At­tor­neys in Trump Univer­sity law­suit bicker over trial

The Myanmar Times - - World -

THE at­tor­neys rep­re­sent­ing plain­tiffs in a class-ac­tion law­suit against Don­ald Trump’s now-de­funct univer­sity have de­nounced a re­quest by the pres­i­dent-elect’s lawyers to de­lay the trial and ex­cuse him from tes­ti­fy­ing in per­son.

In a mo­tion filed in San Diego’s fed­eral court, the at­tor­neys said a re­quest made at the week­end for the Novem­ber 28 trial to be de­layed un­til af­ter the inau­gu­ra­tion in Jan­uary was no more than a tac­tic to post­pone the case in­def­i­nitely.

“Each of de­fen­dants’ ‘mod­est’ re­quests to de­lay this trial has been just a pre­lude to an­other re­quest,” at­tor­ney Ja­son Forge said.

He added that the plain­tiffs in the six-year-old law­suit, one of whom is nearly 75 years old, “can­not af­ford any fur­ther de­lays”.

“This trial, like so many Trump Univer­sity stu­dent-vic­tims’ credit card bills, is past due,” he wrote.

Mr Forge also re­jected a re­quest by Mr Trump’s at­tor­ney Daniel Petro­celli that the pres­i­dent-elect be ex­cused from tes­ti­fy­ing live or in per­son at the trial.

The class ac­tion suit al­leges that Trump Univer­sity fleeced stu­dents by trick­ing them with ag­gres­sive mar­ket­ing that amounted to fraud.

Stu­dents paid as much as US$35,000 to en­rol, be­liev­ing they would make it big in real es­tate af­ter be­ing taught by ex­perts hand­picked by Mr Trump, the suit says.

Mr Petro­celli said his client was will­ing to be ques­tioned in a video­taped de­po­si­tion that could be played dur­ing the trial.

Mr Forge, how­ever, said there was no need for Mr Trump to be ques­tioned any fur­ther in the case given that he has al­ready pro­vided more than 10 hours of video-recorded sworn tes­ti­mony.

He noted that if, as Mr Petro­celli said, Mr Trump was avail­able to pro­vide ad­di­tional video­taped tes­ti­mony be­fore the trial starts, there was no rea­son he could not take the stand in per­son.

Mr Petro­celli, how­ever, in­sisted in a re­sponse mo­tion that a con­tin­u­ance was nec­es­sary “to al­low the pres­i­dent-elect to fo­cus on the enor­mous re­spon­si­bil­ity of tran­si­tion­ing to the most de­mand­ing and im­por­tant of­fice in our gov­ern­ment”.

The lawyer in­di­cated dur­ing a hear­ing last week that he was open to set­tling the mat­ter out of court.

US dis­trict judge Gon­zalo Curiel told both sides that an­other judge had of­fered to step in and work with them on a pos­si­ble set­tle­ment.

Mr Trump re­peat­edly hit out against the In­di­ana-born Mr Curiel dur­ing his run for the White House.

He claimed that the ju­rist’s Mex­i­can her­itage would stand in the way of a fair trial given Mr Trump’s con­tro­ver­sial stand on il­le­gal im­mi­gra­tion and his vow to build a wall along the US-Mex­ico bor­der. –

Photo: AFP

Hun­dreds of stu­dents from East Los An­ge­les high schools rally at Grand Park, across from City Hall, on day six of na­tion­wide protests against Pres­i­dent-elect Don­ald Trump on Novem­ber 14.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Myanmar

© PressReader. All rights reserved.