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Elizabeth Warren’s law license problem

Elizabeth Warren’s law license problem

Maintained private law practice at Cambridge office for over a decade but not licensed in Massachusetts

The debate last Thursday night between Scott Brown and Elizabeth Warren covered ground mostly known to voters.

But there was one subject most people watching probably did not know about, Elizabeth Warren’s private legal representation of The Travelers Insurance Company in an asbestos-related case.

Brown brought the point up late in the debate, and hammered it:

Warren attempted to deny her role, and referred to a Boston Globe article, but the Globe article supports Brown’s account.  The Globe article indicated the representation was for a period of three years and Warren was paid $212,000.  The case resulted in a Supreme Court victory for Travelers arising out of a bankruptcy case in New York.

Whatever the political implications of the exchange, Warren’s representation of Travelers raises another big potential problem for Warren.

Warren represented not just Travelers, but numerous other companies starting in the late 1990s working out of and using her Harvard Law School office in Cambridge, which she listed as her office of record on briefs filed with various courts.  Warren, however, never has been licensed to practice law in Massachusetts.

As detailed below, there are at least two provisions of Massachusetts law Warren may have violated.  First, on a regular and continuing basis she used her Cambridge office for the practice of law without being licensed in Massachusetts.  Second, in addition to operating an office for the practice of law without being licensed in Massachusetts, Warren actually practiced law in Massachusetts without being licensed.

Warren refused to disclose the full extent of her private law practice when asked by The Boston Globe.  If Warren denies that she has practiced law in Massachusetts without a license, Warren should disclose the full extent of her private law practice.  The public has a right to assess whether Warren has failed to comply with the most basic requirement imposed on others, the need to become a member of the Bar of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts in order to practice law in and from Massachusetts.

1. Warren Is Not Licensed To Practice Law In Massachusetts

Warren is not licensed to practice law in Massachusetts.  Warren’s name does not turn up on a search of the Board of Bar Overseers attorney search website (searches just by last name or using Elizabeth Herring also do not turn up any relevant entries).

I confirmed with the Massachusetts Board of Bar Overseers by telephone that Warren never has been admitted to practice in Massachusetts.  I had two conversations with the person responsible for verifying attorney status.  In the first conversation the person indicated she did not see any entry for Warren in the computer database, but she wanted to double check.  I spoke with her again several hours later, and she indicated she had checked their files and also had spoken with another person in the office, and there was no record of Warren ever having been admitted to practice in Massachusetts.

Warren’s own listing of her Bar admissions is consistent with not being licensed in Massachusetts.  In a June 25, 2008 CV  Warren listed only Texas and New Jersey.

Warren’s Texas Bar information indicates she is not eligible to be licensed in Texas, but does not indicate when she went on that inactive status.  Consistent with our finding that Warren was not admitted in Massachusetts, Warren listed only one other place of admission on her Texas record, New Jersey:

Warren became licensed in New Jersey in 1977.  She famously and speculatively claimed to be the “first nursing mother to take a Bar exam” in New Jersey.

Warren, however, is not currently licensed in New Jersey:

While the date of termination of her New Jersey license is not on the website, telephone inquiries to the New Jersey Board of Bar Examiners and the New Jersey Lawyers Fund For Client Protection indicated that Warren resigned her license on September 11, 2012 (one of the people remarked to me “that’s a memorable day”).  It’s odd that in the middle of a campaign Warren would take the time to resign her New Jersey Bar membership, particularly since she would have to retake the Bar exam to be readmitted.

Neither office in New Jersey could state whether her license was continuously active until her resignation because the computer only shows the current status, so I have made the request in writing as instructed.  By resigning her New Jersey license earlier this month, Warren made it more difficult for the public to determine her pre-resignation status.

By all available information, Warren never has been licensed in Massachusetts, but at varying times has had active law licenses in Texas and New Jersey, although currently she is not licensed in either jurisdiction.  It is unclear whether during the years she represented Travelers and others Warren was actively licensed anywhere.

I emailed the Warren campaign’s spokesperson, Alethea Harney, after the debate Thursday night requesting a list of all jurisdictions in which Warren was licensed to practice law.  I requested that the information be provided by Friday morning specifically so I could include the campaign’s response, but I received no response.

2. Warren Used Her Cambridge Office as Her Law Office

Regardless of where she was admitted, Warren consistently since the late 1990s has held herself out as having her professional address for legal representation at her Harvard Law School office in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

Warren was listed as “Of Counsel” on Travelers’ Supreme Court Brief, listing her Harvard Law School office as her office address:

Warren also used her Cambridge office address in other Supreme Court Briefs, such as Rousey v. Jacoway in 2004 where she represented AARP:

In 2003, Warren used her Cambridge address for another AARP Supreme Court Brief in Till v. SCS Credit Corp. (no public image available, but available in text form through Westlaw at 2003 WL 22070307) in which she appeared along with other counsel:

In the Till Brief,  a Harvard Law School student was thanked for helping with the Brief, a clear reflection that the work on the Brief was performed at least in part in Cambridge.

Similarly, in 2002 in  FCC v. Nextwave Communications, Warren filed a Brief for the Official Creditors Committee and filed a Brief (available Westlaw at  2002 WL 1379031 ) along with her Harvard Law School colleagues Laurence Tribe and Charles Fried (each of whom is licensed in Massachusetts) using her Cambridge address:

In 1998 Warren was on the Supreme Court Brief for the National Association of Credit Management (available Westlaw 1998 WL 536369), again using her Cambridge address:

Warren also has had other legal representations using Cambridge as the location of her law office, such as National Gypsum Co v. National Gypsum Trust, 219 F.3d 478 (5th Cir. 2000):

Additional court cases in which Warren used her Cambridge address include Matter of Cajun Elec. Power Co-op., Inc., 150 F.3d 503 (5th Cir. 199i8)(“Elizabeth Ann Warren, Harvard Law School, Cambridge, MA, for Southwestern Elec. Power Co.”) and Matter of P.A. Bergner & Co., 140 F.3d 1111 (7th Cir. 1998)(“Elizabeth Warren (argued), Harvard Law School, Cambridge, MA”).

The clear record shows that since the late 1990s Warren has held herself out as representing litigants using her Harvard Law School address, and there is every reason to believe the work was performed in Massachusetts, in some cases utilizing student help.

The listings above are not exhaustive, and there may be cases not reported in electronic databases, in which Warren has acted as counsel using her Cambridge address.  For example, if Warren rendered legal advice but did not appear on the Brief or enter a court appearance, there would be no record.  State court case briefs and appearances also are not captured by databases to the extent of federal cases.

What also is unknown is whether any of Warren’s representations involved Massachusetts clients or law, as Warren’s campaign has refused to disclose the full nature of her law practice when asked by The Boston Globe.

Warren’s office at Harvard Law School appears to have been her only office.  I can find no record of Warren using any other address for such filings and representations other than her Cambridge address.  That office not only was used in various cases listed above, it also is the office listed for her now inactive Texas law license:

3. Warren Was Practicing Law From Her Cambridge Office

There is no requirement that a law teacher be licensed to practice law in Massachusetts in order to teach or publish on topics related to law.  In fact, a law teacher need not even be a lawyer.  Once that law teacher starts acting a lawyer, however, the normal licensing rules apply.

The question becomes whether Warren was “practicing law” at her Cambridge address, or doing something that does not constitute the practice of law.

A person practicing law in Massachusetts needs to be licensed to do so.  Superadio Ltd. Partnership v. Winstar Radio Productions, LLC, 446 Mass. 330, 334, 844 N.E.2d 246, 250 (Mass. 2006)(“As a general proposition, an attorney practicing law in Massachusetts must be licensed, or authorized, to practice law here”).

While there is no single definition of what it means to “practice law,” the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court has held:

As general observations, we have noted that the practice of law involves applying legal judgment to address a client’s individualized needs … and that custom and practice may play a role in determining whether a particular activity is considered the practice of law …  More specifically, we have stated:

“[D]irecting and managing the enforcement of legal claims and the establishment of the legal rights of others, where it is necessary to form and to act upon opinions as to what those rights are and as to the legal methods which must be adopted to enforce them, the practice of giving or furnishing legal advice as to such rights and methods and the practice, as an occupation, of drafting documents by which such rights are created, modified, surrendered or secured are all aspects of the practice of law.”

