Legal issues to be heard in Detroit bankruptcy case

DETROIT (WXYZ) - A court hearing in Detroit's Bankruptcy case is revealing why Detroit Firefighters don't have a new contract. They are the last employee group to hold out supporting Detroit's Plan of Adjustment. 

Attorney Christopher Legghio representing the Detroit Firefighters Association argued to Judge Steven Rhodes the city wants to use bankruptcy to suspend collective bargaining for 10 years and could impose contract terms.

Michigan Public Act 436, which established Kevyn Orr as Emergency Manager of Detroit, suspends collective bargaining for 5 years. Attorney Heather Lennox of Jones Day for the City told the Judge PA 436 does not prevent the suspension from being longer.

Legghio called 436 "Martial Law" to which Judge Rhodes responded that is "a little bit of an exaggeration."  Judge Rhodes also said there's a lot about this case that is "sui generis" a Latin term for unique.  It is not clear how and when the Judge will rule on this issue.

Several other legal issues will be heard by the Judge today and tomorrow setting the stage for the trial on Plan Confirmation that is set for August 14 and could last a month.

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