De­fense open to set­tle­ment talks in Trump Univer­sity case

Baltimore Sun - - TRUMP TRAN­SI­TION - By El­liot Sp­a­gat

SAN DIEGO — Don­ald Trump’s at­tor­ney told a fed­eral judge Thurs­day that he’s open to set­tle­ment talks in a class-ac­tion fraud law­suit in­volv­ing the pres­i­den­t­elect and his now-de­funct Trump Univer­sity.

At­tor­ney Daniel Petro­celli also asked dur­ing a hear­ing that the trial be delayed un­til early next year be­cause Trump needs time to work on the tran­si­tion to the pres­i­dency.

The law­suit al­leg­ing Trump Univer­sity failed on its prom­ise to teach suc­cess in real es­tate is sched­uled to be­gin Nov. 28 in San Diego.

Petro­celli said he agreed to an of­fer by U.S. District Court Judge Gon­zalo Curiel to have U.S. District Judge Jef­frey Miller work with both sides on a pos­si­ble set­tle­ment.

“I can tell you right now I’m all ears,” Petro­celli said. Curiel

Petro­celli said he planned to file a for­mal re­quest for a de­lay by Mon­day.

Curiel didn’t say how he would rule but en­cour­aged ef­forts to set­tle.

Petro­celli said it didn’t ap­pear pos­si­ble for Trump to at­tend the trial, and Curiel said he didn’t ex­pect at­ten­dance by the pres­i­dent-elect.

“We’re in un­charted ter­ri­tory. We need a lit­tle bit of time,” Petro­celli said.

Ear­lier, Curiel, the In­di­ana-born ju­rist who was ac­cused of bias by Trump over his Mex­i­can her­itage, ten­ta­tively de­nied a re­quest to ban state­ments made by and about Trump dur­ing his cam­paign from be­ing used at the trial.

The pe­ti­tion would ap­ply to Trump’s tweets, a video of Trump mak­ing sex­u­ally preda­tory com­ments about women, his tax his­tory, rev­e­la­tions about his char­i­ta­ble foun­da­tion and the pub­lic crit­i­cism of the judge.

Petro­celli told the judge last month that ev­i­dence tied to the cam­paign would be ir­rel­e­vant to the civil case and may prej­u­dice or in­flame a jury, jeop­ar­diz­ing the right to a fair trial.

Petro­celli warned that al­low­ing the jury to con­sider Trump’s re­marks “car­ries an im­me­di­ate and ir­repara­ble dan­ger of ex­treme and ir­re­me­di­a­ble prej­u­dice to de­fen­dants, con­fu­sion of is­sues and waste of time.”

Curiel said he would con­sider spe­cific ob­jec­tions at trial.

The law­suit filed in 2010 on be­half of for­mer cus­tomers al­leges that Trump Univer­sity, which was not ac­cred­ited, gave sem­i­nars and classes that were like in­fomer­cials, pres­sur­ing peo­ple to spend up to $35,000 for men­tor­ships and, in the end, fail­ing on its prom­ise to teach suc­cess in real es­tate.

The claims mir­ror an­other class-ac­tion com­plaint in San Diego and a law­suit in New York.

If Trump is found li­able, the trial would move to a sec­ond phase on dam­ages.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.