"I am honored to visit California Western, a law school that captures the essence of what lawyers should be and should do," declared Harvey Pitt, 26th chairman of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).
The January 26 event was attended by more than 100 law students, faculty, staff, and trustees who gathered to hear Pitt's insights into the world of corporate law and securities regulations.
"Corporate lawyers have to use their legal acumen to further the legitimate interests of corporations," said Pitt, citing the 2015 Volkswagen emissions-cheating scandal as evidence that it's not always possible. "In this field, sometimes you have to tell your clients what they need to hear—not necessarily what they want to hear."
Speaking on the SEC, Pitt explained that the best role for government to assume is to define what's illegal, while the private sector augments with an ethical and moral prescription. California Western graduates—a number of whom have gone on to work at the SEC—bridge that gap by "using the law to solve human and societal problems," stated Pitt.
"We are honored to host Harvey Pitt to speak at our engagement," said Mike Barbary, President of California Western's Business Law Society (BLS), which co-hosted the event. "We are incredibly grateful that someone with Mr. Pitt's experience and credentials took time out of his busy schedule to share his wisdom."
"As the landscape of our financial markets continue to increase in complexity, our student body was truly fortunate to benefit from Harvey's insight and forecast. We are lucky to have such a dedicated faculty and staff, namely Dean Niels Schaumann and Adjunct Professor William Aul, without whom this opportunity would never have been possible," explained BLS Vice President Brett Asa.
About Harvey L. Pitt
Harvey L. Pitt is the chief executive officer of the global business consulting firm, Kalorama Partners, LLC. Prior to founding Kalorama, Pitt served as the 26th chairman of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). From 2001 until 2003, Pitt was responsible for overseeing the SEC's response to the market disruptions resulting from the terrorist attacks of 9/11, for creating the SEC’s "real time enforcement" program, and for leading the Commission's adoption of dozens of rules in response to the corporate and accounting crises generated by the excesses of the 1990s.