Students practicing law?

This may be old stuff, but have most of you read the following article, and the reader comments?

Also, there is a Rutgers University Law Review article at 43 Rutgers L. Rev. 185 1990-1991, which can be found online at and which does not review Professor Chief Teaching Bull’s work (along with two co-authors) in a kind light. That law review article is a Book Review of Warren et al.’s work, entitled Social Science Research on Bankrupty – As We Forgive Our Debtors: Bankruptcy and Consumer Credit in America.

Frankly, the Rutgers Law Review piece essentially states that although the reviewer sat on the committee that approved the National Science Foundation grant (NSF grant) that funded Warren et al.’s research on Social Science Research on Bankrupty – As We Forgive Our Debtors: Bankruptcy and Consumer Credit in America, the author believes that the work was a substantively flawed waste of NSF money (which I guess is taxpayer money).

Has anybody else found any instances of questionable academic work involving Chief Teaching Bull?

Does the NSF have an Inspector General? Does Harvard have internal auditors?

And, can anyone located Elizabeth Warren’s complete tax returns, including Schedule C’s and other schedules? The Schedule C’s should show all business income and, possibly much more interestingly, all business deductions, be they accurate, low or high, related to not practicing law, related to paying research assistants, possible legal settlements, etc.

And, did she need to have a business license and pay an occupational tax for some of these activities, be they law or academic grant work?

    Add this to your questions:

    Does Warren have a rating with Martindale-Hubbell? If she does, it must include a “V”. The “V” is for upholding or adhering to the highest ethical standards. Her rating, if she has one, would be AV. BV or CV, with AV being the highest and reserved for about 5-6% of the LICENSED lawyers.

    byondpolitics in reply to Jack The Ripper. | September 27, 2012 at 10:47 am

    Unfortunately, it’s difficult for me to read your comments because I find all of the crude phone indigenous names to be demeaning and offensive, almost as offensive as Warren’s usurpation of another people’s cultural identity.

    Anyway, I worked for several years at the NSF as a program director and so can comment on some of the issues you raise.

    The National Science Foundation is an independent federal agency. It, of course, has an IG. 15-page proposals are received at the agency and a program director, a published scholar with a strong research record in his/her field, is responsible for the review of the proposal. He/she can assign it to ad hoc reviewers, who provide their comments remotely and/or to a panel of reviewers who meet at the NSF to consider a large set of proposals. Many program directors opt to have both kinds of reviews and the panelists have access to the ad hoc reviewers comments. A proposal must be reviewed by at least three external reviewers. (There are a very small number of small projects that are funded without external review under a couple of special guidelines; the work in question was not one of them).

    Using these reviews, the program director makes a recommandation to his/her Division Director, who concurs with the recommendation and then the a different area of the agency makes the final approval.

    I present this process to stress that the person mentioned did *not* sit on a committee that funded the work. He/she would have been someone who provided advice to someone who made a recommandation. I suppose it is possible that the person was a program director but it seems to me very unlikely because no program director would word the process in the way that this person did.

    The work in question was a GRANT as opposed to a CONTRACT. This is an important distinction in academic research. A contract is just that: a clearly specified plan of work that must be performed to the letter. A grant has much more flexibility for the recipient to pursue research which, by definition, is an exploration of the unknown and consequently may change direction from the original proposal during the course of the research. Of course, this does not mean that one can receive funding for the social sciences and then begin to pursue scientific computing. It merely means that the principal investigators are allowed, and indeed encouraged, by their program directors to use their expertise to pursue what is most fruitful. There are, of course, annual reports that must be accepted by the program director and the PIs do *not* have carte blanche to change the spending radically differently from what was proposed.

    Naturally, there are always matters of concern to reviewers during the review process and those concerns are weighed and considered carefully. Naturally, reviewers may disagree with the decision that the program director ultimately makes regarding which proposals are recommended for funding. It does not surprise me that a reviewer may disagree with a particular study or realize that the completed work isn’t exactly as what was proposed. That is the nature of scholarship and research. If we knew all the answers beforehand, the research is not worth doing.

    I read the Breitbert articles when they were coming out and simply was not convinced by the issues that were raised were damning. Several of the have to do with human subjects issues … and, since you didn’t identify the issues … only that issues were raised… I won’t spend time debunking them.

    I don’t think Jacobson’s research on her license should be muddied by comments on a completely different issue. This is particularly true since he, as a professor, has chosen not to criticize her for this.

