Image 01 Image 03

Me on radio talking Elizabeth Warren’s law license problem

Me on radio talking Elizabeth Warren’s law license problem

I was on two radio shows yesterday, the Michael Graham Show and Howie Carr Show in Boston, talking about Elizabeth Warren. I addressed some of the misconceptions and misunderstandings, as well as some of the incorrect defenses being raised (more on that later).

Here are the audios:

Michael Graham (click on link and audio will pop-up)(audio also here).

Howie Carr:

Watch this at WRKO

Also, issue was discussed by Rush yesterday (via DailyRushbo).

Update: No, Mass. Board of Bar Overseers has not exonerated Elizabeth Warren.


Donations tax deductible
to the full extent allowed by law.


Great going!!

My Fox Boston asked Warren about her law license. Note she doesn’t say anything about when her law licenses expired:

FOX 25 tried to speak with Warren, but her campaign said her schedule was too tight, and she just did not have the time.

FOX 25 caught up with Warren earlier in the day after a report surfaced about her legal background and where she is licensed to practice. She is not license to practice law in Massachusetts.

When asked, Warren responded, “I haven’t practiced any law since 2010 when I went down to do the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, and I’ve been a member of the bar in Texas for all of my career, I’m a member of the Supreme Court Bar, and until a few weeks ago, the bar in New Jersey, so that’s what I’ve done. I don’t know more about those charges.”

Warren’s campaign says she has never practiced law out of her office in Cambridge.

Read more:

    Observer in reply to Mercyneal. | September 25, 2012 at 9:52 am

    If Warren never practiced law out of her Cambridge office, then why do all those briefs in cases where she was listed as either counsel of record, or “of counsel,” also show her address and phone number in Cambridge?

    The briefs in the Travelers’ case, in the FCC case, in the Credit Management case, in the National Gypsum case, and several others all show Elizabeth Warren’s office address as Cambridge, Massachusetts.

    She can’t have it both ways.

    Well, she’s got a problem in Texas too, then, because while she is licensed by the State Bar of Texas, her license is inactive according to the State Bar. With an inactive license, you must certify under penalty of perjury to the State Bar that no portion of your income was supplemented by your Texas Law License.

Great. I am glad you are pursuing this.

Elizabeth Warren is in a pickle. I agree with you, there is more here than her supporters are letting on. I especially note the silence from Elizabeth Warren so far.

And let’s not forget the hypocrisy of Elizabeth Warren, who claims to be a consumer advocate, helping Travelers Insurance defeat asbestos claims of union working people. And Elizabeth got $200,000+ for doing so part time.

    Observer in reply to EBL. | September 25, 2012 at 9:32 am

    Warren’s legal work on behalf of Traveler’s is even more impressive when you consider the fact that she did it without actually having a law office from which to practice!

I think this a learning experience for Mr. Brown. He thought he could tame the liberal masses in Ma by taking liberal positions in the Senate and they immediately went for his throat with a hugely funded well coordinated campaign. Niow that he knows that trying to appeal to liberals in Ma won’t work to safeguard his seat, he will hopefully turn a new leaf and vote Republican in the senate.

The reason(s) that Lyin’ Lizzie gave up her bar status in New Jersey continue to intrigue me.

She said (reportedly) yesterday that she couldn’t meet the CLE requirements, but that seems dubious.

I looked up New Jersey’s CLE stuff, and you can…

1. get a waiver for the entire CLE requirement, OR

2. get an extension of the deadline for completion

both on application and for good cause shown. I very seriously doubt that the bar people in New Jersey would refuse the application of a Harvard law professor in the middle of a senatorial campaign.

So, I am left wondering just why Lizzie let her bar card go.

Has anyone checked to see if Warren took the Massachusetts Bar exam and failed?

And the wagons start to circle:

“Michael Fredrickson, general counsel for the BBO, says he does not believe a law professor would be considered to have “a continuous presence” or “an office practicing law.”

“If they actually practice here – as some part-time law professors at some of the smaller schools do – they might,” Fredrickson says. “But being a professor at one of the large schools, their office is a professor’s office, and the fact that they tend to dabble in the practice of law doesn’t run afoul of our rule. I don’t think Elizabeth Warren would fall within that, such that she would have to register here.”

