Colleagues and friends gathered online on Friday, Dec. 3, to honor the career and achievements of David Herr, a highly regarded appellate lawyer and complex case litigator.
The online event, hosted by the firm Maslon where Herr has worked for four decades, coincided with Mayor Melvin Carter proclaiming “David F. Herr Day” in the city of St. Paul, praising Herr for being “one of the most highly regarded appellate lawyers and complex case litigators in Minnesota.” Herr, 71, is a lifelong St. Paul resident.
“Few people have had a greater impact on Minnesota law and Minnesota lawyers,” the proclamation continued.
Fellow Maslon partner Erica Holzer ‘13 moderated the event, which included a message from Gov. Tim Walz, who called Herr “a giant in the legal profession.”
Emeritus President and Dean Eric Janus, who led Mitchell Hamline predecessor William Mitchell College of Law, Herr’s alma mater, was among those offering tributes to Herr.
“David has long understood and advocated for the combination of practical and experiential approaches with academic rigor that is, in my opinion, at the core of the Mitchell Hamline approach to legal education,” said Janus.
“In addition, along with Professor Roger Haydock and others, David wrote scores of books on various aspects of practice that students the world over have read. David has exemplified, and led, in the idea that law practice can be taught – intentionally and rigorously – as opposed to leaving that aspect of the training for expert practice to chance.”
Janus was joined in the tribute by Minnesota Supreme Court Justice Barry Anderson; former State Supreme Court Justice Eric Magnuson ’76; Cooper Ashley, a retired managing partner at Maslon; and Timothy Berg, former president of the American Academy of Appellate Lawyers.
In addition to his work at Maslon, Herr was a founder of the Minnesota Supreme Court Historical Society and a charter member and president of the Academy of Court Appointed Masters. He has mentored students and colleagues his entire career and, as a law student, was instrumental in growing the William Mitchell Law Review during its early days. Herr was then an adjunct professor for many years at William Mitchell, then Mitchell Hamline, most recently teaching a course in 2015 and helping with advocacy courses in 2016 and 2019.
“On a professional level, no lawyer has had a more profound and lasting impact on Minnesota civil procedure law and on federal court and appellate practice over recent decades than David Herr,” added Haydock. “On a personal level, there is no better friend, colleague, and partner than David. He is a consummate role model.
“He loves the law, his family, and Mitchell Hamline.”