Keep posting this information everywhere you can, folks – people have a right to know.

I imagine the response will be that because it was a Federal appeals court that MA rules don’t apply.

So, to recap some of the defenses we’ve heard so far:

Warren’s license was from NJ so she’s out-of-state by MA rules when they might apply to her.

Warren’s office and residence are in MA, so she’s out-of-state vis a vis NJ for purposes of NJ rules which might be against her.

Warren only works on Federal cases so she don’t need no stinkin’ state license (even though many US District Courts [including the US District Court for the District of Massachusetts] require membership in good standing of the bar of the state over which they have jurisdiction for membership in the District’s bar).

Warren is admitted to the US SC bar, and that’s like the Presidential challenge coin, it trumps everything, so you suckers gots to stop the hatin’ and give the lady her props.

    Mercyneal in reply to Pasturized. | September 27, 2012 at 9:06 am

    Can you do any kind of legal work anywhere if both of your law licenses have become inactive? Can anyone find out more about the status of her NJ license before she “resigned” her license on September 11, 2012?

      janitor in reply to Mercyneal. | September 27, 2012 at 9:57 am

      Can you do any kind of legal work anywhere if both of your law licenses have become inactive?

      If you have no active license anywhere to practice law, then under any analysis, you cannot practice law.

    ShakesheadOften in reply to Pasturized. | September 27, 2012 at 9:08 am

    Two comments:

    1. I hold a professional license in MA even though all my professional activities deal with clients outside of MA – I can’t speak to lawyers’ requirements, but I know just associating your professional credentials with a MA address requires MA licensing. I’d be very surprised to hear that the bar requirements are less stringent than the license I hold.

    2. It doesn’t matter that she can practice before the US Supreme Court. The issue is that Warren is the type of politician who demands that gov’t dictates how people should live, yet she brazenly disregards the existing requirements. And she wants to add more and more?? As I said below, laws for thee, but not for me.

      Federal court bars are not licensing agencies.

      Some states have what are called integrated bars in which licensed lawyers are members of the state bar, and it’s one and the same. This may be causing some of the confusion re comments about the federal bar, or being admitted to practice before the U.S. Supreme Court.

      Other states do not have integrated bars, so licensed lawyers do not necessarily also belong to the bar, which is a separate voluntary organization, like a local bar association or the American Bar Association.

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

        No. No one here is referring to whether she is a bar association member, which is what “integrated bar” refers to. “Member of the bar” is not what you have said; rather, it is the exact same thing as “admitted to the bar” and is the same as “admitted to practice.” This has nothing to do with integrated bars, which concern whether one is a member of the “bar ASSOCIATION.”

    Observer in reply to Pasturized. | September 27, 2012 at 9:27 am

    So Warren has been running a lucrative law practice out of her Cambridge office for years, but says she doesn’t need a Massachusetts law license because her practice is limited to federal courts and she hasn’t ever argued or given legal advice on an issue of Massachusetts state law — except now we find out that she has. Oops.

      Frank Scarn in reply to Observer. | September 27, 2012 at 11:18 am

      Another Democrat HYPOCRISY Alert.

      And in running that practice Chief Warren has enlisted the help of her law students who would do all the heavy-lifting research and the writing of memos for her that she in turn would use in her briefs. But call it her work product.

      Some might call this exploitative. But of course it isn’t anything of the sort. Because you see it’s a Democrat doing it, and that makes it OK. Her lining of her pockets with high fees (but NOT paying law students for the research who of course want to please the prof) is done for the greater common good. And if all of the that greater good goes into Granny’s pockets, that’s proper justice. White liberals are always to come out on top.

      Perhaps on a micro basis, but isn’t this like the complaint of former colonies of having been taken advantage of by the Mother Country? And like isn’t championing those causes a stock-in-trade of Democrats and leftists generally against capitalism?

Pish Posh. Rule of Law, Taxes, Regulations are but for the little people…..and Republicans. What does any of this have to do with the Democratic Candidate? It is unkind of the Professor to even bring this up, much less to expect a response that addresses any of these issues…I say again, Pish Posh.

But…But….But…..Oh My….

Brilliant, professor.
You keep providing more and more nails for the coffin of her hubristic ambition. Thank you.