Dabble? Dabble??? Could I get $200,000 just for dabbling?

I wonder if the clients who paid her all that money realized that Elizabeth Warren was just ‘dabbling’…or that she was never licensed in Massachusetts. Did she inform them of that fact?

Question: Did Warren work on any Massachusetts-based cases in the last eighteen years?

Finding out the answer to that would seem to be the work of a journalist – you know, digging up important facts that powerful people don’t want the public to know about. Facts that might even swing an election.

Ooooh, but wait – it’s one of OUR candidates! Never mind – nothing to see here folks, move along.

Do you people even realize how transparent you are? And I say that as a leftist.

What a total embarrassment for the field of journalism. Reporters right now should be doing their *job* and digging up facts, not obtaining ass-covering quotes from establishment figures. Wow, a phone call or two. What intrepid work. What dedication to your craft. A job well done!

    Observer in reply to Cassie. | September 25, 2012 at 9:37 am

    So in the future, any non-licensed lawyer wannabe charged with the unauthorized practice of law in Massachusetts has a ready-made defense (even if he or she earned hundreds of thousands of dollars in legal fees):

    I was just “dabbling,” your honor!

    walls in reply to Cassie. | September 25, 2012 at 9:51 am

    Dabble indeed! Plus what kind of hairs is this idiot Fredrickson trying to split – saying differences apply to “small school” and “large school” professors? If you are a “medium school” professor, I guess you just go crazy trying to figure out what group to join.

    Henry Hawkins in reply to Cassie. | September 25, 2012 at 10:46 am

    A little dabble do ya.

Golly, two hundred thousand smackers for “dabbling” in the practice of law. Doesn’t that place her well into the one percent?

I am no fan of Chief Spreading Bull, but is she licensed somewhere? My understanding, possibly inexact (and someone please correct me if so) is that if you are licensed in any state there is some kind of federal work you can do. For example, if I am licensed in Michigan I think, possibly in error, that I could appear before the NLRB in Wisconsin. I believe most states a court can grant you a temporary waiver.

So it is possible that she was not violating any law or bar rule; it’s possible, of course, that she was.

Curiously enough, the media that was so eager to see Mitt Romney’s tax returns doesn’t seem to be interested in Warren’s. I wonder why.

    Can the Massachusetts lawyers tell us if Warren needed to have a business license if she was, in fact, running a law practice out of her Cambridge office?

    I’m wondering if her campaign is denying she used her Cambridge office for a law practice because she failed to comply with more than just the lawyer licensing rules.

Wholly apart from what some ignorant functionary at the MA Overseers said without having done even 3 minutes of cursory investigation of Elizabeth Warren’s practice of law in MA, the most fascinating part of the story is Warren’s Bar Status in Texas and New Jersey from the time of her admissions until today.

Since she has admitted never having been admitted to practice in MA, the sole basis on which she could practice law ANYWHERE (forgetting right now about MA)is her having an active, current and valid license status with SOME State Bar. That has to be Texas and/or New Jersey. As Professor Jacobson noted on the radio shows (listen to his interviews because they’re great explications of his findings of fact and law!), if you’re “inactive” that means you are NOT allowed to practice law, it means you are representing to the Bar where you’re admitted that you are not practicing law, are not being compensated for practicing law, and are not part of that class of laywers to whom all the Disciplinary rules and regulations of your State Bar apply–the Bar in essence “doesn’t have to worry about you” when you’re on an “inactive list.” If Warren was “inactive” with both Texas and New Jersey while representing Travelers and all her other clients, it’s a huge problem for her.

For Elizabeth Warren to suddenly resign from the NJ Bar raises a host of red flags. She said in some interview she was “inactive” with NJ “for a long time.” How long? When she first went inactive with NJ did she pay a lesser fee to go inactive and was she current with that fee since going inactive? Did she have to file forms with NJ certifying she was not “practicing law” and if so, those filings could very well prove she lied to the NJ Bar AND to all the federal courts where she is listed on briefs as “of counsel.”

