Matthew J. Barrett
Professor Emeritus of Law
Matthew J. Barrett, a member of the Notre Dame Law School faculty since 1990, teaches business-related courses, currently accounting for lawyers, analytical methods for lawyers, and federal income taxation. He has also taught business associations, business planning, not-for-profit organizations, and seminars studying the intersection between law and accounting. His seminars during the fall semesters in 2008 and 2009 focused on the stock option scandals and the credit crisis, respectively. In 2001, the graduating class selected him as the Law School’s Distinguished Teacher. In 2010, he was appointed as an adjunct professor at New York University School of Law to teach a course in Financial Accounting for Lawyers for the NYU/IRS Continuing Professional Education Program sponsored by the Office of Chief Counsel of the Internal Revenue Service.
Barrett earned both his B.B.A. and his J.D. summa cum laude from Notre Dame in 1982 and 1985, respectively, graduating at the top of his law-school class. A member of the Ohio bar since 1985, he clerked for the Honorable Cornelia G. Kennedy at the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit (1985-86), and worked as an associate in the tax group at the Columbus, Ohio, law firm of Vorys, Sater, Seymour & Pease (1986-90).
Barrett became a Certified Public Accountant in Ohio in 1987. The Ohio Society of Certified Public Accountants awarded him its Silver Medal for the second-highest score on the May 1982 Ohio CPA examination, and the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants awarded him its Elijah Watt Sells certificate for performance with high distinction on the May 1982 Uniform CPA examination.
In 1997, Barrett joined David R. Herwitz, now Professor Emeritus at Harvard Law School, as co-author of the second edition of the law school casebook, Accounting for Lawyers, a text whose roots date back to the first casebook on accounting for law students in 1948. More recently, Barrett co-authored unabridged and concise versions of the fifth edition in 2015. Foundation Press published combined supplements for those fourth editions in 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, and 2012. To date, these texts have been adopted for classroom use at more than 100 different law schools, including seventy that have used a fourth edition.
Barrett actively participates in the life of the Law School, the University, and the local South Bend community. In 1998, the Student Bar Association awarded him the Captain William O. McLean Community Spirit Award for exceptional contributions to community life. In 2010, Barrett and his wife received The Spirit of Holy Cross Award from the Priests and Brothers of the Congregation of Holy Cross, Indiana Province for “years of diligent and deft service as [lay collaborators] with the Congregation of Holy Cross.” That same year, he also received the Grenville Clark Award from the University of Notre Dame for volunteer activities advancing the cause of peace and human rights.
Within the Law School, he currently serves on the Loan Forgiveness Committee (2008 to present). He has previously led the Ad Hoc Committee on the Honor Code (2010-2011), Promotions Committee (2007-2008), and the Loan Forgiveness Committee (2001-2004); served on the Appointments Committee (1999-2001, 2002, and 2004-2006), the Building Committee (2001-2009), the Curriculum Committee (1994-1998 and 2001-2004), the Promotions Committee (2006-2008), and the Public Interest Committee (1997-1999); and volunteered as faculty advisor to the Business Law Forum (1998-2003).
Barrett has served as a member of the Accountancy Advisory Board in the Mendoza College of Business since 1994 and on the Niebuhr and Clark Awards Committee since 2010. He previously served a term on the University Committee on Appeals (2009-2012), two terms as the Law School’s elected representative to the University’s Faculty Board on Athletics (1998-2004), serving as chair of the subcommittee on student welfare (2001-2004), a member of the subcommittee on communications (2000-2001), and a member of the University’s Ad Hoc Committee on Drug Testing of Student-Athletes (2001-2003). Barrett also served on the Committee on Student Life and the Subcommittee on Student Activities for the Colloquy for the Year 2000 (1991-92) and the Niebuhr and Clark Awards Committee (1997-2002).
Outside the University, Barrett has served as chair (1999-2000) and member (1997-2000) of the Committee on Audit and Association Investment Policy for the Association of American Law Schools, on the editorial board of the Journal of Limited Liability Companies (1994-1998), and as recording secretary of the taxation committee of the Ohio State Bar Association (1989-1990). He is a member of the ABA Section on Business Law, Committee on Law and Accounting (since 1995) and was elected as an alumnus member of Phi Beta Kappa in 2002.
Barrett periodically assists the Notre Dame Clinical Law Center with tax issues, volunteers with the Tax Assistance Program in the Mendoza College of Business, and has advised the South Bend Center for the Homeless on various tax and corporate matters.