Real Estate Bar Ass’n for Massachusetts, Inc. v. National Real Estate Information Services, 459 Mass. 512, 517-518, 946 N.E.2d 665, 674 (Mass. 2011)(citations omitted)(drafting real estate deeds for others constituted practice of law); see also Lindsey v. Ogden, 10 Mass.App.Ct. 142, 149-150, 406 N.E.2d 701, 709 (Mass.App., 1980)(person overseeing execution of will was not engaging in the practice of law where he “never held himself out as a Massachusetts lawyer, never drew any documents in Massachusetts, and never did anything else that could be considered as the practice of law in this State.  A Massachusetts domiciliary is free to consult a licensed New York attorney on the merits of her estate plan”);

Warren’s activities on behalf of Travelers and other parties in the cases listed above would seem to fall easily within this definition of practicing law.

Warren described herself as “Of Counsel” or counsel and clearly was rendering legal advice and services based upon her evaluation of the law:

Generally speaking, the practice of law can include, “the examination of statutes, judicial decisions, and departmental rulings, for the purpose of advising upon a question of law … and the rendering to a client of an opinion thereon.” See Lowell Bar Ass’n v. Loeb, 315 Mass. 176, 52 N.E.2d 27, 33 (1943).

In re Bonarrigo, 282 B.R. 101 D.Mass.,2002 (bankruptcy petition preparers engaged in practice of law).

4. If Warren Was Practicing Law From Her Cambridge Office,
She Violated Massachusetts Law

In order to practice law in Massachusetts, particularly from a Massachusetts office, one needs to be admitted to the Massachusetts Bar, which Warren never has been.  There is no general exception from licensing requirements for law professors.

Massachusetts General Laws, Chapter 221, Section 46A provides (emphasis mine):

Section 46A.  No individual, other than a member, in good standing, of the bar of this commonwealth shall practice law, or, by word, sign, letter, advertisement or otherwise, hold himself out as authorized, entitled, competent, qualified or able to practice law; provided, that a member of the bar, in good standing, of any other state may appear, by permission of the court, as attorney or counselor, in any case pending therein, if such other state grants like privileges to members of the bar, in good standing, of this commonwealth.

Massachusetts Rule of Professional Conduct 5.5 provides in pertinent part that the obligation to be licensed has some narrow exceptions.  [See footnote added 10-1-2012 at bottom of post.]  None of those exceptions apply to Warren (emphasis mine):

(b) A lawyer who is not admitted to practice in this jurisdiction shall not:

(1) except as authorized by these Rules or other law, establish an office or other systematic and continuous presence in this jurisdiction for the practice of law; or
(2) hold out to the public or otherwise represent that the lawyer is admitted to practice law in this jurisdiction.

(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;
(2) are in or reasonably related to a pending or potential proceeding before a tribunal in this or another jurisdiction, if the lawyer, or a person the lawyer is assisting, is authorized by law or order to appear in such proceeding or reasonably expects to be so authorized;
(3) are in or reasonably related to a pending or potential arbitration, mediation, or other alternative dispute resolution proceeding in this or another jurisdiction, if the services arise out of or are reasonably related to the lawyer’s practice in a jurisdiction in which the lawyer is admitted to practice and are not services for which the forum requires pro hac vice admission; or
(4) are not within paragraphs (c)(2) or (c)(3) and arise out of or are reasonably related to the lawyer’s practice in a jurisdiction in which the lawyer is admitted to practice.

As the Rule makes clear, assuming Warren were licensed in another jurisdiction (which is unclear), Warren still could not maintain an office in Massachusetts for the practice of law, which she did, unless licensed in Massachusetts, which she was not.

Warren cannot invoke the “temporary basis” exception quoted above because she maintained the Cambridge office continuously and for a long period of time, and was not temporarily in Massachusetts ancillary to her practice in a jurisdiction where  she was licensed.  A Comment to the Rule provides:

[6] There is no single test to determine whether a lawyer’s services are provided on a “temporary basis” in this jurisdiction, and may therefore be permissible under paragraph (c). Services may be “temporary” even though the lawyer provides services in this jurisdiction on a recurring basis, or for an extended period of time, as when the lawyer is representing a client in a single lengthy negotiation or litigation.

Whether the services were on a “temporary basis” would require a showing that Warren was actively licensed elsewhere (a fact her withdrawal from New Jersey makes more difficult to verify) and whether the services were in relation to her activities in the other jurisdiction.  Comment 14 provides in pertinent part:

[14] Paragraphs (c)(3) and (c)(4) require that the services arise out of or be reasonably related to the lawyer’s practice in a jurisdiction in which the lawyer is admitted….

Comment 10 also explains that temporary conduct in connection with a matter pending in a jurisdiction in which the attorney is licensed, such as interviewing a witness in Massachusetts or conducting a deposition in Massachusetts, is permitted.  That would seem inapplicable here, both because Warren’s office was in Massachusetts, and also because her representation of Travelers was not of such nature that her services were incidental to her representation of Travelers in a jurisdiction in which she was licensed.

Moreover, the Travelers case was not the only legal representation Warren has provided over the years, as demonstrated above.  According to The Boston Globe article about the Travelers case:

The extent of her legal practice, and the clients she has represented, is unclear.

Her campaign would not release a full list of cases she has been involved in. And, while some representation appears in scattered court records, much of her consulting can be done without placing her name on dockets as an attorney of record.

Her campaign detailed six Supreme Court cases in which she has filed so-called friend of the court briefs. They include two briefs on behalf of the AARP: one of which supports protecting individual retirement accounts in the event of a bankruptcy and another that fights to allow judges to lower consumers’ credit card interest rates in the event of personal bankruptcies.

Warren’s 2008 CV lists six Supreme Court Briefs in which she had participated (although two of them appear to be briefs filed on her behalf, not briefs filed by her as counsel), all of which predated the Travelers case:

Here, since Warren maintained her Cambridge office as her law office for well over a decade, it is hard to argue that it was either temporary or in connection with her practice in another jurisdiction.  Moreover, unlike the out of state attorney in the Lindsey case above, Warren practiced law from her office in Massachusetts.

This is unlike some cases in which unlicensed conduct in Massachusetts is excused if ancillary to the attorney’s practice in a state in which he or she is licensed.  In re Chimko, 444 Mass. 743, 831 N.E.2d 316 (Mass. 2005).  Here, even if she were licensed in New Jersey while representing Travelers (a fact we still are trying to confirm), that would not permit Warren to maintain a law practice in Massachusetts unless licensed in Massachusetts.

There is a Massachusetts Bar Association Ethics Opinion which seems on point.  Here is the official summary (emphasis mine):

Opinion No. 76-18

Summary: It is improper and misleading for an out-of-jurisdiction firm whose members and associates are not admitted to the Massachusetts bar to place a “Boston Office” address on its letterhead. In addition, the letterhead of such an out-of-jurisdiction law firm may not contain, without more, the names of Boston lawyers who are not associates or partners of that firm.

It is proper for an out-of-jurisdiction firm to have a local office indicated on its letterhead if (1) that office is operated by at least one member or associate of the firm who is admitted to the Massachusetts bar, and (2) any enumeration of lawyers on the firm letterhead makes clear which lawyers are not admitted to practice in Massachusetts and any other jurisdictional limitations.

Yet Warren, who was not and never was licensed to practice law in Massachusetts, has held her Cambridge office out to be her law office for the purpose of providing legal representation.

As noted above, we do not know the extent to which Warren has represented Massachusetts clients or offered advice as to Massachusetts law.  The American Bar Association has recognized the problem under Model Rule 5.5 for a lawyer who maintains an office in one jurisdiction but practices “virtually” in another jurisdiction.  While the ABA is working on solving such internet-age issues, there is no authority which exempts from the licensing requirements an attorney domiciled in Massachusetts using a Massachusetts office but who offers legal advice and services only to out-of-state clients and as to non-Massachusetts law.