Then of course there’s the fact that she could very well have practiced law while living in MA. Did she ever help anyone with a real estate closing? Did she ever help anyone with a loan application? Did she ever write a letter to someone’s landlord? I don’t know any lawyers who don’t help family and friends and do pro bono work to help people who can’t afford a lawyer. Even if she wasn’t paid for it, if she was practicing law and advising anyone in MA she needed to be admitted in MA.

Read Spy the Lie: Former CIA Officers Teach You How to Detect Deception, 2012…
Failure to answer, denial, non-answer statements, inconsistent statements, referral statements, attack mode…
Your Lie-ger counter will go crazy around Lizzie.

Lieawatha: Deception as Lifestyle, coming to an election near you.

Let us not forget that she also took $10K from LTV Steel helping them write a brief that supported LTV’s attempt to cancel pension obligations while they were in bankruptcy. JammieWF has the details.

Note the hypocrisy of taking money from LTV and then later criticizing them. That would make a nice 30 second spot on the radio.

    SGLawrence in reply to stevewhitemd. | September 25, 2012 at 10:35 am

    This itself raises an ethical issue which I tweeted Professor Jacobson about earlier. It’s completely NOT ok to trash your former clients on legal or factual matters, even if you’re not “revealing confidences.” It’s such a blatant appearance of impropriety in and of itself. Wonder how Warren’s colleagues at Harvard cover that issue for law students taking Ethics classes–and when Warren studied law at Rutgers eons ago, there were courses on Ethics and Attorney-Client issues. Moreover, if she was admitted to the Bar of New Jersey and Texas, there were Continuing Legal Education Requirements if those two states are like most states and among the requirements are to keep up with Ethical issues. Just ONE of the many issues Warren’s forms filed with Texas and New Jersey raise.

There is no law license problem, unless you are a statist who believes in government monopoly. Government restricts competition by “allowing” people to hold a license in order to practice a trade, provide a service, or operate a business, and monopoly pricing follows. Licenses are anti-market and anti-freedom. They are most certainly big government authoritarianism.

    SGLawrence in reply to khan. | September 25, 2012 at 10:39 am

    Well it would be a lot of fun hearing Elizabeth Warren make the argument that she’s launching an “Occupy MA” Movement and initiating a federal antitrust case on behalf of all the lawyers in Massachusetts who are practicing law there but who aren’t admitted to the MA Bar. Since it’s only a “federal” case when you bring an antitrust action, do you think she can ride on the coattails of her “inactive” Texas and New Jersey bar admissions in the federal district court?

MaggotAtBroadAndWall | September 25, 2012 at 10:47 am

This is not investment advice. But to this layman I am predicting a “run” on Crisco followed by a Crisco shortage.

The fake Indian is gonna have to make herself as slippery as possible to avoid being caught on this one.

Seems that the tax return would go a long way to answering some of the questions raised. Warren has released bits of her tax return

However, she didn’t release the Sch C. As a result, we can’t see whether she claims to have engaged in the practice of law. We can see from the released returns that she claimed all the income in Massachusetts. Therefore, whatever the business was, it was first, substantial and hardly “dabbling” and second, located within the Commonwealth of Mass.

That said, a shame that the fix appears to be in: the BBO appears uninterested without any review and Mass Lawyers Weekly scrapped any journalistic integrity and fell over themselves to defend her.

She’s really not answering many questions at all because mainstram media isn’t asking.

A lawyer who would “check the box” on forms, knowingly declaring she is a minority – a term with a legal definition, mind you, that her “family lore” canard does NOT meet – and argue endlessly that she “knows” her “heritage”…..denying documented evidence proving her “family lore” is blatantly untrue…..

A lawyer who would allow her bar status in 2 states to fall “inactive” allows her name – and MA/Harvard address – to be placed on several legal documents as “council”(and perhaps several unknown, undocumented cases, as well), who received payment for these cases over several years…..denies she was “practicing law”……

A lawyer who has made several statements which have been proven to be false (e.g. “first nursing woman to take the NJ bar,” and “…my parents were forced to elope….”), and ignores the evidence proving her statements false……

….is there ANYTHING that indicates that this lawyer, Lizzie Warren, has ANY integrity, or the mental or moral ability to be a US Senator, swearing to uphold the US Constitution? Hello, Massachusetts, what say you?!