He is a parishioner of St. Joseph Church in South Bend, where he serves as a hospitality minister and a member of the St. Vincent de Paul Society. He served as an elected member of the Parish Pastoral Council from 1999-2002 and on the Strategic Planning Steering Committee from 1999-2005. He has also served a member of the board of directors of the St. Vincent de Paul Society of St. Joseph County, Inc.
He is married to Kate Barrett, who works part-time for Campus Ministry as the assistant director of undergraduate ministry. They have three sons and one daughter.
LAW70100, Accounting for Lawyers
LAW70605, Federal Income Taxation
LAW70124, Business Basics for Attorneys
Materials on Accounting for Lawyers (5th ed. Foundation Press 2015 (both unabridged and concise versions); Supp. 2008, 2009 2010, 2011, 2013 (combined) (with David R. Herwitz) (cited by the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit in Bolt v. Merrimack Pharmaceuticals, Inc., 503 F.3d 913, 915–17 (9th Cir. 2007) (adopted for classroom use at seventy law schools, including Yale, Harvard, Chicago, NYU, Michigan, University of California (Berkeley), Cornell, Georgetown, USC, Washington University (St. Louis), George Washington, and University of California (Davis)).
Materials on Accounting for Lawyers (3d ed. Foundation Press 2001 & Supp. 2004, 2005) (both unabridged and concise versions) (with David R. Herwitz) (adopted for classroom use at more than sixty-five law schools, including Harvard, Michigan, University of California (Berkeley), Cornell, Georgetown, USC, Washington University (St. Louis), George Washington, Minnesota, and Boston University).
Materials on Accounting for Lawyers (2d ed. Foundation Press 1997 & Supp. 1999, 2000) (with David R. Herwitz) (cited by the Supreme Court of the United States in its unanimous opinion in Mutual Insurance Co. v. Commissioner, 523 U.S. 382, 384 (1998), and adopted for classroom use at more than fifty law schools, including Harvard, NYU, University of California (Berkeley), Georgetown, and USC).
Enron and Andersen - What Went Wrong and Why Similar Audit Failures Could Happen Again in Enron Corporate Fiascos and Their Implications 155-168 (Nancy B. Rapoport & Bala G. Dharan eds., Foundation Press 2004).
Professor Barrett has published numerous articles in his areas of academic expertise, including:
Sarbanes-Oxley, Kermit the Frog, and Competition Regarding Audit Quality, 3 Journal of Business & Technology Law 207 (2008).
The SEC and Accounting, in Part Through the Eyes of Pacioli, 80 Notre Dame Law Review 837-92 (2005).
Tax Services as a Trojan Horse in the Auditor Independence Provisions of Sarbanes-Oxley, 2004 Michigan State Law Review 463-504 (2004).
Practicing What We Teach: A Call For Progressive Church Taxes, America 18-20 (March 29, 2004).
The Theological Case for Progressive Taxation as Applied to Diocesan Taxes or Assessments Under Canon Law in the United States, The Jurist 63 (2003) 312-65.
New Opportunities for Obtaining and Using Litigation Reserves and Disclosures, 64 Ohio St. L.J. 1183 (2003).
Opportunities for Obtaining and Using Litigation Reserves and Disclosures, 63 Ohio St. L.J. 1017-1106 (2002).
Enron, Accounting, and Lawyers, Notre Dame Lawyer, Summer 2002, (reprinted on pages 193 to 201 of a Program Handbook entitled "Analyzing Financial Statements After Enron What Every Lawyer Should Know" (January 2003)).
Agency Authority in LLC Statues (Part II): Hypothetical Situations and Practical Suggestions, with Brian H. Blaney, 5 The Journal of Limited Liability Companies 11 (1998).
Agency Authority in LLC Statues (Part I): Uniformity and Peculiarity, with Brian H. Blaney, 4 The Journal of Limited Liability Companies 139 (1998).
Determining an Individual's Federal Income Tax Liability When the Tax Benefit Rule Applies: A Fifty-Year Checkup Brings a New Prescription for Calculating Gross, Adjusted Gross and Taxable Incomes, 1994 Brigham Young University Law Review 1 (1994), reprinted in 63 Tax Notes 899 (1994).
Reducing Liability Risks of Members in a Multistate Limited Liability Company, 1 The Journal of Limited Liability Companies 57 (1994).
Contort: Tortious Breach of the Implied Covenant of Good Faith and Fair Dealing in Noninsurance, Commercial Contracts -Its Existence and Desirability, 60 Notre Dame Law Review 510 (1985).
Areas of Expertise
- Financial Accounting
- Financial Frauds
- Law & Accounting
- Loan Repayment Assistance Programs