Judge Gonzalo Curiel to decide on whether to postpone Trump University lawsuit
SAN DIEGO (KUSI) — A federal judge in San Diego will hear argument Friday on whether to postpone this month’s trial of a class-action lawsuit filed by
former students of the now-defunct Trump University who claim they were duped into paying up to $35,000 to learn real estate secrets from experts supposedly hand-picked by Trump himself.
Reports from various outlets indicate that Trump may be nearing a $20-$25 million settlement on the lawsuit. Attorneys for the President-elect told U.S. District Judge Gonzalo Curiel that Trump is busy making appointments and preparing to run the country and it was uncertain whether he’d be able to attend the trial — currently scheduled for Nov. 28 — in person. A settlement would allow Trump to focus on transitioning to the White House.
Curiel said Trump could testify via a video feed or a previous deposition could be used, but lead attorney Daniel Petrocelli said not having the President-elect in San Diego would be a real disadvantage. In court papers, Petrocelli also questioned the process in which a jury pool of 100 people was selected to potentially hear the trial.
Curiel told both sides last week that it would be "wise" to try to settle the case if they could, offering the services of District Judge Jeffrey Miller as a mediator. During the presidential campaign, Trump criticized Curiel’s rulings and handling of the lawsuit, calling the Indiana-born former prosecutor a Mexican and asserting that his ancestry made him unfit to try the case. The statements on Curiel were widely condemned as racist, including by some GOP leaders.