5. Harvard Law School Warns Its Students Against The Unauthorized Practice of Law

My interpretation of Massachusetts law, and the broad scope of conduct which requires admission to the Massachusetts Bar, is consistent with the instructions Harvard Law School provides to law students who wish to participate in legal Clinics.

In Massachusetts, as in most states, students can provide services which otherwise would require a law license, providing that certain requirements, such as providing the services through a recognized law school clinic under the supervision of an attorney admitted to practice in Massachusetts, are met.

Here is what Harvard Law School cautions its students:

3. Standards of professional behavior for law students.

As future practicing lawyers, law students have standards of professional behavior and responsibilities expected of them. Please be advised that every state, including the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, has statutes and rules that prohibit the “unauthorized practice of law.” (See, e.g., Mass. Gen. Laws ch. 221 §41; Mass. Rules of Professional Conduct, Rule 5.5)

The practice of law is broadly defined and can include providing advice, in addition to direct representation. Just as one must get a license to practice medicine, one must be admitted to the bar in a particular state to be able to practice law. Law students are permitted to do legal work for clients as long as the student is working as an individual supervised by an attorney admitted to practice law in the relevant jurisdiction and that attorney takes responsibility for the legal work. Engaging in the unauthorized practice of law may result in criminal penalties, including fines and imprisonment. See: Massachusetts Conveyancers Ass’n, Inc. v. Colonial Title & Escrow, Inc., 2001 WL 669280 (Mass.Super. 2001) : whether a particular activity constitutes the practice of law is fact specific. Matter of Shoe Manufacturers Protective Association, 295 Mass. 369, 372 (1936).;

HLS students are required to comply with rules regarding the practice of law and the Law School’s policies regarding engagement in the practice of law while enrolled at the Law School.  These rules ensure proper supervision and compliance with applicable legal requirements. Violation of the rules on the unauthorized practice of law may result in disciplinary proceedings before the Administrative Board, and may interfere with eligibility for admission to the bar.

None of these legal standards should come as a surprise to Warren.  If Harvard Law School expects its students not to engage in the unauthorized practice of law in Massachusetts, presumably it provides similar warning to its faculty.  Unfortunately, unlike many other Harvard schools, the law school faculty handbook is not available online or to the public.

While I have not checked every Harvard Law faculty member, several high profile professors who provide or have provided private legal services from their Harvard offices are licensed to practice law in Massachusetts, including Alan Dershowitz, Charles Fried, and Laurence Tribe.

What is odd is that Warren could have been admitted to the Massachusetts Bar on motion, since she was admitted elsewhere and had at least five years law teaching/practice experience (unless she had previously taken and failed the Mass Bar Exam).  I am not certain when this motion provision came into effect in Massachusetts.

6. Warren’s Possible Practice Of Law Without A License Requires Full Disclosure Prior To The Election

I detail above the facts and law which lead me to the conclusion that Warren has practiced law in Massachusetts without a license in violation of Massachusetts law for well over a decade.

I expect Warren will disagree, and I welcome a discussion of the facts and the law.

I doubt that will happen.  Instead, and similar to how her campaign tried to demonize me and the Cherokee women who questioned her supposed Native American ancestry, I expect Warren’s campaign will attempt to deflect these serious issues by attacking the messenger.

Warren should disclose the full scope of her private law practice.  Perhaps there are facts not publicly available which will demonstrate that Warren was not engaged in the practice of law in Massachusetts when she earned $212,000 from Travelers, plus other fees from others who sought out her legal expertise dating back to the 1990s.

The voters of Massachusetts are entitled to know, before they vote, whether one of the candidates for Senate has not been following the rules which apply to everyone else.

Update:  No, Mass. Board of Bar Overseers has not exonerated Elizabeth Warren and Elizabeth Warren represented Massachusetts client in Massachusetts.

Footnote added 10-1-2012: The multi-jurisdictional safe harbor provisions in Current Rule 5.5, did not come into effect in Massachusetts until January 1, 2007, and therefore would not aid Warren in defending her practice of law in Massachusetts prior to that date.  (See this case for description of prior rule.)


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Conrad has it right. Warren has been dishonest about her use and abuse of affirmative action, does not deserve to be elected, and is very shrill, but there is no evidence yet that she has engaged in the unauthorized practice of law.

For matters of federal law such as patent law, constitutional law, bankruptcy law etc, if you are licensed in one state, you may represent clients from any state. States do not have the power to restrict who practices law on federal matters before federal bodies. There are ample cases on this, including a very well-written NJ case involving patent law.

Listing a MA address for her practice would not be permitted. Listing an MA address for her professorial duties is permitted. Submitting an item of writing such as an amicus brief to the Supreme Court that truthfully shows she is a law professor in MA is permitted. And no, teaching law is not the practice of law. Contracts professors from NY who go to Duke Law do not need to be admitted in NC.

I agree that there are reasons of character she should not be elected i.e. Fauxcohontas. But for those of us who value the rules of professional responsibility, we have an obligation to be rigorous about this. And for those of us who really care about the practice of law, that is bigger than a Senate race.

This blog has expressed many a valuable insight. I hope that this blog will acknowledge the full set of issues of legal ethics involved in determining what is the unauthorized practice of law.

    blammm in reply to HDarrow. | September 24, 2012 at 1:07 pm

    Wrong. Brown needed a MA state license to be admitted in D. Mass.

    The U.S. Federal District Court for the District of Massachusetts requires submission of a Certificate of Good Standing from the Supreme Judicial Court of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts for admission. Applications without the certification are returned as incomplete.

    A Certificate of Good Standing is only issued if you are licensed in that state and have not be subject to disciplinary action.

      HDarrow in reply to blammm. | September 24, 2012 at 2:18 pm

      See Section 83.5.3(b)

      “(b) Other Attorneys. An attorney who is a member of the bar of any United States District Court or the bar of the highest court of any state may appear and practice in this court in a particular case by leave granted in the discretion of the court, provided he files a certificate that (1) he is a member of the bar in good standing in every jurisdiction where he has been admitted to practice; (2) there are no disciplinary proceedings pending against him as a member of the bar in any jurisdiction; and (3) he is familiar with the Local Rules of the United States District Court for the District of Massachusetts; and provided further, his application for leave to practice in this court is on motion of a member of the bar of this court, who shall also file an appearance. An attorney seeking admission under this subsection may not enter an appearance or sign any papers until his application has been granted, except that the attorney may sign a complaint or any paper necessary to prevent entry of default for failure to answer or otherwise plead, provided such complaint or other paper is accompanied by his application for admission in proper form.”

      This would seem to be a key exception she likely relied upon.

      None of that in any way justifies Fauxcohontas or the “You didn’t build that” meme, which she started before Obama.

      blammm in reply to blammm. | September 24, 2012 at 2:32 pm

      And by Brown, I mean Warren.

      She wouldn’t qualify as in house counsel since she was working for Harvard at the time and took on the case as “Of Counsel.”

      Pro hac vice seems unlikely at this point given that there has been no suggestion from Warren’s camp or her filings that that was her status and the mere fact that pro hac vice is rarely granted in for profit representations.

    I suppose she could have been admitted pro hac vice, admitted by the Court if you are admitted in another state, but you generally cannot do that if you live in the state you are seeking to be admitted in. The courts frown on that.

      They are starting to panic over at Democratic Underground!

      Some lawyer at DU is speculating she was admitted pro hac vice (by permission of the court), but I think courts are reluctant to grant that if you seek it in a state you are living. While they might have given Warren a pass on a public pro bono case, raking in over $200K for Travelers against some asbestos victims does not seem like the sort of case the court would have done that on.

    Philipsonh in reply to HDarrow. | September 24, 2012 at 1:45 pm

    Mr Darrow
    While I do not have your expertise in legal matters, there are media reports that Ms Warren
    admitted she does not have a legal law license to practice in the state of Ma., via a radio interview today. I cannot personally verify her
    statements or that this is factual. The one
    article I read about the radio interview is
    now on Thank you, Sir.

