Rep. Birmingham’s participation in debate over a bill to restrict the practice of law in the state caused a rift among Democratic lawmakers, the Boston Herald reported (April 30, 1931, p. 13).
The bill, which would have placed restrictions on the authorized practice of law, was ordered to a third reading on a vote of 87 to 52 during the April 29 House session.
On April 29, the bill was amended on the House floor to exclude from its provisions representatives of labor unions or employers appearing before the industrial accident board.
The bill, sponsored by Rep. John S. Derham of Uxbridge, was intended to prevent banks from acting as fiduciaries, drawing up wills, and making trusts.
Debate on the bill caused a rift between Birmingham and other Democratic lawmakers, who resented his participation in the discussion as an opponent of the bill, according to the newspaper. Protests came from Derham and Reps. John Patrick Connolly and Paul A. Dever.