Trump Lawyers Fail In Bid To Delay Trump University Trial

495px-Donald_Trump_by_Gage_SkidmoreThe Trump legal team lost a major motion in San Diego that could have political consequences when U.S. District Judge Gonzalo Curiel refused to move the planned November 28th trial date in the Trump University fraud case. Trump attorney Daniel Petrocelli wanted the trial moved to January 2. Petrocelli argued that it was his not Trump’s schedule in November that needed to be accommodated due to another trial.

You will recall Judge Curiel from the infamous attack by Trump on his Mexican heritage, even though he was born in the United States.

The denial of the five-week delay is by no means unexpected. With a trial this close, many judges look with disfavor on motions for new trial dates, particularly when opposed by the other party. The judge had already accommodated the presidential election in delaying a trial.The class action has now been six years in the making.

trump_university_logoThe fraud case is actually quite interesting. The claims are based primarily on alleged assurances or indications that Trump University was an accredited university, that Trump handpicked top experts in the field to teach them, and they would receive a year of mentoring. However, the case does raise the long-standing warning of caveat emptor (“buyer beware”) for consumer to separate puffery from promises in such arrangements. Many were sold after watching what was clearly an infomercial. The Trump team insists that these students were unsuccessful due to their own failings and many actually gave the course high marks for satisfaction. I have long been a critic of such commercial “educational” products, even with accredited online universities. Students often pay huge amounts and receive sub par courses or educations. While the base course only lasted 3 days and cost $1,500, the gold or elite mentored courses could go as high as a shocking $35,000.

Trump University was incorporated in 2004 and Donald Trump owned 93% of the company. Notably, however,
in June 2010, “Trump University” dropped the educational reference and changed its name to “The Trump Entrepreneur Initiative.” It then shutdown in 2010.

I agree with Judge Curiel that there is enough to go to trial despite the motions by the Trump team to the contrary. A hearing is now planned for jury instruction just two days after the presidential election. That raises some interesting issues. Trump would be called to testify, but he could be elected president on November 8th and inaugurated on January 20th. The trial would occur in the middle of those dates when he would normally be putting together a cabinet and laying the foundation for his new administration. Testifying in a fraud trial (as one of the alleged defrauding agents) is a brutal task and usually requires considerable preparation by such a party. What is interesting is that a trial on January 2 would seem to be even worse timing for Trump in putting the trial right at the very doorstep of his possible inauguration.

The trial date now would seem set in concrete . . . it is everything else remains unpredictable.

71 thoughts on “Trump Lawyers Fail In Bid To Delay Trump University Trial”

    1. You have outdone yourself for hypocritical drivel. The case has been ‘six years in the making’, the trial has already been delayed with concerns for Trump’s run for President, and Trump is so rich that he can manipulate the legal system in such a way that makes him the most disgusting sort there is, someone who can buy justice. You demand compromises in the justice system for Trump and nail Clinton to the cross for any and every judicial travesty. Let’s call a spade a spade, here or hypocritical drivel, which it is.

      1. A demand of compromises? You believe that a judge, before whom a case will appear, is somehow going beyond the parameters of judicial discretion and wisdom in granting a candidate, for the office of President, a court date which takes that little factor into consideration? How is that hypocritical? That’s not going to determine the final outcome of this matter. The decision to grant a continuance is in no way like, for example, the bogus and laughable FBI investigation into Clinton, where every flagrant violation and act of subterfuge was ignored. Trump and his organization, should there be any findings of liability and wrongdoing, will pay for those mistakes. The Clintons have never, and will never, pay for any of their decades and decades of crimes. Those who have had the information and were willing to testify about those misdeeds were either threatened into remaining silent or were killed. Yes, hypocritical drivel. You should know, issacfullofbs.

  1. I am sure that if the defendant’s name were Hillary Clinton the motion would be granted.

    1. And you are sure of that based on what? As pointed out above, many federal judges set firm trial dates and expect attorneys to manage their calendars accordingly.

    2. Hallelujah, Paul. You get it. We all get it, except for a few members of the Bar, whose bruised egos never recuperated from denials for a continuance on their pending matters before various judges. Of course, it’s easier to believe that everyone is accorded the same treatment than to suffer through putting on your big boy pants and realize that either these self-righteous attorneys and/or their respective clients just didn’t have the proper pull and connections to accomplish their goals. Yeah. That’s the real world. Lawyers who operate in the real world know that. In this situation, it’s not about Trump’s attorney. It’s about the simmering animus that this judge has about the publicly disseminated remarks, issued by Trump, questioning his character and integrity. If anyone is going to get any leeway or any reasonable accommodation, count Trump out. This judge is going to make Trump pay, and, pay dearly for his comments.