    American Jane in reply to HDarrow. | September 24, 2012 at 6:24 pm

    What is the policy of Harvard in advertising yourself as a professor on a brief for a private corporation? Do the other Harvard professors show their affiliation on briefs?

    byondpolitics in reply to HDarrow. | September 26, 2012 at 10:59 pm

    She listed her MA address.
    No one made the claim that her university employment was part of her law practice.

[…] 24, 2012 Wow. Elizabeth Warren can't help being a fraud. Not even licensed in Massachussetts.… #tcot #p2— RB (@RBPundit) September 24, 2012 Darn fine investigatory work by @LegInsurrection […]

[…] Also, be sure and check out Legal Insurrection’s blockbuster findings today that Warren has been practicing law WITHOUT a license! […]

Assuming that she didn’t handle any state cases, wouldn’t this be a matter of Federal law? Here’s why I ask–as a patent attorney, I can practice patent law in the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office up through the internal appellate level, as long as I am admitted to one state bar, but I don’t have to be located within that state. But my practice has to be exclusively limited to prosecuting patents. As soon as I handle a license agreement, or a copyright, or a trademark proceeding, I have to be licensed in the state in which my office is located.

Is there something similar for practicing in a Federal court? That is, although one has to be admitted in a state, I don’t believe that one has to be located in the state of admission to practice in the federal court system.

    Mercyneal in reply to Rex. | September 24, 2012 at 12:44 pm

    Actually, as Professor Jacobson points out in his excellent essay, Warren has REFUSED to turn over all of her legal work at the STATE LEVEL to the Boston Globe. If she didn’t do any work at the state level, wouldn’t she have just told the Globe she didn’t do any work at the state level?

    ghum3 in reply to Rex. | September 24, 2012 at 4:05 pm

    I think patent lawyers are admitted to practice patent cases in federal courts generally. As a bankruptcy lawyer (which is a federal court practice), I cannot simply walk in to any federal bankruptcy court and appear–I have to be admitted pro hac vice.

    I usually have to provide a certificate of good standing from the state court(s) where I am admitted and regularly practice. If Ms. Warren did that in all these cases (presumably from NJ or TX), she may be o.k.

    But we still have a Massachusetts issue. Ms. Warren is “of counsel” on briefs, and that is certainly the practice of law (even for amicus briefs). And she is holding herself out as practicing law out of an office in Massachusetts. Massachusetts apparently expects (as most states would) that she would have been admitted to practice in Massachusetts if she is purporting to practice law out of an office there.

    If I told a bankruptcy court where I was practicing “pro hac” that I was a NJ attorney, but my only office was in Massachusetts, I think Massachusetts will be a little concerned.

    I moved into a new state several years ago, and pending my “comity” application being granted, I was admitted “pro hac” in some of the local federal courts, but that was only because I indicated that I was seeking admission in my new state, where my new office was located. I don’t know whether the federal courts will care about Ms. Warren’s apparent shenanigans, but Massachusetts should, if they care anything about the intergrity of the practice of law.

Jack The Ripper | September 24, 2012 at 12:45 pm

Is the following question fair, or just piling on?

Between the Native American claim, the cribbed Native American recipe that was submitted (see New York Times and Pow Wow Chow), the posturing as being there for the victims in the Traveler’s Insurance asbestos litigation, and now, the law license questions, is it time to consider whether her academic writings and speeches should be scrutinized, possibly for plagiarism?

[…] for an advantage. Now we find that she has practiced law in Massachusetts with out a law license. LINK __________________ Quote: Originally Posted by Truthmatters your idiots I'm sick and tired […]

Retired NJ Lawyer | September 24, 2012 at 12:49 pm

New Jersey’s practice eligibility rules can be found at the following link:

Professor….not a major issue, for sure, but the like/not like tally system you are using here is not working properly. I’ve checked several posts that like and every time it adds 12 “likes” for my one click. It also seems to do the same with “not like” tallies.

In short: the “scores” showing here on this thread are really not quite what they seem.

I hope Liz Warren doesn’t have the Mass vote counters rigged to add 12 for each 1. She is unfit for sewer inspector, let alone Senator.

    Midwest Rhino in reply to Aridog. | September 24, 2012 at 12:57 pm

    I believe when you click “like”, it refreshes the count and adds not only yours, but all others that have “liked” since your last refresh. It only refreshes that one comment.

      Midwest Rhino in reply to Midwest Rhino. | September 24, 2012 at 4:29 pm

      I’m curious how there can be so many that recognize what I say, yet so many agree that the count is rigged. I use Firefox. I wonder if other browsers are different somehow. I’d doubt it. The count must be set at LI’s server.

      I know for me the count generally just advances by one, or maybe by a few if it has been a little while since I refreshed the page, and the topic is still new.

It’s clear why she resigned her New Jersey license. Unless the State of Mass has a criminal law on the books for practicing law without a license, the only thing that would happen to Lizzy Warren is that she would be reported to the Ethics Board for any State where she has a license (i.e. New Jersey) and they conduct a hearing to see if she violated an attorney code of conduct/ethics and could have her licensed suspended and/or revoked. If she terminated her NJ license, then she HAS NO LICENSE to revoke, and thus there is no Ethics hearing that will take place. She was evidiently tipped-off of this investigation and got in front of it by terminating her law license to avoid an ethics board hearing on the matter.

That doesn’t mean one or more states (including Mass) couldn’t prosecute her for practicing law without a license if it is a crime in that particular state (assuming the statute of limitations hasn’t run out to bring that charge). But good luck with that. Laws are for the little people to follow.

I would agree that Prof. Warren’s lack of candor about the scope of her consulting work is fair game. Whether it’s prosecutable unauthorized practice is by no means obvious.

If the work in question was confined to consulting with admitted counsel (e.g., attorneys for asbestos insurers), as long as Prof. Warren did not file a sole appearance for a client, nor provide services to “laypersons”, she would likely be within the safe harbor of ABA Model Rule 5.5 (c)(1), as adopted in the Massachusetts Rules of Professional Responsibility (permitting non-Massachusetts lawyers to provide “legal” services “undertaken in association with a lawyer who is admitted to practice in this jurisdiction and who actively participates in the matter”.) Furthermore, _if_ Professor Warren’s work were limited to consultative services in the form of providing or guiding research and writing for trial/appellate/amici counsel, it would be little different from that of a “law student intern” permitted to assist an admitted attorney under ABA Model Rule 5.3, Comment [1], as adopted in Massachusetts.

IIRC, the scope of the activities of Haavaad law professors as more or less permanent consultants to one or several law firms (notwithstanding Harvard’s prohibition of its law faculty holding “of counsel” positions on law firm letterhead) has always been a source of bemusement/irritation to people inside and outside the Law School. If (for whatever reason), Professor Warren had ceased to be a member of any state bar, she should have received credit for her assistance to counsel of record by footnote (as customary for “nonlawyers”), rather than through “of counsel” credit on the cover of the brief (I doubt she would care as long as the checks cleared). I would hope that the limited resources I contribute to the Massachusetts bar disciplinary system would be directed to more serious threats to the public than this.

Two other points:

1. I was once a member of the New Jersey Bar before I moved to Massachusetts. I finally resigned as of 2011 when I got fed up with contributing to the clients’ security fund of a jurisdiction in which I never set foot on my own. If Professor Warren did the same, I can’t blame her.

2. Whatever the benefit of continuing education may be to practicing lawyers, mandatory CLE rules do more to assist those who provide CLE than anyone else. Massachusetts is one of the shrinking numbers of jurisdictions that do not require CLE (I am exempt in New York only because my sole office is in Massachusetts). In my view (and it appears I may be in agreement with Professor Warren), this is a feature, not a bug.

Again, to the extent Professor Warren was happy to sell her talents to assist the 1%, it’s fair game to state she’s part of the problems of crony capitalism that _both_ the Tea Party and Occupy abhor. The question of whether such conduct constitutes unauthorized practice may be of intellectual interest in Cambridge, but, in relative terms, is merely a sideshow.

