Saturday, January 10, 2009

Raising the Bar...of Stupidity

A quote in my last post from Linda Starr made reference to Michelle Obama's status with the Illinois state bar. Here's the whole quote of hers:
That way Michelle can run in the streets and act like she's somethng when we all now she's a disgraced, disbarred former attorney. If we don't find out soon what she did to get disbarred permanently, it'll be permanently classified so we can't ever get it.

written by Linda Starr, January 10, 2009

As best I can tell, this urban legend began with...*wait for it*...Orly Taitz, back on December 17. It seems if you go check the website for the Attorney Registration and Disciplinary Commission of the Supreme Court of Illinois, you find this when you search for "Michelle Obama":
Full Licensed Name: Michelle Obama
Full Former name(s): Michelle Lavaughn Robinson
Date of Admission as Lawyer
by Illinois Supreme Court: May 12, 1989
Registered Business Address: Not available online
Registered Business Phone: Not available online
Illinois Registration Status: Voluntarily inactive and not authorized to practice law - Last Registered Year: 1993
Malpractice Insurance:
(Current as of date of registration;
consult attorney for further information) No malpractice report required as attorney is on court ordered inactive status.

Now despite the fact that the entry explicitly says "Voluntarily inactive", the Birthers have opted to latch onto "court ordered inactive status,", and ignore the other evidence that contradicts their interpretation of that phrase. (Sounds familiar, no?)

Now a simple look through the website of the ARDC will produce a definition of what that phrase actually means. To wit:

"The 2000 total, which reflects an increase of only 147 attorneys over the number who registered in 1999 (as compared to average increases of 1,600 each year for the previous five years), was impacted by amendments to the rules governing registration categories and inactive status, first effective for the 2000 registration process. The amendments eliminated from Rule 756 the out-of-state registration category under which lawyers could pay a reduced fee if they did not reside, have an office in, or practice in Illinois, and deleted Rule 770, which had provided for a court-ordered inactive status that did not require annual registration or payment of any fee. At the same time, the amendments added to Rule 756 an inactive status registration category, which requires the payment of a reduced fee and annual registration, as well as a new retirement registration status, which requires no fee and no annual registration for lawyers. Lawyers who choose to register under either of those categories are not authorized to practice. The 10,400 attorneys who had previously registered as out-of-state had to choose either active, inactive or retired status. In addition, several hundred lawyers who were previously on court-ordered inactive status returned to active status and then chose one of the new registration categories, most often choosing retired status."

In other words, until 2000 in Illinois, a non-practicing attorney could avoid paying annual bar registration dues by voluntarily choosing to go on court-ordered inactive status. The court declared you "inactive," and you saved yourself some money, but you couldn't practice law in Illinois anymore. Anyone who's actually a member of a bar association (i.e. Orly Taitz, Phil Berg) shouldn't have a bit of trouble understanding this.

If there's any doubt left, let me illustrate what an ARDC entry looks like for an attorney who WAS disbarred. I've blackened out personal information, because I, unlike Orly, actually want to respect the privacy of strangers:

See? "Not authorized to practice law due to discipline." "No malpractice report as attorney is disciplined." THAT is what it would say if Michelle were disbarred.

Finally, bar disciplinary results are public and published. You can look them up on this ARDC page. There's no record of any discipline against Michelle Obama.

Of course, I fully expect the Birther response to this to be 'They've managed to cleanse and whitewash her records, eliminating any mention of her discipline.' And thus, a conspiracy that has already expanded to include the Hawaiian Secretary of State's Office and the entire nation of Kenya grows to include the Illinois Bar Association as well.


  1. Also, from here:


    Prior to November 1, 1999, former Supreme Court Rule 770 provided for a proceeding in the Court for any voluntary transfer to inactive status, whether because of some incapacitating condition or solely as a matter of the lawyer's preference because the lawyer would not be practicing law.

    The current registration rules provide a procedure for lawyers on Court-ordered inactive status under former Supreme Court Rule 770 who might wish to register. Whatever registration status the lawyer wishes to assume (active, inactive, or retired), the lawyer must first file a motion with the Supreme Court for restoration to active status under Rule 759. The motion process is necessary to screen for those who transferred due to circumstances that require some review of present fitness, and the motions will be contested only in such cases. In all other cases, the ARDC will consent to the transfer, and when a consent is submitted, the Supreme Court typically allows the motion within a few weeks of when it is filed.

  2. Between Linda claiming she knows "everything about everything" and "has seen the proof" but, of course no one else can, and she can't talk about it "because she's already said too much" AND Orly publishing every and their brother's private info onn her blog, I almost want to start posting THEIR persoanl info/ dirty laundry info all over the place.

    I won't, because I realize how indecent that would be, but, some days, man oh man.

  3. When any form of medical malpractice happens, you should always approach a malpractice attorney to get the compensation to which you are entitled.