          1. Steve – I do read many of the SC judgments. Although, I have to admit, they could use a fiction writer on the court to lighten the sloggishness of some of them.

        1. True, the appeal may be easier, but the optics remain against Trump: Trump is “not getting away with anything” while Hillary has nothing to get away with except some poor judgement on the part of her staff.

          The reverse, of course is much closer to the truth, at least by comparison. Hillary has knowingly committed crimes and errors of judgement that make most of what Trump has done look like Sunday School pranks.

          1. Brooklin Bridge – the moment I heard the judge belong to a la Raza org I knew he was trouble. I have lived in the Southwest since 1964 and these la Raza people are the haters and racists of the Southwest. Luckily they are losing numbers as the older members are either shot or die of old age. The kids of today do not see race as a problem.

            1. Thanks Paul for the info about La Raza. I suppose they started out OK and then, like many of our labor unions, became corrupt over time.

              In this particular instance, it falls serindipitously (from Clintion’s POV) within the main stream narrative, “Defeat Trump at any and all costs.”

  2. Gonzalo Curiel spent several years being case-hardened in San Diego Superior Court’s hallowed family court just before being appointed to the federal district court here. Hes very well respected while there are others who are not.

    Petrocelli was the family’s attorney in the wrongful death suit against OJ. Pretty good outcome there, and his book on the subject was a good read. Very experienced and very reputable. However, I don’t know how he’ll get Trump out of the quicksand The Donald himself created. There’s supposed to be difference between puffery and fraud. Damage control is perhaps Petrocelli’s sole purpose in defending him.

    Bam Bam, you’re arguing for argument’s sake unless you’ve filed a case and been before the bench in the federal district court, which by your comments seems unlikely.

    1. I strongly suspect that you have never filed a case in federal district court in which your client was running for the highest office of the land. I’d be willing to bet on that. The circumstances and the justifications, in this very specific and unusual situation, lean toward granting just such a continuance. As I mentioned previously, unless and until you actually represent an individual, who is simultaneously running for the office of President and fending off a class-action lawsuit, all side comments about how the average Joe is treated in federal court are irrelevant. This isn’t about given preferential treatment to Trump or giving him an advantage. It’s about using some of that inherent judicial wisdom and insight, which is so crucial, to assess the situation, at hand, and to apply said wisdom and insight to this particular matter. Judges, as I assume you already know, have a great deal of discretion, leeway and latitude, which they either decide to use or withhold at whim. If you sincerely believe that this judge, whose integrity and impartiality was publicly questioned by Trump, months ago, remains unfazed and unscathed by such comments–so much so that those humiliating remarks have no effect, whatsoever, on his very discretionary and unaccountable decisions–then I have a bridge to sell you. A slightly used one. Your Tinkerbell belief that judges, at any level of the spectrum, aren’t affected by snide and negative remarks, which are publicly disseminated, reveals a naivete as to how human beings–and, yes, that includes judges–often operate.

      1. Bam Bam, my understanding is that the trial date was confirmed in Trump’s case. Isn’t that the case? For an attorney to subsequently say he’s got a scheduling conflict that trumps Trump’s case isn’t going to be met with much sympathy unless he’s had a death in the family, someone in his immediate family is seriously ill, or he’s got some other excuse of the kind.

        A judge who opens that flood gate isn’t going to get through his docket.

        Tinkerbell? Too funny.

  3. So. Somebody above said that Trump criticized this judge who sits on his case. I did not hear about that one because I was in prison. Just got out. What did Trump say?

  4. Loath as I am to quoting Wikipedia, sometimes it is succinct:

    “Since the 15th century, Lady Justice has often been depicted wearing a blindfold. The blindfold represents objectivity, in that justice is or should be meted out objectively, without fear or favour, regardless of money, wealth, fame, power, or identity; blind justice and impartiality. ”

    I would add to that list: schedule and ego.

    1. You may be capable of pulling this quote and reading these words, but they are, by no means, a complete explanation as to how judges are expected to perform their duties. There’s a human factor involved, otherwise we would use computers, upload the facts, and allow machines to form decisions. We don’t. Inherent in the role of a judge are the concepts of wisdom, fairness, practicality, mercy and compassion. Justice being blind doesn’t mean that a judge is relegated to remaining blind to the unique set of circumstances before him when forming a decision. Justice being blind doesn’t prevent a judge from using common sense and reasonableness to make said decisions. If that is what you have gleaned from this text, you have, obviously, misinterpreted the true meaning.

  5. also, off topic. WTF is up with Creepy Kasich joining Obama to shill for the TPP? Ohio has suffered greatly from NAFTA, CAFTA, KORUS and the WTO.

    Only 50 days until the general (s)election people!! Let’s ensure that HRC gets no where near the WH!!