ShakesheadOften | September 27, 2012 at 9:03 am

The Democrats don’t care, because their attitude has always been “Laws for thee, but not for me” (See Geithner, Timothy). One can only hope that MA independents will start to be uncomfortable with Warren’s cavalier disregard for law and ethics.

There are more questions here:

1. Was Warren admitted to the First Circuit at the time or did she appear pro hac vice?

2. If Warren was admitted to the First Circuit at the time, was she still a member of any state bar in good standing at the time?

3. If Warren was not in good standing as a member of any state bar at the time, what was the effect of that on her First Circuit admission?

Without doing the research, my understanding was always that you had to remain in good standing in a state bar to retain your federal good standing.

4. Did Warren have an obligation to inform other state bars to which she was admitted when she ceased to be a member of any other state bar?

5. Did Warren have an obligation to inform any federal bars to which she was admitted that she had ceased to be in good standing in any jurisdiction to which she had been admitted?

6. If Warren ceased to be admitted in any state jurisdiction, did she have an obligation to report that to any or all federal bars to which she had been admitted?

Folks, this is really serious stuff, and, depending on what the answers to these questions are, and depending on whether Warren met any notification requirements in these circumstances, she could well be subject to discipline by all of these various bars, state and federal – at least subject to potential permanent disbarment.

    My answers to your questions would be:

    1. Irrelevant to the issue of licensure.

    2. Federal courts are not licensing agencies. (See #6).

    3. Federal bar admission presupposes being licensed.

    4. Notification usually is required only for disciplinary actions, involuntary suspension, or revocation of license.

    5. No.

    6. No, but continuing to appear as a lawyer before the court is tantamount to implicitly making the converse (false) representation.

      roncoleman in reply to janitor. | September 27, 2012 at 2:04 pm

      Wrong again, Janitor, or maybe just a precision or terminology problem (again). You can only be admitted pro hac vice upon submission of proof of good standing of admission to at least one other bar (i.e., of being licensed to practice law), depending on the court’s requirements. You seem to address this in (3), but that contradicts your (1).

I hope others can contribute to Professor Jacobson’s research here. This is a big deal, and I believe he could use some help in this dig!!

    Doug Wright in reply to Mercyneal. | September 27, 2012 at 9:47 am

    Heck, I can’t even understand the abbreviations, or are they acronyms, COR LD NTC and my version of Goggle goes all agog; can’t find anything which defines those three abbreviations.

    Still, if needed, we could whip up a brew up a batch of beefed up stewed outrage or even better, verbal whips and mental chains to bind the wench to a pillory for proper admonishment; peacefully of course, as our days of love are merely obscene and scandalous at worst, only butter knives for cutting cake!


One thing I’m wondering is, why didn’t she get licensed to practice law in MA in the first place?

    Mercyneal in reply to Voyager. | September 27, 2012 at 9:23 am

    Maybe she failed the MA bar exam?

      byondpolitics in reply to Mercyneal. | September 27, 2012 at 10:56 am

      This issue is a red herring.

      I doubt she would have needed to take the bar exam.

      Catherine in reply to Mercyneal. | September 27, 2012 at 11:13 am

      I find it hard to believe that she didn’t pass the MA bar exam since she had presumably passed the TX and NJ bars. Unless passing the bar in MA is more difficult than passing it in TX and NJ. Why wouldn’t HARVARD require her to pass the bar in MA when she is teaching in Massachusetts? HARVARD has a premium law school. You would think more is required of its professors than at other universities.

      Of course, she could have had a bad testing day but you would think she would try again seeing as how she seemed to be settling in Massachusetts.

      But then again, Elizabeth Warren seems to like taking risks and skating on the edge. Nobody stopped her so she may have thought she didn’t need to even pass the bar in Massachusetts.

        CatoRenasci in reply to Catherine. | September 27, 2012 at 3:37 pm

        Catherine: Assuming Warren was validly admitted and in good standing in another state at the time she moved to MA, she would not have to take the bar examination. She could have very easily been admitted on motion. [Although there are some jurisdictions that require everyone to take the bar, e.g. California, Texas, Florida, New Jersey and a few more, most states have various forms of permanent admission on motion to the court for attorneys admitted in other states who meet certain requirements, e.g. having practiced or taught law for 5 of past 7 years. MA allows admission on motion.]

        Warren apparently did not seek admission either on motion or by taking the bar exam.

