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Defense Open To Settlement In Trump University Trial

Donald Trump, left, listens as Michael Sexton introduces him at a news conference in New York where he announced the establishment of Trump University, May 23, 2005.
Associated Press
Donald Trump, left, listens as Michael Sexton introduces him at a news conference in New York where he announced the establishment of Trump University, May 23, 2005.

Trump University Lawsuit Heads Toward Nov. 28 Trial
Trump University Lawsuit Heads Toward Nov. 28 Trial GUEST: Bianca Bruno, reporter, Courthouse News Service

A unique pretrial meeting is set in federal court in San Diego today lawyers for President-elect Donald Trump will meet with attorneys in the Trump University fraud case. That case will go to trial in about three weeks. Joining me to discuss the case is Bianca Bruno , reporter, Courthouse News Service . Welcome to the program. Thank you. This morning the charge release and order in this case. What were they asking for? The biggest deal of these motions they are motions to exclude evidence things they don't want allowed into the trial and last month trumps attorneys asked for him not to allow any election chatter into the trial. So anything he said in debates or on the campaign trail. So the judge ruled which will probably confirm this afternoon he denied that request. So all of that could be allowed in the trial. Including what Donald Trump said about the judge himself, is out right quick This became an issue when he was in San Diego and may at his rally at the convention center downtown. Trump went on a rant about the case and the judge said that he could preside over the trial fairly because he is of Mexican descent. A lot of leaders came out against that comment think that he was trying to influence the court and not trust the judicial process. He has not discussed the case since the summer but he doesn't want those comments getting in the trial. If this ruling holds it may very well? Yes. Can you remind us how we got here. The case was filed and 20 to 1 -- 2010 against Trump University. It was supposed to help people learn inside a real estate secrets to cash in on foreclosure crisis. Some students paid $35,000 to learn the secrets and they were supposed to be from instructors that were handpicked by Trump and they were supposed to get mentoring four-year but they did not get it. Candace lawsuit proceed now that Trump is president? Yes. This was considered this year. It is a six-year-old case. It was filed way before Trump did his bid for president and the judge intentionally had the case go to trial after the election and before inauguration a case Trump did get elected president. So it is going to go to trial. The legal precedent that may bring it to trial is from Bill Clinton. Yes. That case was filed after he was elected president. This was filed 6 Years Ago Way before Trump even announced that he would be running. He has not immune from these kinds of lawsuits. How likely is it that this case will come to trial? In the legal community there is some speculation on that the trial would get settled. Earlier this year Trump said that he wouldn't settle and he basically said the claims are bogus so it is up in the air if you really would be willing to settle or not. I think the trial will go in November. If his attorneys try to delay it they would try to ask for a four your delay for his entire presidency, which I don't think we'll fly. Is that the argument that Trump and his attorneys are making that the claims of the defendants are without any merit like He has said that if they were unsuccessful and real estate it wasn't because Trump University didn't live up to the promises it needed. He said that they were lazy or unsuccessful because of their own problems and it wasn't Trump University spot. If this does go to trial, how likely is it that Donald Trump might actually testify in this case in person? I think it is a little less likely that he will testify now that he is actually been elected president. I think before -- depending on how the election turned out we expected that maybe he would testify. There was a big sort of scrambled to get access to his deposition videos, which he ruled not to release publicly. Those will be shown and though plaintiffs could ask for an additional deposition video more recently taken that could be shown. He could even testify via live video feed. There's a lot of options. Is is the last legal battle pending against all Trump as he awaits taken office? Know, there are actually two cases against Trump University. The second one is younger and it was filed in 2013 and has the same fraud claims against him and the school but it has an additional racketeering claim, which has a lot hires takes if it's proven that he is guilty and then there's another case filed by the Attorney General in New York. I have been speaking with Bianca Bruno , reporter, Courthouse News Service . Thank you. Thank you.

Defense Open To Settlement In Trump University Trial
President-elect Donald Trump's attorney also asked that the trial be delayed until early next year because Trump needs time to work on the transition to the presidency.

Donald Trump's attorney told a federal judge Thursday he's open to settlement talks in a class-action fraud lawsuit involving the president-elect 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 currently set 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 told 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 in the day, 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 highly unusual petition would apply to Trump's tweets, a video of Trump making sexually predatory comments about women, his tax history, revelations about his private 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.

The lawyer 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 was prepared to deny the request because Trump's attorneys didn't specify what evidence they wanted to exclude. He 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 as a school, gave seminars and classes across the country 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 a lawsuit in New York.

Petrocelli told reporters in May that Trump planned to attend most, if not all, of the trial and would testify.

"He has very, very strong feelings about this case," Petrocelli said at the time.

At the May hearing, Petrocelli asked for a trial after Inauguration Day on Jan. 20, but the judge raised concerns about distractions if Trump won the election.

The liability phase of the trial is expected to last four to six weeks. If Trump is found liable, the trial would move to a second phase on damages.