  6. What I would like to see is Clinton’s emails regarding the TPP – which Obama has put on hold until the end of November.

  7. If one compromises and puts the sleaze, fraud, and other missteps of both candidates at equal, one to the other, and take that argument out of the equation, one then has left only to look at the arenas each of them has played.

    Clinton has played out her career in the arena of public service. She began as a lawyer, as do most elected officials, but has spent most of her career working for the public good; remember the debate is not about performance but arena.

    Trump has spent all of his career working for the rich: rich apartment owners, rich hotel guests, rich gamblers, rich bankers, rich developers, etc., but above all himself, personally, privately, uniquely.

    Clinton has fallen short and excelled where more often than not there is but two choices with the proof available only after the choice has been made. In Clinton’s arena one cannot sue to make it right.

    Trump has always had the freedom of where to place his expertise, whether or not to pay his contractors, and how to deal with disputes. Trump has placed his expertise in the world of the wealthy, has often enough screwed contractors by going bankrupt-making millions himself in doing so-and has financially intimidated individuals by suing them regardless of merit. Trump’s public service has been for the benefit of a public of one.

    Clinton has maneuvered through the world of public opinion in her private life-which is nobody’s business-but primarily through the world of public opinion in public life which is everybody’s business. Clinton’s lies have been devastating to her as she plays in a world that does not accept untruthfulness regardless of how prevalent it is.

    Trumps world is one of the most wealthy, the oligarchs that are the problem with this country, and the feeble minded who are sucked into his ‘lottery mentality’ carnival shows. Trump has maneuvered through the world of ‘get rich quick’ schemes, info commercials, TV entertainment, and tabloid level events. Trump’s world has been anything he says it is. One has only to follow the endless parade of lies he has made in the past year to understand this. Trump has performed in a world which can be fashioned by the lie. In Trump’s world people expect and accept the lie.

    So, taking the element of how each of them has performed out of the equation, reflect on where they each have performed. Clinton has performed in public service. Trump has performed in the world of his own private benefits. Now, look at who follows who. The more difficult choice is Clinton as it takes thought and serious debate. A follower of Clinton has to accept her fallibility and search for her strengths. The easy choice is Trump as it takes only the lure of the carnival barker and the promise of free booze, cake, etc. A follower of Trump needs only to think that winning the lottery is possible, all problems can be solved with one or two easy strokes, and it’s someone’s fault but not their own. Ask yourself which group you belong to.

    Yes, Clinton has been in bed with the oligarchs and those that we should do without. Such is the way in America, the oligarchy. However, Trump is an oligarch and someone we need to do without, except for amusement. Trump as President is not amusing or perhaps it is to those who see this all as a sideshow.

  8. On voir dire some of the questions employed to select, and perhaps shape the jurors’ minds, might be along the lines of: Were any of you folks dumb enough to fall for such a thing as Trump University when it was around?

  9. Obviously, Don, you fail to comprehend the part about Trump NOT being your average defendant and/or respondent. I know, I know–you don’t like that fact. It’s a fact that cannot be ignored. I know, I know–you wish to overlook that inconvenient truth. It doesn’t fit your narrative about Trump needing to be treated like all other defendants and/or respondents. That appears to be a blind spot, which prevents you from understanding that Trump’s schedule–which has no equivalent–prevents this matter from proceeding in a reasonable and logical manner as the judge dictates. Judicial temperament should be devoid of telltale signs and indicators of retribution, and the refusal to entertain an accommodation for this case, by allowing it to commence at a later date due to the highly irregular circumstances unique to this respondent’s particular schedule, speaks volumes about this member of the bench. You can repeat anything that you wish about how the typical or average individual is treated in court, but that mantra ignores the highly unusual and unique set of circumstances present in this particular situation. That’s not whining or complaining, and it’s not about whether Trump’s case is any more or less important than any other. That is a non-issue. Trump was obviously correct in his assessment of this judge, however distasteful his comments may have appeared. Judges are simply human beings, and this judge is obviously using his power, position and authority to force an unreasonable demand upon Trump and his attorneys. Just because the judge CAN demand that the case proceed, at all costs, doesn’t make it the correct decision. You call it what you wish–I call it retribution.

    1. Even in a case such as this, an individually named defendant is not really needed for much in the run up to trial. In any event, the request for a continuance was based on the attorney’s schedule, not Trump’s. I’m not hearing any attorneys who practice in front of this judge claiming that he responded differently to their requests for trial continuances because of attorney scheduling conflicts.

    2. Clinton has been given a perpetual get out of jail free card, particularly by the main stream media, but also by our judicial system (the DOJ in particular).

      Trump, on the other hand, would probably end up in court for jay walking.

      Don’t get me wrong, he probably wouldn’t be caught dead walking with…, gasp, pedestrians, but anyhooo, if he did and he strayed off the lines, he would be nailed.

