WBUR

Brown Claims Warren Is Practicing Without Law License

WINCHESTER, Mass. — U.S. Sen. Scott Brown is claiming his Democratic rival, Harvard law professor Elizabeth Warren, is practicing law without a license.

Brown is also criticizing Warren’s representation of another corporate client. This time, it’s Dow Chemical.

“So once again, we find out that she’s been working not for the little guy, not for the victims, as she said, in the middle class, but for the large corporation as a hired gun, and doing that, quite frankly, without a law license, something that I know is something that should be looked into,” Brown told reporters in Winchester Wednesday.

“I know I have to be admitted to the bar,” he added. “I took the test, passed the test, and any time you are giving out information, you need to have a license.”

Warren has been a counsel on cases before the Supreme Court and federal appeals courts.

She has been licensed to practice in Texas since 1986. Her license has always been inactive, but she pays her inactive dues, and that allows her to be in good standing with the Supreme Court of Texas. The Supreme Court of Texas confirms that Warren is in good standing with the court. That good standing allows her to practice before the Supreme Court, which also allows her to appear before the lower federal appeals courts.

Warren advised Dow during the bankruptcy of one of its subsidiaries, Dow Corning, following complaints that its breast implant caused health problems. The Warren campaign says she helped Dow create a $2.3 billion trust fund to pay victims.

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  • Emmpmm

    Shame, shame on Scott Brown for these slanderous lies. One should not be able to get away with that sort of stuff…and all of the other things that he has been doing to attempt to deflect away from the real issues and the specifics of his real voting record as an unequivocal Republican and not the “independent” that he hopes people think he is. Wake up, Massachusetts.

    • janesoutham

      Huh? WHAT slanderous lies?

      Did you also happen to see the Boston Herald write specifically that Warren LIED in the debate when she said she “misheard” a reporter’s question about why Harvard was touting her as a minority?

      If you want to attack Brown, go ahead, but please do so with facts, links and evidence.

      Just donated money to the Brown campaign. First time I’ve ever contributed to a campaign. Felt great!

      Wake up, Massachusetts!

  • ZPEACE

    The Indians looked into her heritage………..there is no Indian heritage. RELEASE YOUR PERSONNEL RECORDS……..  She lying. 

  • El-Voter

    Really Scott!??  Is that all you’ve got?  Let’s just grab every innuendo and pseudo fact and bend it to our re-election purposes?  

    • janesoutham

      She IS practicing law in MA without a law license. This reporter did not do his homework. Thanks to Professor William Jacobson at the Legal Insurrection for breaking this story.

      • http://profile.yahoo.com/23UX3IR5BBHTCFZ5AWJ27L4OIQ Not too

        And she WON hands down, and she will be a terrific senator. 

    • ehjxgcth

      Pseudo-fact?  Every lawyer I know is always ultra cautious about this kind of things. They’re always telling me that they can’t do this or they can’t do that without a license. Maybe it’s a small thing, but there’s much insight in how a person handles small details. 

      Ait illi dominus eius: Euge serve bone, et fidelis, quia super pauca fuisti fidelis, super multa te constituam, intra in gaudium domini tui.

  • clicker2

    Liawatha rides again!

  • janesoutham

    Don’t you have to have an active law license to practice in Massachusetts? 

    • taxman10m

       Nope.  She practices in federal court.  Different rules.

    • BM

      Yes, and it seems that she may have taken some cases in MA courts.

  • taxman10m

    The Brown campaign has jumped the shark.

  • Lana58810

     Next conspiracy to come, Warren to join Obama in plan to take “In God We Trust” off our currency

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_NZIFEM43OZ4RR2L3IGG7QMCTDA Nomad

    She needs to seek hiawatha…ur I mean higher water!

  • It Can’t Be Over Soon Enough

    And he also meets regularly with kings and queens, right?   Brown has truly lost it.  

    Why doesn’t NPR help out readers who don’t read the whole article by giving the headline more info.  Why not:  Warren Practices Law Legally, Brown shooting off false claims.  

    • BM

      That is because he is not shooting off false claims. Anyone interested in this issue need only go over to the Legal Insurrection Blog run by lawyer William A. Jacobsen to find out for themselves. Warren never had a Massachusetts law license and had let her licenses in other states lapse. Check it out. So in addition to her problems with being a fake Indian getting undeserved preferences, and having issues with her research papers she also is representing big business against the little guy and doing so without a MA law license.

  • Trixie

    why don’t all you doubting Thomases start here: http://legalinsurrection.com/2012/09/elizabeth-warrens-law-license-problem/

    • comment

       What a joke. This web site is not journalism. Just propaganda.