        That’s what’s causing the problem, combined with the suspicion that she does not have a current license anywhere to practice law, and the more troubling suspicion that when she argued before certain federal courts to which she had been admitted (when she was properly licensed somewhere?) she was not currently licensed anywhere.

        This is tricky stuff that will require a very careful vetting of all of the facts. It’s still possible she has a path through the minefield, but she would have had to be treading very carefully to stay within bounds, and it looks like she has not been particularly careful at all about bar admission stuff.

        Another issue (which she alluded to as a reason she resigned from the New Jersey bar) is whether she has failed to keep up with her mandatory CLE (continuing legal education) requirements. She would have to do so in Texas to be in good standing there.

    Observer in reply to Voyager. | September 27, 2012 at 9:38 am

    We still don’t know the answer to that. Reportedly, a lawyer who has been in good standing in another state’s bar for five years can be admitted to the Massachusetts bar on motion. Did Warren not become a member of the Massachusetts bar because she had let both her NJ and Texas bar memberships become inactive (or ineligible, or whatever they call it in NJ) and therefore was not qualified? Or was there some other reason? Stay tuned . . .

    MaggotAtBroadAndWall in reply to Voyager. | September 27, 2012 at 10:26 am

    It’s unfair for me to speculate on that issue, but I don’t care. I’ll do it any way.

    She was super ambitious, but always wanted to make her mark in the legal academy. Sure she made extra dough engaging in non-legal enterprises like buying real estate foreclosures, writing, etc. But her goal was the tippy top of legal academia.

    Then when she got to the tippy top by being named a professor at HLS, legal work and the opportunity to work alongside some of the nation’s most elite attorneys just started falling in her lap. She’s ambitious. How could she say no? She thought she was smart enough to nudge right up to the line of legality without crossing it. Did she cross the line into illegality? But Prof J says it is at least a legitimate question that she did.

    One thing is certain. She had not been preparing for a career as a U.S. Senator. The “progressive movement” drafted her. Had she not decided to enter politics she would not be in this situation. Nobody would be questioning either her Indian ancestry or whether she had the right law licenses permitting her to represent clients on legal issues.

    As I said. She is very ambitious. So was Icarus.

FreshPondIndians | September 27, 2012 at 9:21 am

On a side note, RFK Jr. is involved in this case. As Massachusetts residents know, anything involving a Kennedy is ALWAYS on the up and up.

Inquiring minds want to know: does the good professor wear tights with a big “S” on his chest under his lawyer’s suit?

Excellent work.

This long suffering Massachusetts voter appreciates your efforts not only with the Warren issue, but also with getting Brown elected in the first place.

    Henry Hawkins in reply to turfmann. | September 27, 2012 at 2:04 pm

    “..does the good professor wear tights with a big “S” on his chest under his lawyer’s suit?”

    Well, thank you very much for THAT visual….

Your approach to releasing this information continues to remind me of Andrew Breitbart. You trickle out just part of the information. Her defenders build their strawmen and then your next release sets them ablaze. I love it!


    terimwal in reply to PHugger. | September 27, 2012 at 9:39 am

    My thoughts exactly. I love it that the good Professor is “being Breitbart.” I wonder if there are awards for excellence in online journalism. If so, Professor Jacobson should win.

To: Elizabeth Warren
From: A Concerned Citizen
Re: Your Withdrawal

First off, no, I am not a resident of your state. However, unlike some who would say the subject matter is “none of my business,” I do have an interest and concern about those who serve in public office.

As to why I am writing this, I think you should withdraw from the current campaign for the U.S. Senate. My reasons are the following:

1) you continue to deny and explain away your claims to Cherokee ancestry despite evidence to the contrary

2) with regards to the law license issue, you may have not known the law and regulations regarding the same. Should this be the case, I think this would question your suitability to serve in such a demanding body as the Congress; or,

3) you knew the law and regulations of licensure and thought you could “work the system” or you just flat-out ignored them. In either case, I would, again, find you unsuitable to serve in public office.

4) you continue to allow both of these issues to “fester” in the public arena. Is it unreasonable to expect you to have forthrightness and provide clarity that can be documented?

Both of these issues are of significant nature to call into question how you would conduct yourself as a “servant of the people”. If we, as the people, are regularly hearing about personal issues and problems of officeholders rather than the work to which they have been elected, then such persons ought not hold positions of responsibility and obligation, let alone be elected to them. You, according to public accounts, seem to fit that description.

Spare us all. Lord only knows this nation has enough problems. We don’t need any more “problematic” leaders.

