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Trial starts; Is Detroit eligible for bankruptcy?

Unusual trial starts to determine whether Detroit is eligible to slash debt in bankruptcy

Trial starts; Is Detroit eligible for bankruptcy?

DETROIT (AP) -- A lawyer says Detroit will present a "mountain of evidence" to show the city is insolvent and deserves to turn itself around in bankruptcy court.

An extraordinary trial opened Wednesday in Detroit's 3-month-old bankruptcy, the largest public filing in U.S. history. The once-booming industrial hub must show it cleared certain hurdles to be eligible to restructure as much as $18 billion in debt.

One of those critical steps is proof of good-faith negotiations with creditors before bankruptcy became the choice in July. Unions and pension funds will argue that Detroit flunked that requirement.

In his opening remarks, city attorney Bruce Bennett says he could "stand here for hours" describing Detroit's ruinous finances.

Outside the courthouse, dozens of people protested against possible pension cuts.