Politics & Government
12:54 pm
Thu August 29, 2013

Detroit officials and creditors meeting today behind closed doors with new mediator

Chad Livengood of the Detroit News reports that a closed-door meeting will take place today between the city and bond insurers, pension funds, and Detroit's casinos.

Livengood reports a Portland-based bankruptcy judge, Elizabeth Perris, will be leading the mediation. She's worked on the Stockton, CA bankruptcy proceedings.

Here's what they'll be talking about according to Livengood:

Chief U.S. District Court Judge Gerald Rosen, the head mediator in Detroit’s Chapter 9 bankruptcy, has assigned Perris to mediate a dispute between the city and creditors opposed to a proposal to settle about $250 million in debt on interest rate swaps with banking giants UBS and Bank of America.

The city is seeking a quick resolution to the dispute in an effort to slash about $50 million in annual debt payments and free up $11 million in casino tax revenue to spend on public safety services. At issue in the disputed settlement is one insurer of Detroit’s pension debt, Syncora Guarantee, is trying to lay claim to the casino money.

A team of mediators will be working with the city and creditors to try to resolve disputes before they get to the courtroom.

U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Steven Rhodes is overseeing the Detroit bankruptcy case. He named U.S. District Judge Gerald Rosen as the lead mediator for the bankruptcy.

Rosen named his mediation team this week. The team is made up of four judges and one lawyer. The Detroit Free Press has the list:

U.S. District Judge Victoria Roberts, a native Detroiter who was appointed to the bench in the Eastern District of Michigan by President Bill Clinton in 1998. She’s currently an adjunct professor at the University of Michigan Law School.

U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Elizabeth Perris of the District of Oregon, a bankruptcy judge with almost 30 years of experience who has served as a judicial mediator in the municipal bankruptcies of Vallejo, Stockton and Mammoth Lakes, Calif. She has served two terms on the Bankruptcy Appellate Panel for the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals.

Senior U.S. District Judge Wiley Daniel of the District of Colorado, a former Detroit resident who was appointed to the federal bench in 1995 by Clinton.

Former U.S. Bankruptcy and U.S. District Judge David Coar, who was appointed to the federal bench in Illinois by Clinton in 1994, after serving as a U.S. bankruptcy trustee and a federal bankruptcy judge in Chicago. He also has served as a private mediator on large high-profile cases, including the Mammoth Lakes, Calif., municipal bankruptcy.

Eugene Driker, a native Detroiter and co-founder of the Barris, Sott, Denn & Driker Detroit law firm. He has litigated major business and commercial cases for more than 50 years. He is considered a leading mediator in Michigan.