I think there is still an issue here. I agree that you can practice in any federal court, regardless of where you are located, so long as you are admitted to practice in that court, or are admitted pro hac vice. I have not seen anything to suggest that she was appearing before any courts improperly. However, as the article states, the issue is the performance of legal work in the state (regardless of whether it was for federal or state court action). If it was performed in MA on a regular basis, she needed to be licensed in MA. Her only office was in MA. Her address listed on her pleadings was in MA. She obviously performed legal work in MA. Even if for federal court, the fact that the legal work was performed in MA makes her subject to MA rules.

Awesome reporting and post, and this isn’t even your day job. Well done, Professor.

Now that Warren has admitted she isn’t licensed in Massachusetts, it’s time for Travelers Insurance to find out if she was licensed anywhere when she provided legal services and it paid her bill for legal services. If she wasn’t, maybe Travelers should consider getting a refund.

Utapao Long Ago | September 24, 2012 at 1:05 pm

Professor Warren has been bombarding us with TV ads stating that she will address the high cost of College Tuition for “Working Families” (I am sick to death of the Buzz Word “Working Families” – what about single people with few tax deductions? We vote as well) BUT here she is using the College Office for her Law Office (Practice??). Some kid in my town wanted to open a Roofing Business out of his parent’s basement/garage was told by the Building Inspector (at an open meeting) in my town to grow up and rent a commercial space…. Not the home. So College Tuition is too high (Bush’s fault I assume) yet she accepts her Tenured Salary – uses the College Office to beat the high Cost of Business Rental and expects to be credible!!!! I wonder if she also got (at one time before running for office) FREE College Housing like the President’s friend Professor Skippy Gates? Here are 3 reasons College cost so much…. Professors using their offices for personal gain and high salaries and FREE HOUSING for highly paid Instructors who should be on their own….. No wonder Kids believe the world owes them security. Sound like a better deal than the so called 1% get. Why don’t the Occupying Clowns chase people like her?

[…] Warren had a continuously operating law practice in Massachusetts for nigh on a decade, although she isn’t licensed to practice law in that state.  The only way Warren can douse this fire is to prove absolutely that she only practiced in […]

What did this woman do or who did she p*** off to be constantly attacked and in the headlines every other day?! Is anyone questioning why Obama lost his license in Illinois?

    Utapao Long Ago in reply to Ernie. | September 24, 2012 at 1:16 pm

    Many people question the President’s status for practicing law….. But like everything else; the records are sealed.

Shouldn’t a HARVARD law professor know better? Or is it like Glenn Reynold’s says “laws are only for the little people”?

[…] As thoroughly researched by Cornell Law Professor ( and conservative blogger) William Jacobson, Democratic Senate candidate Elizabeth Warren practiced law in her Cambridge, Massachusetts office for more than a decade without ever being licensed to practice law in that state. His findings are here. […]

If Harvard’s Leo Gottlieb Professor of Law Liz Warren is any sort of yardstick, meeting “standards of professional behavior and responsibilities” at Harvard Law School is a low, low bar. I wonder is Mr. Gottlieb deserves the honor of Lizzie sitting in his chair….

[…] Associate Clinical Professor of Law and Director of the Securities Law Clinic at Cornell Law School William A. Jacobson, Warren practiced law in Massachusetts without a […]

Habsley Von Reeb | September 24, 2012 at 1:36 pm

Perhaps she is listed under her Indian name–Crap for Brains.

I’m not really that good at understanding much of legal things. But I know doctors have to have state licenses to practice in the state they practice in, and if you don’t, that physician is fined massively, or prosecuted and sent to jail.

I assume the lawyering business is the same, don’t you have to have license in that state? and if you don’t can’t you be prosecuted in that state, because you practiced in that state without a license?

can someone please shed more light on this? Thanks!

Does not Mass. have a criminal prohibition against UPL? What about the rest of the Harvard Law faculty? Does anybody have the time to check on them? At least Prof Dershowitz and the other 2 had the integrity to join the Mass. Bar.

On another matter, does anyone know why both Obama’s surrendered their Illinois Bar licenses? I worked hard for mine and wouldn’t give it up, although I went inactive after retirement.

Why doesn’t the Commonwealth of Massachusetts prosecute her for violating their law? She is a citizen just the like any other who breaks the law, or does being a Democrat give her special privileges in that state?

[…] The fake Indian a fake lawyer too? The debate last Thursday night between Scott Brown and Elizabeth Warren covered ground mostly known to voters. […]

[…] Jacobson broke story. Checked w/several state bars. Here's a link to his post if u need it:… […]

[…] Insurance Company without having a license to practice law in Massachusetts, as Scott Brown recently noted. Warren attempted to deny her role, and referred to a Boston Globe article, but the Globe article […]

The Massachusetts AG takes complaints on the unlicensed practice of law.
Go to , select “consumer resources” and then “consumer assistance” for their online complaint form.

[…] Legal Insurrection conducted thorough research and has discovered that Elizabeth Warren might have worked on the case without a law license, which is against the law. […]

To update, paraphrasing a Fox news report today:
Boston radio station 96.9 FM / radio program ” Jim and Margery ” / On this program Monday Sept 24 Ms Warren admitted in an interview that she is not licensed to practice law in Massachusetts.

[…] » Elizabeth Warren’s law license problem – Le·gal In·sur·rec·tion […]

Does BHO and Michelle have a law licenses problem in Illinois?

A commenter named Josh at another blog said he checked, to see if other lawyers at Harvard Law are licensed with the Massachusetts Board of Bar Overseers. Laurence Tribe is licensed, Alan Dershowitz is licensed, Martha Minow is licensed, Charles Fried is licensed. They all have active status with the MA Bar

A most thorough analysis of the issue. Well done Dr Jacobson.

[…] Warren Been Practicing Law Without a License? William A. Jacobsen reported today in Legal Insurrection the results of his investigation into Elizabeth Warren’s professional history. He finds that […]

Jack The Ripper | September 24, 2012 at 2:54 pm

Something about Chief Teaching Bull seems a little too clever by half.

Do we know if she tried to milk her Native American “status” in any way, whether as an attorney, advisor, consultant, or investor, say, with Indian Gaming Casinos? Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) in the Department of the Interior? Land claims? Water rights? Federal loans to farmers, which was just subject to a multi-billion dollar settlement? Other?

And, of course, it would be interesting to see if her academic writings, other publications (see Amazon), and speeches involve plagiarism.

Researching these things might require a professor, student, or practitioner with full access to Westlaw, Lexis/Nexis, Hein Online, PACER, etc.

[…] a million dollars to help Travelers Insurance deny asbestos compensation to asbestos victims… and she did it while practicing law without a license. And wearing a fake Cherokee […]

I was listening to the “Jim and Margery” radio show in Boston today and Elizabeth Warren was on. She confirmed she is not licensed in Massachusetts and recently resigned her license in New Jersey.

[…] If you are not an active lawyer there is no need to maintain a license Here are the details… Maintained private law practice at Cambridge office for over a decade but not licensed in Massachuse… Quote: Warren attempted to deny her role, and referred to a Boston Globe article, but the Globe […]

It would have been nice if someone in Boston’s elite media circle had decided to be proactive about researching this matter. But I guess investigative journalism isn’t worth doing unless the target is a Republican and/or a Conservative.

Also at the next debate, the moderator needs to ask her ” Why didn’t you get your license in Massachusetts?”

I wonder if she perhaps tried and flunked the MA Bar exam. Would that information be readily available?

On the website one commenter has an innovative defense of Elizabeth Warren’s failure to ever obtain a Massachusetts law license. Their reasoning?

That it would have cost Warren HUNDREDS of dollars a year to maintain that MA law license, plus there were all those burdensome continuing legal education requirements. So really, it was just far too much trouble for Elizabeth Warren to manage. She couldn’t possibly be expected to stay on top of a law license, what with her busy job as a law professor teaching one course a year. I mean, come on – those regulations are time-consuming! She was busy!

Apparently it’s important to remember that rules are only meant for the little people, and it’s our place as minions to applaud the genius of those who are far, far better than us. Elizabeth Warren has far too many IMPORTANT things on her mind to bother herself with trifles such as obtaining a license to practice law in the state she’s been living in for the last 18 years.

