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Hon. Steven W. Rhodes

United States Bankruptcy Judge (Retired)

Ann Arbor, MI

Class: VI (1995)Circuit: Sixth


University of Michigan Law School, Juris Doctor, cum laude (1972)
Purdue University, Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering, cum laude (1970)

Professional Career

Mediator & Arbitrator, JAMS (February 2017-April 2020)
Transition Manager for Detroit Public Schools and Detroit Public Schools Community District, (March 2016-December 2017)
United States Bankruptcy Judge, United States Bankruptcy Court, Eastern District of Michigan (1985-2015)
Chief Judge, United States Bankruptcy Court, Eastern District of Michigan (2002-2009)
Judge, Bankruptcy Appellate Panel for the Sixth Circuit (1997-2004; 2008-2011)
Chief Judge, Bankruptcy Appellate Panel for the Sixth Circuit (2002-2004)
United States Magistrate Judge, United States District Court, Eastern District of Michigan (1981-1985)
Adjunct Professor, teaching Bankruptcy Law, University of Michigan Law School (1992-2002; 2013)
Adjunct Professor, teaching Ethics, University of Detroit Law School (1986)


American Bankruptcy Institute
- Chair, Advisory Board, Consumer Fee Study (2009-2011)
- Chair, Consumer Task Force (2009)
- Judicial Chair, Veterans Day Consumer Conference (2006-2012)
- Vice President for Research (2005-2007)
- Judicial Chair, Advisory Board, Central States Conference (1997-2013)
American Bankruptcy Law Journal, Associate Editor (1994-1996)
American Bar Association
Federal Bar Association
Judicial Council of the Sixth Circuit, Bankruptcy Judges Representative (2011-2014)
National Conference of Bankruptcy Judges (1985-2015)
- Chair, Endowment for Education (2002-2004)
- Board of Governors (1999-2002; 2011-2014)
State Bar of Michigan (admitted 1973)
National Association of Federal Equity Receivers


Chapter, In Pari Delicto: Solutions to an Inequity Plaguing Bankruptcy Trustees and Innocent Creditors, Norton Annual Survey of Bankruptcy Law (West 2015)
Chapter, Effective Expert Testimony, Fraud and Forensics: Piercing through the Deception in a Commercial Fraud Case (American Bankruptcy Institute 2015)
Equity Receivers and the In Pari Delicto Defense, 69 Bus. Law. 699 (American Bar Association May 2014)
Obtaining the Release of Grand Jury Evidence in Ponzi Cases, 42 Golden Gate U. L. Rev. 657 (2012)
Coordination Agreements in Parallel Forfeiture and Bankruptcy Proceedings, American Bar Association Business Law Section’s Online Resource, Business Law Today (June 21, 2012)
Supplementing the Tools in the Trustee’s Toolbox, NABTalk, The Journal of the National Conference of Bankruptcy Trustees (Spring 2012)
The Ponzi Book: A Legal Resource for Unraveling Ponzi Schemes (LexisNexis 2012)
The Ethical Obligations of a Chapter 7 Trustee, 80 Am. Bankr. L.J. 147 (Issue 2, 2006)
A Preview of Demonstrating a Serious Problem with Undisclosed Assets in Chapters 7 Cases, 2002 No. 5 (May) Norton Bankr. L. Advisor 1
An Empirical Study of Consumer Bankruptcy Papers, 73 Am. Bankr. L.J. 653 (Summer 1999)
Eight Statutory Causes of Delay and Expense in Chapter 11 Bankruptcy Cases, 67 Am. Bankr. L.J. 287 (Summer 1993)


Detroit Metropolitan Bar Association Foundation, Dennis Archer Community Service Award (November 19, 2015)
The Detroit News, Michiganian of the Year (November 11, 2015)
Commercial Law League of America, Lawrence P. King Award for Excellence in the Field of Bankruptcy (September 29, 2015)
Goodwill Industries, Barbara R. Smith Lifetime Achievement Award (May 8, 2015)
Michigan Lawyers Weekly, Michigan Lawyer of the Year (March 26, 2015)
Crain’s Detroit Business, Newsmaker of the Year Award (February 25, 2015)
Walsh College, Honorary Doctor of Laws (January 10, 2015)
Sixth Circuit Judicial Conference, Life Member (2015)
National Association of Bankruptcy Trustees, Dedication and Contribution to the Chapter 7 Community and to the NABT (2014)
American Bankruptcy Institute, Distinguished Service Award (2009)