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WILLIAM E. HALMKIN


1949 - 2016
WILLIAM E. HALMKIN Obituary
HALMKIN, William E."Bill" Of Boston and Mattapoisett, died on Sunday, January 31, 2016, at age 66. He was born in Medford, Massachusetts on July 5, 1949. Mr. Halmkin was a partner at Sullivan & Worcester LLP, where he specialized in state tax controversies and had extensive experience representing clients in tax appeals at all levels. He graduated with a B.S. in Business Administration from Boston University in 1971, a J.D. from Suffolk University Law School in 1974, an M.S. in Accounting from Bentley College in 1976, and an LL.M in Taxation from Boston University School of Law in1983, where he later served on faculty of the Graduate Tax Program. Mr. Halmkin joined the Massachusetts Department of Revenue as a Tax Examiner in 1976. He was promoted to Tax Counsel the following year, became Chief of the Estate Tax Bureau in 1979 and served as Deputy Commissioner from 1983 through 1987. He then transitioned to private practice, first with Hutchins, Wheeler & Dittmar and then Peabody & Arnold, before joining Sullivan & Worcester in 2002. There he nurtured the firm's tax controversy practice, advising businesses and individuals in a wide range of state and federal tax matters. He appeared numerous times before the Massachusetts Appellate Tax Board and appellate court cases that shaped Massachusetts tax law. Mr. Halmkin was a pioneer in state tax controversy specialization in Massachusetts and was regarded as one of the deans of the Massachusetts tax bar. His in-depth knowledge of Massachusetts practice and procedure, based on his government and private sector experience, led to numerous victories that would have eluded other lawyers. More than most, Mr. Halmkin knew the importance of the human side of the law. Particularly in domicile matters, an area of special expertise, he could always weave the detailed strands of a client's life together in a way that told a compelling and effective story. He was legendary for telling stories outside the courtroom, too - stories that always had a point, even if it was not immediately clear to the listener. For those who worked with him, he was an unfailingly loyal advocate, partner and friend. Bill could navigate any demographic waters. Some of his clients were among the wealthiest men and women in Massachusetts, but he remained a "Medford boy" at heart, counting among his closest friends people from all walks of life. He was completely without pretense. Mr. Halmkin was the beloved husband of Barbara Halmkin, his wife of 43 years; son of the late Barbara E. Halmkin and the late William E. Halmkin; brother of Stephen Halmkin of Medford, Patricia Bjork and her husband Arthur of Salem, NH, Denise Zurman of Harwich, Sheila McGlynn and her husband Michael of Medford, Mary Halmkin of Medford, and the late Carol Pflaumer. A funeral mass will be celebrated in St. Francis of Assisi Church, 441 Fellsway West, Medford, on Saturday, February 13th at 11:30 AM. Relatives and friends are respectfully invited to attend. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be sent in Bill's name to the , 30 Speen St., Framingham, MA 01701.
Published in The Boston Globe on Feb. 7, 2016
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