(Of course, that still doesn’t explain why Warren went out of her way to resign her NJ law license 13 days ago….)

Typical democrat, laws are for the people, for them laws don’t apply because they are the special ones who RULE over us stupid people. What!!! You mean the liberal media didn’t investigate Elizabeth Warren before this???? Well I imagine they probably had the information on this criminal but suppressed it because Warren is a Democrat. The revelation of criminal activity will probably give her campaign a big boost as democrats have historically voted for their ilk with criminal records. The old man Kennedy was a known criminal and his son Teddy killed a young girl, got away with it, and was elected Senator time and time again. So a criminal past will likely help a democrat get elected, but jaywalking will almost spell doom to any republican candidacy thanks to the Obama/Democrat liberal/socialist/progressive media.

I’d say the world is changing quickly when a law professor with a blog outperforms the entire staff of the Boston Globe and the national media in investigative journalism.

Goodbye, Legacy Media! It was nice while it lasted… er, actually, it pretty much sucked all the way through and I won’t miss you one bit.

[…] Legal Insurrection, Jacobson’s blog: Warren is not licensed to practice law in Massachusetts. Warren’s name does […]

Michele Obama had to turn in her law license in Illinois in 1993, only 4 years after getting it. The records have been sealed as to why. Barack Obama had to turn in his law license in July of 2008, during his campaign, before his nomination. A hearing in July 2008 in which Obama had to attend for 2 days during the busy 2008 Presidential Campaign determined that Barack Obama lied about never having used any other name when asked about the use of aliases in the past, when applying for his law license and replied that he had not. Both forfeitures are recorded online in Illinois State websites. It is now been proven that Elizabeth Warren has been officially found to be 1/8 Sokitumi Indian. The Sokitumi was a small clan of renegades of the Laugh-in Tribe.

She was licensed to practice before the United States Supreme Court. She was representing Travelers and the others in the United States Supreme Court.

Her advice, counseling, and work concerned the United States Supreme Court cases.

It is unlikely that she was giving advice to anyone about Massachusetts law or preparing wills, pleadings or other documents for members of the public in Massachusetts.

It is a stretch to argue that she was in violation of Massachusetts UPL statutes and regulations.

    Mercyneal in reply to slp. | September 24, 2012 at 4:10 pm


    How do you know it was “unlikely” that she was giving law advice or preparing wills, etc for members of the public?

    As the Globe reports, Ms. Warren has refused to give them any information about other cases she’s worked on – and these could include cases in Massachusetts.

    Given that she has made false statements about her heritage and has not come clean about it, and her bizarre statement hat she was the first nursing mother in the history of New Jersey to take the Bar exam, why should any of us be inclined to think it was “unlikely” that she wasn’t doing other legal work in MA?

      Jack The Ripper in reply to Mercyneal. | September 24, 2012 at 4:25 pm

      Do we know if she was the first to nurse during the New Jersey bar exam or just the first Native American to nurse during the bar exam?

      More importantly, what difference does it make if she nursed during the bar exam? Foolish empty symbolism. Now, take the bar exam while in labor or while passing a kidney stone, and that would be worth noting.

      Is Harvard Law School at fault for trumpeting that they had a person of color law professor who was no more than 1/32nd Native American? Seems pretty sloppy and negligent on the part of HLS.

      Wonder what other statistics at HLS are less than completely accurate: % minority applications, % minority acceptance, % minority enrollment, % minority graduation, % minority placement, minority graduate earnings.

      It smacks of that 1986 movie, Soul Man, about a student who pretends to be black in order to attend Harvard Law School. James Earl Jones, Rae Dawn Chong, Leslie Nielsen, C. Thomas Howell. See:

      Maybe the Scott Brown campaign should pay some TV stations to air that movie a few times. Maybe post a link to Amazon, Netflix, etc., for people to purchase, queue Soul Man.

[…] Insurrection’s Bill Jacobson has done yeoman’s work in uncovering what could be a game changer in the Massachusetts Senate […]

Well I belive this go back to her great grandfather and his indian looking cheek bones. See they always told her she was indian and that like her great grandfather she could practice law wherever she pleases and doesn’t need a license because of her indian heritage.. hehe

I did not see this comment so I might be repeating something


[…] According to the Legal Insurrection blog, this was hardly the only case Warren was involved in. “Warren represented not just Travelers, but numerous other companies starting in the late 1990s working out of and using her Harvard Law School office in Cambridge, which she listed as her office of record on briefs filed with various courts,” Legal Insurrection’s William A. Jacobson reported on Monday morning. […]

Jack The Ripper | September 24, 2012 at 4:42 pm

I am going to miss Professor Jacobson after the Administration sends him to Re-education Camp in Siberia. I heard he has already been ordered to report. Oh, wait! I went to Cornell for four years and the climate is kind of like Siberia. Maybe he is already in the The Eastern Time Zone branch of the Siberian Re-Education Camp. Better learn morse code.

Jack The Ripper | September 24, 2012 at 4:53 pm

Wait a minute!

She gets paid $350,000 per year to teach one class at Harvard Law School!!!

That’s a lot of wampum!!!!!

I mean, the Indians were not paid more than a few beads for the ENTIRE island of Manhattan.

Can Harvard afford to lose such a valuable faculty member to the U.S. Senate?

When she was not scalping Harvard for so much money and interest free loans and free office space, did she ever protest “redskin” mascots like the Washington Redskins, the Atlanta Braves, Cleaveland Indians, Kansas City Chiefs? ‘Cause that would be ironic.

    Jack The Ripper in reply to Jack The Ripper. | September 24, 2012 at 4:55 pm

    Cleveland, not Cleaveland. Have a good friend by the latter name. Sorry.

    Plus Elizabeth Warren got $200,000+ to represent an evil insurance company against asbestos victim working people who were dying of exposure. She probably had her bathroom redone so she could shower off the stink of plaintiffs whose cases she had dismissed.

    It is tough work, but Elizabeth Warren was willing to do it if the money was right.

Professor Jacobson hits another one out of the park.


[…] as William Jacobson reports at Legal Insurrection, the Travelers Insurance issue may have […]

There is a very simple explanation for all of this….her Cambridge office is on what is clearly Cherokee tribal land and does not fall under the jurisdiction of Massachusetts law!

Even Warren’s reason for giving up her NJ law license is malarky. I was admitted to the bar in NJ a number of years ago, but have voluntarily given it up as I no longer practiced there. Upon passing the bar, new applicants were required to take several hours of what was called “Skills and Methods” — that is, all the practical stuff you never learn in law school. It was a one time event and took all of about 10 hours. Never, in over two decades, was I required to take CLE to keep up my bar membership. Maybe things have changed in the past few years, but in the past you paid your $200 or so, filled out a form and that was it.

So, if you’re a lib in Mass. you don’t need a license to be an Indian or a lawyer and if you put a D behind your name you automatically get most of the votes? Sweet deal!!
/sarc off /reality on

[…] now only is Elizabeth Warren a fake Indian, she could fake a fake lawyer too! According to Legal Insurrection, Elizabeth Warren is not licensed to practice law in Massachusetts. The site says that not only […]

Prof. Warren should start describing herself as an “undocumented Massachusetts lawyer.”

Jack The Ripper | September 24, 2012 at 5:24 pm

Like marktuoni, I, too, was thinking about Indian Sovereignty as a possible out for Chief Teaching Bull. But, there is a wrinkle. She left the reservation (so to speak) and practiced in non-Indian Sovereignty tribunals, with all the attendant obligations, including, say, Duty of Candor to the Court as an officer of the Court. This is especially important in her case.

Jack The Ripper | September 24, 2012 at 5:28 pm

Has she released her tax returns?

Interest free loans usually have income imputed to the borrow at the Applicable Federal Rate (AFR). See:

Did she pay income tax on the imputed income? Or, is she subject to some special Tax Treaty? Do Native Americans get income tax breaks not available to “Non-Native Americans?” If so, has she claimed any of those?

