Perry Israel remembered as lawyer, human being of the highest caliber

BY SourceMedia | MUNICIPAL | 08/16/22 01:08 PM EDT By Scott Sowers

Perry Israel, a beloved and respected bond lawyer suddenly passed away on Sunday from unknown causes. He was 70 years old. Israel had been running his own practice since 2007, based in Sacramento, California. He specialized in laws related to Section 103 of the IRS tax code which sets the federal tax requirements for bonds to bear tax-exempt interest.

His practice put a special emphasis on representing underserved communities including issues relating to Indian tribal financing, low-income housing credits, and mortgage credit certificates. Before starting his own practice, Israel was a partner at Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP in San Francisco, and Sacramento for 20 years. He began his career in Boston with Palmer and Dodge and moved to Orrick in 1984.

Israel was an active member of the National Association of Bond Lawyers (NABL) where he chaired seminars and served on the board of directors. "Both NABL and the entire public finance community are better because of Perry Israel," said Ann Fillingham, NABL president.

"A wonderful human and self-admitted bond nerd, he gave freely of his intellect and time," Fillingham said. "Many of us are better lawyers because of it. His enthusiasm, whether for unpacking a complicated 103 issue, or describing the latest Vermeer he had seen, was nothing short of contagious. He will be dearly missed."

John Cross, another ace tax lawyer who was for many years a go-to muni expert at the Treasury Department and Internal Revenue Service, knew Israel for over thirty years.

"Perry was a true prince of a lawyer and person with the highest integrity," Cross said. "I was a frequent beneficiary of his generosity in sharing his wisdom and principled perspective during my long tenures at Treasury and IRS."

Israel's interests included writing as he authored the Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe Arbitrage Rebate Manual and was the initial Editor-in-Chief of Federal Income Taxation of Municipal State Bonds: Statutes, Regulations and Rulings. He also authored several articles related to tax-exempt financing.

He held an A.B. degree in English from Princeton University, graduating in 1976. He served as an editor for the Boston University Law Review from 1977-1979. Israel received his J.D. degree from the Boston University of Law, graduating cum laude in 1979. He held an LL.M Taxation degree also from Boston University of Law, graduating in 1984.

He is survived by his wife Anne Israel-Connolly, two daughters, Georgia Israel and Carolina Dyer, and five grandchildren. A service is being planned for this fall.

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