(And, please, don’t point out senile Harry Reid, or others of his ilk, as a “defense” – he personifies our current national embarrassment called Congress, and why our nation’s in such deep, dark trouble, IMHO.)

Is it or is it not a violation of Harvard policies when a professor uses his/her official university office and university facilities to conduct a private for-profit business?

This is directly from the 2010 version of the annual registration materials sent to N.J. attorneys (I can’t find the latest one in my files, but the rule has not changed): “There is no ‘inactive status’ in New Jersey”. Unless you qualify for an exemption (e.g., military, Peace Corps, etc. none of which are applicable to EW) or are “[r]etired completely from the practice of law” you must pay your annual fee and meet the other requirements for attorneys admitted to the bar.

Among these requirements are pro bono activities and continuing legal education. EW would be exempt from pro bono because she does not maintain a law office in New Jersey. “Pursuant to Rule 1:42, an attorney holding a plenary or limited license to practice law in New Jersey is required to participate in a program of continuing legal education (CLE) . . .” unless retired completely from the practice of law, exempt (e.g., military, etc.), or having applied for and received a waiver based on “undue hardship” or “circumstances beyond [your] control” by “clear and convincing evidence”.

For CLE purposes, attorneys are divided into two Compliance Groups based on birthday to determine when they report on meeting the CLE requirements. Jan 1-June 30 birthdays report in even years and July 1- Dec 31 in odd years.

So the questions are: did EW accurately report her non-“retired completely from the practice of law” status each year and pay her fee? If EW has already filed her 2012 registration, did EW accurately report that she did not qualify for a CLE waiver for the two-year period ending December 31, 2011? If she has already filed her 2012 registration, did EW accurately report that she had NOT (based upon her own statement about difficulty meeting the CLE requirement)met the CLE requirement by December 31, 2011 as required? What was the response by the Supreme Court of New Jersey – Board of Continuing Education to her having not met the CLE requirement (assuming no hardship waiver was granted)?

    Alan S. in reply to Alan S.. | September 26, 2012 at 9:56 am

    A bit more information: because Massachusetts is a state with no CLE requirements and EW lives there, she was permitted (under Regulation 201.8(b))to satisfy her entire CLE requirement by “alternative verifiable learning formats” (e.g., “internet computer self-study”, videotape, and audiotape). Also, there is no exemption for law professors. The CLE requirement itself is hardly onerous: 24 hours over a 2-year period. So any suggestion by EW that she would have had to go to New Jersey (or for that matter, even leave her office at Harvard) is bogus.

    To clarify the timing, since the CLE requirements only became effective on Jan 1, 2010, as a member of Group 1 (by birthday) EW’s initial CLE requirement was to take 24 hours of CLE during the period Jan 1, 2010 to Dec 31, 2011 and report compliance in 2012. If I am not mistaken, EW said that she did not take any CLE courses. I could find no requirement that an attorney in non-compliance has an obligation to notify the Bar Association or the Supreme Court of non-compliance at the end of the two-year period (for EW, Jan 1, 2012; rather, they would need to disclose it in their annual registration materials. Also, even if non-compliance is reported, a 60-day grace period is granted and the worst penalty is suspension pending compliance and a fine, not disbarment.

    So why the need for EW to resign from the N.J. bar immediately? If she had not yet received her 2012 registration materials or had not yet registered for 2012 using the new on-line system, there was no need for her to do anything yet. On the other hand, if she had received and returned her forms (including the CLE compliance statement) or registered on-line, which EW would have done under penalty of sanctions, did she disclose her CLE non-compliance?

The more I think about this… folks need to be clear on the difference between law professors contributing their names and some collaborative efforts to an amicus brief on an issue of important public policy, where these briefs typically are actually submitted under the name of licensed local counsel, and law professors who are practicing law for hire (in this case, big bucks to represent corporate insurance interests.)