September 29, 2012

Warren: Ethical Controversy for Another New England Democrat Candidate

Justin Katz

Retired Providence Journal political columnist M. Charles Bakst has offered, via Ted Nesi's Saturday column, a cute analysis of how both Scott Brown and Elizabeth Warren could wind up in the U.S. Senate next session.

While RI's mainstream press ponders hypotheticals about the Senate race next door, Rhode Island blogger and Cornell law professor William Jacobson has been investigating whether Warren has been practicing law illegally in that state:

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.

Monique has mentioned that post already, here, receiving the biggest "if" in Jacobson's analysis, as articulated by Joe Bernstein in the comments: "If Warren only practiced in Federal court, a MA license wasn't required as long as she was licensed somewhere at the time."

In his post, Jacobson details what information is available about Warren's licensure, in Texas and New Jersey. Oddly, she resigned her New Jersey license on September 11 of this year, which, Jacobson says, "made it more difficult for the public to determine her pre-resignation status."

Since then, Jacobson has continued to argue that the objections are irrelevant to the law and, in any event, "Warren did represent a Massachusetts client in Massachusetts on a Massachusetts legal issue." With that, the peer-review process of the blogosphere has been operating, and Jacobson passes along a concession by a skeptic that the facts look "really, really bad for Professor Warren."

Indeed, they do. This election cycle, though, things that look really, really bad for Democrat candidates in national races have had a way of slipping through the media cracks.

Comments, although monitored, are not necessarily representative of the views Anchor Rising's contributors or approved by them. We reserve the right to delete or modify comments for any reason.

Not that I favor Liawatha Warren, I think this is a tempest in a teapot. I am sure she could have been "admitted by motion" at any time she wished. That she overlooked this may say something.

Posted by: Warrington Faust at September 29, 2012 10:58 AM

As an initial matter, I'll just say that state-based bar examination is an antiquated, corrupt, and utterly backwards system that serves no purpose but to frustrate interstate commerce and generate revenue for the states. It should have been overhauled in favor of a nationwide system a long time ago.

However, the law is what it is, and this is not a technicality or a trivial violation. People accept or turn down job opportunities based on where they are licensed to practice law. They mold much of their lives around it. It is a difficult and expensive process to become licensed in a state. People can be fined or go to jail for practicing without a license. It's a big deal.

Posted by: Dan at September 29, 2012 11:45 AM

Can you just imagine the uproar from the "family values folks" if Ms Warren had posed naked, for a photo spread, in her youth ? That fact alone would have disqualified her for the senate, in their eyes. And I am sure that the folks on the "right" would have labeled her a "former porn star" and worse

Posted by: Sammy in Arizona at September 29, 2012 1:27 PM

Hey Sammy, the only uproar would be from the horror of actually seeing it. Excuse me if I don't thank you for that mental image.

Troll on Sammy.

Posted by: Max D at September 29, 2012 2:15 PM

Posted by Sammy in Arizona at September 29, 2012 1:27 PM

Why is this troll, an ad nauseum master of the non-sequitor, still posting here???????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????

Posted by: Tommy Cranston at September 29, 2012 2:35 PM

I'm also getting very tired of Sammy the Troll. I would never advocate for banning content, but a blog that allows blatant off-topic trolling doesn't stay a blog long. I might as well start selling Cialis here.

Posted by: Dan at September 29, 2012 3:16 PM

sammy serves less purpose here than toilet paper with holes in it during a diarrhea attack-he really doesn't address the topic seriously or frequently at all.

Posted by: joe bernstein at September 30, 2012 12:23 AM

I guess I personalized my last comment-here's why-my wife(who has never read AR)has a sister who is,shall we say,not too nice and that sister lives with a man of Middle Eastern origin named "sammy" and my wife had described him as a "hairy troll".I never met him.This "sammy"reminds me of the departed "Rhody".

Posted by: joe bernstein at September 30, 2012 12:28 AM

How is Sammy off topic? This little hit piece against Democrat Warren comes weeks before a U.S. Senate election. Could those raising the issue of one candidate's professional past be supporting the other candidate and looking to smear their opponent? So Sammy brings up an uncomfortable past fact about Senator Brown and the cries start about silencing him. Some would like to limit debate to only the areas that they are willing to discuss. That certainly is a winning formula. While Sammy's comment is not about some stupid law license or Native American heritage or as MaxD reminds us in election season that women candidates have to pass some sort of beauty test, it is on topic in a big picture way. Instead of discussing the political issues in that Senate race Justin feels the need to advance a partisan attack against the Democratic candidate with this justification, "This election cycle, though, things that look really, really bad for Democrat candidates in national races have had a way of slipping through the media cracks." So obviously Justin feels the need to rectify the situation of allowing anything really bad about Demoratic candidates from slipping through the cracks on his blog. So according to some who comment either you dance to his tune or be shown the door.

