The Bankruptcy Court for the Eastern District of Michigan entered an Administrative Order (click here to view) making the Court more attractive for "a very large, complex case of national significance." Yes, that means GM, Chrysler and/or Ford. The Order, signed by all Judges, provides:
It is hereby ordered that upon the filing of such a case, the case shall not be assigned by the Court’s blind draw system under E.D. Mich. LBR 1073-1 (a)(l). Instead, after consulting with the other bankruptcy judges, the chief bankruptcy judge shall assign the case to a bankruptcy judge.
It is further ordered that the bankruptcy judge to whom the case is assigned shall have the authority to assign adversary proceedings and contested matters to other bankruptcy judges as necessary and appropriate to carry out the purposes of this order.
The Sixth U.S. Judicial circuit, which includes Detroit, is “the backyard” of the United Auto Workers union as well as the circuit most protective of health care benefits promised to retirees, which makes it less likely to attract a bankrupt auto company that would likely seek to terminate those benefits, said Colleen Medill, an employee benefits law professor at the University of Nebraska. Still, the district’s judges are well versed in the auto industry, having handled bankruptcies of auto-parts makers including Collins & Aikman Corp., Intermet Corp. and Plastech Engineered Products Inc.
“There is no district in the country that has a greater stake in the outcome of a filing by one of the Big 3 than the Eastern District of Michigan,” said Chief Judge Steven Rhodes, referring to the formal name of his Detroit-based court. The court is reviewing staffing, security and technology functions so as to be ready to handle a case the size of an automaker.