Retired federal bankruptcy judge Steven Rhodes, who presided over Detroit’s Chapter 9 case, will join a new Detroit office of mediation and arbitration provider JAMS.

DALLAS -- Two federal judges who helped navigate Detroit’s historic bankruptcy will join a Miller, Canfield, Paddock and Stone principal to launch a downtown Detroit office of Judicial Arbitration and Mediation Services in April.

JAMS is a nationwide and international private provider of mediation and arbitration services for lawyers and parties involved in lawsuits or contemplating legal action. The firm has about two dozen offices across the United States.

JAMS’ Detroit office will be launched in April by Steven Rhodes, the retired federal bankruptcy judge who presided over Detroit’s historic bankruptcy and is currently Detroit Public Schools transition manager; Gerald Rosen, the former chief federal district judge in Detroit, who crafted Detroit’s bankruptcy grand bargain; and Clarence Pozza Jr. a veteran litigation attorney who is principal at Miller Canfield.

The firm was Detroit’s local bankruptcy counsel during the Chapter 9 proceedings and has served Detroit as bond counsel.

Rhodes’ contract as transition manager for the Detroit schools expires in January when Detroit swears in a new school board.

DPS was formally divided into two separate entities on July 1 under a $600 million state package approved this year by state lawmakers to stave off a potential bankruptcy filing as the district grappled with insolvency. The new Detroit Public Schools Community District operates schools and will receive the future state aid payments that had secured the 2011 and 2012 bonds. The bonds also carry a limited tax general obligation backing.

Rosen’s term as chief judge of the Eastern District of Michigan ended December 31, 2015.

Together the three will work on a broad range of issues that range from real estate and construction to commercial disputes and bankruptcy issue, personal injury and tort matters and products liability.



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