WASHINGTON — The National Association of Bond Lawyers has announced winners of three awards recognizing notable service to the group and the public finance sector.
NABL presented the awards Wednesday during the association’s Bond Attorneys’ Workshop in Chicago.

Howard Zucker, an attorney at Hawkins Delafield & Wood LLP, is winner of NABL’s Bernard P. Friel Medal for distinguished service in public finance.

Zucker, who is a member of his firm’s management committee and runs its housing and mortgage finance group, was NABL president from September 1999 to September 2000.

He said in an interview he is proud of helping transform NABL from an “insular” organization to one that collaborates with other market participants and industry groups.

He also said he led NABL when the group was “at the forefront” of promoting electronic forms of disclosure, which at the time was discouraged by the Securities and Exchang Commission. Zucker said NABL worked with the Government Finance Officers Association and the Bond Market Association, which merged later with the Securities Industry Association to form the Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association.
Today, electronic brokerage is “taken for granted,” Zucker noted.

He also helped encourage issuers to form investor-relations programs and to communicate more openly with analysts about secondary-market disclosures, which had been opposed by many bond lawyers.

Zucker said he helped lead efforts to address potentially “unethical” pay-to-play contributions by attorneys to political campaigns, and he co-wrote the 1985 book, the “ABCs of Housing Bonds.”

David Caprera, senior tax lawyer in Denver for Kutak Rock LLP received the Frederick O. Kiel Distinguished Service Award, which is given for extraordinary service to the association over an extended time. Caprera, who has more than 30 years of tax-exempt bond finance experience, has delivered opinions on projects related to student loans, highway finance, education facilities, housing and industrial development.

He has been a NABL board member and led an American Bar Association committee focused on arbitrage rebate provisions in the 1986 tax reform act.

NABL presented its Carlson Prize to J. Hobson “Hobby” Presley, a partner in Birmingham, Ala., at Balch & Bingham LLP. Presley received the award, which recognizes the author of the best article published in The Bond Lawyer, the group’s journal, or on NABL’s website, for writing “The Disclosure Dilemma for VRDOs Secured by a Letter of Credit.” The article was published in the summer 2011 edition of The Bond Lawyer.

Presley has more than three decades of public finance law experience. Much of it focuses on nonprofit and governmental health care. He also advises clients on post-issuance tax compliance, arbitrage rebate compliance and the use of swaps and derivatives products.

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