Sincerely, A Concerned Citizen

    janitor in reply to ALman. | September 27, 2012 at 10:29 am

    Aw c’mon. This is her story. This is just who she is. Her pawpaw said she could. The lady who cleans her office told her it was okay. It’s not a lie if no one asks whether it’s a lie…

Next Warren defense: there is, somewhere in MA law, a Native American exemption for requiring a license to practice law in the state.

    Observer in reply to tripleforte. | September 27, 2012 at 9:43 am

    Maybe Aunt Bea told Lizzie she already had a valid Massachusetts law license, and Lizzie just never bothered to check (it being family lore, and who questions their loved ones on such matters anway, and why are all you heartless raaaaacists attacking Lizzie’s family???)

      janitor in reply to Observer. | September 27, 2012 at 10:32 am

      Of course. And doncha see — she’s been fighting on behalf of the little guy (herself) and middle class entrepreneurs against over-regulation in her own subtle quiet way “her whole life”.

Not to rain on the parade, but has anyone consulted Webster’s on this?

Witch hunt: Conservatives pointing out facts.

Journalism: Liberals spreading lies about conservatives.

Hopefully, enough people will pause between visits to the Kook-Aid dispenser and take note of what’s going on in Mass.

    J Motes in reply to windbag. | September 27, 2012 at 11:53 am

    “Kook-Aid dispenser”

    Is that an inadvertent misspelling, or did you deliberately coin a delightful new term for us?

    Me like!

As of the time of my comment, I am dismayed that several commentators are effectively WASTING our time by just “saying something” to use space, divert our attention from ETHICAL CONCERNS, while purporting to represent a reasoned legal or factual analysis. My review:
+ Cato asks serious questions reflecting sincere concern and a knowledge of fundamental ethical rules.
+ Shakes point is crucial: “LAWS ARE FOR THE LITTLE PEOPLE” is what went through Warren’s head–She was a “Harvard Professor”-enough said. Pro. J and most of us disagree with that excuse.
+ Pavo is pithy and expresses his approval of the Prof. J’s analysis.
+ Rangered’s comment is similar to Pavo’s, but I am fatigued by clumsy “don’t expect more from Dem candidate” memes–WE NEED “STRAIGHT UP” LEGAL EXPOSITION ON THIS.
– Jeffrey’s comment is ambiguous and detracts from the discussion–SIR, SPEAK PLAINLY OR LEAVE THE FIELD OF VERBAL BATTLE
– Pastured uses language which appears “analytical” yet the summary is, to me, hidden support for Warren as it exceeds the foundational rules involved.


1. A license to practice law is a PRIVILEGE, not a right, in any state. It is predicated, in every state, upon ethical rules of conduct which must be followed “religiously”.

2. “Even the appearance” of misconduct outside ethical rules CANNOT BE TOLERATED BECAUSE OF THE CRUCIAL NATURE OF THE “PUBLIC TRUST” INVOLVED.


4. Professor Jacobsen has proceeded from article to article and point to point in a MERCILESSLY STRICT LEGAL AND FACTUAL ANALYSIS tending to show unacceptable ethical violations by Warren through the years.

5. The “queenly sum” charged by Warren in moderately high visibility matters ($675/hour), to me, reflects not just a claim to “legal and ethical excellence; superior analytical ability; and overwhelming written advocacy skills” BUT THE TOTALLY UNACCEPTABLE OFFENSE OF “SELLING INFLUENCE”.

6. NO ONE HAS EVEN ATTEMPTED TO MATCH PROF J’s keen legal exploration. What I am seeing are a variety of excuses seemingly intended to “BUY TIME” on an issue which DOES NOT MATCH BUT E*X*C*E*E*D*S the Albino Cherokee lie.

7. Legal rule applicable here: “False in part, false in whole”. Evidence of falsity in even one material point justifies the inference of falsity in EVERY ASPECT OF A WITNESS’S (or candidates) CLAIMS.


    Pasturized in reply to counsel4pay. | September 27, 2012 at 10:53 am

    “Pastured uses language which appears “analytical” yet the summary is, to me, hidden support for Warren as it exceeds the foundational rules involved. ”

    Mocking her defenders is providing her with hidden support. Riiiiggghhht.

No matter how this specific query turns out, it is fantastic how Prof. Jacobson and this blog have so deftly painted the appropriate picture.

