German jurist; born at Danzig May 30, 1829; died at Wilhelmshöhe July 16, 1897. From 1847 to 1851 he pursued his studies at the universities of Berlin, Bonn, and Heidelberg, receiving his doctor's degree in 1851 from the University of Halle. He practised for several years in the courts of Danzig, became privat-docent at the University of Heidelberg in 1855, and was appointed associate professor in 1860. In the years 1857-60 he published "Kritik des Entwurfs eines Handelsgesetzbuchs für die Preussischen Staaten" and "Gutachten über den Entwurf eines Deutschen Handelsgesetzbuchs nach den Beschlüssen Zweiter Lesung," which at once attracted attention to him as a critical jurist. During the same period he published "Der Lucca-Pistoja-Aktienstreit," Frankfort-on-the-Main, 1859 (Supplement, 1861). He is the founder (1858) of the "Zeitschrift für das Gesammte Handelsrecht."
Goldschmidt's scholarship was next displayed in his "Encyclopädie der Rechtswissenschaft im Grundriss," Heidelberg, 1862. He then began the greatwork which occupied him during the remainder of his lifetime, but which he did not live to complete, namely, "Das Handbuch des Handelsrechts," Erlangen, 1864-68. This is the work with which his fame as a historical jurist is identified, it being recognized as a masterly presentation of the general history of commercial law.
In 1866 Goldschmidt was promoted to a professorship in the juridical faculty at Heidelberg. He next received the appointment of "Justizrat" in the Bundesgericht at Leipsic, afterward occupying a judicial position at the Reichsoberhandelsgericht. In 1875 he became professor of commercial law in Berlin University, and received the title "Geheimer Justizrat." From 1875 to 1877 he was also a member of the German Reichstag, representing the city of Leipsic.
Of his further publications the following deserve special mention: "Das Dreijährige Studium der Rechts- und Staatswissenschaften," Berlin, 1878; "Erwerbs- und Wirtschaftsgenossenschaften, Studien und Vorschläge," Stuttgart, 1882; "Rechtsstudium und Prüfungsordnung," ib. 1887; "Die Haftpflicht der Genossen und das Umlageverfahren," Berlin, 1888; "System des Handelsrechts," Stuttgart, 1887, 4th ed., 1891.
- Riesser, Gedächtnissrede, Berlin, 1897 (with portrait);
- Pappenheim, Nachruf, in Zeitschrift für Handelsrecht, xlvii.;
- Deutsche Juristenzeitung, ii., No. 15;
- Adler, Levin Goldschmidt, in Bettelheim, Biographisches Jahrbuch, ii. 119-122.