The Herwitz advantage

May I add my compliments to the chorus of others for the service to the law school of Professor Emeritus David Herwitz. As a result of his insightful (and inciteful) approach to teaching and his gift of analytical thought, I have always felt comfortable with a set of financial accounts in my hands. When cross-examining expert accounting witnesses over the course of a 40-year career as a barrister/Queen’s Counsel, I never sensed that I was at a disadvantage, given his outstanding course in Accounting.

A wizard with civil procedure

David L. Shapiro '57

Credit: John Chapin David L. Shapiro ’57

I read professor Amanda L. Tyler’s article on David Shapiro’s retirement (Summer 2006) with both interest and sadness. The mid-1960s, when the Dershowitzes, Weinrebs and Shapiros were younger than our own children are now, seemed to produce an unusually strong faculty crop (though I suppose every era’s alumni feel that way).

Professor Shapiro was, to me, the strongest of that strong group: He had a great talent for making issues in Civil Procedure that were complicated and dull seem understandable and worth knowing. From the perspective of one who has just put the sixth edition of a civil procedure textbook to bed, that can be a good trick.

His Collective Bargaining class, on the other hand, brought some of the major issues of the mid-20th century into the classroom, directly from a participant.

Over the years since school, my wife and I have gotten to know the Shapiros a bit, and that has been an honor and a revealing pleasure: I hadn’t figured it out in 1965, but those gods of the classroom had kids, mortgages, vacation plans and restaurant recommendations, too.

David Shapiro’s retirement may be a good day for him, but the school will sorely miss him.

Taiwan connection

Annette Lu and Ma Ying-jeou

Annette Lu and Ma Ying-jeou

I was very interested in reading the story of Jerome Cohen’s dramatic prison visit in Taiwan to his former student and now Republic of China Vice President Lu Hsiu-lien (LL.M. ’78) in early 1985 (“The Rivals,” Summer 2006). Acting as local counsel for the Committee for Justice for Henry Liu and the family of Henry Liu, I was responsible for associating Professor Cohen and his law firm, Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison, on behalf of the Liu family at that time.

In October 1984, Henry Liu, a naturalized U.S. citizen, had been killed at his home in Daly City, Calif., after he had published a book, not about a member of the family of President Chiang Ching-kuo as reported by Ms. Newburger, but about President Chiang himself!

The evolution of our joint legal efforts in the Liu case is viewed by some observers as a seminal event in the termination of martial law in Taiwan and the progress of democracy there. Interested readers may learn the whole story by reference to “Liu v. Republic of China” 892 F. 2d 1419 (9th Cir. 1989) and “Fires of the Dragon” (Atheneum 1992) by David E. Kaplan.

HLS and Africa

I enjoyed reading your recent issue on Asia. I hope that you will devote a substantial part of a future issue to Africa. While it is mentioned on the periphery of some of the topics you cover, I do not recall ever reading any extended treatment about the relationship between Harvard Law and Africa. I recall meeting the LL.M.s from Africa during my first year and being impressed with the representation. Such an issue would certainly benefit your readers, your magazine and Harvard Law School.