Warren, through her actions, is clearly proven to be woven from the same cloth as many progressives who routinely view matters of law and ethics as relative to circumstances. For a legal academic to play so loosely with the rules and boundaries for so long demonstrates she is likely willing to work outside the margins if it serves the cause. And isn’t that the primary motivator that has driven us to the critical point we find ourselves now? How many lawmakers now and in recent history have made things worse, financially, in regulations, etc., simply because they are willing to test the boundaries (i.e. Constitutional boundaries, etc.)? They ‘know better’. Even bureaucrats have that disease.

Is it even possible that in allowing her NJ license to expire, Warren was actually not licensed at all while still providing counsel? At the very minimum, she is willing to use circumstantial logic to excuse actions that a ‘legal expert’ should clearly know are questionable. Hiding behind ‘family lore’, true or not, and some ambiguous notion about acting as an academic and not a practicing attorney is weak for a smart lawyer at a minimum. And such rationalizations could be truly deceitful in a more aggressive analysis.

While she may be a wonderful person in so many aspects, grandmother, mother, even as a teacher, she is clearly one of questionable professional ethics. And she covers by using the tried and true progressive, um, ……’fifty shades of grey’ kind of logic in viewing law and rules.

And you think that a majority of Mass. voters are going to be vexed over Granny Warren’s mere lying and other incidences of flaunting the law. “Laws are made for the little people. Not me. I repeat, do as I say, not as I do, you little peons.”

Why reach this conclusion? Because we have stare decisis that character doesn’t matter to the Massachusetts voter.

Fat Boy Ted Kennedy was first elected (in a special replacement election) to the Senate on 11/06/62 (enabling him to serve out the tail end of Jack’s unexpired term, just barely meeting the Constitution’s 30 years of age requirement for Senators, Fat Boy being then just 30.8 years old). (A Kennedy family stooge/coat holder/bag carrier/career hack, Ben Smith acted as placeholder from Dec. 1960 (when Jack resigned from the Senate) until this special election when Fat Boy would be 30. Would it surprise you to know that it was a Democrat, Governor Furcolo, who appointed this Democrat political hack Ben Smith, a former roommate of Democrat Jack at Harvard?) On 11/03/64 Fat Boy stood for his first full term election, winning with an astounding 74% of the vote. Camelot was in full bloom indeed; “thank you, Jack, Jackie, Caroline, and who could forget little John John?” On 11/03/70 Fat Boy stood for his second full term, but this election was the first following the 1969 death of MJ Kopeckne for which Fat Boy was held responsible for a minor offense but for which he suffered no penalty (so corrupt the system of Democrat justice was/is in the “Commonwealth”*). Still, he won handily with 62% of the vote (whispering, “thank you, Jack (1963)”, “thank you, Bobby (1968)”), the majority of Mass. voters obviously untroubled by Fat Boy’s part in the homicide of another woman, not his wife, with whom he was “keeping company” on a warm Summer night at a remote cottage on a remote island off of the remote and exclusive island of Martha’s Vineyard.

*Further corruption of Massachusetts “justice” sees this Board of Bar Overseer employee Fredrickson (gee, what political party could he be in?) speaking without authority but already in favor of Warren’s untenable position and WITHOUT having done ANY investigation whatsoever. Yeah, blind lady of justice in Massachusetts dispensing impartial decisions. Gag!

A majority of Mass. voters continued their pathetic voting pattern, in 1976, 1982, 1988, 1994, 2000, 2006. Fat Boy died in 2009, having “served” himself mostly, his friends and the hard left for 47 years. Yuck !!!

It’s truly hard to believe that the Commonwealth of Massachusetts was one of the original 13 !!!

    casualobserver in reply to Frank Scarn. | September 27, 2012 at 10:23 am

    Frank Scarn, while there is a lot to detest about MA politics and how politicians skate on their flaws all too often, don’t act as if it is isolated to MA, New England, the “North”, or Democrats. After all, AL is still fully behind Spencer Bachus, a Republican, even with all of his glaringly questionable financial activity. We don’t have to look far for symptoms of the elected class abusing rights, privileges, and even the law.

