Elizabeth Warren has inactive Texas Bar Membership Which Lists Practice as being in Massachusetts

UPDATE Warren has been unable to practice law in Texas, with an inactive status since 1992 according to Kim Davey, the Public Information Director of the State Bar of Texas.

Our electronic records indicate that Elizabeth Warren has been on inactive status since 6/1/92.

A couple of days ago, Professor William Jacobson of Legal Insurrection stated that Elizabeth Warren may be practicing law in Massachusetts without a license.  Jacobson has followed up wiht a number of posts at the blog, and Powerline Blog’s John Hinderaker, himself a lawyer has a post up today explaining that you can’t practice law federally without a state license.  Red Mass Group has also learned that she is not eligible to have an inactive law degree in Texas, and may have illegally listed herself as inactive.  Here is her Texas bar record as obtained today.

First note that counter to Warren’s protestations otherwise, her Texas Bar record lists her place of practice as Cambridge, Massachusetts.  Certainly seems like she hung a shingle there.  This is obviously what she told Texas.

Second, she may also be in violation of Texas law by listing herself as inactive.  On the next page is a listing of the rules in Texas surrounding inactive status.


An attorney cannot request inactive status if he or she is a:

Member engaged in providing private legal services in any state, whether such services are compensated or uncompensated. Such services include any actions or advice rendered to any person or entity in any matters connected with the law. Such services do not include those rendered solely on behalf of a member’s own personal interests;

Member of the judiciary, including state, county, municipal, and all other governmental entities. This includes those considered to be administrative judges or judicial officers;

Member who is a law clerk, briefing attorney, law librarian, or engaged in an activity that requires researching or briefing the law;

Member whose job or position requires the person holding it to be an attorney or possess a law degree;

Member who is a full-time or part-time faculty member of any law school and who is either compensated or uncompensated; or

Member who is an elected official in a position that requires the member holding that position to be an attorney or possess a law degree

The above list contains primary examples, but is not exhaustive. If you still have questions about eligibility, contact us at the numbers below.

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cannot practice law in Texas

must continue to pay annual membership dues of $50.00

can/will receive the Texas Bar Journal and annual dues statements, but no other mailings from the State Bar of Texas

may be eligible for health insurance through the State Bar of Texas Insurance Trust. Eligibility is determined by the management of the Trust, not the State Bar of Texas

may be exempt from compliance with the Minimum Continuing Legal Education (MCLE) requirements, provided the attorney was not on the active roll at any time during your MCLE compliance year

Any correspondence concerning MCLE requirements should be directed to Nancy Smith, MCLE Department, P.O. Box 13007, Austin, Texas 78711.

cannot vote in State Bar elections and referenda (State Bar Act, 81.051)

There are six instances above whereby one cannot request inactive status.  Elizabeth Warren fails on four of them.  She has practiced law in another state or jurisdiction, she does research the law, she is hired in a position that requires a law degree, and she is a full or part time faculty member of a law school.  According to the rules of the Bar in Texas she is seemingly ineligible to have inactive status.

Red Mass Group has asked the Texas Bar to confirm the date of Elizabeth Warren’s inactive status.  Coupled with her inactive status in New Jersey this could mean that she was unable to practice law anywhere, including before federal courts, as Powerline’s Hinderaker states.

This really is an admission of guilt. There is no such thing as a “license to practice in federal courts and the Supreme Court.” Only states issue licenses to practice law. One can be admitted to practice in a particular court, state or federal, but that admission must always be predicated on first being licensed to practice in one or more states. I know all about this, as I have handled cases in 17 states and have been admitted to practice in any number of federal district and appellate courts. You cannot be admitted to practice in any federal court unless you first affirm that you are licensed to practice, and are in good standing, in a particular state.

The fact that the Warren campaign tries to confuse this issue, relying on the ignorance of the average reader, is an admission that Warren has no valid argument in her own defense. It would be interesting to track down the filings that Warren made with the U.S. Supreme Court and various other federal courts to see what she said about being licensed to practice law. My guess is that she never referred to Massachusetts, but rather claimed to be licensed either in Texas or in New Jersey, where she was, in fact, licensed at one time. Those licenses would enable her to practice in New Jersey, or Texas, but they would not allow her to practice law out of an office in Massachusetts.

This story is not going away.

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