Union attorney to tell Detroit’s bankruptcy story March 24

March 21, 2014 | Events, UToday, Law
By Rachel Phipps

Union attorney Richard G. Mack Jr., a partner at Miller Cohen PLC in Detroit, will describe Detroit’s financial woes and predict what’s next in the city’s bankruptcy proceedings in a lecture Monday, March 24, at noon in the Law Center McQuade Law Auditorium.



As general counsel for Michigan Council 25 of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, Mack’s firm represents the union in the bankruptcy case.

The free, public lecture titled “The Detroit Bankruptcy Story: From Financial Crisis to Eluded Bargaining” is presented by the UT College of Law and its Labor and Employment Law Association.

Detroit’s staggering debt, which Emergency Manager Kevyn Orr estimates to be at $18.5 billion (though this figure is in dispute), led the city to file for Chapter 9 bankruptcy protection in July 2013.

A recent plan to manage Detroit’s debt released by Orr’s office asks current and retired city employees to bear the brunt of cost-cutting measures — and Detroit’s unions aren’t pleased. All eyes are on Detroit as resolution of the city’s bankruptcy will impact the city, its employees, its residents, the state of Michigan, and other cities nationwide facing similar deficits.

“The Detroit bankruptcy has both national and regional implications,” said Daniel J. Steinbock, dean of the UT College of Law. “For both its economic effect on this area and the precedent it will set in both bankruptcy and labor law, it is of great importance. We are lucky to have someone so intimately involved to explain the bankruptcy proceeding.”

Mack was named a Super Lawyer in Michigan for the years 2011, 2012 and 2013. He served four years on the board of the Labor and Employment Section of the State Bar of Michigan and often lectures for Wayne State University Labor Studies Center, the Institute of Continuing Legal Education, and various unions and organizations. Mack is also a director on the executive board of the Detroit Branch NAACP.

He received a dual bachelor’s degree from the University of Michigan in economics and political science, and a law degree from Wayne State University.

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