      Not everything on the web is true! Wake up.

  • janesoutham

    Romney OWNED the debate tonight. The people in Frank Luntz’s focus group who said they had voted for Obama in 2008 now say they will vote for Romney.

    Bet some MA voters might change their minds too. If Romney continues to do well, I  think he’s going to help win SCott Brown in MA.

  • tamerlane

    1) Care to give a source for your claim that Warren is permitted to practice law in TX?  Legal Insurrection has shown that Warren’s TX bar status — until the online record was mysteriously scrubbed the other day — listed her as “ineligible to practice law in Texas”;

    http://legalinsurrection.com/2012/09/how-did-elizabeth-warren-go-from-not-eligible-to-inactive-in-texas/

    2) On the Jim & Margery Show, Warren also admitted that “I’ve been inactive in the New Jersey bar for a very, very long time”, by which she meant “ineligible to practice”, as the NJ bar has no “inactive” status;3) In any case, the MA bar has no reciprocity, though a member of another state’s bar may petition to be admitted, something Warren never did;4) MA law does require a license to practice law in the state.  Claims that she was only “dabbling” in the law are fatuous:  her actions clearly meet the law’s definition of someone presenting themselves as an attorney;  dozens of cases (and more keep coming to light) can hardly be described as “dabbling.”Was the author, Mr. Thys,  ignorant of these basic facts, or did he intentionally hide them to help Warren?   Does WBUR consider itself an objective news source, or an arm of the Warren campaign?

    • comment

      A blog is nothing more than a format for gossip. So you believe the propaganda of the right wing conservative Wm Jacobson in his gossip column, otherwise known as legalinsurrection?

      Wow! Whatever happened to journalism?

      • c’mon!

        It’s true that a blog can be a form of gossip.  But when a blog actually posts evidence and it is not challenged by anyone, it is more than gossip.  When a candidate says on the radio that she has no license, but operates as a lawyer out of her office in Massachusetts, there is not any gossip there.  It’s all real.

    • Richard Garner

      They gave a source: the Supreme Court of Texas itself, not some unknown, or at best obscure, organization (or whatever it is).  Now, perhaps they are lying about the Supreme Court of TX saying this, but that is a separate issue entirely.  Are you accusing them of lying?  Those are serious accusations. 

  • janesoutham

    Romney was incredibly effective in the debate. He is gaining independent voters for the second.

    I believe that this will persuade Independent voters even in Massachusetts to go with Scott Brown!!

    • J__o__h__n

      You posted the same thing twice.  Shouldn’t your fake grass roots campaign have other posters?

  • FrancisMcManus

    This is disappointing coverage because it  prints assertions made by Scott Brown but it does nothing to assess whether these charges have merit.  In fact, it makes two assertions by Scott Brown and vets neither.

    On the first question, in what state must an attorney be admitted to the bar to be attorney of record in a Federal court case? How about to be of counsel?  What bar license do you need if any to be a consultant?

    On the second question,  Scott Brown gives his marching orders to the press “I know is something that should be looked into.” Wait, isn’t he the one framing how you should view this and isn’t that exactly the story you tell here?  So who looked it into it? Not him and not you, but it ends up right here just the same.

    Brown says Warren’s  been working “for the large corporation as a hired gun”  “not for the little guy.”  I’m surprised you even print that without asking him to provide the basis for that claim. What are the legal principles at stake?  How does her work harm the middle class?  Is it even a close question?

    Brown admitted Warren was right and he was wrong regarding the charges HE MADE  about her work in the asbestos cases.  Is this the MO, make a bunch of meritless charges, get the press to print it, and then when you get caught, fess up and watch the story go away??  How about spending some time on that one?

    • http://www.wbur.org/people/fthys Fred Thys

      The story rebuts both assertions made by Brown. 

      On the first question, an attorney must be in good standing with the highest court of any state, DC or territory in order to be admitted to the bar of the Supreme Court or any federal court or appeal. Warren meets that standard, as she is in good standing with the Supreme Court of Texas. 

      We looked into Brown’s assertion, and found it to be beside the point, because Warren does not need an active license to practice before the Supreme Court or federal courts of appeal. 

      We also looked into Brown’s claim that Warren was working against the women who sued Dow Corning, and printed her campaign’s rebuttal that she was working to create a trust for victims of health complications caused by breast implants.

      • FrancisMcManus

         Thank you Fred.

  • working_for_change

    Bully Brown’s truck is running on fumes.

