Who is Judge Steven Rhodes?

By Roger Weber, Local 4 Reporter, @RogerWLocal4, rogerw@wdiv.com
Published On: Jul 23 2013 04:58:59 PM EDT
Updated On: Jul 23 2013 05:25:30 PM EDT

Local 4 takes a closer look at Judge Steven Rhodes, who has been chosen to preside over Detroit's Chapter 9 bankruptcy case.

DETROIT -

Wednesday is the first hearing for Detroit's bankruptcy filing, but today there was some action surrounding the lawsuits against that filing.

A state appeals court stepped in and ordered a stay in the three lawsuits surrounding the bankruptcy.

For now, this means things can move forward as planned, including tomorrow's hearing.

If you don't know the name Steven Rhodes, you soon will.

Wednesday morning he will hold hearing number one in the largest municipal bankruptcy filing in American history.

"He's smart. He does not suffer fools," said Douglas Bernstein a bankruptcy attorney from Plunkett & Cooney.

Bernstein is not part of the Detroit case but he's been in Rhodes courtroom many times.

"You had better come in prepared which is true of any judge, but you may hear about it from Judge Rhodes.

Rhodes is a lecturer at the University of Michigan Law School where he graduated in 1973.

He's also an author. He wrote: "The Ponzi Book, a legal resource for unraveling Ponzi schemes. His articles include: "Supplementing the Tools in the Trustee's Toolbox" and "The Ethical Obligations of a Chapter 7 Trustee."

"He's a good choice for handling the cities bankruptcy because he understands that the more delay to the process the more it costs every party involved money so I think he will move the process along quickly," said Bernstein.

Rhodes lengthy credentials include the Distinguished Service Award from the American Bankruptcy Institute.  

Bernstein says Rhodes is winding down his career as a full time judge, which could be an advantage as he tackles the Detroit's financial mess.

"The good thing is not only does he have the experience to handle a case of this magnitude but also he can manage his docket and devote enough time and energy to the case so it gets through the process efficiently," he said.

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