[…] According to the Legal Insurrection blog, this was hardly the only case Warren was involved in. “Warren represented not just Travelers, but numerous other companies starting in the late 1990s working out of and using her Harvard Law School office in Cambridge, which she listed as her office of record on briefs filed with various courts,” Legal Insurrection’s William A. Jacobson reported on Monday morning. […]

If she had opened a nail salon in MA without a license she would be in the GreyBar Hotel by now.

Well Warren, it looks like you’ll get your chance to be the little squaw after all, once you’re locked up.I’m sure your butch cellmate is buttering up the maize for you right now, in fact.

    Ricardo_Queso in reply to Ricardo_Queso. | September 24, 2012 at 5:43 pm

    She’s even already got a name picked out for you: Poke-a-dumbazz.

    Nice. Professor Jacobson, do you approve of this comment? Is this the sort of thing you allow to be posted on the web site of a man who clearly identifies himself as a Professor of Law at Cornell University?

    If you do not respond by 5 PM Tuesday 9/25, as a Cornell alumnus I will bring this to the attention of President Skorton.

Professor do you think its odd that Professor Warren chose to suddenly resign from the NJ Bar just a few weeks ago? Why would she do that when she could have just gone inactive? But I was thinking that the problem she has is that she was inactive in NJ while she was practicing law w/o a license in MA and I think that would be very problematic because I don’t think lawyers are allowed to be inactive and continue to practice law and represent clients. In fact I believe that is considered practicing law w/o a license and is a crime.

I spoke with the Massachusetts Bar of Overseers and they said this WHOLE story is a non story and non issue. NEXT!

And from the MSM reporting on this we hear…crickets?

    Cassie in reply to jasond. | September 24, 2012 at 8:05 pm

    Right now they’re all communicating with each other to make sure that they have their stories straight. Once they’ve decided upon a coordinated plan of action, we’ll hear from them all tomorrow.

    “Nothing to see here folks, move along!”

    What a joke. The Boston Globe should be embarrassed for themselves. These people cannot call themselves journalists; they are merely political hacks.

Jack The Ripper | September 24, 2012 at 6:04 pm

Is Laurence Tribe Native American?

Yuk, yuk, yuk, yuk, yuk! Me so funny.

Professor Jacobson:

In the event the mainstream media does not report on this, I urge you to keep pressing the New Jersey and Texas Bar as to when Warren’s law licenses expired.

I would also urge you to keep pressing as to the cases she has worked on- you know, the cases she wouldn’t talk about with the Boston Globe.

[…] From Legal Insurrection Warren represented not just Travelers, but numerous other companies starting in the late 1990s working out of and using her Harvard Law School office in Cambridge, which she listed as her office of record on briefs filed with various courts.  Warren, however, never has been licensed to practice law in Massachusetts. […]

Not only Pocahontas robbed legitimate american indians of a coveted position at Harvard. She is also robbed legitimate MA lawyer of a lucrative pay out. Warren has become a symbol of a certified pathological liar.

All of her pro hac vice applications should be reviewed to see if she misrepresented her law licensure status and her ability to practice law to the various courts where she was seeking pro hac vice admission. usually in a pro hac vice application you must certify that you are in good standing and authorized to appear before the courts in the jurisdiction where you are licensed. If you are inactive in NJ, then you are not authorized to appear before Court in NJ and therefore you are misrepresenting your professional license status to a Court.

Business Insider is the first mainstream org that has reported on this:

Maybe now there’s a warren — er, warrant — out for her arrest.

Jack The Ripper | September 24, 2012 at 7:07 pm

Look. We all need to calm down and take a deep breath.

This is Massachusetts, and it is not like she let a campaign worker drown in her car or wake up younger relatives or students to possibly date rape someone.

She merely failed to get a law license and a business license and attribute a Native American recipe to the New York Times and properly check whether she was 1/32nd Native American.

And there is no proof that she has committed academic plagiarism, copyright infringement, failed to pay business license/occupational license taxes, or failed, say, to report imputed income under the Applicable Federal Rate.

All we really know is that her opponent may have been an underwear model and she likes to talk about “whipping out her tits” while taking the New Jersey Bar Exam. OK? So, you see, there are libertines on both sides of the campaign. [And I freely admit that I would have scratched my balls during the Georgia Bar Exam had I known that such conduct was allowed. But, alas, we did not have the internet back then.].

And, she needs to be given credit for spawning Occupy Wall Street, so that a bunch of former college students who cannot or will not find work can do something with their time other than brood over the fact that they are drowning in student debt (that is very, very difficult to discharge in bankruptcy), so that Native Americans like her, who do understand the Bankruptcy Code can get paid by insurance companies to tie off asbestos claims and get paid $350,000 a year to teach one class at Harvard Law School. She needed the Wampum! Is that so wrong?

Would it be possible for anybody how paid her for her legal work to get a refund? Presumably she sold her services as a lawyer. Not being a licensed lawyer means that was fraud, doesn’t it?

[…] according to this article there is a bigger issue for Elizabeth Warren than the hypocrisy Scott Brown highlighted, and that […]

[…] A. Jacobson reported at Legal Insurrection that he contacted the Massachusetts Board of Bar Overseers, who responded that Elizabeth Warren had […]

OUTSTANDING AND THOROUGH WORK, Professor Jacobson. God bless you.
The problem is deeper than just Warren, however. Harvard has been on a steady descent into corruption since the administration, fellows and overseers abandoned defense of integrity as one of our core principles. They talk a great game and make examples of students, but when it comes to really standing up for integrity like our first President, Dunster, they are awol.
We need a house-cleaning at Harvard.
For example:
1. Professors speak publicly about supporting Republicans and fellow faculty call for an academic panel to convene and fire them for academic fraud. As a result, students and staff who wish to express non-liberal opinions shut up to protect themselves.
2. A prominent professor commits research fraud and is blacklisted by the government before Harvard fires him.
3. A white law professor lies on EEO forms required by the federal government and takes the place of a minority.
4. Harvard recognizes major racial fraud in applications for admissions, but only implements steps to curb it at the law school so it can continue to report inflated diversity numbers.
5. Its legal office knows of a prominent member of its leadership who has misrepresented her race to Harvard, but despite its obligation to investigate and pursue sanctions, it does nothing.
6. The Harvard administration and its Fellows and Overseers have the legal obligation to protect Harvard’s ethical culture, but countenance (or direct?) inaction by the administration.
Is it surprising, then that the biggest academic cheating scandal in Ivy League history developed at this Harvard?
Please keep up the good fight. Your work could help get our mess cleaned up. We would be deeply indebted.
John Veridicus

I thought she said that her mom said that she had a license to practice law – so there! 🙂

I mean, if what her mom says is good enough for the law in one case, it should be good enough for another case – or are you callin’ her mom a liar??!?

Some libs on other blogs state that for an attorney to argue before a federal judge, they need only to be licensed in any state, not necessarily the state the case is being tried in. Her defenders tate that since she didn’t give advice to clients with State of Mass. cases, she need not be licensed in Mass. I don’t think that’s true. Can someone cinfirm or deny?

For many years NJ did not require CLE of lawyers.

That all changed when, every other year, starting at the end of 2010 or 2011 (depending upon the person’s birthday), lawyers with NJ licenses had to complete 24 hours of CLE to keep their NJ licenses active.

To renew their licenses lawyers had to send in a signed statement attesting to the fact that they had completed the CLE requirement. No further proof was required beyond the attestation, but the paperwork warned of possible auditing of attendance records.

Sadly, it appears that the required form does not bear a perjury statement (, but a waiver for hardship does.

Source 1 : I watched as my wife spent 12 hours of Thanksgiving weekend and 12 hours of Christmas holiday packing in last-minute online CLE requirements to keep her NJ license active. Like Ms. Warren my wife does not reside in NJ.

Source 2: Links below to NJ Bar docs:


I note in passing: Not registering in Massachusetts also means an avoidance/evasion of at least several thousand dollars of MA bar fees.

[…] William Jacobson’s explosive new report at Legal Insurrection wherein he exposes Elizabeth Warren’s missing Massachusetts law […]

The arrogance is simply unbelievable.

