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Is tonight the night Elizabeth Warren’s law license problem goes mainstream? (Update – No)

Is tonight the night Elizabeth Warren’s law license problem goes mainstream? (Update – No)

Despite a Drudge link, huge linkage everywhere in the conservative blogosphere, and defensiveness in the left-legal blogosphere, Elizabeth Warren’s law license problem has not broken into the mainstream media.

Other than some passing references, the Boston press has ignored it, even as debates raged on the internet and Boston talk radio.

There seems to be a real nervousness on the left about it, though, recognizing how potent it will be.  Even a local Democratic voters rights advocate says it has to be dealt with before it becomes another Cherokee-gate for Warren.

There was a huge development today, as reported by Michael Patrick Leahy at, Warren Law License Controversy Could Surface in Debate.  The Board of Bar Overseers General Counsel no longer is giving public comment, and there are questions as to how the BBO can proceed now that the General Counsel offered his “personal” opinion:

Breitbart spoke with Fredrickson on Monday, who refused to comment in an official capacity as General Counsel of the BBO, saying only that “my personal comment is that I will not be commenting further about this matter in a personal capacity.”

Phone calls to Constance Vecchione, head of the Office of Bar Counsel, were not returned.

A week after Fredrickson’s comments gave the entire world the impression that Ms. Warren had been exonerated by the BBO, the following questions of BBO have been asked and remain unanswered:

1. Has the BBO received a formal complaint that E Warren may have engaged in the unauthorized practice of law?

2. Has the BBO undertaken a formal investigation into charges that E Warren may have engaged in the unauthorized practice of law?

3. Will Fredrickson face discipline for publicly commenting on the E Warren case, when BBO rules say all investigations must be conducted without public comment?

4. In the event BBO has undertaken an investigation of Ms. Warren, will Fredrickson be required to recuse himself from that investigation?

Additionally, Business Insider is following the story, Elizabeth Warren’s Law License Issues Have Gotten Even Worse Before Tonight’s  Big Debate:

The new law license headaches will likely come up in tonight’s debate with  incumbent Republican Senator and heartthrob  Scott Brown, who has also demanded she turn over a list of her corporate  clients.

For her part, Warren’s campaign admits she doesn’t have a license in  Massachusetts but says it was legal for her to “take on cases from time to time  to defend important principles of bankruptcy law.”

Warren, who promotes herself as a consumer advocate, has taken heat for  representing Travelers  Insurance in its quest to gain immunity from asbestos claims in exchange for  creating a fund for victims.

Finally, Francesca Chambers at Red Alert Politics asks the obvious quesiton, What’s the matter with Massachusetts?

If the topic does come up tonight, it’s hard to see how the Boston press can ignore it anymore.

Update:  At the debate there was a lot of talk about Warren’s representation of big corporations, but Brown never raised the licensing issue.  There are two more debates.


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Personally. I don’t think David Gregory will bring it up, but Scott Brown might.

Why should this come up in the debate when there are more important issues for Gregory to ask about? For instance, Brown’s modeling career, which I seem to remember was supposed to be a disqualifying issue last time around.

Finally: The Boston Herald talks about the law license problem in a new story:
This is the first time they’ve mentioned it.

Over the past week, more problems about Warren’s background have emerged, creating new territory for Brown to question. It appears that she practiced law without a Massachusetts license. Lizzy went before a federal appellate court on behalf of a Massachusetts client regarding Massachusetts law. Note the key word: “Massachusetts.” What’s Warren’s response? She is a member of the Texas and New Jersey bars. That’s not exactly accurate. Houston, we have a problem. She has not been actively licensed by Texas since 1992, and she admitted on the radio to being an inactive member in New Jersey. Oops.

Brown better bring it up. Last time I checked it was a crime to practice law without a license…and if MA elects this wench, they’re admitting they would as soon break any old law themselves.

“If the topic does come up tonight, it’s hard to see how the Boston press can ignore it anymore.”

I don’t follow. I see no incentive for them to cover the story. Do they really care about the journalistic code? If they did, they’d be covering the story now. No, the need to elect Warren is paramount on the Left, and therefore so is the need not to legitimize this story. I see them ignoring it right through November.

    Mercyneal in reply to raven. | October 1, 2012 at 6:07 pm

    As I said, the Boston Herald just came out with a story this afternoon that talks about the law license problem: inally: The Boston Herald talks about the law license problem in a new story:
    This is the first time they’ve mentioned it.

      raven in reply to Mercyneal. | October 1, 2012 at 7:01 pm

      That’s not a news piece but an opinion column, and it’s by a Republican strategist. Also, if I’m not mistaken, the Herald is Boston’s conservative newspaper.

      The Left media will not cover this as real news, but may mention it by way of moral equivalence, that is, in reference to Brown’s own “character flaws”, and except by belittlement, that is, asserting that the “controversy” is being driven by right-wing yellow journalism.

It’s amazing… With the MSM in her pocket, most of the reality of her situation is simply swept under the rug.

If it were not for the efforts of the prof and other conservative personalities, none of these issues would have been developed and her upsetting Scott Brown would have been a slam dunk.

At least now, some evidence of fair play seem to be emerging and if a few ounces of common sense enters the mix, Brown should do OK.

“If the topic does come up tonight, it’s hard to see how the Boston press can ignore it anymore.”

I’m just as happy to see the Globe ignore it. If the Globe reports on it, it will just obfuscate and lie.

Has anyone verified that Elizabeth Warren was admitted to practice in Federal Court during the time she was litigating in such court?

Henry Hawkins | October 1, 2012 at 10:22 pm

Certainly the Warren team would know it possible that Brown might bring up the law license issue tonight and may have had some rebuttal ready to go. I can understand Brown not bringing it up for a few reasons:

1) The law license issue (so expertly and tenaciously driven by our LI host) remains up in the air, without all details nailed down, though it sure looks worse and worse for Warren as it develops. Still, Brown could leave himself vulnerable attacking on an issue for which the facts are not yet all nailed down.

B) It’s October 1st, not November 1st. There is plenty of time to drill Warren on the law license thing.

3) It would likely be more powerful to hit Warren with the whole enchilada, however it turns out, rather than now with a hodgepodge of known and suspected problems with her licensing history, especially since it’s likely there is much bad stuff about Warren yet to be discovered.

D) Because the Cherokee thing and this new law license thing have proved so difficult to bring out, the result has so far been a drip, drip, drip of bad for Warren, rather than a one fell swoop BAM story emergence. This chips away at the Warren image and is making it increasingly difficult for the media to ignore the two issues. At the current rate of exposure, it seems like everything to be known about the law license thing may be out within a week or three, at least everything not already irretrievably buried by Warren and her palace guards (media and academia). When the story appears complete, then BAM – drop the hammer, Senator Brown, leaving Warren only two or three weeks to counter it.


Are there further Brown/Warren debates scheduled? If so, I suggest Brown learn a few words and phrases in one of the Cherokee dialects to ask Warren a question during a debate. She might not know the entire Overhill dialect, but ought to know at least, oh… 1/32nd of it.