  • Dolphinkind

    All Brown knows how to do is cast aspersions.  His commitment to truthiness is laughable were it not so devastating to innocent people.  Lies, innuendos and aspersions.  What character!

  • FrancisMcManus

    Wait, I see: Paragraph six says why what Brown asserts about illegally practicing law is false.  Is there any reason why in paras 1-6 you can’t indicate there are facts to the contrary, or specify in para 6 what parts of Brown’s claims are contracted tced by the facts?

  • KB

    Like the comments already posted, shame on WBUR for publishing Brown’s claims, giving him airtime and web space to lodge dishonest aspersions, only to reveal, at the end, when most have stopped reading, there is no basis. 

  • http://www.wbur.org/people/fthys Fred Thys

    Warren was practicing before the U.S. Supreme Court and federal courts of appeal, for which she needs only to be in good standing with the highest court of any state or territory, or DC. She is in good standing with the Supreme Court of Texas. 

  • http://www.wbur.org/people/fthys Fred Thys

    Warren was arguing before the Supreme Court and federal courts of appeal. For that, she needs only to be in good standing with the highest court of any state or territory, or DC. She is in good standing with the Supreme Court of Texas.

  • http://www.wbur.org/people/fthys Fred Thys

    The Supreme Court of Texas tells us Warren  is in good standing with the court. That is different from saying that she can practice law there. Her license there is inactive, and therefore, she cannot practice law there, but if she pays the taxes, she can reactivate her license. The fact that her license is inactive does not prevent her from being in good standing with the court. 

    Warren only needs to be in good standing with the highest court of any  state, DC,or territory to argue before the Supreme Court or federal courts of appeal.

  • c’mon!

    First there are doubts that her current status of “inactive” is how she was categorized as recently as a few weeks ago.

    http://legalinsurrection.com/2012/09/how-did-elizabeth-warren-go-from-not-eligible-to-inactive-in-texas/
    Secondly, her roster of activity does include cases that were outside of the Supreme and Federal appeals courts.

    She represented herself as a lawyer with an office in Massachusetts.  

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Hans-Bader/1174009314 Hans Bader

    I think most practicing lawyers would agree with Scott Brown that Elizabeth Warren is illegally engaging in the unauthorized practice of law.

    First, contrary to her earlier suggestions, she has handled cases involving Massachusetts state law in Massachusetts, for which she would have to have been admitted to the Massachusetts state bar.

    Second, even if she only practiced in federal court, the way I do, she would still have to be admitted to the Massachusetts bar.  Although I only handle cases in federal court, I am admitted to my local non-federal bar because that bar, like most bars, takes the position that to practice law, even in federal court, requires you to be admitted in the state bar of the state in which you have an office.  Thousands of lawyers like me joined state bars solely for that reason, despite a cost of thousands of dollars in application fees to join the state bar, and hundreds more in annual dues.  Warren is trying to avoid those costs, which other lawyers must bear to pay the costs of policing the legal profession.

    • fishydude

      My brother is a high level lawyer with the SEC. He is licensed in every state he has had cases in. Ny, VA, MA, and more. Unlike Warren, he has actually recovered millions of dollars for the regular folks who got conned by big frauds.
      Warren is a fraud. But she us protected by the D.

    • http://www.wbur.org/people/fthys Fred Thys

      Would the question then not be: would the federal courts consider Warren to have an office in Massachusetts? 

  • donniethebrasco

    Don’t you know that the Mass DA, Martha Coakley, is in her pocket?

  • donniethebrasco

    Scott Brown to be investigated by Martha Coakley for libel.

  • donniethebrasco

    In Massachusetts, if you are a Democrat and break the law, chances are, you will be elected.

  • http://www.thefogoflaw.wordpress.com/ bridget

    Warren’s law license in Texas was “inactive” in 1992, not 1986.

    She also had (past tense) a license in New Jersey, which she resigned last month.  By resigning her license, Warren will have to take the bar exam again if she ever wants to be a New Jersey licensed attorney.  However, it also makes it prohibitively difficult to find her history with the NJ State Bar.

    So as of now, she has ZERO active law licenses.

    Furthermore, Massachusetts rules state that an attorney who is licensed in another state but holds a physical office in this state must register with the state bar and pay dues equal to those that a licensed attorney pays. (Rule 4.02, Section 9.)  Ergo, even if the Supreme Court, or other district courts, allow Prof. Warren to be admitted either on the NJ license, the inactive TX license, or pro hac vice (as applicable), she is still NOT in compliance with Massachusetts regulations.