    I get it, you hate anything Kennedy to the point of using derisive labels and nicknames. Many of us in MA are Kennedy-phobic, also. While it’s possible another Kennedy may win a Congressional seat in a particular district this time around, it isn’t a lock, yet. I think it would be difficult any more for a Kennedy to win statewide on name alone. If Kennedy 3.0 is defeated by Sean Bielat this time, what will you say then?

did she have a NJ license at this time?

running a law practice out of her college office using students to do scut work WHILE getting paid big money.
but shes for the little guy….as long as he works for free for her.

Even more people are noticing there’s no THERE when it comes to the ‘intellectual’ side of Ms. Warren:

Best quote: “What he [Scott Brown] hasn’t said and probably won’t say: she [E. Warren] is a nag. A scold. An ideologue. An advocate of a nanny state beyond a Swedish socialist’s wildest imagination. A bureaucratic Bruegel who paints an America of victims—pathetic figures in a landscape of unremitting hostility. Also, Professor Warren is an economic idiot.”

did she have a NJ at this time?

I’ll reiterate a comment I made earlier and that is, because she no longer practices in Mass or elsewhere, I can’t see any sanctions by BBO or by AG.

However, I am getting a bit miffed at many of these Harvard profs practicing law without paying the same damn license fees that I’m paying every year and think a complaint to the AG is in order.

    Mercyneal in reply to gbridgman. | September 27, 2012 at 10:22 am

    I don’t think it matters whether she is not practicing anymore. She did this, and someone should report her actions to the various Bars and AG.

    byondpolitics in reply to gbridgman. | September 27, 2012 at 12:37 pm

    She broke the law. In addition, rulings that involve her prior work may be called into question.

    It’s laughable, on its face, to say that someone who commits malpractice, by not being licensed, can’t be punished because she is not licensed. If that were the case, why would anyone bother to get a license?

The present rule to admitted to the First Circuit requires disclsoure of all a state bar admission. The applicant must provide a copy of a certificate of good standing for each such court, which, as every lawyer knows, means you can only get if you are properly admittd to a bar and remain in good standing.

here is part of the current First Circuit rules for admission of attorneys

“Name all courts (including state courts) before which you have been admitted to practice and provide the
exact admission date for each court (please attach a separate sheet if necessary) . . . ..

Please provide an original certificate of good standing, dated within the past six months for a qualifying state court bar identified above.”

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.

by the way, I checked to see if Warren’s Harvard colleagues – Nesson and Miller – were so cavalier as Warren about bar admisisons. I see at least for Nesson, he is not. A Google search reveals that Prof Nesson has a Mass Bar number, referred to as a “BBO#” – Nesson’s BBO# is 369320. Warren appears to lack a BBO#.

I could not find any info for Miller. Miller is HUGE in law. I am guessing he is admitted somewhere

    Pasturized in reply to george. | September 27, 2012 at 11:12 am

    According to the Mass Board of Bar Overseers website Arthur R. Miller was admitted to the MA bar on 4/18/79 and is active.

Mass lawyer here. My understanding of the reasons for licensure and admittance to certain courts is that there has to be a hook for some body (be it the BBO or the court) to discipline the attorney for any misconduct. For the record, I had to scramble to get my bar admission so that I could take my job. It cost $1500 to waive in. I was just grateful I didn’t have to take the bar exam.

For the First Circuit, in order to appear (as Prof. Warren did in the case above), one must be admitted to practice in the First Circuit. (Local Rule 46.0) You have to be sponsored. Be in good standing in all jurisdictions to which you are admitted. Your sponsor must attest to your good character. After paying the fees you are admitted and receive a First Circuit bar number.

In order to otherwise appear, you need to be admitted pro hac vice for purposes of a particular proceeding.

None of this, of course, has anything to do whether Elizabeth Warren has been practicing law in Massachusetts without a license. I think she has run afoul of Rule 5.5(b)(2) in that she is listing her Massachusetts office and is holding herself out to the public as practicing law in Massachusetts — implying that she is licensed here.

For someone who is big on accountability, I ask of her, what body disciplines her if she runs off with a client’s fees? Who ensures she maintains malpractice insurance? Who ensures she maintains an IOLTA account to segregate clients’ fees from her personal funds? This is what licensure is about. It’s not just something you do because you have to. Lawyers are running a cartel here — everyone needs to be in on it for it to work.

    casualobserver in reply to beantown. | September 27, 2012 at 11:39 am

    Beantown – The Brown campaign should realize what you have highlighted, even if indirectly. Can voters really trust someone to hold ‘big business’ accountable when she is, at at very minimum, showing her own operating on the margins of the rules (or outside of them) over a long period of time? How can she be a reliable arbiter or champion when her own behavior is subject to review and is failing the accountability test?