Posted by: Phil at September 30, 2012 7:10 AM

Phil - Give it a rest. Every regular here knows exactly what Sammy is. That he occasionally offers some pretext flavor for his autogen anti-Republican spam doesn't make him on topic. He has been caught red-handed cut and pasting chunks of text from Democratic attack websites without attributiion - more than once. If the original blog post was a standardized test prompt and Sammy was being asked to respond to it, he would get a 0 by any grading metric. That you would advocate for a blatant troll just because he happens to be on "your side" says a lot about your integrity.

Posted by: Dan at September 30, 2012 7:28 AM


In all fairness, I don't wanna' see Scott Brown naked either. Does that work for you? The left's acceptance of Warren's failure to be licensed in Massachusetts, representing corporate America while claiming to lookout for the little guy, and using her heritage to advance her career speaks volumes. In your world, sacrificing integrity is OK if it's a risk to the success of your ideology. The same is going on with Cicilline. You have a candidate caught lying but it doesn't matter. Newsflash Phil, the truth is not a hit piece.

Posted by: Max D at September 30, 2012 9:18 AM

There seems to be some belief that Warren should have taken the Massachusetts Bar Exam. I suspect that she could have been "admitted on motion" without taking the exam.

Here is a cut from the Massachusetts rules:
Supreme Judicial Court Rule 3:01, §6.1 requires the engagement in the active (i.e. fulltime)practice or teaching of law of an applicant for admission on motion, for a minimum of five of the past seven years immediately preceding the filing of an application.

Of course, there is always the possibility that she would not have been admitted on technical grounds.

Posted by: Warrington Faust at September 30, 2012 9:33 AM

"The left's acceptance of Warren's failure to be licensed in Massachusetts, representing corporate America while claiming to lookout for the little guy, and using her heritage to advance her career speaks volumes."


And the lack of consistency is once again one of the more troubling effects. If Max D had been describing the actions/resume of a Republican candidate, the Mass left would be falling all over themselves to indignantly denounce this "right wing, pro-corporate hypocrite who stepped all over the little guy for years in order to make a buck".

Posted by: Monique at September 30, 2012 1:50 PM

Well, hey, if they're willing to look away while the Obama administration walks guns to Mexican gangs, perp-walks people for bad YouTube videos, and accelerates warrantless wiretaps exponentially, letting Warren and Cicilline slide on a little thing like honesty isn't all that big of a deal, comparatively.

Posted by: Justin Katz at September 30, 2012 1:54 PM

Warren's biggest negative is her making money from a coal company to go after retirees' health benefits(gee,I wonder if the coal industry is dangerous to the health of miners?)and from a large insurance company to go after people with asbestosis.Nothing illegal-it's just that her public persona is supposed to make one think of Jane Addams when in fact she prospers by working for the Cornelius Vanderbilts of the world.Let's not forget her success at "flipping"foreclosed houses-a parasitic activity if ever there was one.There it is Phil-a lot of material for you to studiously ignore in your single minded support of the Democratic Party candidate in MA.

Posted by: joe bernstein at September 30, 2012 5:24 PM


I don't vote in Mass. I don't vote in the first Congressional race either. The purpose of my post was not in support of the Democratic candidate for the U.S. Senate in Mass. but rather to rebut charges that Sammy was off topic with his post. The fact that Justin Katz wants to steer the conversation to attacks against the Democratic candidate in the U.S. Senate race in Mass. does not and should not prevent discussion of other relevant facts that pertain to that race. Is that clear? Justin the self described ideologue sounds more like a partisan. Know that ideologue is closer to idiocy than it is to ideal in the dictionary.

Posted by: Phil at September 30, 2012 6:07 PM

I obviously don't vote in MA either.However,I am interested in seeing the Senate controlled by Republicans because of the role of that body in confirming appointments.What's wrong with being a partisan?Like you aren't?Please.I'll vote for some Democrats in state/local races,but never again for a federal office.

Posted by: joe bernstein at September 30, 2012 6:14 PM

So I'll cancel you out. The rest is clear to you. I refuse to vote for the state senate and representative in my district. None of the choices that involve two Democrats and one Republican can induce me to vote but I may write in "joe bernstein" instead. How could it get any worse?

Posted by: Phil at September 30, 2012 6:31 PM

@Phil-how bad are the state politicians in your district that you could write my name in?OMG they must be real A-holes!!

Posted by: joe bernstein at September 30, 2012 7:43 PM

joe My districts could do a lot worse. Seriously you'd be welcome.

Posted by: Phil at September 30, 2012 7:54 PM

Sorry Phil but you still haven't explained how Sammy's imaginary naked Warren post was relevant to her lying and cheating.

Posted by: Max D at September 30, 2012 7:54 PM
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