      Such is our political reality. The powers that be, wall street and the industrial military complex simply do not trust him to act consistently in their favor as much as they do Hillary. The veritable army of ass licking parasites that have the gall to call themselves journalists haven’t missed a sycophantic beat and are pounding away at the image of Hiilary as having divine rights and Trump as being a somewhat less than divine comedy, but that said, the judge in question is absolutely right. The injustice is not holding Trump to the law; rather it is not holding everyone equally to it and Hillary’s upcoming coronation is proof positive that the system -alas, including the judicial branch, is highly compromised.

  10. Bam Bam

    I will take your response as a NO to my my question of whether you understand how most federal Judges operate. I repeat, Trump is being treated the same as everyone else is treated by federal judges here in SoCal. The Judge’s refusal to continue the trial is SOP and does not, by itself, prove discrimination.

    I get that you don’t like that. Whine away. Trump can whine to the 9th Circuit if he goes to trial and loses.

    And BTW, Trump’s civil case is no more (and no less) important than any of the other civil cases litigated in the federal courts. And he’s not the only party whose interests the Judge must take into account in deciding whether to continue the trial.

  11. Hey Don de Drain

    Do you even have a clue that Trump is not your average defendant? Do you even have a clue what forcing a trial, given the purported timeline, will mean for a defendant, like Trump, given what he is facing as a contender for President? Do you have a clue as to what trial preparation, including the defendant’s participation in that preparation, entails? Do you get that part of the equation? Comparing him to your average defendant and assessing some sort of equivalency is shortsighted, and that assessment is being kind. I am confident in asserting that there has been nothing–and I do mean, NOTHING–in your career that qualifies you to compare Trump and the impending election that he is facing with ANY client that you have ever represented, or, for that matter, could ever dream of representing. Trump’s need for a delay is due to extraordinary circumstances, and said circumstances have no equivalent in your practice of the law.

    Let’s reverse your challenge, shall we? Show me why this judge is incapable of granting said delay, given the unique challenges and hardships faced by this particular individual?

  12. Hey Bam Bam

    Do you even have a clue how most federal judges operate? I’ve had fixed trial dates shoved down my throat, with the judge refusing a motion for continuance, so many times that I can’t count them any more. They do that because 1) they are really busy, and have to give priority to their criminal docket if a criminal case comes along, and 2) fixed trial dates force parties to p@@ or get off the pot, and create financial incentives for parties to settle.

    Oh, and there is that minor fact that, if Trump wins the election, he will be far busier once he is sworn in than he will be right after the election.

    Unless you can show me something from the docket sheet in Trump’s case that proves otherwise, Trump is being treated the same as others who litigate in federal court.

    1. I don’t believe judges are all that busy. I used to work for the court system in my home town. There was one federal judge and one superior court judge who made use of the library. You could find that superior court judge in the building after hours. Not sure about any others.

  13. Well, well, well. . .seems like Trump wasn’t off the mark, when he was charged with accusing this judge of being incapable of separating his ancestral ties and lineage from those obligations inherent in his position as a judge. Doesn’t seem so ludicrous anymore, now does it? Even a broken clock is right twice a day. Hey Judge Curiel, your bias is showing. How often do you have a defendant, before you, who is running for President of the United States? Could it be that Trump bruised your ego and vilified illegal immigrants from Mexico? Guess you really showed us how you could operate above all of that and not allow those inconsequential matters to impact you judgment. Right. You need to voluntarily remove yourself from this case–you have an obvious and palatable bias against the defendant and are incapable of ignoring his previous remarks, as indicated by your actions to force a trial on your unreasonable timeline.

    1. Exactly how bam bam is Judge Curiel’s timeline for the trial unreasonable? Sticking to the original date is not evidence of any bias on the judge’s part. The fact that Trump is running for President is not sufficient reason to delay the trial.

  14. Our politics are resembling those in 3rd world countries. I fear the standard of living for most US citizens will resemble those in the 3rd world soon. Support Farm Aid please. I am voting Glenn Greenwald for President and Edward Snowden for VP.

    1. I fear the standard of living for most US citizens will resemble those in the 3rd world soon.

      Domestic product per capita in the U.S. exceeds that in Brazil by a factor of 3. You’re not going to see 2/3 of our production of goods and services disappearing unless there is a devastating war on American soil.

    2. What gave you the idea that Greenwald knows anything worth knowing about running a public agency? He’s a shady blawger / sexual deviant who has lived in Brazil for a dozen years or more.

    1. It’s perplexing that Trump has not settled. This case has been percolating in California for six years.

  15. Trump couldn’t resist when he saw the sign for a “Free Trial Sample.” Now he’s getting what he asked for.

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