Robert Snell

Robert Snell

Robert Snell is the Detroit News federal courts reporter. He can be reached at or (313) 222-2028.

Gov. Rick Snyder, left, and Detroit Emergency Manager Kevyn Orr.

Gov. Snyder primed for historic appearance in Detroit bankruptcy trial

Gov. Rick Snyder spent almost three hours testifying in the Detroit bankruptcy trial, saying he authorized a Chapter 9 filing because the city was hemorrhaging money but claimed attorney-client privilege when asked about sensitive discussions regarding the fate of retiree pensions. Snyder was the first Michigan governor in modern history to testify under oath in … Continue Reading →

Jones Day attorneys walk out of the U.S. Federal Courthouse after testimony on Friday afternoon. (Todd McInturf / The Detroit News

Drama builds in Detroit bankruptcy as chief, Orr near witness stand

Detroit Police Chief James Craig testified about “deplorable” conditions within the department the endangered the lives of residents and officers and contributed to the city’s need for Chapter 9 bankruptcy relief. Craig’s testimony was the most gripping during a day that also featured contentious exchanges between creditor lawyers and one of the architects of Detroit’s … Continue Reading →


Investment banker brings drama to Detroit bankruptcy fight

An investment banker working on restructuring city finances testified today about Detroit’s dire condition and unsuccessful attempts to negotiate with creditors and avoid filing Chapter 9 bankruptcy. Banker Kenneth Buckfire injected a bit of drama and broke up hours of minute financial data from the first two witnesses in a trial that will determine whether … Continue Reading →