[…] She made excuses for her fake native American heritage, but what will she have to say about not being licensed to practice law in Massachusetts, where she’s practiced law for years?Warren represented not just Travelers, but numerous […]

You’ve successfully revealed Elizabeth Warren as the third partner in the law firm of Dewey Cheatem and HOW.

[…] Jacobson’s article on an issue that has cropped up in the key Massachusetts Senate race: Elizabeth Warren’s law license problem. I think it reveals the complete  lack of real investigative journalism conducted by our elite […]

All I know is that should Scott Brown win this election, at the very least, the very least, he ought to contact a certain professor and ask him about his favorite beverage!

Come to think of it. He ought to do so win or lose.

Jack The Ripper | September 25, 2012 at 12:03 am

According to a Wikipedia entry:

Warren ran unopposed for the Democratic nomination, and won it on June 2, 2012 at the state Democratic convention with a record 95.77% of the votes of delegates.[45] She has been endorsed by Governor of Massachusetts Deval Patrick.[46] Warren and her opponent Scott Brown have agreed to engage in four televised debates, including one with a consortium of media outlets in Springfield and one on WBZ-TV in Boston.[47]
Warren received a primetime speaking slot at the 2012 Democratic National Convention, immediately before Bill Clinton on the evening of September 5, 2012. Warren positioned herself as a champion of a beleaguered middle class that “has been chipped, squeezed and hammered.” According to Warren, “People feel like the system is rigged against them. And here’s the painful part: They’re right. The system is rigged.” Warren said Wall Street CEOs “wrecked our economy and destroyed millions of jobs” and that they “still strut around Congress, no shame, demanding favors, and acting like we should thank them.” [48][49][50][51]

Now, let’s look at this, line by line:

Wikipedia: Warren ran unopposed for the Democratic nomination, and won it on June 2, 2012 at the state Democratic convention with a record 95.77% of the votes of delegates.[45]

My Response: OK. That is fortunate for her. Does not prove that she has the right stuff to beat an opponent. And she has never held elected office before. It is inspiring, however, that she is willing to take a 50% pay cut to go from teaching just one class at Harvard Law School to the full-time demands of being a U.S. Senator. It is also generous of Harvard Law School to let such a valuable person leave, given that Harvard pays her $350,000 a year (plus free office space, office supplies, benefits, other resources, etc.) to teach just one class.

Wikipedia: She has been endorsed by Governor of Massachusetts Deval Patrick.[46] Warren and her opponent Scott Brown have agreed to engage in four televised debates, including one with a consortium of media outlets in Springfield and one on WBZ-TV in Boston.[47]

My Response: Not much to comment on here.

Wikipedia: Warren received a primetime speaking slot at the 2012 Democratic National Convention, immediately before Bill Clinton on the evening of September 5, 2012.

My Response: Without checking any facts, this sounds about right. Now, ABC News’s text transcript of Professor Warren’s DNC speech seems to support the accuracy of the following, which appears on Wikipedia:

Warren positioned herself as a champion of a beleaguered middle class that “has been chipped, squeezed and hammered.” According to Warren, “People feel like the system is rigged against them. And here’s the painful part: They’re right. The system is rigged.”

My Response: Gee, Lizzy, why would that be? Because the middle class dreams of educating its children and professors like you make $350,000 a year to teach one class, supported, of course, by student loans and other government distortions of the market that have enabled college tuition to increase at much more than the rate of inflation for many years, regardless of demographics and the supply of both academics and cost-saving technology? Because people like you, who appear quite Aryan, are able to claim “minority” status, despite the fact that you were, by your own calculus, only 1/32nd minority, but the middle class people and their children who compete mightily for positions and admissions and scholarships often cannot get minority breaks, and, indeed, minority students may be fraudulently induced into drowning themselves in student loans by false minority/diversity marketing by schools like Harvard that is predicated upon people like you?

Wikipedia: Warren said Wall Street CEOs “wrecked our economy and destroyed millions of jobs” and that they “still strut around Congress, no shame, demanding favors, and acting like we should thank them.” [48][49][50][51]

My Response: They say that a person’s criticism of another may often be just a revealing projection of their own flaws. Would it be fair to say that Elizabeth Warren’s participation in the mortgage meltdown via the FDIC’s Advisory Committee on Economic Inclusion might be a contributing factor to what “wrecked our economy and destroyed millions of jobs” and that she struts around Harvard Law School and Massachusetts and hopes to “strut around Congress, no shame, demanding favors, and acting like we should thank [her].”

Further from ABC’s text of Professor Warren’s speech: Talk to the construction worker I met from Malden, Massachusetts, who went nine months without finding work.

My Response: Does unionization create more jobs, or fewer? Does it make having a job sort of a “club” that is cushy and fun for the unionized workers who have been admitted to the job market, but stinks for everyone else who is excluded?

Warren: Talk to the head of a manufacturing company in Franklin trying to protect jobs but worried about rising costs.

My Response: Do higher taxes and energy costs make it easier or more difficult for the head of this manufacturing company in Franklin to protect, or, Heaven Forfend, actually create jobs?

Warren: Talk to the student in Worcester who worked hard to finish his college degree, and now he’s drowning in debt. Their fight is my fight, and it’s Barack Obama’s fight too.

My Response: Well between her attacks on Big Oil and other follies, you have fought hard to load such people up with debt, and taxes, and higher energy costs, and less fluid labor markets, and what was supposed to be laxer lending, but has now become constricted lending, at least in the private sector.

My Verdict:

In short, Elizabeth Warren is a woman who has no problem exploiting racial spoils, tenured compensation, business/occupational taxes, and God knows what else, while loading up students and aspiring homeowners with debt, jacking up their tuition, energy, and other costs via unionization, is willing to kill jobs via energy, tax, and labor policy at a time when our economy is weak and the world economy is shaky. Some may retort that she supports laxer bankruptcy laws for those loaded with debt, but is that the way to go? Saddle everyone in the ocean with the weighty wet clothing of debt, but hire more lifeguards for those who go under? Elizabeth Warren is the embodiment of most of everything that is wrong with elitist, liberal gentry, and social engineers who, from up on high, look down their noses at everyone else and have the temerity to think that they have the ability to stride the earth, master of the universe style, and order the complex, dynamic, and often spontaneous affairs of others. Get her tax returns. Find out whether she declared imputed interest from interest free loans. Find out whether she gives to charity like Mitt Romney, or more like Joe Biden and “boxer shorts” Gore. Get the pro hac filings. Get the state bar documents. Get the Business Tax and Occupational License filings. Expose fraud and opportunism.

Professor, this is the sort of investigative journalism formerly engaged in by previously-named journalists. Now, they’re just called “Obama campaign operatives with a by-line” ( credit to Instapundit for originally coining that phrase).

This word will be picked up by one and another and another, until the MA campaign operatives with a by line” have no choice but to acknowledge the discovery, even if they spin pure gold to turn the story.

kudos to you. Your persistent efforts will save us all from the prize warren seeks on 2016.

Jack The Ripper | September 25, 2012 at 12:31 am

I forgot to add: What are the connections and overlaps on the home lending and housing crash between “Bar Exam Tits” Elizabeth Warren and “Bitch Tits” Barney Frank? They are both culpable. But, what are the machinations?

There is one intellectual consistency here. All those desperate, debt-ladened, unemployed and unemployable college grads, laid off homeowners, persons who have simply exiting the job market altogether, disability claimants, prematurely retired union workers and state and local government workers with nicely feathered retirements have a lot of free time, not just to be Occupy Wall Street protestors, but volunteers and low-paid workers on her Senate campaign. Its not like she is paying them out of her pocket, if they are getting paid, at all. And, Sandra FlUCKe is right: There should be free birth control. And not just for the Occupy Wall Street crowd that Elizabeth Warren wrought, because after watching Chief Teaching Bull espouse her ideas, I feel like I am about to be impregnated by Elizabeth Warren, which, because I am male, can only mean one thing: From Behind!

Sorry for being so intemperate, but this woman “has jumped the shark.” [Apologies to Roz Kelly, a.k.a. Pinky Tuscadero, and her younger sister, Leather Tuscadero.].

Good Night and God Bless the United States of America as we seek to find our renewed “Happy Days.”

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