David Richard Herwitz

Royall Professor of Law, Emeritus

Langdell 307

617-495-3121

Assistant: Isaac Moore / 617-496-1760

Biography

David Herwitz is the Royall Professor of Law (emeritus) at Harvard Law School. He received a S.B. in 1946 from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a LL.B. from Harvard Law School in 1949. He joined the Law School faculty in 1954.

Areas of Interest

Matthew J. Barrett & David R. Herwitz, Accounting for Lawyers (5th ed., Found. Press 2015).
Categories:
Banking & Finance
,
Corporate Law & Securities
,
Legal Profession
Sub-Categories:
Finance
,
Corporate Governance
,
Legal Education
Type: Book
Abstract
This fifth edition of the most widely adopted text in the field demonstrates to novices how accounting issues interrelate with the legal profession. In an effort to make accounting as understandable as possible, this book uses a "learn by doing" approach, including: 1. Illustrative financial statements from Starbucks Corporation; and 2. Multiple problems using the financial statements from Amazon.com, Inc., Google Inc., and United Parcel Service, Inc. Designed for the law student with no accounting background, the fifth edition can also enable students with previous accounting experience to appreciate better how accounting concepts and financial statements affect legal issues. The first section of each chapter, entitled "Importance to Lawyers," explains how the topics discussed in that chapter affect the practice of law.
David R. Herwitz, Caveat Auditor: Back to First Principles, 65 Bus. Law. 95 (2009).
Categories:
Corporate Law & Securities
,
Banking & Finance
Sub-Categories:
Finance
,
Corporate Governance
,
Securities Law & Regulation
Type: Article
Abstract
The Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 ("SOX") substantially revised the rules governing auditors of public companies, in an effort to counter the auditing weaknesses exposed in the Enron, WorldCom, and similar fiascos. Among the most important changes were a substantial upgrade in the role and responsibility of corporate audit committees and the creation of anew agency, the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board ("PCAOB"), to take complete charge of overseeing auditors and all aspects of the auditing process. Some commentators have expressed disappointment in the SOX efforts to reform public company auditing, and this subject is likely to receive renewed attention in view of the U.S. Supreme Court's grant of certiorari in Free Enterprise Fund v. PCAOB, a case challenging the constitutionality of the PCAOB. This Article takes the position that rather than focusing on audit committees, effective reform of auditing lies in a significant step-up in the responsibility of auditors, by returning to the original purpose of an audit: to provide as fair and meaningful a picture as possible of a company's financial performance. The Article argues that in applying this high standard to a company's proposed financial statements, the auditor should express its "present fairly" opinion without any limitation based upon GAAP; in addition, whenever there are reasonable alternatives to any of the accounting treatments utilized in the company's financial statements, the auditor's report should disclose the reason for the choice made, as well as whether the auditor would have made the same choice if deciding on its own.
David R. Herwitz & Matthew J. Barrett, Materials on Accounting for Lawyers (Found. Press 4th ed. 2006).
Categories:
Banking & Finance
,
Corporate Law & Securities
,
Legal Profession
Sub-Categories:
Finance
,
Corporate Governance
,
Legal Education
Type: Book
Abstract
With both unabridged and concise versions, the Fourth Editions remain the most widely adopted text in the field. An annual combined supplement continues to keep the Fourth Editions the most current. In an effort to make accounting as understandable as possible, the Fourth Editions use a "learn by doing" approach, with financial statements from Starbucks, Amazon.com, Google, and UPS to illustrate various concepts, and comprehensive problems in every chapter. By identifying and emphasizing those accounting topics and issues most likely to confront lawyers in the 21st century, it offers students more than basic accounting. Although primarily designed for the law student with no accounting background, the Fourth Editions include sufficiently provocative material to enable students with previous accounting experience to appreciate better how accounting issues interrelate with the legal profession. Because the Fourth Editions retain and update materials that cover more advanced topics, interested professors can also use these materials to teach a more sophisticated course.
David R. Herwitz, Teaching Skills in a Business Law Setting: A Course in Business Lawyering, 37 J. Legal Educ. 261 (1987).
Categories:
Legal Profession
,
Corporate Law & Securities
Sub-Categories:
Business Organizations
,
Corporate Law
,
Corporate Governance
,
Legal Education
Type: Article
Abstract
A course teaching the skills used by business lawyers uses role-playing and discussion to give students exposure to essential functions including interviewing, report-writing, procedures, planning, and coping with the individuals involved. (MSE)
David R. Herwitz, Business Planning: Materials on the Planning of Corporate Transactions (Found. Press 2d ed. 1984).
Categories:
Corporate Law & Securities
,
Legal Profession
,
Taxation
Sub-Categories:
Business Organizations
,
Mergers & Acquisitions
,
Corporate Law
,
Corporate Governance
,
Legal Education
,
Taxation - Corporate
Type: Book
David R. Herwitz, Installment Repurchase of Stock: Surplus Limitations, 79 Harv. L. Rev. 303 (1965).
Categories:
Corporate Law & Securities
,
Taxation
Sub-Categories:
Business Organizations
,
Corporate Law
,
Shareholders
,
Taxation - Corporate
Type: Article
David R. Herwitz, Allocation of Stock Between Services and Capital in the Organization of a Close Corporation, 75 Harv. L. Rev. 1098 (1962).
Categories:
Corporate Law & Securities
,
Taxation
Sub-Categories:
Business Organizations
,
Corporate Law
,
Shareholders
,
Taxation - Corporate
,
Taxation - Partnerships
Type: Article
David R. Herwitz, Stock Redemptions and the Accumulated Earnings Tax, 74 Harv. L. Rev. 866 (1961).
Categories:
Corporate Law & Securities
,
Taxation
Sub-Categories:
Business Organizations
,
Corporate Law
,
Shareholders
,
Taxation - Corporate
Type: Article
David R. Herwitz, Accounting for Long-Term Construction Contracts: A Lawyer's Approach, 70 Harv. L. Rev. 449 (1957).
Categories:
Banking & Finance
,
Corporate Law & Securities
,
Property Law
,
Taxation
Sub-Categories:
Finance
,
Contracts
,
Corporate Law
,
Real Estate
,
Taxation - Corporate
Type: Article

Langdell 307

617-495-3121

Assistant: Isaac Moore / 617-496-1760