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Bond Counsel Corner

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John M. Kamins
Foster Swift Municipal Law News
January 30, 2014

Did you know Foster Swift is a nationally recognized bond counsel firm? We serve Michigan townships and other governmental units and school districts in all aspects of issuing bonds and municipal finance. Our Lansing, Grand Rapids and Oakland County offices are listed in The Bond Buyer’s Municipal Marketplace (known as the “Red Book”), the national directory of recognized bond attorneys.

The Firm’s Public Finance practice has earned a reputation for excellence, efficiency and responsiveness to our clients’ needs. Beginning with a client’s earliest consideration of how to finance any governmental or economic development project or how to refinance its outstanding bonds, through every step of structuring, authorizing, selling and issuing general obligation or revenue bonds, or other bonds, notes and installment purchase agreements, our public finance attorneys advise and lead issuers throughout their municipal finance transactions.

Our bond-financed projects run the gamut from municipal and school buildings and equipment, street improvements, water and sewage disposal systems, drainage districts, libraries, museums, stadiums, charter schools, hospitals and 501(c)(3) facilities to manufacturing and solid waste disposal facilities.

We advise municipal clients on state laws and federal tax and securities laws and regulations. We draft their ballot proposals, bond authorizing ordinances and resolutions, notices of intent, intergovernmental contracts, official statements, continuing disclosure agreements, applications for Michigan Department of Treasury approval (when needed) and other essential resolutions, contracts, legal opinions, certificates and proceedings.

Foster Swift has also served in recent years as bond counsel to the State of Michigan, the Michigan Finance Authority and the Michigan Strategic Fund, and to four school districts with Emergency Managers or a consent agreement in lieu of an Emergency Manager. When we are not an issuer’s bond counsel, we sometimes are the underwriter’s counsel, placement agent’s counsel or trustee’s counsel in diverse bond or note issues. We can also counsel clients on defaulted and troubled bond issues.

The leader of our Public Finance practice, John Kamins, has exceptional experience helping local governments to finance unfunded accrued actuarial liabilities for pension and retiree medical benefits. Under current Michigan law, bonds can be issued for those purposes only by AA-rated issuers and only until Dec. 31, 2014, so time is growing short for initiating those potential bond issues.

If you have questions regarding bonds, please contact John Kamins at jkamins@fosterswift.com or 248.785.4727. His bond financing clients have included state and local governments, underwriters, trustees and conduit borrowers. He also has served as corporate and disclosure counsel to publicly traded and privately held companies and 501(c)(3) entities for financings, securities offerings, private placements, SEC reporting, mergers and acquisitions, joint ventures, and governance issues.