The CNMI government and the parties in Betty Johnson’s class action submitted yesterday to the federal court six nominees for the position of a trustee who will run the settlement fund that will be created under the settlement agreement.
Assistant attorney general Reena J. Patel, on behalf of the CNMI government, urged the U.S. District Court for the NMI to select Guam-based Chapter 7 bankruptcy trustee Mark J. Heath as settlement trustee.
Patel said the government feels that Heath is extremely qualified given his financial experience as a bankruptcy trustee.
Attorney Margery Bronster, one of the counsel for Johnson, selected Guam attorney Joyce C. H. Tang of Civille & Tang law firm.
Bronster said the court should consider the law firm as the best possible nominee given the need for a seamless transition, the need to avoid the perils of on-the-job learning that all other candidates would face, Civille & Tang’s track record, and absence of any conflicts.
Civille & Tang, through attorney Joseph C. Razzano, is currently the Fund’s trustee ad litem. Bronster said they understand that Razzano will not be involved if their law firm is appointed as settlement trustee.
Attorneys Bruce Jorgensen and Stephen Woodruff, as other counsels for Johnson, nominated Guam attorney Mitchell F. Thompson of Maher & Thompson law firm, and Hawaii-based attorney and special counsel to Chapter 13 Hawaii bankruptcy trustee William J. Plum of the Plum Law Office.
NMI Retirement Fund board counsels Braddock J. Huesman and Daniel J. Berman nominated former Fund administrator Richard S. Villagomez and Guam-based attorney Michael H. Berman.
U.S. District Court for the NMI designated judge Frances Tydingco-Gatewood set the deadline yesterday for submission of a list of nominees. The judge will start the interviews of the nominees on Aug. 31 to Sept. 2.