The chief U.S. District judge of the district of Puerto Rico appointed a helper judge to aide in Puerto Rico’s Title III bankruptcy case.

Documents posted to the federal court document site Thursday indicated that Judith Dein would aid in the case. Dein will assist the main judge, Laura Taylor Swain.

Puerto Rico Title III bankruptcy Judge Laura Swain introduced Chief Mediator Barbara Houser on Wednesday.
Puerto Rico Title III bankruptcy Judge Laura Swain introduced Chief Mediator Barbara Houser on Wednesday. U.S. Courts

Dein will handle “discovery disputes, management of other pretrial proceedings, and making proposed findings and recommendations concerning motions,” according to her notice of appointment. “Judge Dein will have authority and responsibilities in these cases only to the extent specified in written orders of reference entered by Judge Swain.”

Dein normally works as a magistrate judge in the U.S. District Court for Massachusetts. According to the order for her appointment, in an “emergency and upon the concurrence of the chief judges of the districts involved” a judge can be appointed to a district other than the judicial district for which he or she has been appointed.

Dein is being appointed due to the unavailability of Puerto Rico magistrate judges.

Dein graduated from Boston College Law School in 1979. After two years as a law clerk, she worked as a lawyer for Hale and Dorr and then Warner & Stackpole, which later merged with Kirkpatrick & Lockhart.
Since 2000 Dein has worked as a magistrate judge in the U.S. District Court for Massachusetts.

Title III of the Puerto Rico Oversight, Management, and Economic Stability Act is a bankruptcy process for Puerto Rico’s debt and pensions. Currently, the case covers about $31 billion of general obligation and Puerto Rico Sales Tax Financing Corp. (COFINA) debt. It may be expanded to include other forms of debt. It will also address the underfunding of the island’s three pension systems, which as of June 30, 2015 had total pension liabilities of $49.6 billion.

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