Detroit bankruptcy judge will retire Feb. 18

Robert Snell
The Detroit News

Detroit — U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Steven Rhodes, who presided over Detroit’s landmark municipal bankruptcy case, will retire Wednesday after a 30-year career, a court spokesman said Friday.

On Friday, the bankruptcy clerk asked Guy Cole, chief judge of the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Cincinnati, Ohio, to name a successor to handle unresolved issues in the biggest municipal bankruptcy case in the nation’s history.

Rhodes was credited with setting an aggressive schedule during the bankruptcy case, which ended in December with Detroit emerging from bankruptcy after about 17 months. He also was hailed for listening to residents and pensioners impacted by the bankruptcy, taking the unusual step of inviting them to court to voice their concerns.

Before being assigned the case, Rhodes had experience in large complex bankruptcy filings and a reputation for efficiency, diplomacy and little patience for unprepared lawyers.

Rhodes, who was appointed in 1985, presided over the Chapter 11 bankruptcy of auto-parts maker Collins & Aikman Corp. in 2005.

Rhodes is a graduate of the University of Michigan Law School, where he also has taught as an adjunct professor.

The Purdue University undergrad served as a law clerk for the late U.S. District Judge John Feikens, and is a former assistant U.S. Attorney and federal magistrate.

In his free time, Rhodes plays guitar in the cover band Indubitable Equivalents.


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