    • http://www.wbur.org/people/fthys Fred Thys

      We were told by the Texas Bar Association that Warren’s license has always been inactive. 

      The federal courts have generally found that their rules for allowing attorneys arguing before federal courts trump state rules. For the best discussion of this that I have read thus far, see the Legal Ethics Forum: http://legalethicsforum.com/

      • moflatley

        Fred, he “says” she’s not licensed to practice law in Massachusetts because it’s “true”.  Really not sure why the media is not exploring this more fully.  This is not a “marginal” issue.  It’s core, esp when her corporate clients are not exactly a choir of angels.  Would really like to see some substantive reporting.

        • http://www.wbur.org/people/fthys Fred Thys

          He didn’t say she’s not licensed to practice in Massachusetts. He said she doesn’t have a license.

      • http://www.thefogoflaw.wordpress.com/ bridget

        Way to deliberately miss the point (and lie about the law).

        First, that some small part of Elizabeth’s law practise is legal does NOT mean that 100% of it is. (“Hey, officer, I wasn’t speeding, so you can’t give me a ticket for driving drunk as I ran that red light!”)

        Elizabeth Warren advised a Massachusetts client on a matter of Massachusetts bankruptcy law, while holding out that her principle office is in Massachusetts.  There is NO federal law that overrides Massachusetts law in that area. 

        Also, please learn the difference between parallel laws and conflicting laws.  Massachusetts cannot prevent Elizabeth Warren from arguing before the United States Supreme Court, any more than South Dakota or Michigan could, but it absolutely can prevent her from saying that her principle office is in the Commonwealth without being licensed or registered here. Likewise, the Commonwealth can prevent her from advising on Massachusetts law to Massachusetts clients without associating local counsel and being admitted pro hac vice.  Those legal principles are uncontested.  There is no “conflict” with federal courts.

        Finally, get your facts straight: http://www.redmassgroup.com/diary/15701/elizabeth-warren-has-inactive-texas-bar-membership-which-lists-practice-as-being-in-massachusetts

        June, 1992, baby!

        • http://www.wbur.org/people/fthys Fred Thys

          There is no evidence that Warren has ever practiced before any courts but federal courts in appellate matters. 

          If you read the link I provided above, you will find a full discussion of how the federal law pre-empts the state law.

          We stand by our own reporting, and what the Texas Bar Association told us. 

  • http://nancib.wordpress.com/ BostonPeng

    Really? This is Senator Brown’s reasoning why he should be reelected and not Mr. Warren?  I’d love to hear something unusual from the junior senator from Mass: What does he hope to do for the people from the Commonwealth and how does he hope to do it? 

    Granted, he may have a point, but it’s about a month before the election.  Enough with the finger pointing and kvetching about his opponent’s faults, exactly why should HE get our vote in just over a month? The rest of this strikes me as schoolyard bull and at 52 I’m too dammed old for schoolyard games.

  • http://read-write-blue.blogspot.com/ RWB

    I wonder what will happen to Professor Warren if she wins the election and then is removed fron the Senate for practising law without a license. 

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/XPE5YK5D56ZIZE3NJC5DYPXXLI Fastball

    lol

  • Tc4012

    So instead of just being a fake American Indian, she’s a fake lawyer too?

  • tamerlane

    1) She practiced law in Massachusetts;
    2) She has no license to practice law in Massachusetts;
    3) Massachusetts requires a license to practice law in Massachusetts.

    Next question.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/GMOVOCQYRF6RK5D54YARTJ2RYM Stephen

    Democrat politicians are not required to follow the rules or the law – particularly in Massachuchetts. If they are caught breaking the rules or the law, other Democrats, including those in the media, stand ready to lie for them.

  • NotKennedy

    Why, if Warren is in good standing in Texas, was she not in good standing in New Jersey?  When she resigned her license in New Jersey on September 11, 2012, she forfeited her law license to ever practice again without passing the bar exam.

    Warren took the bar exam in New Jersey.  Texas has relied upon her law license in New Jersey to grant her reciprocity to practice in Texas.  Texas has been mislead by the reliance on the existence of any law license for Mrs. Warren.

    Mrs. Warren is no longer a licensed lawyer, inactive or otherwise.

    Mrs. Warren has not been forthcoming about the period of time during which her license to practice law in New Jersey lapsed.

    New Jersey has no provision for an ‘inactive’ membership in the bar.

    Information remains shrouded with Mrs. Warren, much like Mr. Obama.  Background and records are sealed, secreted away. 

    Understandably.

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