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Politics & Government

Detroit's bankruptcy judge appoints 'federal mediator'

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Credit The Detroit Legal News
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Detroit's emergency manager Kevyn Orr tried it himself -- to get the city's creditors to agree on a reduced payback plan.

That didn't work, so now the bankruptcy court will force the parties to the negotiating table.

Today, federal bankruptcy Judge Steven W. Rhodes appointed Judge Gerald Rosen as the man who will facilitate these negotiations.

As "judicial mediator," Rosen will facilitate discussion between the city and its creditors when directed to do so by the federal bankruptcy judge.

Today's order appointing Rosen lays out how the process will work. The public will not be privy to what happens in these negotiations.

From the order:

- All proceedings, discussions, negotiation, and writings incident to mediation shall be privileged and confidential, and shall not be disclosed, filed or placed in evidence. - If a settlement is reached, the agreement shall be reduced to writing.

And Judge Rosen himself says today's statement is all he will say to the media:
 

"In accepting this mediation assignment, my objective is to bring the parties together in a neutral forum, away from the glare of the spotlight, to discuss the many challenging issues facing them with the purpose of resolving as many of their disputes as possible. I will immediately assemble a small team of highly experienced facilitative mediators from the public and private sector who have had a history of success in bringing parties together to resolve difficult, complex, and contentious cases. I look forward with optimism and enthusiasm to working with this team and the parties toward this goal."