1. Elizabeth Warren may have engaged in the unauthorized practice of law in Massachusetts at various times.
2. It is not as clear that she has done so as her primary accuser, Prof. Jacobson, appears to believe, nor is it as certain that she has not done so as her reflexive defenders assert.
3. If she did practice Massachusetts law without a license, it is very unlikely that she did so intentionally.
4. It is also likely that at this moment, she herself is unsure whether she did or not.
5. I very much doubt that if she did as Prof. Jacobson asserts, that would lead to discipline by the Massachusetts Bar. The discussion of the issues surrounding Warren’s situation make it clear that a) the whole area of unauthorized practice when it involves state and Federal law is relatively unresolved and murky, with even legal ethics experts in disagreement, b) it would be impossible to separate the professional regulation of the matter from its political content, and 3) any time members of the disciplinary committee slap their foreheads and say, “Damned if I know!” when the discussion turns to what the rules require, discipline is unlikely, and properly so.
6. The fact that Warren may have blundered into UPL between the varying requirements of her two bar memberships and her intermittent practice in Massachusetts does not make her unfit to practice law.
7. It may, combined with her unwillingness to candidly and thoroughly reveal all documents that bear on the issue, call into question her fitness to be a U.S. Senator, especially one running on the proposition that regulations on another profession (the financial sector) need to be strictly followed and tightly enforced. It definitely is worth exploring and explaining to voters, which the mainstream media clearly does not intend to do. Continue reading