I really try not to read the comments in other blogs about me.  In the early days I did care, but I learned that it’s generally not healthy.

But when I saw that Volokh Conspiracy had a short post by Jonathan Adler about Elizabeth Warren — VC’s first foray into the issue, I believe — I did read.

It’s still not healthy.  But one comment (by a commenter, not Adler) caught my eye, referring to a sentence in my original post about Warren’s law license problem:

I recommend that people view Jacobson’s posts with skepticism…. For example, Jacobson’s very first post says “Warren’s Texas Bar information indicates she is not eligible to be licensed in Texas.”   In fact, she holds Texas bar membership and has been paying dues, as an inactive member.  If she were not eligible to practice, upon payment of the higher dues required of active members, those very words — “Not Eligible To Practice in Texas” — would appear on her profile page as it now does for others.

Hmmm.  I have been meticulous in the facts I have reported about Warren.  It is true that Warren now is shown as “inactive” and has been inactive since 1992, a fact reported by Rob Eno the other day.

So where did I get the idea that Warren was “not eligible”?  In my original post, I didn’t include a screen shot of Warren’s entry, just a link to the Texas Bar page which now says “inactive”.

But I did take a screen shot prior to my first post, I just didn’t include it in the post.  Here is the screen shot taken on September 21 showing that Warren was listed as “Not Eligible To Practice In Texas”:

I did not take a screen shot of the “click for detail” link on this page, unfortunately.

But here’s what the same page looks like now using the same link:

In the time period since my first post appeared, Warren’s status on the Texas Bar page changed.  And address information has been removed.

Numerous commenters and e-mailers have been writing that in Texas a law faculty member is not able to go on “inactive” status.  Thus, if Warren were not actively paying full dues to Texas as a law faculty member, it would make sense that she would be “not eligible” rather than “inactive.”

Why Warren’s status changed after this controversy broke from “not eligible to practice law in Texas” to “inactive” is a mystery.  Just one of many.

Update:  I should add, as mentioned in my first post, that on Thursday night, September 20, after the Brown-Warren debate, I e-mailed Warren’s press secretary, as follows:

Does Professor Warren have an active law license in any jurisdiction? If so, where?

Please respond by 7:30 a.m. so I can include your response in an article.

It is entirely possible that the Warren campaign then reached out to Texas to get the status changed.  Because by 11:39:56 GMT on September 24, the status had been changed and the contact information removed, per the Google Cache page of Warren’s entry.  Either that, or it’s a massive coincidence.

Update No. 2 — going back over the research from September 21, I found this link to the “click for detail” which accompanied the “not eligible” designation.  It reflects an attorney who is suspended or claiming a CLE exemption.  Here is the Google Cache image as of September 8:

Here’s the wording:

Administrative Suspension
This attorney has been suspended by the State Bar of Texas for an Administrative reason. The suspension may be the result of one or more of the following:

  • Failure to pay Inactive or Active Membership Dues
  • Failure to pay Attorney Occupational Tax
  • MCLE requirements non-compliance
  • Texas Guaranteed Student Loan Default
  • Failure to pay Child Support
  • Failure to take A Guide To The Basics Of Law Practice course

For more information, please contact the State Bar of Texas Membership department at (800)204-2222 ext. 1383

MCLE Non-Practicing
A Minimum Continuing Legal Education (MCLE) Non-practicing Exemption has been claimed. Active members who have not engaged in the practice of law in Texas during the entirety of an MCLE compliance year are eligible to claim an exemption from the MCLE requirements. While claiming this exemption, an attorney is not eligible to practice law in Texas. Active attorneys who remove the non-practicing exemption are immediately eligible to practice in Texas.
For more information, please contact the State Bar of Texas Membership department at (800)204-2222 ext. 1383

Thus, it appears that at the time I notified the Warren campaign on Thursday night, September 20, that I was questioning where she was admitted to practice law, Warren was administratively suspended or otherwise ineligible.

It is possible Warren was claiming an MCLE non-practicing exemption.  Warren could have removed the exemption, thus restoring her eligibility but subjecting her to CLE requirements.  Remember, Warren said she surrendered her New Jersey license on September 11, 2012, because she could not meet the CLE requirements.

Sometime by or on Monday, September 24, Warren’s status was changed to “inactive” and other information was removed from Warren’s Texas Bar page.  On Monday I’ll try to find out how and why.

(The wording of this second update has been clarified soon after original posting.)

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