      It’s clear she’s perfectly willing to subject everyone else to onerous regulation, licensure fees, etc. But when it comes to what she does, she’s on the side of the angels and is clearly a good person. She’d never do anything wrong! So why does she need to be accountable to a bar organization? Or a court?

      To be clear — she’s also skipping out on about $300/year of bar dues. Some of that goes to help get legal services to the indigent in Massachusetts. She’s not paying her fair share for the privilege of practicing law in Massachusetts.

“I am dismayed, if not shocked, that the legal establishment, as well as legal ethicists who should know better, are letting their political biases dictate their analysis.”

I suppose he has to say this. But he can’t be this naive.

[…] Prof. Jacobson delivers still more convincing evidence that Elizabeth Warren operated a continuous Massachusetts law practice (and not just a sporadic […]

What does Alan Dershowitz think of all this? Could someone find out?

No her grandfather had a low brow and that means she is 1/32nd Massachusetts Lawyer because her Mother told her in her family lore. There was so much discrimination, that her parents had to elope because her great grand daddy went to Community College and that takes at least 6 generations to wash away. She is licensed in Mass and its part of her identity, that Racist Brown is challenging her identity that she does not have any evidence of. I mean who checks law licenses? Certainly not her clients.

[…] Thompson is now taking the allegations more seriously based on new information unearthed by William Jacobson at Legal Insurrection about Warren’s representation of a Massachusetts […]

Of course no one has every fact and getting an airtight answer on something like this requires more care and attention than anyone just reading through a blog (or following a campaign) will be able to provide. But a few initial reactions:

1. In my experience most attorney misconduct charges are brought by people with litigation or political axes to grind and don’t involve conduct that even remotely could be thought to cause anyone any harm. This flap seems fully in line with that experience.

2. There is a lot of ad hominem here about the BBO guy as being part of some kind of liberal conspiracy, but his basic point that she doesn’t have a law office she has a professor’s office from which she sometimes gets involved in cases is highly plausible and not contradicted by anything here. Also, from what I can see she’s not lead counsel on these cases she is in a specialized or consulting capacity with lots of other folks on the case who are barred. So to the extent the input of a lawyer barred in the jurisdiction is needed she will have that.

3. I would not be surprised at all if law professors or others not in full time private practice (see point 2) are sometimes unaware of all of the ins and outs of all the practice rules. Look at Judge Griffith; he was GC at BYU and it turns out he wasn’t in good standing anywhere for 10 years. But he got on the bench and none of it was really seen as any big problem.

This just doesn’t seem like a big deal. No one in any of her cases seems to have raised any issue, even though as noted above litigation opponents often have similar incentives to try to make something out of nothing.

    imfine in reply to John L. | September 28, 2012 at 11:08 am

    That is certainly a valid point of view, but lawyers often sue and impose meaningless pro forma rules on the rest of us that do nothing to prevent harm. I approve of beating lawyers with their own system.

[…] do these Democrats find such arrogance?  HOW do they think the truth won’t come […]

[…] Today, the amazing Prof. William Jacobson brought us hard evidence of this interplay between federal…: I consider that test irrelevant, but in any event, Warren did represent a Massachusetts client in Massachusetts on a Massachusetts legal issue. […]

[…] game…Driver in multiple car crash had BAC of .52% [WANE] .50% is usually considered fatal.Elizabeth Warren represented Massachusetts client in Massachusetts [Legal Insurrection] Warren practiced law in Massachusetts for over a decade without a license. How […]

Constitution First | October 1, 2012 at 1:21 pm

Nothing but the sound of crickets from a Malfeasant Media.

Flit_Andersen | October 2, 2012 at 6:38 am

This would be all well & good except for one thing – Ma AG Martha Coakley. Martha is more politician than prosecutor and has an aversion to prosecuting any sort of political crime when the perp is a fellow Democrat.

Faux-Cahontas has nothing to worry about.

Flit_Andersen | October 2, 2012 at 6:44 am

By the way what is it about “blaming mom” for these stupid lies? Hillary did the same thing when somebody noticed her BS story about where her name came from. She blamed her mother. Of course, nobody seemed to notice that that excuse works until you’re about – oh – 14. By then, presumably you learn to do some math. Especially if you’re the Smartest Woman in The World.