Schools, financiers in talks for failed investments

Erin Richards:

Five Wisconsin school districts that invested in $200 million worth of risky financial instruments that deflated in the economic collapse are engaged this month in settlement talks with the financial institutions they claim led them astray, according to court documents.
The legal counsel for the school districts – Waukesha, West Allis-West Milwaukee, Whitefish Bay, Kenosha and Kimberly – and for Stifel Financial Corp. and the Royal Bank of Canada met in New York this month and asked a Milwaukee County circuit judge for time to continue those talks.
“The schools are actively engaged in the mediation process, which we are hoping will produce a settlement,” said Stephen Kravit, one of the attorneys representing the districts.
Kravit and other attorneys for the school districts and financial institutions met in court Thursday for a status hearing. The next major hearing, which is likely to discuss amendments to a cross-claim that Stifel filed against the Royal Bank of Canada last month, is scheduled for Aug. 30.